• Anel van Dyk

Most Important Questions to ask your Photographer

You get pretty intimate with your photographer within a really short time so it's best to get to know them a bit before your shoot. Here is a list of must-ask questions to get out the way before you book them.

Will you have an assistant?

This goes for all types of photography. Knowing if the photographer works alone or not will allow you to gauge if this photographer will meet your needs. If you are hiring a photographer for your wedding and want to get photos of all the details it will be best to hire a second shooter as well as the main photographer will be focused on the bridal couple. Maybe you are doing a newborn or boudoir shoot and need more privacy in which case a lone photographer is all you need. A second shooter also incurs more costs.

How long have you been shooting this particular style? (Wedding, newborn, etc).

The length of time doesn't necessarily tell you if they are any good but it does give you an inclination at how experienced they are at handling any situation.

Can we see the full gallery of a recent shoot?

Usually, a website or social media only shows you the highlights of a shoot but by viewing the full gallery you will get a better idea of your photographers' style. If it is not what you expected best to move along.

Have you shot at this venue/location before?

Shooting at a new location is always exciting but the photographer needs to be familiar with it in order to get the most out of the session. If they haven't been there before they will scout it out beforehand. They also need to determine if there are any restrictions, eg shooting inside a church.

What is included in the packages and can I customize it to my needs?

Many photographers have set packages and extra add-ons at an additional fee.

How many hours are included in the package fee? If the session takes longer is there an additional fee?

Most photographers will have a set amount of time allotted to each package. If you fear that the time is more or less than what you require discuss different options with your photographer before you book.

How many shoots do you book a day?

If there is a shoot before yours you need to be aware that it might take longer than expected and you will have to wait for the first shoot to finish.

What retouching or corrective services do you offer? Are these included in the package price?

Some photographers only do minor adjustments while others do a whole nip and tuck deal.

Do you charge a travel fee?

Beyond a certain radius, you might have to pay a travel fee. Depending on the distance you also might need to pay for their lodging as well.

Ask to see sample products.

By viewing samples you can determine if the quality and style meet your expectations.

When will the products and images be delivered?

Certain products take longer to manufacture than others.

Will we have the rights to the images?

Many photographers will give you the printing rights to your images but they will keep the copyright to use for promotional purposes. You will not be allowed to make any adjustments to the images after you have received them so if you don't like the editing style of your photographer then rather choose a different one. The rights to the images must be stipulated in their contract.

How long will the images be stored for?

Some photographers will keep it for years while others delete it after the products have been delivered.

How much deposit is due and when?

Many photographers won't confirm a booking without 50% deposit.

What is your refund/cancellation policy?

This varies widely from one photographer to the next. Some don't issue a refund past a certain date while others will allow you to reschedule.

What is the backup plan if you are unable to attend the session?

If you are unable to reschedule the photographer will source a suitable photographer as a replacement.

Will you be posting our images on social media, your website, blogs or magazines?

Contracts should state how your images will be used, however, if you wish that your images not be used on any of these platforms you should discuss this with your photographer before the shoot.

Will you follow a shot list?

Photographers expect a short shot list of must-have photos and will replicate it to the best of their abilities, but don't try and run the show. You hire them for their style so let them do their job.