3 Must-Ask Questions For Your Wedding Photographer

You’ve all seen the articles in wedding magazines:

“10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer” or “What to Look For in a Photographer”…

I firmly believe that every couple should do their due diligence and research for themselves. As a professional, I see hundreds of thousands of photographs per year. Working as an Editor for Getty Images as well as a major Bay Area Newspaper, I have had the privilege of editing and critically assessing the work of the most talented photographers in the world. Art can be subjective, but there are times when a photograph is in fact, very objectively amazing, or … just plain awful.

Obviously, unless you are a professional in this area, how do even know what to look for here? You may not know exactly how to look for the signs of a skilled artist and business owner, but I will give you a few more clues to look for as you are talking with various photographers:

Top 3 Must-Ask Questions


1. Can you share a full gallery with me?

A photographer’s portfolio is a sample of their very best work. However, for less experienced photographers, it can be a way to avoid sharing any weaknesses in their skills. The achilles heel of many newer/inexperienced photographers is low lighting (indoor receptions/churches, or outdoor receptions under the stars). Asking for a full gallery (or two) will ensure that you can see exactly what to expect from the photographer you are considering (and spot any potential technical issues with posing, focusing or lighting).



2. What is your emergency back-up plan?

We are living in an uncertain times, especially coming out of a pandemic. While there are always risks with hiring any vendor, it is important to know what your options are in the case your photographer:

  • Becomes pregnant (and due near your wedding date)
  • Is ill (COVID or otherwise)
  • Their partner’s career requires a move out of state

We receive calls from several couples every year in this time of unexpected emergency, scrambling for a photographer last minute for their wedding. The great news is, our family is a team with multiple (identically trained) photographers available every weekend. There is always an identical back up available for every wedding we photograph. Heck, Sara the owner is available for you too! She only shoots a handufl of weddings each year as she is editing year round for the team. The Onelove Family provides this unique comfort and security to all of our couples, which is very powerful during such an uncertain time.



3. When will I receive my images?

I have friends that have waited 4-6 months for their wedding photos! If it’s not written in the agreement exactly when you will receive your images, make sure it is. There are many circumstances when a photographer becomes overwhelmed with a busy season and runs behind.

NOTE: Pay attention to response time. How long does it take to hear back from your photographer via email/phone? Generally speaking, the way someone does one thing is the way they do everything. If you like prompt communication and delivery, find a photographer who is always prompt. When they are in the stage of earning your business, this is their time to put their best foot forward. After they have your final payment, there is less incentive to respond/work faster for you since they have it all secured.



My last two cents:

Limit your meetings to a very short list of photographers whose work has wowed you online, or in a brochure. Also, do these in person. Most of the time, photographers are willing to give you better deals when they know you’re not just shopping them on the internet. Use the interview just to get a sense of personality, and rapport. Can you connect with this person? How do they deal with questions and follow-up? Make sure you express your thoughts to the photographer, and take note of how he or she responds to your ideas and suggestions.

Finding a great photographer doesn’t have to be the most serious task of your life. Know yourself, don’t overdo it, and have fun.