You’ve found a wedding photographer that fits your style and budget! Congrats! If you can, make the time for a phone call or a meeting with the photographer you’d love to hire. It’s important to make sure you’re an in-person fit as well as an online fit. Clicking with your photographer is everything! Your photographer will be with you throughout your wedding day, working closely with your vendors, mingling with your friends and creating timeless memories for you and your love.

While it’s important to look for a great personality match, you should look for a photographer that also meets technical criteria. These 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer will help you learn more about your photographer’s experience and processes.

Question #1

How do you save/backup our files?

This might be one of the most important questions to ask your photographer. Memory cards and hard drives fail. It’s a fact of life. You’ll want to know what measures your photographer takes to mitigate that from happening to your files.

Many cameras have two memory card slots. There is an option to backup files onto both cards simultaneously. That means, when the cards are full and your photographer is changing them out, they now have your files backed up twice. Both cards should be stored in separate waterproof locations. This should be stage one. Stage two is saving your files on more than one hard drive (and even the cloud!) when they’re back at their office after your wedding.

Question #2

What happens if things start to run late?

Life happens and sometimes a wedding day can run a little late. It’s important to know your photographer won’t pack up and leave halfway through your day if you’re behind schedule.

When you first start looking for a photographer, ask if they are able to stay late and what their fee is for additional coverage. These details should also be outlined in your contract and a question you ask other vendors as well including your catering team.

Question #3

What is your rescheduling policy?

Now more than ever it’s clear that every wedding vendor should have a rescheduling clause in their contract. Ask about these details so that you and your photographer are on the same page. Many vendors have a “change of date” fee. Know what this fee is and under what circumstances it applies.

Photographers can book 1 – 2 years in advance. We’re in high demand! This means that if you have to reschedule, it might be difficult to find a date that works for all of your vendors.

Question #4

How many weddings have you photographed?

This question will give you a good idea of how experienced your photographer is. Wedding photography isn’t only about the technical camera work. A great wedding photographer will know the flow of a wedding day inside and out, be able to work seamlessly with your other vendors, and problem solve on the fly. These skills come with experience that only shooting multiple weddings can provide.

If they’ve been second shooting under a lead photographer for years, and now they’re breaking away on their own, chances are they have this experience under their belt and know what they’re doing. Ask the lead photographer they worked with for a reference.

Question #5

Do you have insurance and a business license?

Asking this question will help you suss out the legitimacy of the photographer as a business owner. A photographer selling wedding photography collections or packages needs to have a business license in order to operate. Your photographer should also carry insurance for their equipment and liability insurance. Some venues won’t let a photographer shoot without proof of liability insurance.

Many of Canada’s National Parks (I’m from Edmonton Alberta and often shoot at Jasper National Park) also require photographers to have special permits to shoot in the park. If you’re planning a national park wedding make sure your photographer has the proper paperwork to shoot at your location.

Question #6

Can we see a sample gallery/full wedding?

Ask to see examples of family portraits, epic dance photos and toasts/speeches. These photos often aren’t showcased on the photographer’s website. This is the best way to check that their body of work matches what you’re looking for in a photographer. Keep in mind, a photographer may not be able to show you a certain gallery or specific wedding (maybe you know they shot a super cool awesome wedding at a particular location) due to different client agreements. In the case of celebrity weddings, photographers are not able to release the photos.

Your photographer may share a link to a gallery with you or have a physical album to show you at your consultation.

Question #7

When can we expect to see our photos?

To keep yourself from feeling like it’s taking forever for your photos to be delivered, ask your photographer when you can expect to see your photos. Knowing an approximate timeline will keep you away from checking your phone over and over again! Photographers will often send a few images the week or even the day after your wedding for you to share with family and friends. The timeline for the rest of your photos will vary from photographer to photographer.

Larger studios work with teams and may outsource their editing to a third party, this can mean a faster delivery time. Small studios or solo photographers with large workloads may have longer delivery timelines. Know that everyone is doing their best to get your photos back to you (we know how excited you are!) but that everyone will have a different delivery and editing timeline based on their workloads and lifestyle.

Western bride and groom share a kiss in front of Lions Garden barn

Question #8

Will you attend our ceremony rehearsal?

If they are available and depending on the location, your photographer should be more than happy to attend your wedding ceremony rehearsal. We love the opportunity to check out your chosen location before hand and get to know your family members or witnesses.

Don’t expect your photographer to photograph the rehearsal unless this is agreed to ahead of time as an extra service. If they are attending your rehearsal they are likely there to get to know your friends and family, your commissioner and commit your ceremony plans to memory.

If you’re having a rehearsal dinner after your ceremony, don’t feel obligated to invite your photographer. If your rehearsal is the night before the wedding, we probably need to go home and prep for the next day!

Question #9

Are there any vendors you love to work with?

Along with venue, wedding photographer is one of the first vendors that newly engaged couples book. If you’re at the start of your planning process, your photographer may be able to recommend vendors they’ve had great experiences with in the past.

In particular your photographer probably has a videographer that they prefer to work with. When your photographer and videographer work well together, they can each make magic. It’s important to choose a photo/video team that have a similar working style.

Question #10

Will you be shooting our wedding, or will it be an associate photographer?

Larger photography studios may have several photographers working under the studio owner. If in inquire with a large studio, it may not be the studio owner who shoots your wedding, they may send an associate. Before booking, ask who will be the photographer on site for your wedding day. If an associate will shoot your wedding, ask to meet with them or see their work.

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Hi, my name is Janelle, I’m a photographer from Edmonton Alberta. I’m all about three things: celebration, connection and client education. My style is relaxed and romantic. I love intimate weddings, the kind where I get to know your family and friends. I thrive when meeting new people. My favourite moment of every wedding is right after the ceremony. This is when your friends and family smother or possibly crush you with either love or cheerful embrace. Bring on the epic dance parties.

  I value connection and celebration of moments over a big production.