When you begin the process of looking for a wedding photographer, it can be overwhelming to sift through hundreds of potential vendors in your areas! There are tons of different styles, price points and personalities that can make finding the right fit seem daunting! It can be easy to instantly use price as a deciding factor to narrow your list!
But before you ask the dreaded “do you offer discounts” question, it’s important to consider this…there are dozens of factors that go into deciding package prices and although some photographers may offer incentives or bonuses, or be more willing to travel on their own dime… most experienced photographers take on a limited number of clients each year, and the price reflects that personalization!
At the end of the day it is possible your dream photographer may be out of budget for you. I always recommend prioritizing your vendor list, and looking for area’s you are willing to spend more or less depending on what is most essential for your wedding!
This list of questions can help you begin to look past price as a starting point for your search and at the full picture of your photography experience.
1. Can we see a full gallery from a wedding with a similar style?
It is important to look beyond your own wedding venue and trust that an experienced photographer will be able to adapt to any lighting and location situation. Sometimes I even find I am more creative and inspired working at new venues! Asking to see a full gallery will give you an inside look at the full scope of the photographers style, number of images, and envision yourself getting married!
2. Do you consider yourself an inclusive photographer?
I was asked this question for the first time this year, and had never considered an alternative. I had always assumed that wedding photographers loved capturing the interactions and genuine emotion of guests and weren’t self selecting who deserved to be photographed based on skin color or relationship preference. If you have a diverse group of friends and family, it is important to choose a photographer who will make your guests feel truly comfortable and seen! Not to mention the dozens of other vendors that will be working seamlessly together to make your wedding day a success. If you do not see this diversity reflected in your potential photographers portfolio, it’s important to ask this question!
3. Are there any additional travel costs for my venue?
There are many times that photographers will include a specific radius of travel to and from your venue for local weddings or require hotel accommodations for out of town weddings. Some photographers may even wave the fees when they are trying to dive into a destination wedding market. However there is nothing worse than signing a package contract only to find out a month before that you will owe an extra expense for travel.
4. Can we modify our package after signing?
Most photographers offer a standard number of hours to capture a full size wedding day, general 8-10 will capture all of the main events! However there is a ton of variety when it comes to package price… These packages can include the addition of a second shooter, complimentary engagement sessions, additional prints or albums, and it can be hard to compare packages by just the number of hours and price. I always offer my couples the option to start with a base package to save money in the deposit up front and then add on hours and extra keepsake albums closer to their wedding date!
It’s hard to know for sure exactly how much photo coverage you will need a year or more ahead of your wedding date. So I always leave the option open to add on hours a few months ahead of time, we finalize the wedding timeline. I even have couples that come back a year later and decide to create a photo album for their anniversary! This can be a great question to ask any of your vendors, to see what smaller package options allow for you to upgrade in the future!
5. What is your style OR process for shooting weddings?
I have worked with so many different types of vendors over the years, from videographers and photographers who are an arms length away capturing the action during ceremonies, or the DJ’s that are out on the dance floor in attempts to liven up the party. Or more behind the scenes vendors who are silently capturing the details with little interaction with guests. There is no right or wrong answer to these questions, but it is best to think through your specific style and what type of vendor will fit best with your personality and vision for your wedding day!
I hope these tips have given you the confidence to start your photography vendor search! Finding a photographer that makes you truly comfortable is an amazing foundation to give you the best wedding experience. If you are looking for a natural light photographer obsessed with helping down to earth couples capture genuine, joyful wedding day’s. Inquire below to get started securing your wedding date!
Here are a few of my favorite resources to help along the wedding planning process.
Top 5 Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer
Mar 2, 2021