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Top 10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer Before You Book

wedding couple on a tree celebrating with the stunning woodland backdrop


When it comes to picking a wedding photographer or Videographer it shouldn’t be to tricky with some basic homework, there are so many really talented people out there that essentially all it should come down to is;

Do you like the look of the images?

Do they have your date available? 

Do they have a package within your budget? 

Do you think you like the sound of them enough to have them at your wedding day?


However, there are some photographers that are either radically under experienced, insanely overworked, or just out and out scammers. Below are a top 10 questions to ask before booking anyone. If the photographer can’t, or worse won’t answer any of the following, it may be a bit of a red flag.

So, In no particular order here are our top 10 questions to avoid disappointment.  


1. How many weddings do you photograph a year? 

Now there’s not a right or wrong answer to this perse, so this is just our opinion. If a photographer is only doing three or 4 weddings a year, there’s a good chance this is a side hobby, they are just starting out, or they focus on other types of photography. Why are any of those things bad? The answer to all of those Is lack of experience. Anything without practice is hard or impossible to master, wedding photography has so much nuance you really have to be doing it full time to get create the best imagery. 

So, lots is the answer? Well, Yes and no, if a Wedding photographer is shooting two weddings a weekend all season, they will be as oiled as possible, they will almost certainly be burned out unless they are a superhuman. Photographing weddings is so much fun, but its mentally and physically exhausting. 

We never book more than 4 weddings in a month, and like I said, that’s not right or wrong, but for us we balance out finical reward, with customer satisfaction very carefully. If we shoot more than that we find that we aren’t necessarily going to be fully engaged on the day that matters to YOU. 4 weddings a month also allows us to stay easily on top of editing images and presenting the albums to our brides and grooms, we have heard countless horror stories of couples not receiving images for a year plus, We always present full albums within 4 weeks of your wedding.




2. Can we see a full album?

If the answer to this in no, it could be that the photographer doesn’t have permission from couples, however again this is a big red flag. I’ve never once had a couple deny permission to share albums with potential future couples, how else do couples get a feel for what they will receive. Its super easy to cherry pick 15\20 images from your portfolio for a website. If a photographer isn’t prepared to share full gallery, chances are it’s because they are not confident you will like what you see.  Reception and evening shots are some that we would always advise you check out, they are by far the most difficult shots, simply because often the spaces are poorly lit. If your photographer doesn’t know how to use lighting, the images from that whole part of your day will probably be poor quality and disappointing.




3. Will it be you photographing my wedding?


You would be surprised how many operations there are set up where the company is essentially a booking service who then send work out to “trusted” photographers. This isn’t necessarily a terrible thing, chances are you will probably get a very competitive rate for your wedding day, and if this is the top priority then by all means ignore this red flag. From our perspective, if you can’t physically talk to the photographer, and see a portfolio of work you open yourself up to horrible disappointment when your images arrive.



4. What’s your style?


Capturing the moments is the number one priority on the day of your wedding, however this can be done in so many ways and ever photographer has their own style. For us at we love documentary, or some people call it journalistic style, essentially, we are trying to capture your moments in an unobtrusive, honest way which shows the true story or the day. We are not saying this is THE way to photographer weddings, we understand everyone is different and ensuring that the photographers work is in line with what you've been envisioning, therefore, is key. 



5.    How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?


Not all packages will be clearly defined in terms of what you get. Make sure it’s clear either in the description and or contract exactly what you do and don’t get with your chosen package. 


6.     Prints and Albums 


This is a slightly contentious question for us personally. Historically we have offered prints and albums however in the last few years we realised we are now doing our clients a slight disservice by including this in our packages. Our goal is to offer the best possible service we can. We are wedding photographers; we have shot weddings in and around West Sussex for almost 10 years and we know what we are doing. We are not printers. We simply can’t compete with the quality and price point of online or local print companies, so if we offered this, we would simply be reselling a product you can acquire yourself and placing a markup on it. We do understand that for some couples they simply don’t have the time or patience to create an album themselves, and in that situation we would happily do it for a client with them knowing exactly what we are offering and why. From our perspective if someone if offering a Wedding album within a package it may be to offer you convenience, but its not to offer you value.



7.    How long after my wedding day will we receive the images? 


We are all for delayed gratification, but this is an important question to get down in writing, we have heard some bad horror stories from brides and grooms’ friends that they didn’t receive anything at all for 4-5 months and that was a few samples, then the full album arrived almost a year later. Why would images take so long to deliver, it could be an honest issue, illness, family bereavement etc. but most cases are simply going to come down to being over booked. As discussed earlier on in question 1, many photographers will book themselves back-to-back all weekend for months in a row with no break, and unless you are sending your editing out of house then it’s difficult to keep on top of this, and why we only shoot 4 weddings a month.


8.    Will the images be accessible online? For how long?


Again, you hear all sorts of horror stories regarding couples losing their images and having no backup. To be clear on this it’s rare for photographers of any kind to back up images for more than a year. Data storage is one of the most expensive parts of running a business, and for wedding photographers, each wedding might contain roughly 100-200 gb of raw data, that’s your new iPhone totally full every wedding. We store all images online in your own private gallery for 2 years. We also give you a prompt to make sure you are fully backed up at the end of those two years just encase.


9.    Do you carry backup equipment?


Everything we use now as wedding photographers is electrical, and therefor liable to go wrong. If properly serviced, this should be unlikely, but it’s not impossible, and we like to know that if the worst should happen, we will always have a second camera on our shoulder regardless, and a spare body and lenes in the bag ready to go. We would find it very stressful shooting a wedding day with no backup at all, so although we don’t consider the equipment your photographer uses the be all and end all, it certainly should be part of the conversation.


10. What is the backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason? 

We are human, we have two kids under 6 years old They get sick, we get sick, however there has not ever been an event in our history we have not made. Generally speaking here at Matt Ryle Photography it tends to be Matt who is the main photographer and Bella who is the second shooter, many of our weddings our shot with just a single photographer, and Bella is equally as experienced and qualified to shoot a wedding as lead photographer, so that is a first back up, and we have a list of very experienced industry co-workers that are always happy to help out should an emergency occur. If, however a photographer is new to the industry they won’t necessarily have these contacts built, and worst case you may be left totally in the lurch on the day.

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