Seven questions to ask you Wedding Photographer

7 questions



John Paul ODonnell Photography


1. Are you a Professional or an Amateur photographer ?

This is a very important question. I’m not saying that an amateur can’t take great photos – of course they can, but I would rather have someone there who is fully in their trade and fully insured and wanting to improve their skills. There are complexities within wedding photography e.g. knowing how to be an out of sight storyteller, how to get the shot without distracting the subject and someone who isn’t doing this as a  full time occupation might not appreciate.

Knowing how to put a camera-shy couple at ease, how to suggest and communicate poses which look great, being patient enough to wait for those delicate glances or moments and capturing them at that perfect time…This is why its important because it will give you an insight to what kind of person your photographer is,  remember they are playing part in one of the most special days of your lives. It’s so valuable that you have a connection with or get a good positive energy from your photographer.

2. If you are ill on the day what happens ?

All photographers truly appreciate the magnitude of a wedding day, the amount of time, effort and money that has been invested so most likely they will make sure they do everything they can. However if the unthinkable happens and for whatever reason they really cannot make it, you should know their back up plan.

For me I would do one of two things, if I had a second photographer for the wedding I would ask them to cover it alone. Most second photographers are very talented in their own right and shoot weddings alone throughout the year so are more than capable of doing the wedding alone. We have three photographers here and only ever do a maximum of two weddings so there is always one spare.

If I didn’t have a second or third photographer, I would reach out to the various photographers who i am friends with and get one of them to cover it for me. I am regularly asked to help out and if I am free myself I will always help a friend out if possible.

3. How long do we need to allow for the photographs ?

Very important question. Everyone on the day that you have booked to do job for you has a time to work to.  It is very important that you have trials and make sure that people keep to the times they state.  A hair lady running 30 mins late will make the photographs 30 mins late which will make the meal 30 mins late, so everyone whose a professional will pretty much stick to the time that they quote you. Photographs after a civil ceremony for instance usually would take 90 minutes to do everything including the drinks reception.

4. Can we come and see you at your place of work?

The answer to this without doubt is 100% yes! Not all photographers will offer this, but I want to make sure I’m able to show my potential couples what i am all about and this is easier in person than online or by email.

I usually have couples come over here have  a tea or coffee and get to meet each other. By doing this you also get to see the display material and Storybook Albums and also the weddings that we are working on and designing.

I will guide you through my style of photography. Tell you a bit more about myself, where I’ve worked and why I chose to be  a wedding and fashion photographer. I will go through the details of my contract and payment system which I will draw your attention to.

l will run through all the costs up front. Want to know prices ? see our blog on Wedding Photography prices Hertfordshire ( on a personal note I really hate it when I’m looking to buy a product or service and the person quotes me a price, but then when I come to pay it turns out to be more because they haven’t factored in things like VAT, travel costs, accommodation etc. So make sure your photographer is upfront from the start so that the price they quote you includes all the costs,  its not professional if later the price creeps up for whatever reason). I will also answer any questions you have.

5. Is Photoshop used in all the pictures?

Some photographers use Photoshop an awful lot and rely on it to correct exposure, contrast and colours.  Most classically trained photographers like myself don’t need to do major photoshop work as we have been trained to bracket and expose to the finest detail.  As a trained Fashion Photographer photoshop is done  on most models and actresses in magazines. Photoshopping is a real skill in itself and even if the photographer is exceptional in this skill, they will most likely want to give you a set of photographs which are true to reality and your big day.

6. Did you take these photographers yourself ?

When you meet a photographer at a wedding show or at their studio and view their work, always ask this question.  There is no use you seeing the work of the boss if their colleague is going to be doing it and vice versa. Here at John Paul ODonnell Photography we have three photographers and each have our own portfolios and work to show.

7. I am getting married in December, can I see a wedding from December please ?

Theres no use in you looking and viewing a wedding album that was taken in July if you are getting married in December.  Photographers generally will show you their best album but bear in mind that you need to see a wedding from the time of year you are getting married.  Also a wedding in February at 5pm is technically harder to photograph that a wedding in August at 1pm.  Light goes quicker, weather is colder and guests don’t want to go outside. A top Professional photographer will have a contingency plan in place and lights ready to go for this reason.

Enjoyed our blog on Seven questions to ask you Wedding Photographer ? check out our blog on the Storybook albums and why our are the best in Europe.

Written by John Paul ODonnell

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