What questions do you ask a London wedding photographer?
I am now entering my 13th year of photographing weddings and speaking with couples as a wedding photographer. I know there’s so much to think about when you are looking to hire a London wedding photographer. I thought I’d put together a list of the questions I get asked a lot (and the ones I wish I would get asked more often!)
Here are the questions you need to ask a London wedding photographer before you book them for your wedding:
ABOUT YOU AS THE COUPLE
Are you available for our wedding date?
It’s really important to start with this question before you dive into anything. I can get booked up really far in advance (I am currently 90% booked for 2023 and 2024 is well on the way!) so it’s really important to let me know your wedding date as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The best way is to get in touch with your wedding date and as much information as you can share. I will then check my diary and get back to you. If I’m free I’ll send over my brochure and we can arrange to have a chat. If I’m not, I am happy to recommend some other photographers I know and trust.
Have you worked at our wedding venue before? If not, what kind of research will you do before our wedding?
An experienced photographer will always be clear that they will do their research if they haven’t photographed your wedding venue before. For me, there’s always a chance I won’t have worked at your venue before (there are a lot of wedding venues!), but If I have worked there, then that’s great! If not, then this is not a problem at all. As an experienced professional, I am used to working in new places and have the experience, knowledge and equipment to work well in any location. I make sure to do research about a venue I haven’t worked at and will often chat to the wedding planner or coordinator before the day. On the day, if possible, I will turn up a bit early to have a look around. As much as I love returning to a wedding venue I know, it’s also very exciting to work at new places!
Have you worked with our wedding planner / florist / videographer before?
Asking your London wedding photographer this question is always useful as it indicates their experience and knowledge of the industry. For me, I will always ask for an email intro if I haven’t worked with your planner or videographer before, so we can chat before the day. This is a great way for us to start a brilliant working relationship before we meet up on your wedding day. On the day I will chat to any of your other suppliers (if I see them) and will also get in touch after the wedding. This is why I ask for you to share your supplier details in the ‘Day in Detail’ form I send over before the wedding day. I’ve been working in the wedding world for over 12 years, so it’s rare that I find that I don’t know any other supplier at a wedding but it does happen sometimes!
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
What do you love about wedding photography?
This is a great question to ask your London wedding photographer as you want to know that they love what they do! Its also a great way to see if what they are passionate about aligns with what you are looking for from your wedding photography. I love to tell stories with natural, beautiful and creative photography. I love to create beautiful, natural and vibrant images that have a touch of romance and lots of fun, in a relaxed way.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
When looking for your wedding photographer, it’s important to know what their experience is. I’ve photographed over 350 weddings in my decade as a natural wedding photographer and I have extensive experience having worked in a wide variety of venues, in every season and in every type of weather. This experience allows me to come to a day relaxed and confident that I can get the best photos for you as well as providing support and guidance if needed. If your wedding photographer isn’t as experienced that’s not a problem (we all need to start somewhere), but it is important you know.
How do you describe your photography style?
You won’t like everyone’s photography style so do take your time choosing. My personal style is natural, beautiful, creative and authentic. The style of my work leads from my approach, which is primarily to document the day as it happens, capturing the natural and intimate moments. I love to create a relaxed experience and make a connection with the two of you so we can have fun during the day. Take a look through my wedding portfolio to share some of the wedding day joy I love to capture.
How much do you charge? What kind of add-ons are there?
Of course you want to know how much the photographer is going to charge, but you may need to supply them with more details of what you want before they can give you an accurate quote. It can depend on hours of coverage, how far the photographer needs to travel and what else you want to include. As a guide my main packages start at £1650 and you can see more details of what’s included here. The best way to work out the right package for you is for us to have a chat. That way I can direct you towards the package that most suits what you are looking for. If you are planning a smaller wedding or want shorter coverage I also offer
What is included in your wedding photography price?
You need to be clear with a wedding photographer as to what they include in their prices. All my packages include planning & consultation meetings with you, photography on the day (the number of hours depends on the individual package), final high res images with full personal licence, an online password protected viewing gallery, a first look selection of photos shared shortly after your wedding, travel within England and Wales and, of course, my 10+ years of experience. You may wish to add on additional options such as an album, a second photographer (because I can’t be in two places at once!), USB storage of your images, an engagement shoot, or discuss shorter coverage if you’re having a smaller wedding.
BEFORE THE WEDDING
Do we get to meet you before the wedding?
You should always meet your wedding photographer whether online or in real life. You have to know if you’re going to get along! Of course, this very much depends on the time of year you are getting married and also where you are getting married. If it works out for both our calendars and we aren’t too far away I am happy to meet in person before the day, to chat through plans. If it’s tricky to organise then we will arrange an online chat instead. Either way I always make sure to have a catch up around 6 weeks before the wedding.
What do you need from us before the wedding?
Asking your wedding photographer this question will also indicate their level of experience as those who know, will realise that there’s a lot to get clear on before the big day! Around 4-6 weeks before the big day I book my clients in for a catch up, to run through timings, plans, group photos etc. Ahead of this I will send a link to my online ‘Day in Detail’ form. This gives the opportunity for you to add in all the timings, the people and places and also group photos you would like and any other details I need to know.
Can we book an engagement session?
Yes! A pre-wedding or engagement shoot is a great way to get used to being in front of the camera, if you’re a little camera shy. It’s a chance to get some lovely, relaxed photos of the two of you, and if you have children you can include them in the shoot and make it a real family experience. There’s no pressure with this shoot, it’s a very relaxed and fun experience. We can do the photos at your favourite place or choose to do something that’s special to the two of you – you can see some great examples of my engagement photography work here. You will get the final edited images on USB as high-res files, so if you want to use them for a Save the Date card, wedding invitation or a guest book, you can. I wrote a useful blog post on how I approach engagement shoots which you may find useful.
Do we have to have an engagement session?
No, you don’t but it can really help get used to being in front of the camera, and it’s a great opportunity for us get to know each other better before your wedding day.
DURING THE WEDDING
What time will you arrive on the wedding day?
The answer to this completely depends on you and your timings of the day, and what you’ve booked the photographer to shoot. Some couples want pre-ceremony photos, others don’t. We chat through all this when we speak to plan the photography on the day. If you would like me to take photos before the ceremony, I generally arrive around 1.5 hours before you are due to leave for the ceremony. If not, then it’s about 30 mins before the ceremony.
Who will get photos in the morning while we are getting ready?
This is up to you. If one of you would like getting ready photos that great. Let your photographer know and they can work this into the timings and plan. For the most part I normally end up photographing the bride or groom who is most keen on having photos taken.
Can you photograph both of us getting ready?
You need to be clear with your photographer about the timings of your day. Potentially if both people are getting ready in the same location, I can photograph both of you getting ready, otherwise it’s too tricky for me to cover alone. In this case I recommend we look at adding a second photographer. This way you get both partners covered for morning prep photos and you will also benefit from extra photos during the rest of the day for ceremony, reception and speeches.
Can we give you a list of shots we would like taken on the day?
It’s very useful to give the photographer a list of any group/family photos you might want. I actively encourage my couples to think about the group photos they want and share a list with me. However, I do also suggest keeping this to around 10 individual groups at most, so as to not take too much time out of your drinks reception. With regards to other photos, if there is anything specific you would like, such as sparkler photos or a particular photo of you or some part of the day that’s important to you, then please do share that. There’s no need to worry about listing every shot like walking down the aisle, ring exchange, first kiss etc., as most will be ones that will naturally be captured during the course of the day’s coverage.
What happens in an emergency and you can’t make it?
An experienced photographer will always have a backup plan. I always hope that nothing will happen, which means I can’t make your wedding. However, should I be unable to be there, I will do my best to find a replacement from a group of very experienced photographers.
Do you have insurance?
This is a must for your photographer. As a professional photographer I have public liability and professional indemnity insurance, as well as insurance for all my gear.
Do you have a backup camera?
This is also a must! As well as having back up lenses, flashes and any other equipment that is used during the course of a wedding day. It’s imperative I have my kit working, so I shoot with two cameras and always have a third camera body as a backup (as well as multiple lenses, extra batteries, more SD cards that I actually need and lots of other bits of kit that might come in handy)
Do we need to give you a meal on the day?
It’s always good to feed your photographer! If I am booked to work for more than 6 hours a hot meal is appreciated. It’s not always possible for me to go off site to get food and not always possible to bring food with me so getting a break and something to eat when you eat is great.
Do we pay your travel costs?
This is always useful to ask as you can build it into your budget depending. For me, travel costs within England and Wales are included for most full day packages. If your wedding is outside of these areas then return travel & accommodation will be needed. Shorter coverage packages only cover travel within the London area.
Will you be the primary photographer on our wedding day?
This is usually the case when you meet photographers unless you’re going for someone with a team. For me, I will always be the primary photographer, unless I need to find an emergency replacement or a package is booked with someone acting as an associate. In these cases you will always know as soon as possible.
What will you wear on our wedding day?
While this shouldn’t be a make or break question you might find it handy to ask. I have photographed weddings at venues with dress codes, at places of worship that request a level of coverage and in outdoor locations that needed a good footwear! I generally go for smart looking and comfy. As I move around a lot (and seem to end of climbing on things or hanging out of windows more frequently than you’d think) I tend to wear trousers, a top, a relaxed jacket and smart/comfy trainers, but does depend on the weather though.
What time will you stay until our wedding day?
This will depend on how many hours you book with your wedding photographer and the coverage you want. This will generally cover from prep to first dance. Most of the time I stay until around 30 mins after the first dance, unless something is happening later like fireworks or sparklers.
Are wedding guests able to take photos alongside you?
It’s always good to be clear with your photographer and see what they say. For me, as long as they don’t impact my images that’s not a problem. During the ceremony, it is preferable to have guests be present for the moment rather than up and wandering taking photos. The only time I ask for no photos from guests is during your couple portraits, where it’s just the two of you and me.
AFTER THE WEDDING
What happens after the wedding? How long until we get the photos?
Every photographer will have a different way of working and different timescales so it’s always good to check. I like to share a first look photo selection gallery about 7-10 days after your wedding. This normally coincides with you getting back from your honeymoon, so it’s a lovely thing to return to and exciting to have some photos to share. The full collection of photos will be ready approximately 8-10 weeks after your wedding day (sometimes sooner).
How will you send us the photos?
As with timescales, this is also going to be slightly different for each photographer. However, most will offer you an online gallery. For my clients the full wedding collection is shared via a private password protected online gallery, which allows you to download the images as either high res or low res files. This will be set up and the link and password sent to you so you can start sharing the photos with your friends and family. Each gallery also has a secure shopping facility so you can purchase prints there, should you or any of your guests wish to. If you have an album or prints as part of your package we will have a chat about these once you have received all your images. As a general rule, I do all album designs in the winter months when things have quietened down and I can give them my full attention.
How many photos do we get?
This is a very good question to ask your photographer. Some will have a set number of images they share, some wont. It’s also good to know if you get images in both colour and black & white, or as a mix of the two. When I edit photos and put together the final collection there is no set number of images I work to. I make sure you will get all the fabulous ones from the day and a wonderful collection that tells the story of your wedding day. You can, on average, expect roughly 600-800 from a full day’s wedding coverage and about 100 or so from an engagement shoot. All of these come with a full personal print licence in both high and low resolution, ready for printing or sharing online. I provide all images in both colour and black & white options.
Can I see the unedited images?
Ah! So there’s a good reason unedited images aren’t shared generally by photographers. They aren’t the final product, there are A LOT of them normally and they are also in a format that is not easy to share or see without particular software.
Will you be sharing photos of our wedding online?
If you don’t mind, then you don’t need to ask this question, but I understand that some people don’t like the idea or have good reasons to not have images shared. In these cases do let your photographer know. It might be that we can agree on a handful of images that you are happy to have shared, including details with no people in etc. I love to share my couples online. I get very excited about the couples I worked with and love to be able to share on my blog, Instagram and Facebook. It’s how I get a lot of my work and new couples find me!
Have you photographed a wedding like ours before? Can we see examples?
This is good to ask particularly if you have a particular style or cultural sensitivity then ideally you want someone who is familiar with the process. For me, I have photographed most types of weddings over the years. If there are elements I don’t know about or haven’t photographed before then just let me know. It’s always exciting to photograph new things! If I have examples I can share I will happily do that.
Can I see some testimonials from happy clients?
It’s important to get references whenever you’re planning to book someone, and especially when it comes to booking your wedding photographer. You can read from many happy couples here on my testimonials page.
How many weddings do you photograph a year?
Whilst you want a photographer who has experience, you also don’t want a photographer who will be too busy to answer your questions leading up to the big day. I photograph around 20 to 25 weddings a year. I limit the number so as to give 100% to all my couples.
Can you show me full wedding albums?
To really see a photographer’s work, don’t just rely on their social media. Ask to see full wedding albums if you’re not sure. I will happily send over links if you ask.
Do you offer an album service?
Not all photographers offer albums or printing of images. For me its a big Yes! Before starting my photography business I was a graphic designer so I adore putting together albums and printed products for my couples. I am passionate about beautiful prints and gorgeous albums that you can hold and share with your nearest and dearest. There is something very special about having your photos to hand (literally) or in frames around your house as constant happy reminders. You can find out more details about the photographic albums I offer here.
Is retouching included in the price?
This is key to know, particularly if you feel there is something you want to be amended in your wedding photos once you see them. I include colour correcting, editing in my signature style and simple retouching as standard practice. If there is something more complicated I am happy to see what I can do, however anything outside of the standard would be an extra fee.
So there we are, the questions you need to ask your London wedding photographer! I hope you found this list helpful useful. You may also find these blogs helpful
If you’d like to check my availability to photograph your wedding, please get in touch and let’s talk through some options.
Thanks for stopping by,