*by la wedding photographer justin gilbert,
My venue requires insurance, do you have that? Just checking!
A professional photographer should have insurance in case their equipment breaks, is stolen, or an accident occurs. It's not difficult to get, so if they don't have it, definitely pass.
Do you offer engagement sessions? May I add one on to the package or is it included?
Ask yourself if this is important to you. There's no right or wrong on this one and keep in mind that some photographers choose to do a la carte engagement sessions. Just be aware of their options and see what works best for you.
May I see an entire wedding gallery?
Omg the answer needs to be yes. Hands down! They should offer full galleries pretty soon in the conversation. A photographer can easily show the best five photos from an entire portfolio, but you need to see if all photos are high-quality from the wedding day! If they say no, please thank them for their time and run. 🏃🏼♀️
i know We are going to be dying to see the photos, just so i don't bug you later, when can we expect to recieve the photos ?
Sooo it's 2017, not 1994. For a digital photographer, anything longer than 2 months is... a long time. 4 weeks would be ideal. For film photographers, they need a bit longer for the labs to process and scan their rolls of film so expect to wait a bit longer for film photographers.
(pro tip: film is often used in the "fine art wedding photography" style. It typically is known for it's pastel color pallet tones).
How do you see the photography timeline looking?
It's common knowledge that cocktail hour is usually for photos - but it doesn't have to be depending on the day.
Ask the photographer if you can get certain shots (like family portraits) done before the ceremony.
This will show if they are good at time management - and if they flexible! This is extremely important for a wedding day!
Do you pose your portraits or do you shoot more photojournalistically?
Some photographers have endless poses up their sleeves and have them "perfected" down to even the direction your eyes are looking, sometimes these can look very dated and awkward if they don't quite feel like "you."
On the other hand, some photographers give subtle direction and keep things less posed and natural feeling. This allowing you to be way more comfortable infant of the camera.
What feels like the right fit to you?
What is the deposit amount?
Photographers require a retainer fee to reserve your date. It's a way to reinforce the wedding date, and the photographer can turn away business for that date. Also, it's common that these retainer fees are non-refundable in most cases. If not, the photographer is now out of capital they could have made. Aka, you showing up to 2 weeks of work unpaid.
Do you offer a payment plan?
Every photographer has different requirements for their business. Be aware if you'll need this!
What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Super important! The policies will vary between scenarios, be sure to specify.
What is your overtime policy? How much do you charge if my event goes over?
A good party always should be extended! Usually photographers will charge hourly if they're needed to stay longer. Don't be alarmed if this number is in the $200 - $400 range. This adds more photos to be edited, more time sorting them and backing them up, even paying the babysitter longer if they're staying at your wedding an hour longer.