Choosing Your Wedding Photographer: Questions to Ask Before You Book

As you dive into the exciting world of wedding planning, one of the most biggest decisions you’ll make is selecting the perfect photographer to capture your special day. To ensure you make an informed choice and find a photographer who aligns with your vision and style, it’s essential to ask the right questions during the initial consultation – and that you have an initial consultation! Making sure that you not only love their work (including their editing style), but also that your personalities align, will set the stage for having an amazing experience on your wedding day and a final gallery you will love.

Portfolio and Style

– Do you have experience shooting weddings similar to mine in terms of venue type and size?

– Can you show me examples of your work similar to my wedding vision, including a full wedding gallery?

Some photographers specialize in a light, airy and natural light filled style. However, if your wedding venue is a historic building and your wedding day vision is a darker, romantic vibe, with a candle light dinner, maybe their style won’t align perfectly with your wedding day vision. This doesn’t mean that they can’t do it – it just means that you need to ask if they have experience, or examples, of shooting in this type of setting. You don’t want to fall in love with their outdoor photos, only to find that you don’t feel that same spark with their indoor images – especially if the entirety of your wedding will take place indoors, with minimal natural light. Of course the opposite is true too! If you plan to have an outdoor ceremony in the middle of summer, but fall in love with a certain photographer’s late night photos of couples dancing under twinkling string lights – make sure you look through a gallery of their outdoor work as well. Overall, just make sure you are thinking of your wedding day as a whole, from the room you will be getting ready in, to the reception hall where you will dance the night away with your new spouse.

Booking Process

– What is your booking process, and how far in advance do I need to book?

– Do you require a deposit to secure my date? How are the remaining payment(s) split up?

– What form(s) of payment do you accept?

Packages and Pricing

– Can I customize a package to suit my specific needs? (Add on hours, etc.)

– Are there any additional fees I should be aware of, such as travel, taxes, credit card processing fees or overtime charges?

– Is there a fee for changing or upgrading my package at a later date if needed?

A photographer is usually the second vendor you book when planning your wedding. This means, you are usually choosing this vendor pretty early in the planning process; sometimes 12-18+ months in advance of your wedding date. If you book an 8 hour wedding day package, but then 6 months away from the wedding realize that simply won’t be enough time to cover all of the moments you’d truly like captured, you need to know what the process is for requesting to add on hours, or upgrade your package.


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

– Have you worked at my chosen venue before, or are you familiar with a similar lighting and layout?

While it isn’t necessary for a photographer to have shot at your specific venue before, it is nice to know that they have worked in a similar environment, and for you to see examples of their work that would align with your wedding day vision. Also, experience can vary widely with wedding photographers. You can easily find photographers who have been capturing weddings for 10+ years, and some who are in their first years of business. This difference also usually presents different price ranges for their wedding packages. While this is not a vendor to choose lightly, the wide range can help brides with any type of budget still be able to find a photographer for their wedding day, and stay on budget. Just remember to prioritize what is most important to you on your wedding day. If it is photographs, then maybe work to arrange a larger portion of the budget for this specifically. If it is not photographs, that’s okay too! Every couple, love story, and wedding is unique – so there is no right or wrong way to plan and celebrate your day!

Equipment and Backup Plans

– Do you have backup gear in case of emergencies?

– What is your plan in case of inclement weather on the wedding day?

– Do you have liability insurance?

– Do you have a backup plan / photographer in the event of an emergency on my wedding day?

Process and Timeline

– Can you walk me through your process from booking to delivery of final photos?

– How long after the wedding can I expect to receive my photos, and in what format (USB, online gallery, etc.)?

Communication and Collaboration

– How do you prefer to communicate with clients leading up to the wedding day?

– Are you open to incorporating specific photo ideas or poses that we have in mind?

– Will you be the one shooting our wedding, or do you have a team?

Choosing the right wedding photographer is a decision that will impact the way you remember and cherish your special day for years to come. By asking these questions during your initial consultations, you can ensure that you find a photographer who not only captures beautiful images but also provides a positive and stress-free experience from start to finish. Remember, your wedding photographer is not just a vendor but a storyteller who will preserve the magic and emotion of your wedding day, as well as be with you for the majority of your wedding day. So make sure your personalities align, you love their photography style and you feel comfortable with your choice personally and financially.