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Planning a wedding can be overwhelming. You might meet a handful of photographers and just don’t know where to start in making a decision. Here are a few ideas of things to discuss with each one to learn more about their business and the experience you will receive with them. 

How long have you been photographing weddings?

There isn’t a correct answer to this question, so what you take from it is personal to you. Some photographers will have 5 years experience compared to others with 25! They are both likely to be competent at their job and do a great service for you. As with all things, experience is definitely beneficial but also comes with a higher price tag. It is good to factor this into your decision when choosing a photographer but also consider their portfolio, photography style and if you like them as a person.

Have you photographed our venue before?

The answer to this isn’t a deal breaker. If they have worked at your chosen venue, great! They will already have an idea of ideal spots for your photos and may even be familiar with the staff there. If not, it’s no worry. Experienced, professional photographers can adapt to new venues and will likely do a lot of research beforehand to get up to speed on the location. It’s still a good idea to ask this question though and find out what they will do to familiarise themselves with it before your wedding. If they have photographed there before, you might be able to see examples of their work in that specific place.

What are the costs for extra retouching?

Every wedding photographer includes the cost of editing your images after the wedding in your main package price. This often includes, colour correction, cropping, exposure and contrast adjustments. However, some couples like to request further retouching on a small selection of images – usually the formal portraits that they might get printed. This can include blemish removal, removal of items in the background of the photo that was unavoidable and stylistic edits such as black and white or ‘instagram edits’. Each photographer will have their own price for these services so it’s best to be aware of them upfront if you think you might require them. 

How long after our wedding will we be able to see our photographs?

After your wedding you will be anxious to see your photosgraphs to relive the fabulous day and experience others for the first time. It can take from 2 weeks to 4 months to see your pictures depending on which photographer you choose. It’s best to be aware beforehand. Some photographers will create an online gallery for you to see them at your leisure while others will arrange a viewing session to go through them with you.

What is your back up plan if you are unable to photograph our wedding unexpectedly?

You need a plan B for every part of your wedding and the photographer is no exception. Don’t let it be a surprise and make sure the photographer has a back-up plan themselves. 

What are your hobbies?

Ok, so maybe not something quite this lame but just get to know them as a person. What are their likes and dislikes, are they married, have children…. Aside from your partner, your photographer might be the person you spend most time with on your wedding day. It is important that you like them and get on with them on a personal level, not just a professional level.

Eleth is the director of Mae Photography in Essex and Suffolk. She has photographed hundreds of weddings of all styles and sizes. Working closely with her wedding couples prior to their wedding is a key part of the service she offers to ensure natural, beautiful photographs of their day. “I am in the industry of love, what’s not to love!?’