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7 Questions to Ask Before Booking Your Photographer

Ask these seven questions when interviewing your wedding photographer, and you’ll have more confidence that you’re booking the perfect photographer for YOUR wedding day!



You only get one wedding day, so be intentional with each of your vendors. Your vendors are the biggest difference-maker between a fun, joy-filled day and a stressful, running-late wedding day experience. If your vendors are always stressed out, unorganized and running late, what do you think your wedding day will be like working with them?


When interviewing to book your wedding photographer, here are seven questions you’ll want to ask them. Now, this list of questions assumes a couple of things:

  1. You’ve already researched the photographer’s work. You like their style of photos, and their work looks consistent over time.

  2. They show plenty of experience photographing weddings and have a good reputation (aka reviews from other couples who have worked with them).


Once you know you love the photographer’s work and have vetted them as much as social media allows, these are the questions you’ll want to ask during your first call or conversation with the photographer–



Do you have my date available?

This question is obviously important. Ideally, you’ve submitted your wedding date on the photographer’s inquiry form, and they’ve told you that your date is open on their calendar before you even schedule that first conversation together.


Red flag: they aren’t available or mention that they just have this one thing happening in the morning but should be free after 11am that day. Don’t take that chance with your wedding day!


What’s the best wedding you’ve ever photographed?

Here’s where you get to know the photographer as, well, a photographer. Are they eager to recall a couple and wedding they really loved working with? What about a particular wedding made it the best they’ve ever shot– was it the venue? The style of the wedding? The couple and their families?


As much as we all want to feel like friends at the get-go, you’re not hiring a friend; you’re hiring someone with the skill, personality and experience to give you the most enjoyable wedding photo experience.


Learning about what excites them about photographing a wedding day offers you a glimpse into their passion for their work and care for the people they serve. People who are passionate about what they do will go the extra mile because it comes naturally to them. You definitely want a photographer whose nature is to always give you their best and cares about YOUR wedding day experience.


Red flag: it can be hard to be put on the spot, but a photographer who can share about a specific couple or wedding day that was special to them can be the difference between a good and a great wedding photographer.



What’s the worst wedding you’ve ever photographed?

Equally telling is what the photographer has to say about the worst wedding they’ve ever photographed. Are they quick to blame other vendors or complain about a particular couple? Or is there grace and ownership in their voice when talking about what made a particular wedding day more challenging for them?


Red flag: complaining about others is never a good look. If you want ALL of your guests and families, not just you and your fiancé, to have a great experience with your photographer, avoid working with vendors who easily complain about others.



Can we see a sample gallery of a real wedding?

Their Instagram page probably looks perfect. The style and colors are all consistent and curated for a beautiful profile, but like humans do, their social media profile shows only the best of their best. Photographers like to showcase the prettiest photos, which are typically details, bride and groom portraits or fun moments with the bridal party.


A sample gallery may not be the entire final gallery, but it should include photos from the entire day– from getting ready in the morning to that sparkler exit after the reception. What you’re looking for is how the photographer will cover a wedding day, similar to the coverage you will book.


Red flag: the photographer is against sharing one of their real wedding galleries with you.



Hypothetically, how would you handle this situation…?

Each wedding day brings its own set of challenges and you want to make sure your photographer is an experienced problem-solver. There’s far more work that happens behind the scenes when it really pays dividends to have an experienced photographer on your team.


Did it rain unexpectedly on a wedding day? Did the bride’s dad get into an argument with her brother in the middle of family portrait time? Did the maid of honor get stuck in hours-long traffic on the way to the ceremony? How did the photographer respond to these situations?


You’ll want to hear a positive, proactive response to the potentially negative situation. The photographer always brings clear umbrellas for the wedding day in case of rain. She politely interrupted and offered dad and son to step outside for a few moments to regather their wits. The photographer used the extra time to capture photos of the bride and groom with their families while waiting on the maid of honor to arrive safely.


This is also a great opportunity for you to ask a “hypothetical” question specific to your wedding day needs or a concern you may have. In my own wedding experience, I would have asked, “my parents are divorced and mostly indifferent, and my dad is remarried. I want a photo with both my parents and my siblings in the same picture. How would you organize that?”


Red flag: their response to your question tells you that their experience may not benefit your best wedding photo experience.



How would we reserve our date on your calendar?

Make sure you understand the photographer’s requirements for booking your date on their calendar. Every photographer may have a slightly different retainer amount, payment methods and payment plans or requirements, so don’t assume!


Red flag: they’re unable to give you an exact retainer dollar amount or percentage of the total, or they seem unsure of their pricing and payment requirements altogether.



What happens after we book you and before our wedding day?

Will the photographer take your deposit and then not contact you until the week of your wedding? Hopefully not! That’s months of hearing nothing from the one vendor you’ll work most closely with on your actual wedding day (think: your photographer will literally follow you around for the ENTIRE day).


Great photographers will have an open line of communication for their clients, typically by text or email with a specific response time (most should be within 24 hours at most). Other things that usually happen with your photographer after booking is scheduling an engagement shoot, regular check-ins or helpful, non-urgent information shared with the couple via email, and a final consultation a few weeks before the big day.


Red flag: the photographer is unsure and doesn’t have a process for how you’ll keep in touch between booking and wedding day.



Ask these seven questions before booking your wedding photographer and you’ll have more confidence that you’re booking the perfect photographer for your specific wedding day!


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