What to Ask Before Booking

Helpful Tips

Aug 10, 2018

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It wasn’t very long ago that I was planning my own wedding, booking vendors, and struggling to make the ideas in my head come to life. I remember being so caught up in the tiniest details and forgetting to ask some important questions before my big day. Since Brian and I began this journey as fine art hybrid wedding photographers, we have compiled a list of the things we think most brides forget to ask when booking their photographer.

Can you show me galleries of some of your previous weddings?      

Instagram. Pinterest. Facebook. The magazine rack at the check-out line in the grocery store. What do these things all have in common? They are sources of inspiration that surround us on a daily basis. Each one lets us creatively plan the details of our dream wedding. But, the images we often see on these sites or in the magazines don’t often show the whole truth. Most of the gorgeous images we see are the highlights of a wedding. Yet there are hours of your special day that will not show up in your photographer’s Instagram grid.

Our recommendation: Ask your photographer to share some of their galleries with you. These galleries will include examples of images that will mean the most to you as you look back on your wedding day.

Are these weddings real or styled?

When you ask a potential photographer for galleries, make sure they tell you if a gallery is a styled shoot or is an actual wedding. We love coordinating styled shoots and the images we get to create. However, we know that these images that get shared on social media aren’t always a true representation of what our client’s photographs will look like.

Our recommendation: Ask potential photographers specifically for access to a previous client gallery. Use these images to get a firm grasp of what you can expect your photographs to look like. Don’t be afraid to ask if you can see a styled shoot gallery either! These can be excellent sources of creativity you can add to your big day.

How long will it take to receive my full gallery?

Each photographer has their own system on how they curate and edit your galleries. Sometimes brides get excited and start asking to get their images early. We totally get it! We’re just as excited to present your gallery to you as you are to see the images inside. Allow your photographer to pour their heart into your wedding portraits and enjoy the little sneak peaks they might give you along the way.

Our recommendation: Ask your photographer when you can expect to receive your gallery from your wedding. Make sure this is included in your contract so that no one is surprised down the road.

How many images can I expect to receive?

Once again, all photographers are different. However, most photographers base the amount of photographs they include in your gallery on the number of hours you contracted them to be on-site. For example, we give our clients approximately 50-100 images per hour.

Our recommendation: Ask your photographer how many photographs you will receive once it’s all said and done. You’re paying a large portion of your wedding budget to hire a photographer. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough bang for your buck.

Will my gallery be edited?

Most photographers will only give you back the edited photographs they have carefully curated just for you. However, it doesn’t hurt to ask and make sure you’re getting the images you expect. This might just save you major heartache down the road.

Our recommendation: Just ask! Our job as wedding photographers is to serve you. It is our biggest nightmare that you book a photographer and expect beautiful retouched images but receive images straight off the camera. No bride deserves to see how the light bouncing off of the cedar walls in your venue made their white dress look orange.

How will it be delivered?

This question is so important. As a client, you deserve to know how your photos are going to be given back to you. Each photographer has their own way of presenting you with your final images. The two most popular ways are by USB or a link to an online gallery.

Our recommendation: Ask and see how the photographer prefers to send out their client’s galleries. On another note, if your images are being delivered via online gallery, make sure you ask how long those images will be available online!

The Wrap-Up

Communication is key with your photographer. Getting all of this information early on helps prevent a catastrophe later on. Are there any more questions you think brides should be asking the photographers when booking? Let us know below!

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