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What questions should I ask a wedding photographer and videographer?

Updated: Apr 5

We have seen such an influx lately of photographers and videographers not showing up to weddings, or losing the couples photos/videos due to negligence and/or lack of proper equipment. We wanted to share some insight that will hopefully help prevent situations like this from happening in the future!


When you hire a photographer and/or videographer for your wedding, you shouldn't be hiring them solely based off of how their photos and films look. Yes, that's a very important factor you should take into consideration, but there is so much more you need to consider! Hiring a dependable and trustworthy team who runs a legal and profitable business is so important and often something that gets overlooked in this industry. Sadly, it's the couples who end up suffering as a result.

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A few things to consider asking,


1. Are they a legally operating business (paying taxes, licensed, and insured)?


All wedding photographers and videographers should carry liability insurance. Many venues will require it. Don't be afraid to ask for proof of liability insurance. Depending on the city/state, there may be various licensing needed to run a photo/video business. All videographers operating drones must have a Part 107 drone license. Again, don't be afraid to ask about this. If they are not, then most likely they are cutting corners and that's never a good thing.

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2. How do they back up your photos/videos after your wedding? Do they use a dual card slot camera? Do they have back up equipment?


Anytime you see a photographer/videographer losing photos and videos, it is almost always a result of these kinds of situations. It is vital that your photographer/videographer backs up your photos and footage on multiple devices. We personally back up all of our photos/videos onto 3 separate external hard drives and on cloud storage.


We also shoot with dual card slot cameras that use both an SD card and a CF Express card. That means that your photos/videos are being recorded onto 2 different memory cards at all times. Sadly, memory cards do fail sometimes, so it's very important to have that back up. In addition, we also carry back up cameras with us at all times, because you just never know when an accident could happen. There are no redos with weddings, so it's vitally important that you photographer and videographer come prepared for any situation.

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3. Do they have reviews on Facebook and Google?


Those are important places to check because those reviews cannot normally be removed. They can however disable their Google/Facebook reviews, so if you see a business that doesn't allow reviews on Google/Facebook, you have to question why that is.

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4. Can they provide full galleries to see how they do with low light situations?


It's much easier to shoot beautiful photos during the outdoor portraits sessions. It's much more challenging to nail shots in low light situations. An experienced photographer/videographer with high quality gear will have no issues shooting in low light. If they are unable to provide a full gallery with a variety of lighting situations, be very cautious moving forward with them.

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5. What back up plans do they have in case they cannot make it to your wedding?


Your photographer/videographer should have a solid network of associates who are able to step in, God forbid, if for some reason they cannot make your wedding.

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6. Do they have a solid contract and require a retainer?


If not, that is a huge red flag. A contract is there to protect you and your photographer/videographer and retainer deposit gives both parties the reassurance that your date is held and will not be filled by anyone else.

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7. Are they a nationwide "big box" company that books tons of weddings, normally at a very discounted rate, and then subcontracts them out? If so, you do have to understand there are multiple risks involved with these kinds of companies. They often seek out newer shooters to cover the weddings and sadly in a lot of cases, those shooters do fall through last minute. In the last 2 years, we have seen 3 major photo/video companies go under (Tolman Media, Glasser, and Petite Four). In each of these situations, the couples who had previously paid deposits/full balances lost that money when the companies filed for bankruptcy out of nowhere. The couples who they had already shot their weddings and now left scrambling to find a way to retrieve their photos/videos.

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8. And lastly, what does their pricing look like? (This is a big one)

Do some research and find out what the average cost for photo/video is in your area. If someone is charging much lower than average, you have to question why and how they are able to do it. If they are not making a livable wage, then the odds of their business lasting long term are not good.


The reality is that the dependable and quality photographers and videographers will charge more, but in the end it’s going to be so worth knowing your memories are in good hands.


We hope this post can help couples in their search for a reliable and amazing photo/video team!



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