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What to ask the wedding photographer before signing the contract?



Remember when we told you to ask the banquet manager before the wedding? We continue to be your guiding star in the world of the periwedding wilderness. This time we’ll tell you what to ask the photographer about before it’s too late to change anything! Get the top 11 questions!

So, you have studied portfolios and sites, social networks and forums, have decided on the candidates for the role of your wedding photographer and are ready to meet all the candidates. You only have two obvious questions in your notebook: “How much are your services?” and “When will you give the photo back?” Sit down, darling! Now we’re gonna tell you how wrong you are!

It is one of the main skills of wedding professionals (and not only!) to put in soft texts and stories about yourself. Separating the flies from the cutlets will help with the tricky questions we’ve made up for you. After this test drive be sure that only 1-2 candidates will survive. Next, choose from other criteria: price, shooting style, beauty of the photographer’s eyes and others. : ) Let’s go!

1. What happens if the photo disappears after the wedding or the camera burns (gets damaged)?

Ideally, a professional should have a spare camera, as well as a camera backup system and a home backup system. If a photographer stumbles in response and promises that this never happened and can’t be, it’s worth thinking about! The promise to refund you three times your fee for missing photos is of course good, but they still understand that no money will compensate for the lack of a holiday photo in which you have invested your soul, time and money.

Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?

Photo: Tatiana Shakhunova-Anischenko

2. What happens if the photographer can’t attend the wedding?

We don’t want to frighten you, but there are things in life that happen: diseases, injuries, and other circumstances in which there is a risk that you won’t see your photographer in the morning on the day of your wedding. A specialist should always have a backup plan – the person who will replace him or her. If a frivolous photographer has never thought about it, it’s an alarm bell.

3. Ask which episodes in the portfolio are made at weddings of real newlyweds?

Nowadays there are many courses and trainings for photographers, workshops, which create ideal conditions for shooting: a beautiful studio with the right light, decor, professional models, who know how to get up, where to stretch the leg and how to put the pen. Then these shots are exhibited by experts on the site and in the portfolio, but in practice it happens so that the photographer will not be able to repeat the same pictures at a real celebration.

Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?
Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?

Photo: Elena Bolshakova

4. Is the photographer ready for various force majors?

You can determine the level of the real profile by knowing how it works in conditions when not everything goes as smoothly as it should. Ask if he or she is ready for a situation where there may be problems with the equipment or even with himself or herself. Does he have a plan B for every possible case? Are there any people on the team who can back it up and replace it?

5. How is payment made? Does the photographer work by contract or not? Do you need a deposit?

A good photographer (like any other self-respecting specialist!) always works under contract. And he needs it not to prescribe the duties of newlyweds, as many people think, but to protect himself from non-payment, penalties, cancellation of work, and so on. If a specialist says, “We’ll figure it out sometime later!” – Run! Run!

6. Does the specialist have a photo from where you plan to take the picture?

If they are, you will be able to assess how your wedding album will look like, what will be the report from the banquet part and pictures from the walk. This will help you and your fiancé to understand if this is the photographer who is worthy to take your wedding picture or not. Or maybe you’ll reconsider the location and see that it doesn’t look so spectacular on the photo!

Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?
Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?

Photo: Roman Blagov

7. Is there a minimum number of hours of shooting? What is the cost of extra hours? And is it more expensive to shoot late?

It happens that the price for the same number of hours is different. It’s all because of time: work is cheaper in the morning than in the evening. And if you’re planning to arrange a symbolic check-in at night (it’s very fashionable and very beautiful!), then you’ll have to pay for it at all! Find out in advance not only the cost of an hour of shooting, but also the minimum time of shooting: maybe the photographer refuses to take your order for a two-hour photo shoot on a Saturday in September, and decides to take the order to shoot a full wedding day.

8. How many photos will a specialist take? How many photos will be processed? Does the cost of printing include photo, if so, how many photos?

The photographer on the site says that after the wedding he will give 1000 photos! You’re intrigued and fascinated: Wow, a thousand beautiful wedding pictures, how cool! But, take into account: from this thousand detailed retouching will take place, at best, 50-70 photos, most or even all (yes, sometimes even such) will be simply color and light correction. So, don’t get too excited! You’d better get all the nuances right away and put it in the contract. The same goes for the printed images. Tell them their sizes in advance! Photos of 10:15 could have been printed without a photographer!

9. Can I see the full wedding series of other newlyweds?

It often happens so that the photographer takes wedding pictures from and to, makes hundred photos, and in a portfolio puts out only some beautiful photos. But not everyone knows that these few beautiful photos are the only successful photos from the whole wedding. To create an overall picture in your head, watch the whole series from the wedding!

10. Does the photographer work with an assistant?

Not for the sake of pontoons, but for the sake of quality! While the photographer is busy with the most important things at the wedding – you – the assistant catches the emotions of guests, tears of parents, smiles of friends on the camera… Believe me, these touching shots are no less valuable than the textbook and beautiful, your studio, staged photos!

Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?
Что спросить у свадебного фотографа до подписания договора?

Photo: Tatiana Shakhunova-Anischenko

11. Does the photographer have his own car?

How will the contractor and his team get to the location? Do you need to give them a seat in your transport

Or maybe they’re gonna need a spare car for the tech? In order to avoid any unpleasant surprises on the eve of the wedding, provide these nuances in advance. Otherwise, you risk dropping your future mother-in-law off the wedding car to make room for a photographer. : )


Alexander Graham Bell
Hello, I'm Alex. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, Me and my wife Rachel live in central Florida. She is a huge Buckeyes football fan, i'm into wedding inspiraton. I share my ideas with brides

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