© Francie Baltazar Stonestreet

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Some moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone. Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life, and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. Don’t fall for the “I am a photographer” friend. Make sure you hire a real pro. But how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are ten questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding.

Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture, or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words to describe yourself and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you.

Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask as many questions as you can think of, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own.

An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images with your partner before you two get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding.

This list will ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. You should be able to create that list together, add to the list leading up to the day, and have a copy of that list the day of. Take an honest look at what images really matter and fill your photographer in on situations they might need to be aware of in order to prevent awkward moments. This helps ensure that they can get the shots that matter most to you.

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional-grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves. Be sure your photographer is familiar with your venue and its lighting so they know exactly what to bring.

You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. They will always bring one or two backup cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards, and batteries.

Accidents happen at weddings, and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time, as well.

A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day.

Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important.

Keep in mind you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline of delivery. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for use on social media very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peek with a few images. Just ask ahead of time!