Choosing a wedding photographer can be a tricky business. Start by finding a photographer to whom both you and your fiance are drawn through their personal style. But what else do you need to know? There are several questions you need answered before you hand over a check.

How many weddings have you shot, and how many do you shoot in a year?

Why to ask: This will tell you several things. You want to know that this is his profession, and he has shot enough weddings to be sufficiently experienced to deal with the pressures that come on the big day. You also want to know you will be prioritized on your day. You don’t want a photographer that overloads himself.

Will you be my photographer, or will it be one of your partners (or assistants)?

Why to ask: If you are booking with a group (or anyone that is more than a one-person show) make sure you speak with the person who will actually be shooting your wedding.

What is your favorite part of a wedding?

Why to ask: This can tell you a lot about how your photographer approaches weddings and what she might inherently pay more attention to. It is important that you find someone who shares your priorities and helps you see the beauty in moments you might overlook.

What type of packages do you offer?

Why to ask: You cannot compare photographers if you don’t know what is included for the price. Prints? Digital copies? Do they put together an album or include an engagement shoot for free? How many hours of coverage do you get?

Will touch-ups happen before or after I see the proofs?

Why to ask: Touch-ups are how photos become magazine-worthy. Some photographers will perform this technique on all your photos, while others only want to spend time doing this on photos you choose.

What is your deposit and refund policy?

Why to ask: Know the particulars. When is the money due and what happens if catastrophe strikes and you have to postpone or cancel?

Do you prefer to work off a shot list or capture events and festivities as they unfold?

Why to ask: It is good to find a photographer who works on a mixture of these two approaches. While a shot list provides a guide (and guarantees that you get at least one photo with grandma) you are hiring a photographer for his expertise. Allow him to capture the events while you focus on living them.

How long after the wedding before we see the photos?

Why to ask: You will be wanting to see photos of your wedding the very next day. While this is impossible, knowing when you will get to clasp eyes on them will help you manage the waiting.

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