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30 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before Booking

Updated: May 11

1. Can you do an Engagement Session BEFORE you book a Photographer for your Wedding Day?

THIS IS SO IMPORTANT and let me explain why. So you found a Photographer, you LOOOVVEE their Photos.. but a Good Photographer for you is SO much more than pretty photos. Let's say you book a Photographer for your Wedding, you do your Engagement Photos and something.. just doesn't quite feel right. That can be their personality just didn't mesh well with you both as a couple, you felt awkward with them, your Photos aren't what you wanted them to be.. and now, you are stuck. You have to make that choice to either cancel and lose your Retainer OR you bite the bullet and still use them for your Wedding Day. You have to keep in mind that every Photographer has their BEST work in their Portfolio.. and your Engagement Session might not be their Best Work. Here is what I recommend! Ask if having an Engagement Session before booking them as your Wedding Photographer is an option to make sure you are completely happy with who you are hiring. I personally do offer this! I believe you should find your perfect fit for your Wedding day, and your Engagement Session will be telling of this. When you book an Engagement session with me, and then decide to book your Wedding Package, half of the Engagement session cost will be taken off the total of your Wedding Package. However, I do not offer discounts on my Wedding Packages if you don't want or don't need an Engagement Session. This is a great way to feel out your Photographer, weed out the possibility of scams, and a great start to your conversation.

2. Is an Engagement Session included in your Wedding Photography Package? When is your Photographer available for an Engagement Session? How quick is their turnaround for Engagement Photos?

I wanted these three quesions bundled for just a "Good to Know" for your Engagement Photos. Most Photographer's will bundle the Engagement Session in the Wedding Packages if you haven't already figured that portion out from the previous question. Availability might be a few months out which may be fine, or it may not work for you and your timeline. A lot of couples want to use their Engagement Photos for their invites, so knowing when you can get your Engagement Session done and how fast you can get those photos back can be the difference of how quickly your invites get sent out. If you don't need your Engagement Photos for your Invites, then the timeline to when you do your Engagement Photos is much easier and can really be whenever you want it to be before your Wedding day! I do have Engagement Sessions included in most of my Wedding Packages and my turnaround time for Engagement Photos is usually 4-6 Weeks (but I have had cases where I sent Galleries out sooner!)

3. Does your Photographer Provide/help you make your timeline?

This is a great starting point to start talking about what they offer with your timeline, if they help you with it, or if they work with your coordinator with the timeline. Every situation is different. Some venues, if they provide a Coordinator, may have a set timeline they like sticking to with every wedding. Other Venues may not offer coordinating services, and if you decide to hire a Coordinator, this is usually a huge part of their job. They handle managing all your vendors to make sure everyone is sticking to that timeline, however, a lot of coordinators will also get the input from the Photographer in how they work. I have noticed the most sucess comes when couples have both a Coordinator and Photographer. They work together to create the perfect timeline customized to their couple with their wants & needs throughout the day. I offer timeline guidance for all of my couples and will always make sure to chat with their Coordinator to ensure an easy flow for the full day.

4. What files does your Wedding Photographer shoot in? RAW or JPEG? Which is better?? Some Photographers don't shoot in RAW and their images will automatically start out in a lower resolution. I always shoot in RAW. If they say JPEG or have no idea what a RAW even is, then RUN!!

5. What is your Wedding Photographer's process for retaining their Photos? Some Photographers have one slot and some have dual slots in their cameras for memory cards. I personally shoot primarily on dual shot cameras. I capture my Weddings on multiple SD cards, because the odds of an SD card failing is possible. Yes, that's a big reason why having two SD slots is more appealing.

There have been HORROR stories on couples losing their Wedding Photos because of an SD Card Malfunction. This is at no fault to the Photographer... however, if you hire a Photographer who is only shooting on one SD Card this can happen to you. So this is crucial to give yourself and your Photographer peace of mind that they won't lose your Photos. Once the Photographer is home, and they pull that beautiful SD Card out of their Camera, where does it go? Are there multiple copies at all times?

When I get home, I import all my RAWS onto my Computer and onto two separate external hard drives as well. So I have my images on a minimum of three different devices/cards during my entire editing process.

6. Is your Wedding Photographer Licensed and Insured? Not all Photographers are licensed. So please be cautious! I am Licensed through Colorado as "Amazing Colorado Photography LLC". I have insurance for my gear as well as general liability insurance through Professional Photographers of America "PPA". Some venues will require proof that your Photographer is Licensed and has Insurance. 7. Does your Wedding Photographer use Flash and Off Camera Flash (OCF).

If not, how do they photograph the Reception? I think this is incredibly important especially come reception time. However, some Photographers don't use Flash at all and their photos turn out Amazing.. so I would look for Reception Photos and see how those look. I do use Off Camera Flash, on camera flash, and no flash. It depends a lot on the environment and my vision for your images.

8. What does a Full Gallery look like from your Wedding Photographer? Ask to see a full gallery of one of their weddings. Kind of getting into lighting again, some Photographers aren't as good getting into other lighting like Ceremony and Reception areas. Look at the quality of their images. Look at the Variety in their images. Do they have Detail shots? Family? Bridal Party? Ceremony? Reception? Check, check, and check! Look at their Nighttime shots! This is SO IMPORTANT! 9. What is the Average Turn Around Time for Wedding Photos? What is Your Wedding Photographer's Turn Around Time? How long will it be before you get the images. My turnaround time is stated in my contracts, for smaller shoots its faster, for a huge wedding with two shooters, you can expect a minimum of 4 weeks to a max of 12. Average in this industry sits at around 12 weeks.

10. How many Wedding Photos should you expect? How many images will you be getting from your Wedding Photographer? Some brides are happy with 200 and some want a thousand. I have a standard MINIMUM of about 50 images per hour for Weddings, Micro Weddings, & Elopements. 50 Images per hour is industry standard for Weddings. Some Wedding Photographers offer a lot less. Smaller Shoots are different and really vary between each photographer. Some Photographer's will Photoshop more of your Wedding Photo's thus giving you a more refined finished gallery, other's hardly Photoshop so you may get more. This really depends on how "Edited" you want your photos to look.

11. Are my Wedding images / photos apart of the Package Price or do I have to pay more for my photos later? What if I want more Wedding Photos than my Photographer Contracted? Do I have to pay more for extra Wedding Photos?

This is HUGE! So a lot of Wedding Photographers charge way less up front for their Wedding Photography and offer a minimum of so many images. Let's say you want more images after that cap, they will charge you PER IMAGE for what you want after that cap. I used to be against this, but now that I have been in the Business for some time, I understand. Photographers do this because our time is money. If we edit 800 images and you were only contracted 300, that is 500 images that took DAYS/WEEKS to edit and lots of extra effort. That being said, some of my Wedding Packages only include a certain amount of images while my Platinum Package includes All Processed Images. What this means is you decide on the images you want from the full gallery, and if you want more images after that it will cost either $5.00 per additional image or $300.00 for the Full Edited Gallery. If you book the Platinum Package, then you get an Engraved USB with all your processed images as well as the ability to download all the images in the gallery. My Packages are built in a way that if you invest in more time you are also investing in more images and more products for you to enjoy for years to come!! So make sure to ask what is included and How Much more will you be paying per image and if there is an option to purchase the full edited gallery?

12. What is INCLUDED in your Photography Wedding Package?

I offer multiple different packages from my Smaller Sessions to my Wedding and Elopement Packages. My smaller, shorter time Packages will be more affordable and offer less photos/less products.. while my Larger Elopement and Wedding Packages have USB's, a Photo Album, Longer Engagement Sessions, Ect.

13. Does your Wedding Photographer offer Custom Wedding Packages?

Sometimes when you are looking at two different packages a Wedding Photographer offers, you may feel stuck between the two. If this is the case, talk to them about things you like about one and the things you want from another. It doesn't hurt to ask! I have had a lot of couples ask for a Custom package because they were stuck between two!

14. What different Packages do they offer and do they have a Price Sheet? Some packages offer more than others. Albums, time, more pictures.. it all just depends on what you are looking for and what you want! I have packages that give you little to nothing to everything.. I wanted to really gear them towards all brides with a full range for a budget. I have all Pricing laid out on my Website to be as Transparent as possible with my Couples and make it easier for you to pick your Perfect Photography Package!

15. Colorado Wedding / Elopement Photography Military Discount. Does your Wedding Photographer offer any discounts for Military?

Both my Husband and myself are Army Veterans, so I will always offer a military discount to my couples who have served or who are serving. If this is you, HEYY!!! I love working with military families. Some Photographers don't offer discounts, others might offer different discounts!

16. Does your Wedding Photographer charge a Travel Fee or Lodging Fee??

Usually yes! Some will say they don't within a hour or three of their location. My standard Travel fee is $20/hr of Travel with a $300 Lodge Fee for anything over 2 Hours from me. (This is waved if the Package states no Travel Fees in Colorado!) If I have to hop on a plane it's $1,500 flat rate unless I am already traveling to you around your date, it could be discounted. You just have to ask! Travel has gotten incredibly expensive and so has plane tickets, I cannot afford to not charge for Travel. That being said, one Photographer that has Travel fees may still be cheaper than another Photographer you are interested in that doesn't have Travel Fees. You must weigh that decision.

17. What happens in the Event the Photographer Moves before my Wedding Day?

I wanted to add this question in here because it has happened to a handful of my couples. When I first started my Wedding Photography business, I lived in Colorado, and then we decided to move to Florida. At this point, I had already booked some weddings in Colorado. This ended up happening again when we decided to move back to Colorado, and I already had booked out Weddings in Florida. I am NEVER leaving Colorado Again!! The Mountains are my home forever (Florida is a great Vacation). So for me personally, I do not change the cost of your Wedding Photography later on (unless you upgrade to a larger package). That means there is no change to you or what you get, there is just a higher cost on my end to obviously pay for travel to you. That being said, I don't believe every Photographer would do the same. Some Photographer's wait to charge Travel until closer to your wedding or even afterwards. What would they do or what is their policy?

18. What if it's my Wedding day.. and I all of a sudden decide I want my Photographer for additional hours. How does that work?

If your wedding is full coverage, I would not worry about this. But be very clear on time and make sure you understand what happens if you do want more of it the day of! I personally used to offer a specific rate for all day, no worries, let's not count hours.. until I had to spend weeks behind my computer editing those extra few hours. So I changed my hourly cost to every hour past your contracted time is an additional $400. With two shooters it is $600/hr. Every additional hour you also get 50 - 100 images per hour which ideally takes me an additional minimum one - two days per hour of shooting of post editing.

19. How are your Wedding Photos being delivered to you? Some Photographers do little thumb drives, some do galleries, photo albums.. I do it all! My galleries are personalized to every couple with their editing style(s) they chose, with sweet music, AND once your Gallery is about complete, I will reach out to you and have you plan a special evening with your spouse to really Enjoy your gallery delivery together! Wine and Grapes anyone?? What better way to get your gallery than during a candle lit dinner that I nudge you to do with your spouse. You will be reliving your Wedding! It makes it so incredibly romantic! I also offer a crystal engraved thumb drive in some packages that is STUNNING! This creates less work for my couples and they have less worries of losing their Photographs! Last I have a stunning 10 x 10 lay flat Photo album that you will be obsessed with the moment you touch it, included in some Packages. I literally threw away all of my Family Albums to redo them with these Museum Grade Photo Albums. It is custom made by me, approved by you, and then delivered right to your door step. I have a few past examples I can send you if you want to check it out.

20. Are there any fees for late payment, travel fees, or cancelation for your Wedding Photography? Travel Fees, yes, but it is very minimal unless it is outside of Colorado. Late payments the couple is charged a late fee of 1% your total contract per day being late, and cancelation there is no fee. But retainers are nonrefundable. I have a rebooking fee of $200, if your wedding date changes.

21. What happens if your Wedding Photographer Cancels your Wedding Contract? Who is obligated? Are you obligated to finding your replacement or are they? Most Photographers if they cancel and issue a refund, they are no longer liable for your Wedding day. In my Contract, I State if I have to cancel on my client then I find a replacement for you, I pay the replacement Photographer to shoot your wedding, I still edit your Gallery, and no refund is issued to the Client. In the case I cannot find a suitable Photographer to replace me, I will refund the full amount of your Wedding Photography to you but will no longer be liable or responsible for your Wedding day.

22. What happens if you, the Client, cancels? Most Photographers will have a nonrefundable 50% retainer. Per my contract, half of your Wedding is nonrefundable, (the retainer). Unless you do monthly payments, then the retainer is 75% of the total price for photography services for your wedding which is paid through the monthly payment plan, not all at once. At any point up until a month prior to the wedding, if the client cancels with me, they get the other portion of their money refunded (the other half if they have paid it). Within 30 days and hereafter of the event, only a Max of 10% of the total amount of the Wedding is refundable. In the event the wedding is rescheduled, any money paid will go towards the new date and a $200 rescheduling fee will be added.

23. When is your Wedding Photography payment due? Ask how payment works. If you need a payment plan, do they do so? Make sure you have the exact dates for when things are due. I have a couple different payment plans:

  • Option One: Couples pay 50% when they sign their contract, and the other 50% is due 30 days before their wedding with a date listed on their contract.

  • Option Two: Couples pay 25% when they sign their contract, another 25% is due a month later, and the remaining 50% is due 30 days before their wedding date.

  • Option Three: Monthly Plan split up with the final payment being due 30 days prior to their wedding date, and up to a max of 12 payments.

24. How many cameras does your Wedding Photographer have and use? I'd recommend any Wedding Photographer have access to 2, unless they have a second shooter which at that point, I don't think it's 100% necessary but still good to have. I have three Cameras. Two Sony a7iii's that I shoot with as my main and secondary. ❤🥰 Every Photographer has different gear, so I would base this on the images they produce. I wouldn't give yourself a headache trying to figure out all the specs of their cameras.. just take a look at their work on a Computer full screen! That will give you a better idea of their work vs your phones screen.

25. What is your Wedding Photographer's SHOOTING STYLE?

Some photographer shoot Candid, Traditional, Photo Journalistic... do you know the difference? I would do your research at the different types to find out which one(s) best fit you! I consider myself an Illustrative & Artistic Photographer above everything else! Illustrative Wedding Photography tells a story with poses. This is a combination of Traditional and Photojournalistic where lighting, composition, and the environment all play a key element in the photo. This is Spontaneous and full of Raw Emotion where the Photographer will cease a Stunning Atmosphere and pose you in a way to create a New Moment. Landscape Photography is important in this style where the Photographer must pay attention to the Full Picture. Artistic Wedding Photography has special emphasis on Details, Artistic Wedding Photography takes an ordinary moment a step further. Whether it is Artistic with how the Photographer uses the lighting in the scene, the way they Edit the Image, or the way they pose you with your environment. It is Artistic in the way that the Photographer sees a moment or has a Vision and brings it to life in the Moment & in Post Editing. This Style is incredibly Popular and makes for stunning unique shots unlike any other.

26. What is your Wedding Photographer's EDITING STYLE?

Am I giving you a headache yet? How do their final images look? Explore different styles and see what speaks out to you! I offer 2 very different styles! My Light and Dark Style. I do ask my Couples to choose a style for their gallery so I can best edit their pictures to their taste.

27. Will your Wedding Photographer have any other Sessions or commitments the same day as your Wedding?

There are some Photographers who will schedule other sessions on your Wedding day. This can sometimes conflict and other times, timing is completely fine. I personally don't usually schedule other sessions the same day as a Wedding. I would much rather spend that time getting to your Venue or Get Ready Location a few hours early. I always have a big yummy breakfast to start my day off right somewhere nearby so I am not pressed for time! :)

28. Does your Wedding Photographer require a "Must Have Shot List"? When do they need it by?

Photographer's will usually base their Photography on your must have shot list and it makes it easier for them to Photograph the moments that mean the most to you. I always ask my couples to complete and send me their must have shot list about 2 weeks before their wedding. This does not need to be every shot I can possibly take. I have a handful of shots I will automatically do every Wedding. I ask for a short list of photos/moments that are Unique or are out of the ordinary. For example: your child walking you down the aisle, a first look with Dad, a Sunset shot with a dress flip. It is random moment's that the Photographer CAN NOT MISS!! I will often mention family photos to my couples and if they would like to make a detailed list of the family photo shots they want, then I can have that list on me the day of. When you close your eyes and imagine your Wedding Photos in 20 years, what do you see? Have you seen a random photo on Pinterest you want to recreate the Pose or the Vibe? Send them my way! This is a great way for me to see through your eyes in the types of photos you want me to capture. It is also a great tool I can pull from the day of your Wedding.

29. Does your Wedding Photographer have Reviews or Testimonials you can see?

I have Testimonials posted on my Facebook page, Instagram, my Website, Google, and Zola. I think it is incredibly important for couples to know the experience others have had with me! Make sure you get the reviews; this may be the difference between a beginner Wedding Photographer and a Professional Wedding Photographer.

30. Does your Wedding Photographer also offer Video? Can you add Wedding Video later on if you decide you want it?

Some Photographers offer Video, some will even hire an associate to do the Video and they will edit the Photographs and Video! I have also seen a lot of Husband and Wife duo's as well. That being said, I do not offer Videography but I do have a massive list of preferred Videographers, Photo Booths, and other Vendors I love working with I am happy to refer you to!

All Photos were taken and edited by Amazing Davis with Amazing Colorado Photography


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Amazing Colorado Photography is a Colorado Fine Art / Artistic Wedding & Elopement Photographer Based in
Denver and Colorado Springs offering Engagement, Elopements, and Wedding Packages.

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