Real Questions To Ask A Wedding Photographer

During my time as a photographer, I’ve had many brides contact me with what seems like questionnaires printed on the web on “What to ask your wedding photographer”. Although, I’ve never been hesitant to answer any questions, the only problem when I sat back and thought about it, is they seem to be written by editors and not actual professional photographers so for that reason, I decide to create this post to help educate brides to dig deeper than what you see for face and price value.

So let’s get started…

1) What’s your photography style?

This is important to know because it helps with consistency and being confident in knowing what your end result will be. This applies to lighting, editing, and the overall emotion their portfolio evokes.

I would consider myself a Traditional Classic Wedding Photographer. My key emphasis are always my couples and the genuine love and overall emotion that surrounds them. I work very diligently to make sure my background, their body alignment and even their attire is picture perfect before I take every single shot. For the most part, the couple, bridal party and family portraits are photographed in that style. Getting ready, ceremony and reception are shot with a photojournalistic approach; meaning I fade into the background and become “invisible” to the crowd in order to get these candid or unposed photographs.

2) Why are you worth the amount you charge?

This question, well I can’t really elaborate. Your gut feeling will tell you what you need to know and how genuine they truly are with there response.

For me, I love creating personal relationships with my clients. It’s extremely important for a wedding photographer and a client to be comfortable with each other as individuals to help the big day transition smoothly and comfortably. The more my clients are relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera, the more raw and genuine emotion I’m able to capture behind the lens and that is something that is extremely important to me.

I’m passionate about my work and the images I take. Every single image I produce has to be absolutely FLAWLESS so I’m basically a perfectionist, to an extent..lol. I pay attention to detail; from how relaxed the pose looks, to your hair and makeup and this all falls into the traditional portrait photographer, I mentioned above. I believe the tiniest of details can either make or break a great photo that is why it’s extremely important that I make sure my clients are picture perfect for every photo.

I’m somewhat of a take charge type of photographer so you won’t have to worry about posing or anything of that nature. For every wedding, I come prepared with enough experience and knowledge to already envision our next scene before it has begun. The work is not done when the music stops and makeup is off. I take great pride in the images I produce so for that reason, I do all of my own editing. Yes, that’s right. You’d be surprise to know many photographers actually outsource their editing.

Can I see a full wedding from start to finish?

Of course you may! I pride myself on the consistency of my work. I understand all photographers post their best shots from each wedding on their websites so it’s hard to determine how well he or she will perform on the wedding day. That is why I encourage all potential clients to view full events from all photographers they meet to see how well the photographer performs throughout the day.

I do post the highlights from each wedding on the blog to give you an idea of consistency and to show all key moments are captured. However, I’d be happy to email you a few full wedding too!

3) Do you shoot natural light or artificial light? Or both?

This is a very important question because it will really determine how flexible a photographer is while shooting your wedding. In the great state of Texas we all know how unpredictable the weather is so ideally, you want a photographer that can shoot both natural and with artificial light, in case it rains. Below, is my own example of natural light (right) verses off camera flash (left). Notice the off camera flash is a more dramatic look, while the natural light is more smooth and natural looking.

dallas wedding photographer

4) Do you backup our files for storage and safekeeping?

All my clients digital assets are backed up to not only one, but two external hard drives, plus my server! Instead of asking the photographer how many megapixels their camera has, ask them if they have backup equipment as well. It’s really important on the day of the wedding for the main photographer to have at least two camera bodies on them just in case. Also ask them if they have a dual card slot. Shooting on two cards is really important! Anything can happen to a card, it can go corrupt, you can lose it, or a card reader can even eat your card. That’s why the highest end cameras have dual card slots that record the images on both cards, just in case.

5) Will I get “HIGH” resolution photos?

A lot of photographers say they will give you the digital files, but that can be deceiving as some photographers only give a 8×10 resolution. So if you ever want to print an 11×14 print, you have to spend hundreds of dollars with the photographer for the rest of your life. That way prints and frames can ONLY be ordered by that photographer and no where else.

All of my packages and (or) portrait sessions include the high resolution edited files which can be printed up to a 30×40 or higher and they are also not watermarked as well.

6) Is there a limit on how many photos I will receive from my wedding?

Recently met with a bride for coffee and she informed me that there are some photographers that put a cap of the number of images clients receive, as the end result.

There is not cap for my weddings. After your wedding, each image is put through a careful selection process and only images not received, are images with eyes closed, blurred, duplicate..etc but other than that, you get them all.

7) How do you make us feel relaxed in front of the camera?

This is a very important question to ask. Truthfully it’s hard to even answer my own question! All I can say is I absolutely love what I do and I genuinely care about the wonderful people I meet, the places I go, and everything else in between. Read a quote a while back and couldn’t be more true for me. “If the photographer cares more about the people than the lens, and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the vital instrument.” –Eve Arnold

One way I do this, is by giving a complimentary engagement session with my collections so that we work together before the wedding day and then trust is built.

Have 74 5 star reviews on my google plus page. It’s not to brag but to show that I am genuine. I am compassionate and people sense that and hope my work, speaks and justifies that, in itself.

https://www.google.com/search?q=lily+hayes+photography&oq=lily+hayes+photo&aqs=chrome.0.0j69i60l2j69i61j69i57j0.5200j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x864c029fef4499af:0x1a6cc277c827ef44,1,,,

8) How do you describe your shooting style? Are you laid back or aggressive? Do you tell the whole story of the day?

I’m a good mixture of both but it depends on how big your wedding party is. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you have a photographer that is a good fit with your wedding. If you are planning on having a big bridal party, then a more aggressive photographer will be well suited for your event. Reason being, you need a photographer that is going to command attention. I usually have a pretty relaxed little  chat with the party beforehand to remind them we’re on a time limit so they sooner we can get the photos the better. When it’s all done and over with, can’t count the number of times, I’m sincerely thanked by the bride and groom and also the wedding party. In part, because it’s usually either scorching hot, windy, humid, cold, chilly or drizzling.

The second part of this question, asks the photographer if they specialize in storytelling. This means capturing not only the main points of the day, but also aspects of the day that you might miss. This could include the sky, people’s reactions during the ceremony, guests reactions during the first dance, etc…

9) Will you help me with my time line for the wedding day?

A good photographer should help plan the photo aspect of the day to make sure everything flows smoothly. The last thing you want to do is to be rushed on your wedding day, which is why I suggest to ALL of my couples to do a first look. A seasoned photographer should also point out various things that can come up that you wouldn’t think about. Such as the fact that a receiving line can take up to 30-40 minutes, and before you go into your limo, they do a champagne toast, which can take another 10 minutes. These are all things to think about while planning the timeline for your wedding day. A great photographer should also know when the best light is, and schedule your photos during “golden hour lighting”, even if it’s just for 10 minutes or so after the cocktail hour.

10) What happens if you get sick on my day?

I have photographed over 200 weddings and have never missed one yet, knock on wood! Unless, I become injured, like near death or cannot perform the wedding due to fire, casualty, nature, terror, or other cause beyond the control my control, then my plan would be to include my second photographer being the first photographer and then I have a network of other photographers who I can reach out to as well.

11) What would you like for dinner?

Yes! I included this one because I think it’s important to show that you care about your photographer. Let’s be honest, your photographer is there longer than anyone else on your wedding day! A florist comes for part of the day, the band or DJ is only there for 4-5 hours, but a photographer arrives way before you get your dress on. I have photographed 10 hour weddings where I never got fed and yes, it makes it harder for the photographer. Of course, I now bring snacks, but it’s still nice to offer! ♥