Top ten questions you should ask your wedding photographer

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Booking the perfect wedding photographer for your wedding is a daunting task - find out what you should be asking your wedding photographer before booking. 

How long have you been shooting weddings? - a nice easy one to start with. Wedding photography is incredibly demanding and experience counts for a lot. All weddings are different and an experienced wedding photographer will have encountered many different situations, lighting problems, weather conditions and know how to deal with them. There are also many keen amateurs out there trying to get into the wedding photography business. They may be cheaper but you are taking a big risk on the biggest day of your life unless you book a professional wedding photographer. If I book, will you be the photographer at my wedding?

This is important as some companies use freelance photographers and the person you are seeing might be a salesperson. There is nothing wrong with the companies that do this and you may be getting a more competitive price but it is best to check!

Is the work that I am seeing all yours and only yours or is it a selection of work from more than one photographer? - This question is really the follow up to Q2. You need to make sure that the images you are looking at were taken by the photographer who will be shooting your wedding

Can I see some complete weddings? A photographer putting together a portfolio or website will only ever include their best shots for obvious reasons. It's important to see a couple of complete weddings from start to finish. If you are getting married in the winter ask to see some examples of complete winter weddings.

Do we get a disc of print files so we can order our own prints? Many photographers will include a disc of images for you to print from included in the price, some will charge extra and some will give you a disc but they’ll be in low resolution and only suitable for emailing. You need to make sure you know what you’re getting or how much extra this service will cost.

If the wedding overruns will there be any extra charges? How flexible is your wedding photographer? Some will offer a package that covers everything no matter how long the wedding but if you have booked your photographer for a set amount of time will they stay to cover the first dance if it starts late? Remember that your wedding photographer is a self-employed person and earns a living by charging for their time and services.

Is an album included and can I see an example? It is important to see an example album if one is included in the price. Top quality albums from companies like Graphistudio and Jorgensen are expensive but there are also many cheap albums on the market so you need to check the quality to avoid disappointment.

How long after the wedding do we get to see our wedding photographs? You don’t want to wait 6 months after the wedding to see the results. Check to see if there is a guaranteed turn around time. Many wedding photographers will upload your proofs to an online gallery as a first step. Check to see if this will be available on your return from honeymoon. Be realistic though. If you are getting married in the summer your photographer will be incredibly busy and modern wedding photography usually involves hours of post-production work until the images are ready.

Are there any other charges on top of the quoted price? Does your photographer charge extra for travel and other expenses. If you are not getting a disc of print files to check how much extra prints cost.

Do you require a deposit and when is the balance due? Most photographers will require a deposit to guarantee the booking. You should then get a signed contract which sets out the terms and conditions, cancellation rights and products included in the package. Check the payment terms as most photographers will require the balance to be paid before the wedding. The deposit will be nonrefundable and there may be a cut-off point in regards cancellation when the whole balance will still be due even if the wedding is cancelled.

Photo Credit: Boz Green Wedding Photography

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