8 Important Questions to ask when selecting your Wedding Photographer


Wedding planning can quickly become overwhelming. First, you’re digging through Pinterest for inspiration, then searching the Knot for the perfect vendors, and finally reaching out to countless businesses hoping they’re available on your wedding day. By the time you’re ready to speak with someone you’re worn out and you may have no idea where to even start.

Trust me. If I weren’t in this industry, I would have no idea where to start either – planning my wedding has taught me so much! 

I know there are plenty of lists out there with suggestions of the best questions to ask your photographer – but there are few you may not think to ask. I have heard stories from friends and family that they were blindsided by things on or after their wedding day and wished they asked more questions from the start.  

So I’m here to help give you questions to start you out in the right direction!

1. How many images are included? – downloads

This is important to ask because you don’t want to be hit with any hidden fees later on. Some photographers set a limit to the number of images they deliver – others don’t set a limit. The industry standard seems to be around 75- 100 images per hour of coverage. So for an 8 hour wedding day, you can expect around 600 – 800 images, if you chose to have a second shooter on your wedding day you can expect that number to go up slightly – closer to 150 images per hour.  

Some photographers will not set a limit to the number of images they deliver but do set a limit to the number they allow you to download. I have heard stories of couples having to pay an additional $1500 just to download their full gallery – or only being allowed to download 50 images from their entire wedding day before getting charged extra fees. Or photographers may only allow the couple to download their images and will charge family and friends fees to download images. There are a lot of ways people try to squeeze out some extra money. I understand but personally don’t agree with charging additional fees to receive photos.  

Don’t get hit with extra fees ask your potential photographers if downloads are included in their pricing as well.

What I do: I don’t set a limit to the number of images I deliver because every wedding is so different. On average I deliver about 1200 photos for an 8 hour wedding day and my couples, and their families have unlimited access to downloading their galleries.

Barr Mansion Wedding

 2. How long will it take to receive our photos?

You don’t want to be stuck wondering when you’ll get to relive your wedding day or be stuck waiting 6 months to hear anything from your photographer. Be sure to ask your photographer what their turn around time is. The industry average is 4-8 weeks – but every photographer is different. You may also want to ask if they send previews – everyone loves a few sneak peeks and that photo for posting on Instagram!  

What I do: My turn around time is typically 3 weeks – but my contract states 4-6 weeks for those super busy months. I always text some photos or send a preview gallery within 2-3 days following the wedding – trust me I’m just as excited to see the photos as you are!  

 3. Can we see full galleries?  

While you may think you’ve seen a lot of work on a photographers website or Instagram, it’s important to see what an entire wedding day looks like.  

Instagram is like a highlight reel – you don’t get to see the full scope of a photographers skills. 

Every wedding day is different. Weddings are at different times of the day which means different lighting situations. They have all sorts of different people with different skin tones and it’s important to see how a photographer edits in every situation. When looking through a full gallery, you can get a better sense of what you would receive after your own wedding day.  

While you’re waiting to see galleries – go check out blog posts on photographers websites that will give you a better glimpse into the full day!  Check out some blogs here to see what I mean!

Texas Old Town Wedding

 4. Have you shot at our venue before?

This one isn’t as important to ask because a professional photographer should be able to handle any venue! But it may be nice to see a gallery from the same venue you are getting married at – but keep in mind every wedding day timeline is different, the weather is different, and your skin tones aren’t the same as that couple. If your photographer has never shot at your venue no big deal but they may want to arrive early to scope things out and know where everything is! If there’s a spot, you’ve been dreaming of taking photos at let your photographer know! They’re there to serve you!  

What I do: If I’ve never shot at a venue before I show up early and scout out the place, making sure I know where things are and have time to scout locations for portraits later on that day!  

5. What’s your back up process like?  

While I’d like to hope everyone has a good back up process – that’s not always the case! Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer how they safeguard your memories! It should be just as important to them as it is to you to keep those photos safe and secure! 

When asking this question you want to hear that your photographer has a system in place to keep your photos safe. 

What if their camera malfunctions in the middle of the ceremony? Do they have a back up? What if their memory card fails? (technology is not always reliable) Where do they keep the photos after the wedding day? 

You don’t have to ask specific questions if you don’t feel comfortable but don’t be afraid to ask what your photographer does to keep your memories safe.

What I do: On a wedding day: I have 3 cameras at all times – 2 on my person and one as a back up just in case. Each camera is equipped with 2 memory cards at all times in case one decides to fail. After a wedding day: The first thing I do when I get home is back up my photos to 3 different hard drives and to a cloud service. I keep the memory cards from any wedding until the gallery has been delivered. After delivery: All edited images are saved for at least 1 year.

Addison Grove Wedding

6. Can we print our photos?

Do you have the printing rights? Most photographers deliver their photos on online via an online gallery. These galleries allow access to high-resolution downloads and a website to print directly from. The prints on your photographer’s gallery may be a little more expensive, but they ensure high-quality printing – not your poorly colored Walgreens prints.  

If you don’t want to print directly from the site, please ask your photographer where they recommend getting their photos printed. Its so important to find a good quality print shop otherwise all the money you spent on wedding photographer is lost to a 50 cent print from Walgreens. Trust me I’ve seen some very green and orange skin thanks to the Walgreens photo center.  

7. What happens if your photographer gets sick?

While I hope and pray that never happens. There are some things outside of a photographers control and getting a random sickness is one of them. In the event that your photographer gets sick, ask them what is their plan of action?  

What I do: In the case of sickness another, I will select another to shoot the wedding. That photographer will be paid by me to shoot the wedding at the same caliber and in the same style I would, and all images will be returned to and edited by me.  

The Laurel Grapevine Wedding

 8. When can we expect to hear from you next?

It’s important to have clear communication with all vendors but especially your photographer – they are more than likely the vendor you will spend the most time with on your wedding day. Ask you photographer what the next steps are following booking. Every photographer has a different method of communicating with their clients, and it’s important to know what to expect.  

What I do: I make sure all my clients know they can reach out at any time – I try to keep in touch over social media throughout the planning process as well because it’s so fun to see everyone’s day to day lives. I set up a timeline talk 2 months prior to the wedding day and a final time to touch base a week before the wedding. I make myself available to serve every couple differently – I have clients texting me all the time asking questions or asking questions for their parents – I want to serve everyone in the way that works best for them!  

Most importantly – Ask yourself!

Do we get along with this photographer? Are they willing to answer our questions? Do we feel like we mesh well with their personality? Does their method of thinking and wedding day approach match what you’re looking for?  

It’s okay to not get along with someone, don’t force a connection with a vendor just for the heck of it!  

I highly recommend finding someone that you feel like you would be completely comfortable around on your wedding day and someone that has the same mindset to capturing your wedding day!

Prospect House Wedding

Still have questions?

That’s totally understandable, this is a big decision! Feel free to reach out in my contact form, I have plenty more question suggestions!

I’m here to help!

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