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Best wishes — the question was popped.  Now, you have to start the process of planning THE BIG DAY!  There is a lot to do and the more time you allot yourself, the less stress you will have planning the wedding. What questions should you consider when hiring a wedding photographer?

charles mack wedding photo

Some of these will seem obvious.  Others are going to require some thought on your part.  Print this list and take it with you on your interviews.

  • Is my date available?  Some photographers book 1 – 2 years out, especially for weddings in April, May, June, July, August, September and December.  Those are the prime wedding months (except for December).  Since there are only 4-5 Saturdays available in each of those months, photographers get booked very quickly.  Note:  December weddings are also going to conflict with holiday party schedules and the photographer may already be booked.
  • What style wedding are you looking to have photographed? (traditional, wedding photojournalism, fine art wedding photography, fashion wedding photography, portraiture, natural light, etc.).  This is something that YOU have to tell the photographer.  Usually, brides are asking for a blend of styles — her parents want the formal poses while the bride usually wants to capture the fun at the reception.
  • How will you be dressed?  Ideally, you would like a photographer that is dressed for the event.  Indoors or out?  Hot or cold?  Daytime or night?  They should be able to blend in with your guests.  If everyone is wearing formal attire, the photographer should not be wearing jeans and flip-flops.
  • How many pictures will you take?  In the “film” days, you got a very limited number of pictures.  This is due to the fact that a roll of film only held 12, 24 or 36 shots.  Today, with digital, you should get more pictures than that.  The number of pictures will depend on how many hours you book the photographer.
  • Do you do retouch work?  Retouching is the process of altering any image after it has been shot.  It can include touchups, cropping and other enhancements to the pictures.  For some photographers, this is an additional charge.  For us, it is included.
  • How long after the wedding will it be before I can see the pictures?  In the old days of film, it could take up to 6 moths.  We have a turn around time of 2 weeks.  All are high resolution images.  You can see them on line and order any of them or all of them.  YOU get to choose.
  • Do you have a contract?  As a bride, you want a contract.  It specifies everything from time of arrival to payments.  It will also cover deposits, payment plans and cancellations.  During your research, you will come across photographers who arrive late and leave early.  With a contract, that is unlikely to happen.
  • Am I charged for a wedding album upfront?  If you buy a “package”, you may be charged for a small album.  It is in the price of the package.  We believe that it is hard for you to buy an album BEFORE you see the pictures.  Hence, we do not charge upfront for an album.  We can help you craft one after you have seen all of the pictures.  Other brides don’t opt for an album at all.  The choice is yours.

Choosing the right wedding photographer for you is the most important thing.  Start the conversation with your fiancee now about what you want to see in your wedding photos.