15 Questions to ask your photographer

Apart from the bride and groom, your photographer is possibly one of the most important people on your wedding day. So, once you’ve narrowed down to your two or three preferred photographers, it’s a good idea to meet with them and see how comfortable you feel with them. You’ll be spending your entire wedding day with this person and if you’re at ease, you’ll not only enjoy yourself more, but they’ll also get better photos. To help you get an idea of whether they can deliver what you want from your photos, I’d recommend asking these questions.


  1. What is your primary style?

Knowing your photographer’s style is crucial, so this should be your first question when meeting your potential photographer to ensure it matches your interests. Joanna Cleeve Photography offers a natural, romantic and relaxed style of photography with fun, creative, artistic and posed shots. For more about our wedding photography style and philosophy, click here About Us page.


  1. How many weddings have you shot, and have you shot ones similar to mine?

Finding out how many weddings your photographer has shot like yours is great to get an idea of how much experience they have in general.  The number of weddings is a lot better than the amount of years as some wedding photographers may work part time, and only shoot five weddings a year on weekends. Therefore, even though they have five years of experience, they might have only shot 25 weddings.

I have been photographing weddings since 2013; I went full time with my wedding photography business in 2015 and have now photographed 128 weddings to date (24/02/2018). I have been in the wedding industry for 6 years but full time doing weddings for 4 years.

In 2015 I photographed 17 weddings, in 2016 I photographed 47 weddings and in 2017 I photographed 51 weddings. I currently have 34 booked for 2018 but I am limiting the amount I book to 35 (40 maximum) so I can give all my clients the attention they deserve for their special days.


  1. How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?

Like the last two questions, this is important to find out how much experience your photographer has specialised in wedding photography or if they are “one-stop-shop-photographers.”  It’s better to choose a photographer that specialises not only in wedding photography but the style of wedding photography.


  1. How many other events will you photograph that weekend?

This is good to find out how much attention you’ll get from your photographer. I will only book up to 2 weddings a weekend back-to-back to give my clients my full attention and be able to focus on all the little details of your special day.


  1. Will a contract of the services be provided? If so, can I get a copy?

Getting a contract is vital for both yours and the photographer’s protection. There are a lot of photographers that don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. You should demand a contract from your photographer that details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc.

All my clients receive an online contract for them to read and sign before booking. My T&Cs can also be found here on my website for reference which are the same as my wedding contract T&Cs.


  1. What happens if you are ill?

Although it’s unlikely your photographer should be taken unwell, it’s sensible to know what the back up plan would be. Joanna Cleeve Photography has contacts in the wedding industry and is part of a large network of photographers so if I was to be taken ill I could call on someone to shoot your special day.


  1. Do you have insurance?

All professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case a relative or friend has an accident like tripping over the photographer’s bag and gets injured. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.

Joanna Cleeve Photography carries general business, public liability and indemnity and equipment insurance.


  1. Does the collection I am interested in include an assistant?

The assistant is not a second photographer and does not have a camera. All my collections can have an assistant added to help on the wedding day for £100. An assistant helps with the running of the photographs on the day and helps me the photographer throughout the day for things to run smoothly. If you choose not to pay extra for an assistant I ask for a groomsmen to help with getting guests for group shots and during couple shots too if needed.


  1. Does the collection I am interested in include a second photographer?

If your wedding has 50 or more guests, you should make sure you choose one my collections with 2 photographers of £1,195, £1,495 or £1,995. Aside from the wedding site, there are many moments in which one single photographer cannot cover completely alone. There is no way to capture the first kiss, and at the same time, turn around and get the tear in mother’s eye. Also capturing the moment you walk down the aisle when at the same time capture your partners face when they see you for first time.


  1. Do you allow me to choose a certain style of postproduction?

The postproduction on images has a big impact on what the final product will look like. It’s therefore really important to ask what style of postproduction that the photographer uses.  I will hand edit each photograph in my style as seen in my portfolio and on my recent blogs.


  1. Will you colour correct my images?

Colour correction is the basic postproduction and should be used on every single image. Many photographers will not colour correct any, or will only colour correct “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have a lot of pictures where your skin tones are orange, yellow, red or even blue!

Joanna Cleeve Photography colour corrects every single image from your wedding to make sure each and every image is a professional quality product.


  1. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?

Joanna Cleeve uses top quality camera bodies (Nikon D750 & Nikon D4S) along with the finest quality lenses from Nikon. I my equipment listed in my FAO section here. While wedding photographers don’t necessarily need the best of the best, it is important to have a good set of equipment. Make sure your photographer has at least the following items along with backups. Nothing would be worse than for the photographer to miss half of your weddings because his camera or lens broke, and he/she didn’t have a spare.


  1. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Is there an extra charge?

All my collections include up to 8 hours coverage on the wedding day. I offer the option for an additional 1 hours coverage at £150 so you can have up to 9 hours coverage on your wedding day. I don’t offer more than 9 hours coverage on a wedding day.


  1. What attire will the photographer and their assistants/second photographer wear?

As mentioned, the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, however it’s important that they are not distractions. This means your photographer should blend in as much as possible. It’s also good to consider their clothing if you are having a religious or cultural ceremonies where there may be certain colours that are considered taboo. Typical Joanna Cleeve photography attire is back or navy dress with leggings or shorts depending on weather with smart shoes and a cardigan or blazer. We dress completely in black or navy blue because we want to go unnoticed by the clients and guests so that I can capture the event as natural and relaxed as possible.


  1. How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc be ready?

Every wedding photographer varies in the time to produce and deliver your pictures. Some photographers that do not do any post production or colour correction may try to tempt you by saying your photos will be ready within the week, or even the next day. However, most photographers that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.

Joanna Cleeve Photography has developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. This schedule can be seen below:

  • 3-6 Weeks for Engagement, Family, Pregnancy, Newborn Photography Sessions.
  • 8-12 Weeks for Weddings and Receptions.


Blog written by Alana Hebenton Twitter is @alanahebenton

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