With the new vaccine being rolled out, the end to UK lockdowns and restricted weddings is in sight. You may now be feeling confident enough to make plans for your big day. One of the first steps you can take is choosing your key wedding suppliers, such as the venue, the dress, and of course, your photographer. Deciding on your dream wedding photographer can be daunting- with such a variety of price points, styles, and talent, it can be hard to settle on just one. To help you decide on who is right for you, here are 15 questions to ask when you speak to your potential photographer.
If there’s a last-minute issue, what is your contingency plan?
As we all know how unpredictable 2020 was, we highly recommend double-checking what your photographer's stance is on changing the date, or in the event of an illness (especially if they need to self-isolate). A good photographer will have a back-up plan to make sure you are covered if they cannot attend. For example, they might have a photographer who is able to attend instead of them.
How will I receive my images, and how many are included in your package?
Do you have an idea of how many photos you are wanting? Do you prefer quantity over quality, or vice-versa? It's important before booking to know beforehand how many images to expect from them. Different photographers will have different packages and price points, which will vary depending on their portfolio. It is also worth knowing how you can expect to receive your wedding images. Are you wanting them via email, an online gallery, a physical album or USB, or a combination of these? Some photographers also offer a selection of physical prints, in addition to digital image files. If you have something in mind, double-check what costs are involved for delivery.
Do you have wedding photography insurance?
Professional photographers will have at least public liability insurance. This covers property damage and any injuries accidentally caused by them. If they are true professionals, they will be happy to show these when asked. Some venues also require to see these from your suppliers, so it's better to know they are covered before booking.
Does your package include one, or two photographers?
Most established professional photographers are happy and confident to capture your wedding day on their own, but some also include a second shooter in their packages. It's completely up to you whether you want two. Having an additional photographer means more is covered at once, which is especially great for big weddings and grand ceremonies. The more cameras = the more of your day will be captured. If this is important to you, ask your photographer what are the costs involved with a second shooter.
Are your travel costs included?
Most wedding photographers will include most of their travel costs within their price, but this will depend on your wedding venue location and how many hours they are shooting your wedding day. It's always worth asking, as this will avoid an unexpected last-minute bill.
Have you ever shot at my venue before?
This is not an essential question, but if they have shot at your venue- it's a bonus! It means they have practiced the best angles and may have a few new ideas to make your photos extra special. If they haven't, and if it's important to you- ask your photographer if they are willing to visit the venue before the big day. Perhaps conduct your face-to-face meeting at your venue, so you can discussing key ideas you'd love to capture your day.
What will your timings be for the day?
Your photographer will want to be sure they know exactly when they should arrive. If you want them to take shots of you and your bridal party getting ready, they’ll know to arrive early. They’ll also have plenty of time to capture some beautiful pre-ceremony shots. The same goes for asking them when they plan to leave; you don’t want them to miss any big finale send-offs!
How much is a deposit and what are the payment methods?
Most if not all of your wedding suppliers will ask for a booking deposit to secure your date with them. You'll pay this upfront, along with agreeing on a contract. Just make sure you read the contract first, and query anything that is bothering you straight away. Then, clarify when the full payment is due.
Is an engagement shoot included in your package?
Engagement shoots are so beneficial- not only is it a great way to practice feeling comfortable in front of the camera, but it's also a great way to get to know how your photographer works and what to expect from them on the day. It's not essential but highly recommended. Some photographers include an engagement shoot as part of your package, while others may offer this as an additional charge.
Will I have the copyright of my wedding photos?
Wanting to publish your photos online to a blog, or what happens if the local newspaper wants a picture from your wedding? Copyright rarely is considered, but it's worth asking for future reference. If the photographer includes a copyright release in the contract, you’ll be able to use the photos however you like, without having to obtain further permission from them.
Can I request specific photographs?
Sometimes photographers love it when you have some certain shot requests, as it means you are eager to capture your dream wedding photos. Perhaps request photos with particular family members or photos of detailed items you'll never want to forget, such as your shoes or ring. You can even request more specific images, such as the wind blowing your veil, or a fun confetti shot. This will all depend on timings on your wedding day though, so bear that in mind. Not every photo request can be guaranteed, but it's important to request anything that you're absolutely keen on.
How long will we need to wait before we can see the pictures?
We are just as excited for you to see your photos as you are! There is such a thing as wedding day blues, as you come down from the high of your big day and realize the wedding planning is over! Wedding photos are a great way to get excited about it again, and so it's important to know how long you'll wait. For some, the wait could be just a week. For others, it may take a few months, depending on the number of images shot, the length of your wedding day, and how skilled your photographer is at editing.
Do we need to cater for you?
It's common practice to include your suppliers in your food catering. As your photographer will be hard at work, standing for hours trying to capture your big day, it's standard to either give them a bar tab or include them in your catering options. If you cannot do this, don't worry, as we know wedding numbers can be limited. But make this clear for them so they don't have to rush out and get food on your day! Some may prefer to bring their own meal too! Speak to your venue about catering for your suppliers as they may already have plans in place.
Would you mind adhering to our dress code?
If you have a specific dress code or are worried about what your photographer will wear, it's definitely ok to ask your photographer this question. Just ensure you are polite! If you have a formal dress code and you expect your photographer to look the part, do let them know. If this doesn't bother you, let them wear something comfortable to move around in.