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As a bride, I was one of the first of my immediate friend group (meaning, the people that I super regularly saw and talked to) that got married.  While I had been dreaming about wedding planning for a while, I hadn’t necessarily done a lot of “research”, so when it became time to really plan, I was so thankful for resources like wedding magazines and websites, and places like the Knot to give advice on what to do and how to spend money and when to do it!

That being said, I always felt a little like the information I was reading wasn’t fully applicable to me, partly because everyone is different (duh ;-)), but also partly because we were planning a sort of unconventional wedding. We were planning in just 5 months because we really wanted a fall wedding and didn’t want to wait over a year, we were planning a pretty small wedding by today’s standards (60 of our closest friends and family), and we were planning a wedding that wasn’t right near where we lived and wasn’t anywhere close to where I grew up. So there were a lot of factors.  So while all that info I found was helpful, I often wished for more concrete advice- which is why I have been pouring a ton of time and resources into my newsletter for Brides!! Click here if you are planning a wedding or know someone who is and want to send weekly content their way to help them plan!

One of the areas that I think can be really tricky for a bride is knowing what exactly to ask the professionals you are planning to hire to execute your day.  So I wanted to share a list of some great questions to ask your photographer if you meet up with them or in emails before deciding to hire them. I found a lot of lists like this at the Knot…but the truth is, those lists aren’t made by photographers and often have a lot of questions that just don’t make any sense. I think the thing you need to focus on the MOST is looking through a lot of their work and knowing that you love it and can see yourself in those images– the posing, the editing style, and the interactions.  Then I think you need to make sure the person you are considering has a personality you love- because the bride spends more time with their photographer than anyone else on her wedding day- which is crazy! 🙂 After you have found a small handful of people who match that criteria (unless you are like me who knew there was only ONE photographer for her!), then these are the questions that I think are really useful to ask before you book your photographer:

1). What exactly is included in the coverage.  You want to know exactly how much time you will have them for and what is included.  Digital files? Prints?  If files, are you given the print release to print and share as you would like? Make sure you know exactly what the fine print is, and make sure it’s what you want!

2). What is the delivery method of your images? If you are getting digital files, how are they given to you?

3). What happens if the schedule gets off and you go over your allowed time? This is a tricky one- because personally, I am not staring at my watch waiting for the moment we are done contractually to leave. I cover what needs to be covered (which is always about 20-30 minutes into open dance floor for us), and always give our couples a 15 minute warning in case there is anything we missed. That being said, if a schedule gets an hour or more behind, obviously there is a point at which a considerate photographer would still have to say something and have a plan to add extra coverage. You want to know what that looks like if it happens on your day.  Will they just pack up and leave? Are you charged for another hour even if it’s just 15 minutes?

4). How long will the photographer back up your files after delivery? I truly believe that right after you get your gallery (assuming it’s digital), you should find a way to back up off site, whether that is a flash drive in a safe deposit box or another type of cloud storage. But ideally, your photographer would too just in case- at least for a year (and in case a file wasn’t sent large enough/etc so you can get something different from them if you need).

So while writing, this post clearly got extremely long– so I decided to make a PDF version for you to download, which will be so much easier to reference in the future! So to get this awesome e-book with all 10 questions that you can reference on your phone when you chat with your photographer, just click HERE!

For many more posts with wedding planning tips, click here!

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  1. Great questions every bride should ask her photographers when searching for the right one!

  2. Joanna Moss says:

    Great questions especially the backup question!

  3. These are absolutely must-ask questions for your wedding photographer!!

  4. Candi says:

    These are great questions for sure!!

  5. Love these questions! Such a helpful post for brides.

  6. Liz says:

    Fabulous important questions to ask.

  7. Misty says:

    Yes!! These questions are great ones for every bride to ask!!

    • Jill says:

      I hope it is helpful for the brides out there searching for the right photographer for them! I know it can be so overwhelming!

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I'm Jill, a wedding and portrait photographer based out of Chicago and Central Illinois, and available world wide! I'm also a photography educator, wife to my favorite person on the planet, mama to 3 amazing kids and an energetic Aussie, and obsessed with statement jewelry and all desserts (especially fruit pies!). 

As a past high school teacher, I have a major heart for education. After going full time in my business, I have built a business I love that gives me an almost 6 figure salary and allows me to be home part time with my kids.  I dream for you to run a business that enhances your life and lights you up, and I believe I can help you learn how to do it with a little hustle and a lot of heart!

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