Hi there, I'm Manali! A wedding photographer & educator serving Charlottesville VA & DC. Click through for all my favorites from recent sessions, adventures and travels, as well as tips & tricks for clients! Grab a cup of coffee, relax, and feel free to connect with me elsewhere as well! Cheers to you!

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10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking

November 24, 2020

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If you’re a bride, I’m sure you’ve come across the graphics on the Knot or WeddingWire or anywhere on Pinterest where it’s a LENGTHY checklist of everything you need to ask your wedding photographer! While I’m not knocking making sure that your photographer truly is an expert, I don’t think you have to ask them 50 questions to see if they’re both capable and the right fit for you as your wedding photographer!

Here are 10 questions that I DO think are really smart to ask your photographer to get a feel for how they will be there to capture your wedding day & make sure that they take the safety of your images really seriously. So, here we go!

10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

1. Have you shot at the venue or a similar venue?

This is something that you might not even have to ask them! A photographer will often have galleries (including the venue name) listed on their websites or their blogs! Searching on their blog can be a great way to figure this out. And chances are if you include the name of your venue when you reach out to them on them, they’ll send you actual wedding day galleries AT your venue or at a similar venue for you to get a feel for what your wedding day images will look like!

2. What is your wedding process like? How do you approach photography on the wedding day for each part?

This is HUGE!! Every photographer has a booking process, an engagement session, some sort of pre-wedding prep for you & of course an image-editing and delivery process! BUT I will say, the way that every photographer approaches each part of the process will be completely different. I recommend taking some time to read through the Experience/Services page on their website to figure out how they do things differently at each point to see if it will best suit your needs and what you’re looking for from a photographer!

For example, some will take a super photojournalistic approach and photograph your day as it unfolds while others might help you clear out a space specifically to take portraits during the getting ready part of the day! Be sure to ask how your photographer approaches each part of the day to get an idea of how they’ll be serving you on your wedding day!

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3. How do you help out with creating a wedding day timeline for photography?

Ok, this is not something that ALL photographers do but I think is actually SO crucial! How your wedding day timeline is structured can inform how you feel throughout the ENTIRE day! Make sure your photographer will help make sure that you have enough time for each part of the day to really soak it in & enjoy the moments instead of being rushed to get to the next part of your day.

4. Who are your favorite vendors to work with?

Chances are your photographer has a whole team of other vendors that they LOVE working with and that they’ve seen work at other weddings! They can definitely recommend incredible vendors that truly care about you and your wedding day!

5. Will you help us with planning for the engagement session? Is one included?

Engagement sessions are so incredible to get to know your photographer, how they work and to get comfortable in front of the camera! Getting to see the images after will give you so much confidence in getting really beautiful images for your wedding day and will give you an idea of what poses you LOVE so your photographer can make sure to get that on your wedding day! Every time my couples have an engagement session we end up getting to make a stronger personal connection so that I’m showing up as more of a friend & bridesmaid on the day rather than just another vendor. Plus it makes it soo much easier for my couples on the wedding day to understand what I mean when I’m walking them through posing!

However, I also do recommend working with a photographer that EVEN IF you’re meeting them for the first time on your wedding day, they’re an expert at making you feel comfortable in front of the camera! I’ve had a ton of out of state couples and even though we haven’t done an engagement session, their wedding day photos are natural & authentic and not awkward or forced at all! I always make sure to do a video call before the wedding day to get to know my couples so that they’re comfortable on the day of their wedding!

6. Is there an option to buy a wedding album either now or down the road?

Although we live in a digital age, I can not stress the importance of printing your wedding day images to have them in your home! I take your wedding day image safety super seriously so they will be up in your gallery for 10 years and I always keep backups of the images as well. However, nothing beats having your images printed in a professional & luxury wedding album to keep as a family heirloom and a part of your everyday life!

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7. How many couples do you serve in a year or at one time?

There are photographers that cap the number of couples they’ll take vs. photographers that will take a TON of clients all at once! I do believe that photographers that limit the couples they can take does correlate with how well they can serve their couples since they can really personalize the experience for each couple and truly remember details that are important

8. Are your wedding collections customizable to fit our wedding day needs?

Again, a photographer that will work with you to make sure that the wedding photography that you’re investing in is going to fit your wedding day vision is so important! Look for photographers that will recommend a set number of things in your wedding collection but that also has the flexibility to work with you for what you have planned!

9. Do you have insurance? Do you have a second shooter – who’s the backup if something happens to you?

These are all really good questions to ask!! Make sure that your photographer has a game plan to handle sticky situations that come up and is really prepared for the best and worst-case possible! You can never really repeat a wedding day so you want to make sure that your photographer is coming prepared to make sure that your wedding day images are safe!

10. What types of couples do you work best with? What makes you stand apart?

I always love it when inquiring brides ask me about what makes me stand apart from every other photographer! They have a TON of choices but I love getting to let them know why I can best serve them! Getting to chat with them over email or over a video call you get a feel for if you’re a good fit and I always make sure to go through this process before taking on a client. Your wedding photographer is going to be with you more than your spouse is during the wedding day so you always want to make sure that you connect and work well together!

Well that’s it for today’s post! Brides or soon-to-be-brides, be sure to save this blog post for when you are starting your search for the perfect wedding photographer!

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