Wanting to choose a wedding photographer but feeling a little overwhelmed? Learn what is included in typical wedding photography packages:
Day of Wedding Photography Coverage
Wedding photographers will either fall into all-day coverage, hourly coverage, or a set amount of time in a package such as 8 hours. If choosing someone who offers all-day coverage, get information, in writing, detailing what that means. If choosing someone offering a set amount of time, see if that is continuous coverage and verify what you’re choosing will work for your wants and needs.
Engagement, Day After, or Bridal Sessions
Check to see if an engagement session is offered and if not, how much that would cost. Does it come with digital files or do you also have to purchase files and prints separately?
Some photographers include day-after sessions or bridal sessions for a bride before the wedding featuring her in her dress, so if either of those is something you’re looking for, check with the photographer you’re eyeing.
On the topic of digital files, does your photographer give you them? Are they high-resolution (full-sized out of camera) or low-resolution (smaller and sometimes watermarked)? Are they included with wedding photos only or engagement photos as well?
Digital files are required to post on social media, print to hang in your home, and back up safely.
Can you print your images? Post them on social media? Are there size restrictions when printing (comes with having low-resolution files). An experienced professional will give you edited photos, have a way to give them to you, and will never give you the RAW files or copyright.
An Adequate Amount of Edited Photos
An experienced wedding photographer will take time to edit your photos consistently and provide you with an adequate amount of photos. I provide roughly 500-700 photos for an average wedding day. Some photographers provide more or less. Make sure you’re okay possibly having less and make sure you’re okay sifting through potentially double or more photos as well.
Backing Up Images
Does your photographer include a period of time where they hold onto your files after delivering them to you? How are they backing them up, USB, memory cards, Cloud, Hard Drive?
What all are they backing up? RAWS? Edited photos only?
P.S – Back up your photos as soon as you get them. Give a USB to a parent for their safe, put one in an office drawer, back one up to your iCloud or Amazon Photos account that’s free with Prime. Have them EVERYWHERE.
A Second Photographer or Assistant
A second photographer is an experienced photographer with wedding and camera knowledge who either uses the company’s gear or brings their own and has extensive knowledge of it.
A photographer assistant is someone who carries bags, holds light stands, does not need photography knowledge, and does not typically photograph. They are there to assist the main photographer.
Albums or Prints
Does your ideal photographer provide you with an album, canvas, or prints?
If they do, that’s awesome! If they offer a credit, see what that credit means. If they offer a $300 album credit and their albums start at $1500, that means a lot more you’ll be paying out of pocket than expected.
An Online Gallery or USB
How do you get your photos after the wedding day? An online gallery is a website where you can view your images and sometimes print or download them (depending on if they offer high-resolution or low-resolution photos to you)
A USB is a physical USB stick drive where your images will reside. Be sure to check if they should be high-resolution or low-resolution.
Your photographer should ALWAYS include a contract outlining the services, the turnaround time for your photos, and break down their policies and what happens if you or they break the contract. No contract = RUN.
Contact and Support Before and After the Wedding
If you’re chatting with a prospective wedding photographer, they should have timely answers for you and provide you with answers and helpful support.
An Outlined Turnaround Time
You should learn from a photographer’s quote or contract how long your wedding and engagement photos will take to be edited and given to you.
How many hours will I need a wedding photographer?:
Aim for 6 Hours Minimum, 8-10 Hours Average, and 12 Hours or More for All the Details
6 hours is very short and will get you coverage right before the ceremony, portraits, and the very beginning of the reception.
8 hours to 10 hours of coverage is more well-rounded and will get you getting ready photos, details of your dress and pre-wedding details, getting dressed, ceremony, portraits, and all of the major events that happen during the reception.
12 hours of wedding day coverage will get you candids of the wedding party before and extensive hair/makeup coverage, all the way to the very end of the reception or very close to – so lots of dance floor shots. If you’re not into the idea of lots of getting ready and lots of dance floor, stick with somewhere between 8-10 hours for an average day.