Do you have my date available?
This might seem pretty obvious but wedding photographers can be booked anywhere between 12 and 18 months in advance. There is no point falling in love with a photographer's images and style to find out they are not available. So this should be the first thing on your list. I make this process as easy as possible. You can find out my availability easily for your date here.
Do you have insurance?
A professional photographer should be fully insured with both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. This covers various potential issues that might arise after you have signed the contract with the photographer. I am insured with both professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. My policy is underwritten by HDI Global Specialty SE and is arranged under a binding authority by Simply Business.
What happens if you are ill or there is an emergency?
This is an important question to ask a potential photographer due to the fact that this day is only going to happen once, there are no re-runs. So you need to be safe in the knowledge that whatever life throws at you and your photographer, they have you covered. I, personally, have never missed a wedding due to illness or any other reason (touch wood). I do, however, have a wide group of fellow photographer friends who I will be able to pull in if it so happened that for whatever reason I was unable to make your wedding day. It is definitely something I don't want to think about and I'm sure you wont want to either but it is certainly something you should keep in mind because life is unpredictable!
Can I view some completed client galleries?
The majority of photographers you will have looked at will have some sort of portfolio page on their website. This will likely be their most favourite images and will be a reduced gallery, more like a highlights page of images. It is good to dig a bit deeper and check out some past client galleries and real wedding days. I personally don't give access to a couples' private gallery, however after a wedding gallery has been delivered, I will normally write a blog post outlining the day mentioning the suppliers from the day as well as including a selection of images from the start of the day till the end. You will be able to find many of my past wedding days here.
What do you love about weddings and what you do?
It is important that you and your photographer click and your values align as much as possible. This is a lot more about just taking a few photos on your wedding day. You will feel a lot more relaxed on your big day if you agree with how the photographer thinks and feels. This is why it is a good idea to ask why your wedding photographer is in this line of work and if they love it. My answer to this is quite cheesy but I don't hide the fact that I love creating memories for people. Memories that when they look at the image they have goosebumps and the feeling they felt at on that day comes rushing back to them. You know that way that when you look at an image on your phone, a little smile creeps onto your face and someones like "what you smiling at?!" I want that to be my image you're looking at.
Just to add to this, I want to acknowledge how lucky I actually am to be able to call wedding photography a "job". I am able to make new friends in couples and guests as well as being able to deliver something that will potential make them cry (with happiness hopefully!). This is genuinely the best job in the world and there is nothing else I would rather be doing.
Are we able to add on extra hours to the day if needed?
Normally, photographers will offer packages with full or half day options. Generally this will range from a half day being 5 hours to a full day being 10. Speaking from experience, most photographers will not be clock watching on the day other than to make sure they are in the right place at the right time, of course. So this full or half day thing is not something set in stone and we would not be charging an extra hour if we stay half an hour after the time we had agreed, don't worry! However if for example you are planning fireworks on the longest day of the year in the height of summer then this may mean you require the photographer for about 12 hours (11am for Bride prep through to 11pm for fireworks). In this instance it would be advantageous if your photographer offered a rate for adding on hours on top of the full day package rate. This way you can purchase 2 extra hours to ensure your stunning fireworks display is not missed.
I personally offer the option to add extra hours on top of the collection that you invest in. The additional hours are charged at £149. You can find more information about extras here.
Are we able to add a second shooter? If so, how much is it?
There are photographers out there who work on their own or are part of a team whether that be photography or videography. Even if the company name is the photographer's name, for example, they may employ other photographers to work under them to be part of their team. Either way, I would advise asking how many photographers are included in the option you are investing in and if it is possible to add on a second shooter for larger wedding days of say maybe 100-120 guests.
I prefer to work on my own, personally, because I know the timeline of the day and I know where to be without being distracted with worrying about where the other photographer is. I also enjoy working on my own as I feel that it lets me have a better relationship with the couple as it is always me that is in direct contact with them. Having said that, I am only human and larger wedding days prove difficult to capture absolutely everything with one photographer. So I offer the option to add on a second photographer from £350.
Can I request certain images to be taken?
Most photographers will be open to accepting image requests from couples. Some may even ask for you to compile a list of images that you class as "must haves" so they can work through that list throughout the day. If a photographer is not open to this then your wedding day may be filled with a vision that is more the photographer's than yours and you might find that the gallery does not represent the feelings that you had on the day.
Personally, I always send my couples a group shot list that they can fill out at their leisure. This includes all your family formal group shots that Grannie and Grandpa would be lost without. I send this well in advance of your big day so that you have time to fill it out and I can then print it out and bring it with me on the day. I will physically tick off each shot once we have it in the bag to ensure nothing is missed. Please note though, that each group shot can take anything between 4-8 minutes to set up and get everyone organised so keep this in mind as we may need to add more time in for group shots which may take away from another part of the day. For bigger group shots with all guests for example, this can take anything between about 10-15 minutes to set up. In total, I would recommend sticking to no more than 10 formal group shots.
How long after the wedding should it take to see my images?
This can vary depending on the photographer and the time of year. During the busy wedding season these times may increase and over winter when the photographer might have more time to edit, this time may decrease. Typically you should expect to have your fully edited images back with you between 4-8 weeks after your wedding. Some photographers may offer a priority gallery edit which will essentially fast track your gallery.
My wedding couples should expect to receive their full gallery delivered within 6 weeks of their wedding day. I deliver a few "preview" images within 48 hours so that you can post away on social media and boast about your big day. These images are also perfect for ordering thank you cards for your guests.
How will I receive my images?
Nowadays, probably all wedding photographers will deliver their images to their couples via an online gallery system. This gives the couple password protected access to the gallery to view and download their images. Depending on the package you purchase there may be unlimited high resolution downloads or a limit.
I deliver all my images on an online gallery. All of my collections include unlimited high resolution downloads as well as web-sized downloads for use on social media so that you're not eating up too much storage on your devices. I have partnered with the online gallery provider I feel has the best user experience and is simple to use. Find out more about how your online gallery will work here.
Is an album included?
Finding out as early as possible whether an album is included in the collection you purchase is really useful as it will allow you to plan. Most photographers will outline this in their contract or during your enquiry calls. Don't just assume that an album is included as this can become very expensive if you have to add it on and you haven't budgeted for it.
My Luxe Collection includes a handcrafted wedding album and a bespoke presentation box. If a wedding album is something that is important to you (which it genuinely should be), I recommend considering the Luxe Collection. The reason for this being that the album is heavily discounted when purchase within the collection as opposed to adding it on separately. Having said that, you will still be able to invest in a premium wedding album with me even if it isn't part of your collection or even if you haven't had me capture your wedding day. Find out more about the albums I offer and how to book an album design consultation in my album guide here.
What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Any good professional photographer will ask a lot of questions before you commit to booking with them. Any photographer that spends the majority of your initial enquiry with them trying to sell themselves to you and talking about how they are the best photographer for your wedding day normally means that they day may be more their vision than yours. You want a photographer who takes an interest in what your interests are and what your vision is for the big day. The photographer should be able to fit your needs, you should not have to change your vision to suit the photographer.
I kind of went off on a tangent there but essentially, you need to give your photographer as much detail of the day as possible. This will need to include the exact location of bride prep, ceremony, reception etc. As well as all the exact times of the day so that they can create a timeline to ensure that they are in the right place at the right time.
I have outlined the key questions that you should ask your potential wedding photographer before putting pen to paper to book and sign the contract. I have also added in my answers to those questions, however if you want to find more questions and answers please have a look at my FAQs page.