wedding venue maine


Kim Chapman Photography

According to The Knot, the average American couple spent $2,440 on their wedding photographer in 2013, making up 8% of the average wedding budget. To ensure that your wedding is well documented, and that your money is well spent, you will need to do a little research. Here are some important questions to ask when interviewing your potential wedding photographer:

1. Are you available on our wedding day? No matter the reason, if they say they are unavailable, move on. There is no point continuing the interview if they cannot make the date.

2. How long have you been in business? Specifically ask how many weddings he or she has shot. An experienced wedding photographer will have over 100 weddings under his or her belt. While this is not always a perfect indicator of their skill in wedding photography, if the photographer has little experience with weddings, be sure you research their photos well and ask more questions.

3. May I see examples of your recent work?  Ask to see all the photos from one or two weddings the photographer has recently shot. By doing so, you can see what the photographer’s style is and better judge the quality of his or her work.  This is very important rather than just viewing their “top picks” from all of the weddings they have shot. It is important to see entire wedding albums to get a good idea of what you are paying for.

Photo: Aexsandra Wiciel

4. May I have a list of references?

It’s a good idea to ask two or three former brides about their experience with your potential photographer. If they say they would recommend the photographer to a best friend, the photographer is likely a good choice. This is also a great way to learn how the photographer interacted with the event.  It’s important to know if your photographer will run the show, or wait for you to direct them.  With all of the distractions of your big day, be sure you do not have to manage your wedding photographer as well.

5. What is included in your packages?

Wedding photographers provide the couple 500-1000 images per wedding. Some wedding photographers charge a creative fee for the hours that they are shooting, while others have packages that can include albums, prints, or the digital files. Depending on your budget, you should inquire about what packages he or she offers. If these packages do not include some of the items that you want, inquire what the cost would be to add them. Also, if your photographer is shooting digitally at your wedding, be sure to ask how you will receive the files.

6. Can I see an example contract?  

Like any agreement, this contract should serve and protect both parties. Make sure you get a copy. The contract should go over the following in detail: liability insurance, the cost of services, an emergency back-up plan, overtime, and the photographer’s refund and cancellation policies among other things. If they do not show you a contract, it’s time to look for another photographer.

7. What happens if you are late or are unable to make it to our wedding? 

Before booking a photographer, ask them what their back-up plan is if there is an emergency. Although this information is usually outlined in the contract, it is important to make sure there is a concrete back-up plan in place. If there is a back-up photographer, ask to be introduced to them as well.

8. After the wedding, when can we expect to see the photos? 

Ask about the photographer’s turnaround time. Be sure to know when you will get to see the proofs, a typical turnaround time is 2-4 weeks.

9. What do you need from us before our wedding day? 

You will be a ball of nerves and excitement on your wedding day make sure the wedding photographer has all the information he or she needs in advance. This will likely include the contact of information of someone he or she can contact the day of the wedding, a schedule, the addresses of the ceremony and receptions locations, and a list of any specific shots you would like.

Once you have asked all of these questions, you will have a good idea of which wedding photographer is right for you. In the end, it comes down to which photographer meets or exceeds your expectations without blowing your budget.