1. What is included in the wedding packages you offer?
Every Wedding Photographer charges different fees for their work. When comparing these fees, check what exactly is included in the price they are quoting for their wedding package: does it include albums, canvases, printed photographs, engagement shoots? Wedding photographers can and will (usually) modify their fees if you negotiate with them, as well as what's included in their package. For instance, maybe you don't want an album, but would prefer to choose your own later and include more photo shoot time in the fee instead. Just remember, to get the best value for money from your photographer, the key is to know what you're getting for your money. That way you can be sure you are comparing apples with apples!
2. How many hours of coverage do we get on the wedding day? And are there additional charges for overtime?
Many brides and grooms forget to ask this all important question – how many hours of photography coverage do we get for our money? The usual time spent covering a wedding ranges from between four hours to twelve hours. But it all comes down to the wedding photographer and the package you choose. If you've been offered a flat fee for a wedding package, make sure to ask how many hours are included in that package to avoid any nasty surprises on the day.
You should also factor in the possibility of overtime. Maybe the reception will carry on into the wee hours, and you want to capture those moments (your bridesmaids might not thank you!). Ask your photographer about his or her over-time fees and, if they are going to cost a bomb, factor this into your planning and the package you choose.
For example, if you have seven hours of coverage included in your package but your wedding photographer charges a massive hourly rate for overtime, you might have them leave after you have tossed the bouquet instead of after the last dance. Or you might skip the shots of you getting ready with your bridesmaids, in favour of more shots of your guests during the reception. Remember, it's better to choose a larger package that requires you to pay a little more upfront, than a smaller package with a massive overtime charge later.
3. Will you be my actual wedding photographer, or will it be one of your colleagues?
Sometimes wedding photographers work for large studios and are just one of several photographers working for the business. When researching wedding photography websites, remember that Jack of Jack's Wedding Photography might not be the one taking your photos! Of course, Jack's partner Kate might be just as good or better, but you certainly want to meet her and see her portfolio, right?
Every photographer has his or her own style and personality. When it comes down to it, you want to know the actual person who will be there on the day. So if it's a studio you are working with, arrange to meet with the photographer who will be taking your pictures, take a look at their portfolio, and interview them. This way you'll ensure you're making a truly informed decision. This is a very big day for you, and you want a photographer who'll meet your expectations in every way. To read more about how to make sure your photographer meets you needs take a look at my blog How to pick your wedding photographer.
4. What will you – that's right, the photographer – be wearing on my wedding day?
Okay, this is a really big pet peeve of mine: wedding photographers who don't dress the part. Maybe it's because I'm a wedding photographer so I'm exceptionally tuned it into it. But I was a guest at weddings long before photography became my passion and I know it's bothered many a bride and guest before me.
So why does it matter what the photographer wears on your big day? It might seem unimportant but when you, your groom, your bridal party and all your guests are dressed in their finest and one very important guest is dressed like he's strolled in from a hike in the woods, it grates. It's like the minister of the church or your wedding celebrant wearing jeans and an old shirt. Somehow it just detracts from the magic of the occasion.
There is nothing offensive about asking your photographer what they usually wear to weddings or even asking them if they can follow the dress code of the day. This could mean that if you're wearing black for an evening loft event or lighter colours for a daytime garden party, your photographer should follow suit and dress to blend in. You're entitled to have your photographer make the effort to keep the whole occasion feeling special and important, so don't hesitate to ask!
5. What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Your photographer will probably come to you with a list of things they need to know before your big day. Most photographers have their own individual approach and clear ideas about what is important for them to know. Even so, it's a good idea to have your own list ready, because this information can make all the difference when it comes to making sure you end up with a fantastic set of images of your wedding. While some information is obvious, you would be amazed at how easily it can get overlooked amidst the thousands of things you're trying to organise. Other information is less obvious but just as important, because it will help your photographer get an idea of the feel and atmosphere of your wedding so they can plan appropriately to reflect this in the images.