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Wedding photos are the most important reminder of your one-of-a-kind wedding, so you’ll want to be super selective when choosing your wedding photographer. 

With a little time and effort, you can easily sort out the really rad ones from the lame ones by checking their websites, perusing their portfolios and speaking to them through email or over the ye ol’ fashioned telephone. 

The following questions to ask a wedding photographer will help you pick the right one. It’s all about finding a professional you can trust and get along with on your special day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding Photography Services

Q: How much should I spend on a wedding photographer?

A: One of the top expenses for couples is the wedding photographer. Professional wedding photographers typically charge somewhere between $1,150 and $3,000 for a basic wedding photography package.

But you’re not basic, right?

If you want a thoroughbred instead of a saddle mule expect to pony up a little more.

Remember that the quality of the photos you get is largely dependent on the price you pay, since experienced photographers tend to charge more.

Q: Does a wedding photographer own the photos?

A: Federal law states that wedding photographers do have the sole right to the photos they take from your wedding, which means they can use them for marketing purposes.

There are some exceptions here; just as in the case of a private elopement, talk with your photographer about your privacy.

In most cases, photographers will give the couple a print release along with the contract. This print release allows you to use the wedding images for personal use.

Q: What is usually included with a wedding photo package?

A: The following are typically included:

  • Time coverage (usually 1-, 4-, 8-hour or unlimited)
  • Editing and retouching
  • Print release
  • Digital copy of the images
  • Prints
  • Additional photographers/assistants
  • Travel fees
  • Additional sessions requested (i.e., engagement photoshoot, pre-wedding photo session, etc.)

9 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1. Are You Available for Our Wedding Date?

Easy enough. Can they be there on your date at your preferred time? Ask this one first.

If the answer is “no,”then it’s on to the next. Don’t waste time speaking to someone who is already booked. 

2. How Long Have You Been a Wedding Photographer?

This question targets the photographer’s credentials and experience. Make them be specific.

You’ll also want to ask how many weddings they’ve photographed in that time.

You’re not shopping for a photographer.

You need a wedding photographer.

A kick-ass portrait or landscape photographer might be completely out of their element if you hire them to be a wedding photographer.

Get someone who knows what the hell they’re doing, because your wedding photos are too important to screw up.

3. Have You Ever Worked at Our Wedding Venue?

Professional wedding photography involves navigating a wedding venue.

This includes knowing the space, knowing how guests tend to flow through it, knowing the lighting conditions and being able to capture the event at its best.

Familiarity with a venue is a huge plus. You don’t want to be the photographer’s guinea pig. 

4. What Do Your Packages Include and What Will Cost Extra?

Most photographers’ packages are described in detail on their website.

If you’re curious about something that is or isn’t listed, just ask. They may have more options than are spelled out in black and white.

It never hurts to ask and find out what’s available for additional fees so you can more easily compare their charges to other photographers.

5. How Would You Describe Your Photography Style?

Discuss the vision and aesthetic you have in mind for your wedding photos with the photographer. By asking this question, you’ll see if the photographer’s style will match the look you’re after.

This is an important element to evaluate so that you don’t find yourself disappointed if the photographer’s style is different from your expectations.

Don’t be timid about asking to see actual real life wedding galleries that the photographer has photographed.

Sure, the images they share on their website look fabulous, but that’s where they put their best stuff.

Sometimes they’ll even highlight what is known as a “styled shoot,” in which models are used and extra attention to details in things, like the decorations or the background is made. Ask to see the real thing.

6. How Would You Describe Your Editing Style?

Wedding photographers often include light editing and minimal retouching in order to keep the couple’s natural looks.

But it’s possible to find photographers who have a heavier hand to please their own eye or fit a certain aesthetic.

Regardless of the type of editing you want for wedding photos, you should clarify with the photographer the degree of editing they do so that you are both on the same page.

7. What Is It Like To Work With You?

You should find out how the photographer works while covering real weddings.

Do they blend into the background? Do they work with guests to direct them in posing for pictures?

This should tell you what kind of experience you and your guests will have with the photographer.

8. What Is Your Contingency Plan in Case of Unforeseen Circumstances?

Shit happens.

There’s always the potential for things to go pear-shaped. Traffic, illness, bad weather…

A professional wedding photographer should have contingencies for emergencies, including technical issues and forces of nature.

It’s always smart to have backup plans for your backup plans. Don’t settle for Plan B. Make sure there’s a Plan C. 

9. Are You More Comfortable with Outdoor or Indoor Lighting?

If your wedding venue is an outdoor venue, your photographer should be comfortable shooting with natural light.

Conversely, if you are getting married in an indoor venue, your photographer should be great at shooting with indoor lighting.

It’s ok to ask to see examples of their work in the same venue as you’ll be using. Make sure to ask if they’ve been there for a wedding at the same time of year or during the same time of day. Conditions change, so someone who’s been there frequently will be better prepared to tackle any lighting scenario that arises.

One Final Tip for Hiring a Wedding Photographer

Understandably, many couples prioritize the cost of the wedding photographer.

Working with a professional will make a world of difference not just in terms of the quality of photos but also in the experience of working with them.

Download our interactive checklist of questions to ask when speaking with a photographer!

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

For couples with personality wanting an offbeat, boundary-pushing wedding, McKenzi Taylor is fast-becoming America’s go-to elopement and micro-wedding expert. Electric Sugar Elopements barged onto the scene in 2021, with the company drawing on McKenzi’s 15+ years as a wedding photographer, 5+ years as a successful wedding coordinator, and standing as a board member for the LV chapter of WIPA. Her ‘let’s do this differently’ attitude to weddings has helped over 700 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills, and has led to her being featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times.