In order to understand each other, you as a client and your wedding photographer should communicate with each other - and communication is a two-way street. You may have read our article about the Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer which discusses how to know your wedding photographer better and get the information you need. In this blog, you will know the questions wedding photographers commonly ask their clients and why they ask them. This will also help them know you better and what your needs are.
These questions will prevent your wedding photographer from misunderstanding what you want and avoid any arguments. But there will be times where you both misunderstand each other that is why communication is key. Your photographer will usually meet with you a couple of times before the wedding - for consultation, for your engagement session, and other meetings to straighten and go over things and create a timeline in person. As any good photographer knows, their job begins way before the actual wedding day. Here are some of the questions your wedding photographer will ask you:
Family Details (3)
In this modern-day and age, family dynamics are highly different - your clients likely have step-parents and step-siblings, and this comes with estranged family members. Your wedding photographer would like to know who your immediate family members are and their relationships, and if there is any family member that would prefer not to be photographed together - family issues might affect portraits. Your wedding photographer should know the situation rather than assume anything. We know that this might be too personal and strange, but this is also part of building a relationship with your photographer. If you are not comfortable with answering this question you can also tell that to your photographer, they will completely understand.
List of the Guests
Can you give me the names of the people in your entourage?
How many guests are invited to the wedding?
How many guests will you be having? Can I have a complete list?
Your wedding photographer probably won’t be able to remember everyone who will attend your wedding, but having a list will greatly help. Your wedding photographer will just probably memorize the people in your entourage.
This should also give them a rough estimate of how many guests are going to take photos of. Having a headcount will your photographer decide how to divide their time photographing. For particularly large weddings professional photographers would even have an assistant photographer. This way they won’t miss any precious moments (1,3).
Phone Numbers of Contact People
Can I have the contact number of your contact person?
Can I have the contact number of your wedding planner?
Who is/are your contact person/s?
Your wedding photographer would probably want to know who are the main contact people on the day of the wedding? They might ask for help from these contact persons for logistics or ask other matters. Usually, the contact people are the Maid of Honor, Best Man, the bride’s mother, and a sibling. A bride and groom may not have their phones handy throughout the day, and there may be a need to get a hold of someone besides the wedding planner. These numbers are very handy.
List of Wedding Vendors
Who are your wedding vendors?
Can you give me a list of your wedding vendors?
Your wedding photographer might want to have a list of all your wedding vendors, from the florist to the DJ. Working closely with other vendors is a secret recipe for creating stunning raw images. Plus, it’s always nice to work with friendly vendors and a quick introduction creates the way to a great wedding day working relationship. This list will also allow the photographer/s to send images easier and have a list of wedding vendors to refer to for future weddings.
What are your expectations of me?
What are your photography expectations for the big day?
What are you expecting from your wedding photographer?
What do you hope to get out of this whole experience?
With a lot of brides stating that they regret hiring a specific photographer or that maybe they spent too much money on a photographer or they didn’t get their money’s worth - it is only fitting that your wedding photographer will ask you what your expectations are. Some brides also wished that their wedding photographers would’ve taken more photos, specific photos of groups of people, or their cute floral arrangements and centerpieces. Asking you this question early will significantly prevent confusion and disappointment later - for both you and your photographer. You might have some unrealistic expectations that you can help clarify for them - they can also explain to you if what you want is achievable and if they have any suggestion that can serve as a substitute for what you wanted. Additionally, you may be pleased to learn of all the services that they offer. Either way, providing a concrete outline of what you can expect by hiring them is beneficial for all involved.
Well for one, photographers are not mind readers, and neither are you - so it is important to ask these questions to break the ice while learning about you personally. While this may be a vague and open-ended question, it can be very helpful when it comes to the style of photos you want, expectations of good quality photos, new ideas for poses, etc. Your wedding photographer probably knows the basic expectations of couples, but each couple has varying expectations when it comes to the details and they should hear it from you (1,3,5).
List of Poses
Do you have a list of poses?
Do you have a list of certain poses and photographs that you specifically want to capture?
What are some of your must-have shots?
Would you show me some of your favorite wedding pictures?
Your photographer will most certainly ask you what your ideal wedding photos are, and showing a list of your favorite poses will greatly help your photographer visualize you in these poses. You can show pictures you’ve seen on Instagram, Pinterest, wedding blogs, photographers’ portfolios, or even your friend’s wedding. Tell your photographer your daring ideas - don’t shy away because they will be patient and will work with you to make a final list and recreate these poses (2,4).
If you don’t have any list or any poses in mind, your photographer may show you a complete wedding album that they did or show you the favorite shots that they did that you could choose from. Do not worry about the poses your wedding photographer will surely help you find the perfect poses for you and your partner.
Rules and restrictions, and Description of the Wedding Venue
Can you describe the wedding location/ venue?
Do they have specific restrictions or rules for wedding vendors and guests?
Simply put, your wedding venue can make or break your wedding photos. By being able to describe the wedding venue better, your photographer can properly plan for the job. Your photographer would naturally want to know if the venue itself would make good images, provide good backdrops, and make images that fit their style. Yes, a great photographer can create a great photo almost anywhere, but having the proper preparations will make these great photos otherworldly.
Each venue is different and has a different set of rules that need to be followed. Your photographers need to know whether they are allowed to use flash, are they allowed to roam anywhere, etc. Typically, the one in charge at the venue will inform the photographers, but it also helps to know beforehand. For example, at some churches, photographers are not allowed to use flash as to not disturb the ceremony, or in some cases, photographers are not allowed past a certain row during the ceremony. If your photographers know about this information beforehand they will be able to adjust their plans. And trivial things like these can mean an opportunity for a stunning photo - lost.
Will you be providing me dinner?
Some couples are trying to save money by not giving food to the team of the wedding photographer. Whether you choose to feed the team or not you need to communicate with your photographer about their dinner - whether they will be fed or not. You can also discuss a dinner break with them if you should choose to give them one.
How did you meet?
I’d like to know as much as possible about you. What do you like, dislike?
This is also a very personal topic. This is not only a great way to break the ice but also the perfect way for your photographer to know more about you. Every couple has a unique story, and there isn’t one couple who isn’t excited to share how they met, how they fell in love, and how he proposed. This conversation you will be having with your photographer is a way to connect and asking this will do just that and help your photographer some of your preferences (1,3,4,5,6). For example, a couple who met on a hiking trip would most likely want an outdoor elopement.
What is your wedding photography budget?
What is your budget?
How much are you willing to spend on wedding photography?
This is one of the first things that your photographer will ask you. This is often a tricky and awkward question because it’s possible that you still haven’t settled on a budget for the wedding photographer or for the entire wedding itself - and even if you have, it might not be a realistic budget (5,6). Knowing your budget will allow the photographer to tell if he can take on the project or negotiate first. Your budget will also determine which wedding package you can avail of at your initial meeting.