10 Questions You REALLY Need to Ask Your Wedding Photographer

Roy Ulrich General Blogness, Weddings

He liked it, so he put a ring on it. That’s awesome. Next step, set a date, find a venue, book your photographer and DJ, grab a drink and start hashing out the details. When all is said and done you might need 10 drinks.

You may find websites such as this one that will give you a basic starting point of questions to ask a potential photographer. But wait, back that train up. Do you REALLY care if your photographer shoots Canon or Nikon? Usually, the answer is no. But let’s hope they shoot with Nikon. (high five!)

Here’s a few questions that you REALLY need to be asking your potential photographer. Sure, your friends are all raving about this person and you’ve hopefully seen their photos and believe in them but let’s get real. Not all photographers are created the same – not even if they charge the same.

Black Hills Wedding Photographer

Do you have an assistant?  Multiple photographers is really great. In fact, it’s awesome. More angles, less time. But every photographer needs an assistant.  We can argue this all day but weddings are uncontrollable events. An assistant is a great insurance policy (a shit happens policy). What if you need someone to go grab a battery, block sunlight, fix hair, or coo at a baby?

Backup gear? You’ll more than likely find this question on every website claiming to know what questions you need to ask your photographer. It’s true – this is important. Better yet, do you have a backup for your backup? Shit happens, especially to electronics on wedding days.

How well do you take control? Seriously, I’ve ran into a lot of Uncle Bob photographers and momzillas that need taming on wedding days. Your photographer needs to have a little backbone. A shy, timid, afraid to step on a few toes photographer will miss things, will be afraid to direct large crowds and will take more of your time by not politely saying something to everyone getting in the way of progress.

What if the weather on my wedding day is pure shit? Rain, snow, wind – we’ve shot through it all. There’s ways to adapt and overcome to any weather situation. Weather will stop a lot of photographers right in their tracks and there goes all of the money you’ve spent on them. Don’t be afraid to ask them how they handle shit weather. Say it just like that, too.

How many photos do you edit? This is a big one. If the answer isn’t “EVERY SINGLE ONE” then move on. Most photographers claim that we take amazing photos right in camera and rarely do we need to edit them. False. Color correction (was that dress blue or gold?), straightening, cropping, brightening and adding our special ZING are just some of the things that every photo needs to have done to it. A lot of photographers deliver 1200 images to you from your wedding day and guess what…. some only edit 75 or so photos. Sad. Sad. Sad. Why are you hiring a professional and paying them only to edit the photos that they deem worthy.

How long will it take for me to see all of my wedding photos? I get contacted often from people who were married 6 months ago and have had no contact with their photographer and want to know what a reasonable time is before they really start questioning where their photos are. While *our* typical turn around time is 30-40 days for a completed wedding, anything over 60 days I would start wondering what happened to your photographer.

Ask to see their detail shots from past weddings. OK, so this might not be a deal breaker when hiring a photographer, but seriously. A lot of photographers will share a photo of a bride’s bouquet, but you spent money on your details and decorations. How well do they photograph the little things? A macro lens  – and feel free to ask your photographer if they have one – will capture the tiny details. Epic ring shots come from macro lenses and if that’s important to you then make sure you let your photographer know.

Ask how much of the day will be posed versus candid photography. I’ve heard of photographers posing a bride and groom for 3 hours. If this is what you want, go for it. Just make sure you have a clue and your photographer knows how much you’d like to be posed versus candid.

Natural light vs. Flash Photography. The majority of photographers take great natural lit photos when the sun is at a perfect angle and everything aligns just perfect. But, how well does your photographer do when the sun doesn’t come out? What about your reception when the DJ’s lights are going? When the weather is shit and you’re forced for more indoor photos, how well does your photographer handle indoor portraits?

Is there a contract? Another question you’ll hopefully see on a standard question list but this is important. A contract not only makes sure the photographer is going to get paid but it also protects you, the consumer. Make sure the contract states exactly what will happen if the photographer is suddenly unavailable on your day.


Rapid City Wedding Photographer

2015 Wedding Favorites

Roy Ulrich Recent Work, Weddings

I don’t believe I’ve ever done a blog post of some of our favorite photos of the year. It would be extremely time consuming and difficult to look back through every thing we photographed in 2015 so how about a few of our favorite wedding photos from 2015. These are in no particular order and trust me, I do wish I could pick more but my internet connection already hates us for this post. Enjoy!