Wedding Planning Tips and Inspiration

8 Questions To Ask Before You Book A Wedding Photographer

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the photos captured on your wedding day are no exception! I am a wedding photographer in Virginia and D.C. and have shot countless weddings over the past few years. I want to help you capture your love and all the special moments from your wedding day, which is why I’m sharing this list of questions to ask a potential wedding photographer before booking them.

So what are the important wedding photographer questions to ask? Find out my top 8 questions below.

Before we get started, you may not have time to ask ALL these questions to your photographer. So review the list, and ask about what matters to you.

1. Are you available?

Specify availability on the date of your wedding. Before you ask any other questions, make sure they aren’t already booked!

2. Do you offer timeline assistance and/or a second shooter?

    Your photographer should be able to help you create a timeline for your wedding day to make the most of the light for beautiful photos and ensure you day runs smoothly. I offer timeline assistance to all of my wedding couples! You can also ask if your photographer offers a second shooter. I always recommend a second shooter for larger weddings. Larger weddings tend to have more guests (80+) and a more elaborate timeline. A second shooter is beneficial in these situations to make sure everything is photographed. While one photographer is photographing the bride getting ready, the other can be photographing the groom. Or, while one photographer is capturing bride and groom portraits, the other can be photographing the reception space before guests sit down at the tables. I offer a ssecond shooter as an add on option. Second shooters make the day flow much smoother! They act as an assistant to myself and the bride and ensure all of the details you worked so hard to bring together are photographed!

3. What style(s) do you specialize in?

This might be the most important question to ask wedding photographers before hiring them. Of course, you can also get a glimpse of their style by scrolling through their website or Instagram feed. But when your style aligns with your wedding photographer, you’ll get the best results. If you love candid moments, you wouldn’t want to hire someone who focuses on perfectly posed portraits, ya know?

For me, I love to capture bright, airy, joyful, and authentic moments for my couples. So I’m most focused on capturing candid moments and memories that are happening on the wedding day that you can treasure forever. I specialize in guiding my couples through flattering poses, but also love the in between, candid moments that naturally occur between two people who are madly in love!

4. How many weddings have you shot, and how many do you photograph in the same day or weekend?

This one is important! You only have one chance to get amazing wedding photos, so you’ll want to hire someone who’s done this and has the experience to capture those moments. Be sure to check their website or Instagram page to see samples of their work too!

I’ve been shooting weddings in Northern Virginia and D.C. for years and usually take on anywhere from 20-25 weddings per year. I only photograph one wedding in any given day and typically try to photograph one wedding per weekend, although occasionally I will photograph two in a weekend. Having that experience, I know how to capture details in your wedding, where to stand to get the perfect first look pictures, and how to capture your love for you to look back on for years to come!

5. Have you ever shot weddings at my venue or similar venues before?

Why you want to know: It’s great to work with a photographer who has already shot at your wedding venue since they would be aware of any specific issues, lighting concerns, or great spots for pictures that are specific to the space.

If they haven’t ever worked in your venue, dont give up hope! Part of a photographer’s job is to work with different locations and lighting situations! If I have never photographed at a venue before, I will arrive early to scout locations for photos.

You can also ask if they have worked in similar venues and know how to capture the details that made you fall in love with the venue. For example, barn venues tend to be darker inside, especially at night. Your photographer may need a flash (or two!).

6. What are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of our wedding experience?

Your wedding photographer is a pro who’s been doing this for a while, and you’re hiring them for their expertise! So ask them for their advice on tips, tricks, hacks, and anything other wisdom they have to share.

After shooting weddings in Northern Virginia for three years, I’ve seen it ALL! And I love to share that information with my brides! After booking, all of my wedding couples receive a tangible wedding magazine to help ease the stress of planning the most important day of their lives. It is jam-packed with information on putting together a wedding timeline, tips on getting ready for the Big Day, and so much more! Sit down with your fiancé, flip through the pages and sip a glass of wine!

7. Do you offer meetings, and can we call you if we have questions?

You want to be able to reach out to your photographer with questions!

Before I start working with my brides, I love to hop on a FaceTime call to get to know each other and hear all about your Big Day plans! After that call, I am still with you every step of the way to make your wedding day the best day ever!

8. What specific shot list is it helpful for us to provide, if any?

If there are photos you want to take at your wedding, you should let your photographer know! For example, are you planning on a first look? Do you want a photo with just your grandmother? Or all of your college girlfriends? Whatever it is that feels important to you, communicate it to your wedding photographer ahead of time so they can check every shot off your list!

All Carly Rose Photography couples receive a wedding questionnaire to fill out that will help me photograph your wedding in the best way I possibly can! It has a spot to fill in these important photo requests!

Lastly, this isn’t really a specific question to ask, but make sure you get along with your photographer and like their personality!

Most couples don’t realize, but you’re likely to spend more time with your photographer on your wedding day than you will with your family, and sometimes even your spouse!

Whoever you hire, your photographer is with you from when you start getting ready all the way to the dancing at the end of the night!

So if you don’t get along with them, it might make you enjoy your wedding day a bit less, which is something that no one wants. So make sure you’re setting up a phone call at least to chat with them. It also helps to follow them on Instagram for a while before deciding to hire them.

I personally post a lot on my Instagram and share behind the scenes so couples can get a good feel of who I am and my personality before they decide to hire me!

So are we a match made in wedding photography heaven? When you book with Carly Rose Photography, it is all about creating joyful and timeless art that forever reminds you of the love you have for one another. For an exceptional photography experience that is detail-oriented and fully customizable, contact me today!

I'm a fine art wedding photographer
serving couples in Virginia, Washington D.C. and beyond.

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I am so excited to hear from you! Once you have inquired, you can expect a response from me within 24 hours. I will send you a brochure packed with information on what a wedding experience with me looks like. I love to hop on a consultation call so that we can chat about your wedding day plans. If you decide that I am the PERFECT photographer for your Big Day, I will email you all of the information needed to book and reserve your wedding date. 

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