Choosing a wedding Photographer

Without the Stress and Hassle

Choosing a wedding photographer may seem tough at first, but these questions for wedding photographer interviewees can narrow your options down to the best of the best quickly. It's a great idea to bring questions with you to the interview with a potential candidate. A good photographer worth his salt will never be intimidated by a list of questions - in fact, most will welcome the chance to talk with you about their policies up front!

Choosing a wedding photographer

1. Will You Bring a Second Photographer to My Wedding? Is it included?

We may be biased, but, having a second photographer is a great idea for a number of reasons. An assistant will provide more photos for your wedding gallery, capture shots that a single photographer couldn't get on his or her own, and act as backup for the primary photographer. 

2. What Backup Do You Have to Ensure that My Photos Won't Get Lost Before I Receive Them?

It's every bride's and every photographer's worst nightmare- losing wedding photos before they are delivered. When you are interviewing, be sure to ask a potential photographer what they do to prevent this from happening. When we shoot our weddings every summer here in the Portland and Seattle areas, we use several techniques to ensure photos are never lost.

All of our packages come with two photographers, and both photographers have backup camera bodies, lenses, memory cards, and batteries. On top of that, our primary camera bodies write to two memory cards at once- so if one were to fail, your photos would still be written to the second card. Most wedding photographers will not have this level of backup protection, however, as the client you should talk to your potential photographer and decide how prepared you feel they are in case of photo loss or theft.

3. How Long Have You Been Doing Photography? 

Length of time in the business doesn't guarantee professionalism or quality results. However, it can give you insight into how many weddings your particular photographer has worked with. It's a good idea to assess the candidate as a whole and go with your gut feeling- Do you love the style shown in their portfolio? Do they have good reviews from past brides? Do they have lots of photography experience? Are they acting in a professional manner during your consultation?

4. Do you have my wedding date available?

Most likely you have already covered this question in an email or phone call prior to meeting, but if you haven't, make sure your photographer of choice is actually available on your date before going further.

5. How Would You Describe Your Photography Style?

Ideally you will have already viewed a photographer's portfolio before meeting them, which will show you right away whether their style jives with yours or not. View their work, talk to them in person or over the phone, and then decide if they are the right fit. Are their photos more dark, artistic and moody? Or do they present crisp, clean and bright photos that really speak to you? Don't make the mistake of choosing a wedding photographer whose style is different from what you want, hoping that they can "adjust" their editing methods to suit your style. 

6. How Many of My Photos will be Color Corrected and Balanced?

Hint: The best answer is that all of the "keep" photos will be fully edited. Some photographers will show you unedited proofs, and then only color correct the ones you order prints of. While this is an option, it typically isn't to your benefit. The best photographers will weed out blinks, blurs, and test shots, and then color correct all of the rest of your photos to send to you.

Choosing A Wedding Photographer

7. How Long After My Wedding Day Will I Receive My Photos?

The industry standard for photo turnaround after a wedding is 7-12 weeks, sometimes more. Make sure that there is a clause in your contract that states when you will receive the photos, so there is no misunderstanding. We work diligently to ensure that our Portland and Seattle weddings are fully edited and returned within just two weeks of the wedding day. Our brides love coming home from their honeymoon to find their photos waiting for them!

8. How Much is the Deposit/Retainer and When is it Due?

What's the difference between a deposit and a retainer? Deposits are refundable, while retainers are not. Both are typically used to reserve your wedding date. Most photographers charge between 1/3 and 1/2 of the package price to hold your date, with the rest due a few weeks before your wedding.

9. What Happens if There is an Emergency and You Can't Come to My Wedding?

While this is a rare occurrence (and you should ask your photographer if this has ever happened before!), severe sickness and injuries do happen and your photographer should be prepared for this. Choosing a wedding photographer who doesn't have any backup plan in place for emergencies is always a bad idea. The best case scenario is that your photographer has an equally talented partner who works with them who can fill in, as well as a number of other great photographers in their network they could call on in case of emergency.

10. Do You Have a Contract or Service Agreement?

Choosing a wedding photographer who doesn't offer a contract is never a good idea. A contract protects both parties involved. On top of that, a contract makes sure both of you are on the officially on the same page with regards to the price, timeline, general expectations, and policies.

11. Will I Get to Keep the Print Rights  to My Photos?

These policies differ from photographer to photographer. Your best bet is to find someone who allows you to keep the print rights. Without them, you will have to purchase prints of any of the photos you want to keep, and the rest will stay with your photographer. Receiving the print rights will allow you to receive digital copies of your photos and print them anywhere/anytime as you see fit. Be sure to also ask your photographer about the digital rights. Almost all photographers will retain the digital rights to photos- meaning that they can use them on their website or for marketing purposes, and deterring you from ever selling the photos they took. However, some will offer a "personal use" clause, allowing you to post your photos to social media without a watermark or sharing with friends and family. Some photographers don't offer this, so be sure to ask their policies on this if it is important to you.

12. If My Event Goes Longer than Expected, Will You Stay? Is There an Additional Charge?

When selecting which wedding package is right for you, be sure to clarify with your photog how many hours they will be there on the day of. Then ask them about overages. Will they stay until the end of the night, or only as many hours are contracted? What is the charge per hour to stay late?

13. Will You Be Shooting Other Events on My Wedding Date?

The absolute best answer here is a solid 'no'. Big events are notorious for running overtime, so it's best for your wedding day to be the only event that day that your photographer will be attending. If you do choose a wedding photographer who will be shooting several events on your wedding day, be sure to get specific timelines written in to your contract to ensure their timely arrival.


Choosing A Wedding Photographer: A Few Questions for You

Now that you've asked any potential candidates a slew of important questions, it's time to ask yourself a few to really narrow down your options. When you meet with a photographer, take note of how you feel in your gut.

  • Do you feel comfortable with that person? 
  • Do you feel that they are professional and trustworthy? 
  • Does the style in their portfolio match what you would like to see in your own wedding gallery? 
  • Is this person listening to my concerns and educating me, or is he/she rushing me and making me feel silly for asking certain questions?


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Contact Us - Questions & Bookings

(503) 396-9075

aminta@wildfoxweddings.com

Wild Fox Weddings provides beautiful wedding and engagement photography, boudoir photo shoots, custom wedding packages, and pre-wedding photography in Portland, Oregon. We gladly support LGBTQ weddings and ceremonies. 

Oregon based wedding photography includes Bend, Salem, Springfield, Eugene, Corvallis, Seaside, Oregon City, Medford, Grants Pass, Roseburg, Oregon Coast, and Eastern Oregon. We also serve many parts of Washington, including Vancouver, Seattle, Kent, Bellevue, Renton, and Olympia.

We are available to travel- please contact us for details on your area.