(Closed) Top Questions to ask a Photog.

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I do think having a second shooter is important for the ‘getting ready’ and ceremony shots, but after that I think one person can handle the reception.  I think looking at a photograpers blog is a good way to get an idea of their style and if you get a good feeling for thier work. You also need to ‘mesh’ with them well or else you may feel uncomfortable with them following you around on your wedding day.

This is the list of questions I have:

Describe your photography style

What is your favorite shot you’ve taken?

Do you provide a second shooter?

What style of album do you have/offer/create?  Do you do the album design yourself?

How many weddings do you shoot a year? Do you cap it? what % of your business is weddings?

What is your approximate turnaround time for teasers? First round of edits? Proofs? Album?

Do you use digital/film/or both?

How many photos do you typically shoot at a wedding/pics per hour? How many do you edit after the wedding?

What time do you arrive to set up?

What are your OT charges? Or do you have a full day package?

Do you bring backup equipment/how/when do you backup files?

What are your policies regarding proofs? How many do I receive?

Do you offer online ordering/proofing? Costs?

What are your policies regarding negatives/digital files/releases? Costs?

Are you familiar with our location? Can you visit it beforehand to check it out?

What is your payment policy? When, how much, type?

Do you provide references?

Can you try to accommodate specific shots I want from my wedding? i.e. american gothic pose, outdoor family formals

Sample package options and pricing – my goals are to have two shooters full day, package to include album and proof book

Post # 4
572 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Ask to see an entire wedding or two.  I wish I would have done this in our meeting becuase I would have gone with someone else 🙁

A photographer should tell you everything up front and cover everything without you even asking, should have pictures from weddings, etc. 


Post # 5
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Don’t forget to inquire about travel fees! Even if they’re from your (our?) general area, some charge for any travel over 25 miles. I’d also ask how they tend to handle weather-related issues, and if they’re familiar with your venue. If they aren’t, ask if they intend to scope it out beforehand.

Post # 6
2207 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

– Who owns the rights to the photos afterwards?

– How much touch-up will you do?

– How open are you to suggestions for poses and styles?

– What is your preffered style of photography?

– How do you like to interact with guests?

– Do you have a plan for broken equipment? Illness? Inability to shoot the wedding?

Post # 7
2015 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I think editing style (post processing) is important. Ask how long it takes them, and if you order a CD of images, and not a photo album, ask how much editing goes into the photos. Usually photogs will edit the crap out of album photos, and perhaps not so much with CD images.

Post # 8
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2010

I had a whole list of questions – sent them out via email and waited for responses.  Based on their responses and the time they took to fill out the survey, we interviewed our top 5.  Here is an idea of what we asked:

Here’s the spreadsheet I used. PM me if you have any other questions.

Post # 9
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: January 2010


Make or Break details

Are you available on 1-9-10?

Do you provide a written contract and guarantee of satisfaction?

What are your policies regarding proofs?

What are your policies regarding negatives?

What is the policy regarding rights to photos?

Finance / Money Commitment

Hours of service / Cost:

Depost, how much, when is it due?

Payments, partials, credit card, check card?

When is the final payment due?

Is gratuity included in the price?

If not, is it expected?  What is is the percentage expected for the service charge?

Taxes?  Percentage?

Over time? Travel? Touch up? Web hosting? Proofs, Prints?  Charges for these?

What are the refunds/cancellation terms?

What are your policies regarding delivery times? 

Can I see a sample contract?

Personal details, Personal style, personal touch

Is photography your full time job, if not what do you do the rest of the week?

Why did you choose wedding photography as a career?

What kind of experience, background, and education do you have?

Have you received any formal classroom training as a photographer?

How long have you been a wedding photographer, and how many weddings have you photographed?

What’s your primary style? Posed and formal, relaxed, photojournalistic, creative, artistic, candid, traditional?

Do you shoot in color or black and white? Or both? Do you shoot in a digital format that can create both color and b/w versions of the same picture?

Do you use black and white film when photographing in black and white?

How many pictures will you take?

Who is your most favorite photographer (not necessarily a wedding photographer)?

Have you ever been published in a photography journal/had a show, etc.?

Tell me how you select what you would photograph at my wedding?

What makes your photographs better or different than anybody else’s?

What are the reasons you think we should hire you?

Is this your recent work that I’m seeing?

What kind of input can we have on the direction of the shots? Can we give you a shot list to work from?

Can other people take photos while you are taking photos?

Have you handled events of my type and size before? Give me a size for an example

I’m looking for a photojournalistic photographer.

What is your definition of ‘photojournalism’?


Are you personally the photographer for our wedding?

A-If the answer is no: – if not answered above

When would we meet the photographer who we’d work with.

Where can I look to see our photographers work? Guaranteed our photographers work.

If our photographer is no longer with your studio on our date what will you do?

B-If you are talking to the photographer:

Are you a full-time photographer?

How many people will cover the event and what role will they play?

Is there an extra cost for your assistant or any others covering the event?

What time would you arrive to setup your equipment?

Do you bring backup equipment with you?


Have you ever photographed at either St. Odilia’s or The Mermaid?

Can we view those setting samples (all photos in wedding)?

Can I have 3-5 references?  (Please list)Preferrably the same time of year or the same location as ours.

Misc. Notes

Post # 10
35 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

Gosh, that’s too many questions to ask, LOL

We just met our photog, read contract right there and there, asked very basic questions, loved what we saw and booked.

Who is your favorite photographer? Really? C’mon now, what does it have to do with wedding? May be i’m missing something.


I did ask the following before i met them, however:

Do you overbook, because i don’t want someone shooting weddings every day and getting burned out, that to me means they want $$$$ and probably don’t provide quality service.

Insurance, i had to have photog with insurance, just in case.

How long they’ve been doing weddings and why they chose to do so. I wanted photographer who really shows that they’re trully love what they do, besided making money, they must have a passion for it. It will show through their work and by the way they describe what they do and how they treach each of their clients.

I did ask about back up eqipment and what type (not that i really know anything)

I did ask about how soon we get our proofs

I did ask about their flexibility as well.





Post # 13
35 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

Pink, i wanted to see if they have a liability insurance, i think that most good businesses should have one.

Post # 14
739 posts
Busy bee

Here are some questions we get asked a lot:

  1. Who will actually be photographing the wedding? {unfortunately, bigger studios like to pull a bait a switch on couples}
  2. Can i see two full recent weddings from the photographer shooting my wedding in addition to their portfolio?
  3. Will I be getting an engagement session from the photographer shooting my wedding?
  4. Can i see a full wedding similar to mine? {outside sunny vs. dark church}
  5. Do you provide back up gear and to you have a plan in case of accident or illness?
  6. What is your turn around time for proofs and what format do they come in? {ie web gallery, disk, proof book, etc}
  7. Do we have personal printing rights? {There is a HUGE difference between printing rights and the copyrights, we would never give up the copyright}
  8. Are the proofs fully retouched? What is your retouching policy?
  9. Do you have insurance? {Proof of insurance usually means they are a legit biz}
  10. How long have you been in business and what got you into it?
  11. Do you do this full time or do you hold another job?
  12. What is your turn around time for me to see the images/ receive the disk?
  13. What is your deposit and payment scheduled. 
  14. How do you backup and store the digital files?
  15. How long to you keep digital files? 
  16. Do you offer a day after session or rock the dress session if it rains on my day and we can’t go outside for portraits? 
  17. Do you take a brake at all during the wedding day?
  18. Do we need to provide you with a meal? {feed your vendors they’ve been working hard for you all day and you want them to be at their best}
  19. Does travel time between venues count as part of our coverage time?
  20. Do you charge for travel?
  21. {This was a good one I got last week.} What is the worst thing that happened to you while shooting a wedding and how did you handle it?
  22. Can you provide us with references?

Post # 16
739 posts
Busy bee

@pinkstripes, it actually happened two weeks ago. I see your from Boston so you may be familiar with Hammond Castle in Gloucester. We had this really cool offbeat couple from Colorado fly in and get married at the castle, it was her dream to get married in one. and we decided to end the group portraits at the drawbridge. Rich {my FH} was shooting the group formals and I was to shoot the couple by themselves. It was really hot and muggy I thought I would bring Rich a glass of ice water which was served in a water goblet type glass. After carrying my entire camera system and a full glass of water through the narrow hallways I realize he has lined everyone up on the bridge. We are pretty good and ducking out of each others photos so I thought I would just sneak around them quickly between shots. The rock I had hopped on to get around them suddenly gave way and I was air born. This is the thought process in my head “if my right hand hits I will brake the glass in it and can’t shoot, if the left hand hits I brake my camera” so my face hit first. I didn’t brake the camera or the glass but the water ended up on my head.  This is pretty much three feet in front of the B+G and their entire wedding party and my FH. Luckily I wasn’t seriously hurt but I was pretty banged up for a couple of days. Worst off the shots didn’t turn out and although I dusted myself off and insisted we went forward with the couple formals it had lost it’s spark and they wanted to get inside and party. After intros and formalities were done Rich took over and I went to clean myself up. I do admit I did shed a tear or two. Partly do to embarrassment but mostly because I caused a distraction in this couples day and I felt like I took something away from it. It was also more challenging for me to get moments because everyone wanted to know if I was alright and I just wanted to be a fly on the wall capturing what was happening.  As for their portraits all our packages include rock the dress sessions and they talked about flying back out here for their anniversary so they will still get them then if they do. The couple is super happy with their photos and have already gave us great reviews despite what happened. Here is their proof gallery if you want to see their photos. I haven’t had a chance to blog them yet. http://www.pizzutistudios.com/store/Wedding_g471.html

I’m pretty sure everyone I know has seen the video, poor guy. I am so glad they didn’t have video for this wedding 🙂

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