10 important questions to ask your wedding photographer
Choosing a wedding photographer is a big deal – they’re responsible for capturing one of the most important days of your life, so finding a photographer you trust and feel comfortable with is key to ensuring your wedding day is stress-free and special.
But how do you choose the right wedding photographer?
We asked Henrik Andersen of UK Wedding Photography, an award-winning photographer with more than 12 years’ experience, for his top tips and advice for choosing a wedding photographer.
Henrik photographs more than 30 weddings each year, many of which are at our iconic pub wedding venues in southern England.
Here, Henrik answers all your burning questions about wedding photography, including how far in advance you need to book, and how much time to allocate for bride and groom and group photos. He also covers the most important questions you need to ask your wedding photographer before booking them – from who owns the copyright to what happens if they fall ill.
Tips for choosing a wedding photographer
First things first – create a shortlist of wedding photographers whose photography style you love.
Commenting on how best to do this, Henrik said: “The best place to start is to find your preferred photography style by scanning websites and making a collection. Create a list of possible photographers whose pictures you connect with, and go from there.
“Every photographer has a different style, but the two main types of wedding photographers are those that tend to take stylised posed photos and those who take a more discreet candid approach. Some couples have a specific photographic style in mind, so make sure your photographer is able to capture the style and shots you want. Show them photos you like, and make sure they can do it.”
Photo credit: All photos in this article were taken by Henrik Andersen of UK Wedding Photography.
How far in advance should you book your wedding photographer?
Henrik said: “Most couples book the venue and catering before booking their photographer. I would recommend not leaving it any later than six months before your wedding date to book your photographer. Ideally, you should book 10 months or more in advance if your wedding is on a Saturday during peak wedding season, which starts late May in the UK.
“If your wedding is on a weekday or a Sunday you will have more wiggle room. However, if you have a specific photographer in mind, book them as early as possible so you don’t miss out on your first choice."
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Read more: Expert tips for planning a pub wedding
10 important questions to ask your wedding photographer before booking
Once you’ve created a shortlist of your preferred photographers, these are the key questions you need to ask them to make sure they’re the right choice.
1. Are they willing to meet at the venue in advance?
“Always make sure the photographer is willing to meet you at the venue so they can tell you their ideas for scoping out the best photo locations, including for the bride and groom shots and group shots. This will help you to cultivate a plan for the day and make sure everyone is on the same page and prepared.”
2. How many photographs will I get?
“A wedding photographer should be able to give you an estimation based on the amount of time you want them to photograph your wedding for and the number of guests. As a rough indication of what to expect, eight hours of wedding photography would usually return approximately 300-350 edited photographs.”
3. Will the photographs be edited?
“You need to be clear at the start that your photographer is going to finish the job, including the editing. Be sure to ask if the photos will be edited and what sort of editing they do. Usually, the editing time is equal to the time spent photographing the wedding.
“A professional won’t provide you with unedited photos unless you specifically ask for them. Receiving 3,000 unedited photos is overwhelming and unnecessary, and that’s why photographers will edit the few hundred absolute best shots.”
4. Who will hold copyright to the images?
“Ask about the copyright for the images and how you will receive them. Some photographers hold the copyright to the images and give you the low resolution, watermarked images, which means you need to pay for the full resolution versions. It’s less common these days, but it’s certainly worth checking so there are no surprises.”
5. How long is the wait for photos?
“Couples should always ask what the time frame will be for receiving their wedding photos. My wedding clients receive their photos within one month, and I send them a small selection within a few days of their wedding so they don’t need to wait too long to get a sneak peek. As every photographer is different, it’s an important question to ask so you know exactly how long you’ll have to wait.”
6. How much will it cost?
“The price of your wedding photographer will depend on the package you choose. In London, a full day is anywhere upwards of £900. Most of my clients choose my full day package, which includes eight hours coverage. This is usually the perfect amount of time for covering the bride getting ready right through to the first dance.
“Be sure to ask your photographer what your package includes. My packages are based around the time I spend photographing a wedding, and couples can add extras afterwards, such as printed albums. Most couples like to print the images themselves these days because it’s so easy to do online, so be sure to ask your photographer if you need to commit to an album, or if you can add it later as an extra."
7. How much will the deposit be?
“The standard wedding photography deposit is 20% of the full price, and the date isn’t secured until the deposit is paid. Full payment is usually to be paid a week or two before the wedding, but as every photographer is different it’s important to ask when they require full payment.”
8. What if you’re ill or have an emergency on the day?
“All professional wedding photographers should have a solid back-up plan in case of emergencies, and in the peak of wedding season one back up plan isn’t enough. I have a handful of trusted photographers I have worked closely with in the past who I can call on in an emergency, but on top of this I also am part of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, which has a list of skilled members that can be called on.”
9. How much time should I allocate for bride and groom and group photos?
“The standard amount of time for formal group photos is 30-45 minutes, but this is something you should discuss with your photographer in order to create a clear timeline.
"The big group shot works best immediately after the ceremony, and then it’s usually followed by formal group shots. To speed this up, create a photo list of family and group shots to give to the photographer in advance, and nominate a friend or family member who knows everyone to help get the groups together to make the group shots faster.
“Some couples feel obliged to take formal group photos with absolutely everyone, but keep in mind it’s your day and set aside enough time to enjoy yourselves. After the ceremony it’s time to mingle with your guests, which makes for great candid shots. If you allocate every minute of your time post-ceremony time to formal group shots, it can feel rushed. In any case, it is important that your photographer plans ahead in order to make this stage of the day as smooth as possible.
“For photos of the bride and groom, 30 minutes is usually enough time. It depends on the venue and photo opportunities (which should be planned by the photographer in advance to better utilise the time). Sometimes you can split it up and do some after the ceremony and some later in the day when the sun is softer, and the couple is more relaxed after a drink. Ask your photographer what they recommend, so you can create a time schedule for the day.”
10. Do I need a second photographer, or videographer?
“For a candid/reportage style wedding, there usually isn’t a need for a second photographer, regardless of size. The key is planning on the day, but it also depends on how your photographer works, so be sure to ask them whether they think it’s necessary. Perhaps there is a need for both bride and groom preparation, in which case two photographers may be necessary.
“If you’d also like a videographer and the photographer doesn’t offer the service, they should be able to provide recommendations for videographers they’ve worked with in the past. They need to work as a team on the day, so it’s an advantage if they know each other.”
Any final advice?
“Meet with a few different photographers in person before you choose one. It’s important to take your time to think about it and not feel rushed or pressured into making a decision. The photographer is an important part of your wedding day, and you need to feel comfortable in their presence, and confident that they’re going to do a great job.”
Henrik offers a 10% discount for couples holding their wedding at Fuller’s wedding venues.
For more information about wedding photography by Henrik Andersen, visit www.uk-weddingphotography.com
Find the perfect backdrop for your wedding day
Now that you know how to choose the perfect wedding photographer to capture your wedding, it’s time to choose the right backdrop if you haven’t already!
Our wedding venues are located in stunning locations across southern England – each offering a unique and elegant backdrop for your wedding day. From rustic wedding venues in the countryside, to historic listed buildings in the city, there’s a Fuller’s wedding venue to suit all styles of celebrations of love.
Find a pub wedding venue, and find a ceremony licensed pub wedding venue.
Read our list of the best pub wedding venues for inspiration, and use our wedding venue finder to find your perfect venue.
This article was written by Janelle of ContentQueen.
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