Hiring a Wedding Photographer: Top 4 Questions to Ask

Your big day is approaching and you’re still trying to find a photographer. How do you make it all happen? Making contact with a photographer can be a little overwhelming at first. They have all the knowledge. They can sometimes speak about technology and shot design that you know nothing about. All you want is great photos. There are some tricks to hiring a wedding photographer. Starting off a negotiation with “how much do pictures cost” is not the most important question you should ask. When you know the right questions to ask, you can ensure that you’re dealing with a professional ready to make your photos live on forever.


Top 4 Questions to Ask a Photographer


1. How Many Weddings Have You Photographed?

You don’t want to find out after you hire someone that you’re his or her first job. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask up front how many successful weddings someone has photographed. Most people that have portfolios of wedding photography will be happy to go over them with you. References might even be given to allow you to follow up with satisfied clients. By asking about wedding experience first, you avoid a problematic scenario that can and does happen to many brides-to-be.

2. Can We Review or Add to Your Shot List?

You’ll know in an instant after asking this question if the person you’re speaking to is easy to work with. Some photographers have a control problem and want to use their experience to override your input. A good photographer will always be open to your suggestions and help you get the photos that you want. There is a difference between shooting down your ideas and making them better. Ask to review or make changes to a shot list before your photographer is hired and starts snapping photographs at your wedding. Remember that time is money.

3. Do We Get the Rights to the Negatives? 

Imagine having the greatest day of your life captured in photographs that you’ll never own. Some freelance photographers or those that work from studios want to keep ownership of the negatives to use for portfolios or to sell. It’s important to know upfront the usage rights that might come with the photos that will be taken. If your photographer grants you rights to the negatives, get this information in writing and have it reviewed by an attorney. This can save you a lot of trouble after your wedding. Just because you pay for photos does not mean they are automatically yours to own. Find out.

4. Do You Have Equipment Insurance? 

Equipment is expensive to buy. It’s even more expensive when it becomes damaged and must be replaced. When speaking with a photographer, you should know if he or she has equipment insurance. Remember that you’re hiring someone for a job. In some states, you could be required to provide accident insurance for damaged equipment. Most photographers have insured equipment. It’s helpful to know in advance before you agree to hire someone if equipment is fully covered.

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