Hiring a photographer can feel very overwhelming.

There are a lot of options with so much at stake. Interviewing literal strangers that are going to take care of the one tangible thing from your wedding day can be so nerve wracking. Choosing the best photographer that fits you should be your number one priority when choosing a photographer. Don’t pay attention to how many followers they have or how much they post to Instagram. Here are 10 Questions to ask when hiring a photographer.

Here are 10 questions to ask when Hiring a Photographer:

hiring a photographer

1. Can I see a Full Wedding Gallery?

Instagram and Facebook pages are completely curated. These pages are the best of the best. You need to be able to see the entire wedding day, not just the “banger” photos. Look at the getting ready photos, those sweet moments that aren’t in the spotlight enough. You should love all of your wedding photos, not just the staged ones. When you ask for a full wedding gallery, ask for several. Especially galleries that are going to be in the style of your wedding. Having a barn wedding? Ask them for a barn wedding gallery. Eloping in the mountains? Ask for a mountain elopement gallery.

2. How will you deliver our images?

Some deliver via USB drive, some deliver via online gallery. They need to be clear about this. A great follow up question would be “will the online gallery come with free downloads?” Will you have access to a print lab? Will they let you order prints through your lab of choice? Delivery of your images can come with strings, so be sure to cover your bases.

3. Can you photograph in all types of lighting?

Remember earlier when I asked you to look at entire wedding galleries? Once you get those galleries, make sure you pay attention to the types of lighting used. A professional photographer will be trained in all types of lighting including:

  • Window light
  • Indoor lighting
  • Off Camera Flash
  • Natural Lighting
  • Low-light situations

Make them prove this to you through their work. A photographer that is confident and trained in all types of lighting will be able to send you several examples of this.

SPOILER ALERT: ya girl is trained in allllll types.

hiring a photographer

4. How do I hire you as my Photographer officially?

Every photographer’s booking process is different and can include many steps. Most photographers require a certain amount up front, called the retainer. The biggest questions you can ask pertaining to this process is:

  • How much do I owe to book you?
  • Is that retainer cost additional?
  • How do I pay you?
  • Do you have payment plans?
  • When do you need to be paid by?

If you’re interested in hiring me as your photographer, read about my process here.

5. Do you have an emergency plan in place?

Photographers are still human. Emergencies do happen and your wedding can’t be rescheduled. Ask them for specific details of their emergency plan and what it involves. In 2022, the question is an absolute MUST. What happens if your photographer get Covid-19? Photographers have different back up plans, but make sure your photographer is clear on their plan.

6. How many cameras do you have?

Okay, okay, this might seem weird, BUT professionals will have at least 2 cameras they work with. Although, they might not work with two cameras at a time but they will have a backup camera. It’s for those “just-in-case” situations where they may need a second camera – I will let you use your imagination on this one.

7. Is your pricing all inclusive?

In other words – “will I get an invoice with unmentioned fees attached?” Fees can be anything from travel to taxes that are thrown on at the end. Sometimes vendors like to add this on at the end. I have no idea why because I think it seems shady. Keep this tip on hand for other vendors too.

8. How do you back up my photos?

In short, backing up photos means how will the photos be protected and stored. There are so many different options for photo back up that I can’t possible list them all here. Every photographer does it differently. What I can tell you is that they should have multiple places they’re storing your precious photos. In my personal experience, I have an online cloud and external hard drive photos get stored on.

hiring a wedding photographer

9. Will you actually be shooting my wedding or do you have associates?

Yep, this is an actual thing. There are photographers that have associate photographers. In other words, photographers have hired other people to work for them. Associates are essentially employees that photograph for them when the main photographer is unavailable or cannot meet your budget. Sometimes the photographers that have associate photographers fail to mention they themselves won’t actually be shooting the wedding – it’ll be one of their associates. Don’t be that horror story.

10. If we hire you as our photographer, When can I expect to see my wedding photos?

Whether it’s 2 weeks or 4 months before you get to see your photos, make sure you know. Then head to the contract and make sure that quoted turn around time is stated! It is so crucial to hold your photographer accountable. I’ve heard horror stories of clients hiring photographers going MIA after the wedding and not returning photos for about 8 months. There wasn’t a contract so their clients could not do anything about it. Every turnaround time is different and subjective to photographer. Average turn around times are 4-6 Weeks.

Hiring a photographer is one of those big to-list items when you’re planning your big day. Stay thorough when researching your dream photographer. It could be the difference between hating and loving your wedding photos.

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