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The care you’ve put into planning your wedding so far means that it’s going to be gorgeous. So gorgeous you’ll want to remember it through pictures that truly capture the day. Wedding photos are about so much more than the scenery and venue, though. The best wedding photographers capture the sentiment of the day. They highlight the love flowing between you, your partner, and your guests during a busy day of celebrations. Hiring a wedding photographer you trust is important. The key to finding “the one”? Asking your wedding photographer the right questions before you book them.

Remember that hiring vendors is a two-way street. Yes, some photographers are extremely in demand and you’ll want to lock them in right away, but interviewing them before committing is an extremely helpful step in the process. Your wedding photographer will not only be taking photos of you, they’ll be hanging around you for most of the day. They may even be present at your very intimate first look with your partner. (You know, if that’s your thing.) Choosing someone with talent and a personality you can stand being around is important! Here are 15 questions to ask your wedding photographer before you hire them, from the basics and beyond.

1. Are you available on my wedding date?

A given, but an important one.

2. How many weddings will you be shooting that weekend?

Ideally, your wedding photographer doesn’t get stuck at some wedding in Aruba the Friday night before your wedding day.

3. Will you be the one shooting my wedding?

It’s good to find out if the owner of the studio will be the one actually shooting your wedding.

4. Have you shot many weddings like ours before?

Confirm that your photographer has shot weddings of your size and style before.

5. Have you ever shot at our ceremony and reception venues?

If they have, lucky you! If not, ask if they would be willing to do a walk-through in advance of the wedding.

6. What is your cancellation policy?

This should all be in a contract, but asking your photographer what their refund and cancellation policy is like in advance is a great idea.

7. What different types of packages do you offer?

Find out exactly how long your photographer plans to be there, before and during the wedding. See if they are flexible when it comes to adjusting packages.

8. Do you shoot digitally or with film?

It’s always good to be certain you’re getting the type of photos you really want.

9. Have you worked with any of our other vendors before?

It’s nice when a photographer and videographer have worked together in the past, but it’s not necessary.

10. Can you share a full gallery of a recent wedding you shot?

The photographs on a photographer’s website often capture moments of a wedding, not the entire event. Seeing a full album of photos from one wedding will give you a better idea of their style.

11. Do you charge a travel fee?

If you’re getting married outside of a photographer’s radius, you’ll likely incur a fee for travel, and even possibly lodging.

12. Do you offer retouching?

In an age where apps like FaceTune dominate your average Instagram photo, this is an important question to ask.

13. Can I order prints from you?

Remember that eventually, you’ll want hard copies of everything.

14. How soon after the wedding will I receive the photos?

Because you will be oh so eager to see them after the big day!

15. Do you carry backup equipment?

In the event of a camera malfunction or sudden downpour onto a light, be certain that your photographer has a backup plan.

Written by: Kimmy Foskett