With so much going on in the weeks leading up to your wedding day, it’s quite normal to forget things or to get confused with what has already been done and what hasn’t. Something that is often overlooked, but essential, is to put together a list of questions to ask your photographer before the big day. We often assume that once we’ve paid the professionals and signed a contract, that they will just turn up and do their job. This is true to a degree, but questions should be asked to ensure you know exactly what will happen and when. We’ve spoken to Junebug Weddings and they’ve put together a list of important questions to ask your photographer ahead of your wedding.
1. When will you arrive at the wedding?
You’ll want to make sure your photographer is there early to scope out your ceremony and reception spaces. Some photographers show up hours before a wedding, or the day before, just to make sure they know the prime spots for shooting. It’s also good for your photographer to have a plan as to where he/she wants to take you for couple portraits, bridal party shots, or any other must have photos for the big day.
2. How long will you stay, and will you stay if my event lasts longer than expected?
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Read your contract, as you might be paying your photographer for just the ceremony and not the entire event. You will want to remember moments from your reception, believe me! These can be some of the most emotionally charged and joyful photos from a wedding. If your photographer only wants to stay for the ceremony, or leave shortly after your reception, you’ll want to make sure you get all of your desired shots in before they run off.
3. Have you ever shot at my venue or area before?
If your photographer has shot at your venue before, they are going to have a much better understanding of the setting and lighting, which can be a huge help on the day of your wedding. If they have never been to the venue before, you may want to see if it’s possible for them to scope it out before the big day. Most quality photographers will do this even if you don’t ask. It’s really the mark of an artist, as well as a professional who is going to take your big day seriously.
4. Will you be shooting my wedding, or will someone else?
If you’d like to feel comfortable with whoever is photographing your wedding, you may want to get to know your photographer’s second shooter, assistant, or anyone else they may bring along. If you’re like me, and want to know every soul who will be attending your special day, make sure to ask your photographer who he/she will be bringing!
5. What will you be wearing?
If you’re hosting an elegant event, you’ll want to make sure your photographer doesn’t show up in jeans! Make sure your photographer understands the wedding dress code. You will want them to fit in, as they will most likely be around for the entirety of the event.
6. What happens if for some awful reason, you can’t make it on the day of the wedding?
Your photographer should have a backup plan if something were to happen to them the day of your wedding. If your photographer employs other photographers at their studio, one of them should be free for the day of your wedding, or your photographer should have a large network of colleagues who could pick up their camera and shoot your wedding just in case.
7. Will you be directing all of the shots we take?
You may want a little control over your wedding photos, which is totally normal, as it is your day to remember. You need to feel free to express yourself creatively on your big day, and your photographer is there to enhance that creativity and add their photographic style to the mix. Don’t feel burdened by a photographer who won’t let you have a say, make sure your voice will be heard beforehand!
8. How do you coordinate the group shots?
Perhaps you have a large family that’s hard to manage, or a wedding party that is ready for the cocktail hour, your photographer should have a plan to make sure your family portraits go off without a hitch!
9. What is your backup plan for unexpected weather circumstances?
Sometimes that sunset ceremony you imagined for years turns out to be misty, drizzly and dark. You should make sure your photographer is prepared for weather conditions to change at the drop of a hat. Why? If your photographer only came with a plan to shoot your silhouettes in front of a gorgeous, orangy-pink sunset, he/she is going to need a backup plan for unexpected rain, fog, snow, or even wind!
10. When will I get my photos?
Some photographers can take months to get your photos to you. You’ll want to have a date to hold your photographer to just in case they procrastinate. Knowing the answer to this question will also cause you a little less anxiety as your wait for your photographs to arrive.