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Do you want to know what questions to ask as a wedding photographer?
Having a discussion with your clients up front during a photography consultation will help you prepare for the wedding day, finalize details, and ensure success. In this article, we’ll share important wedding photographer questions to ask your clients before the big day.
Why Use a Wedding Photography Client Questionnaire?
If you run a wedding photography business, you know how important your services are for the bride and groom’s big day. Couples depend on their photographer to capture their once-in-a-lifetime memories.
To make that special day even better and guarantee they end up with the perfect photos, it’s important to ask the right questions. Learning about your clients’ expectations, priorities, and relationship in a pre-wedding consultation or using a wedding questionnaire for couples is something every professional photographer should do.
What Is the Best Tool for Sending Online Wedding Photos to Clients?
Before diving into our list of the best questions to ask wedding photography clients, allow me to introduce Envira Gallery. It’s the best tool for sending online photos to your wedding photography clients.
You can install the plugin on your WordPress website and easily set up client proofing and private galleries for clients. The plugin even integrates with Lightroom, so you can automatically upload them while you edit.
Your photography clients can view all their photos, choose the ones they like or leave comments, and download images directly. In fact, you can even set up eCommerce to sell photos on your website. For example, you could allow wedding clients to purchase more photos than they’re original package included directly on your website.
Aside from that, Envira Gallery lets you create gorgeous galleries and albums to showcase and organize your work. If you’re a photographer with a WordPress website, Envira Gallery is a must have! Learn about Envira Gallery’s features here.
Now, without further ado, let’s find out what your pre wedding photography questionnaire for clients should include.
15 Questions to Ask as a Wedding Photographer
Here are the top questions wedding photographers should ask their clients, and why they’re crucial to ask before you take their wedding photos. To make it easier, we’ve broken them down into 2 sections:
- Questions to Ask Clients about the Wedding Day
- Personal Questions to Ask for a More Successful Shoot
Questions to Ask about the Wedding Day
1. What’s your budget for wedding photography?
The first thing that you should ask your client is what their budget for photography is. Even though it can feel awkward to ask, you need to know how much the couple is willing to spend on photography. Their budget will tell you whether you can or can’t take the project, or if you should negotiate first.
Your client’s budget may also determine which wedding packages you present to them at your initial meeting. Wedding packages can include extras like a print or digital wedding album — for an additional fee, of course! You should consider their budget, their responses to many of the questions below, and any other aspects before finalizing the price.
If you’re wondering how to price your wedding photography packages as a professional photographer, see our post on How To Set Your Photography Prices.
2. How many photos do you need?
This is the second most important question you’ll need to ask wedding photography clients. The number of hard and soft copies of photos will have a big impact on how much you need to charge.
Once you know the couple’s budget and how many wedding photos they want, you can offer different packages that best meet their monetary limit and photo needs. It’s smart to give them multiple options and let them decide between themselves.
3. What are you expecting from your wedding photographer?
Couples have different expectations of their wedding photographers. It’s a broad question, and you’ll definitely want more details about what they expect before the big day. However, it’s still a good idea to ask it in the initial consultation to make sure you’re both generally on the same page.
The answers you get will vary from client to client, but it could save you a lot of hassle later if you ask this question from the get go. For example, a bride and groom may be expecting you to have an assistant to shoot at the same time or include videography. Discussing this upfront makes it much easier to decide whether you can accommodate or if the project isn’t a good fit.
4. How many guests are invited to the wedding?
You should know a rough count of the number of guests at any wedding you’re planning to shoot. Having a head count will help you decide how to divvy up your time when photographing.
For particularly large weddings at a large wedding venue, you might even consider shooting with a co-photographer. That way, you won’t miss any picture-perfect moments.
At big weddings, you may also benefit from the help of an assistant if you usually shoot solo. Consider reaching out to fellow wedding photographers and striking a deal. If they act as second photographer at your next wedding gig, you’ll do the same at their next shoot. It’s a win-win that helps both wedding professionals.
5. Will there be a coordinator to work with during the ceremony?
A coordinator or wedding planner is someone who can manage the group photos, tell you about the event details, give you directions about key moments, and more. Other than the couple, the wedding planner will know the most about how the wedding will run.
You can ask for a coordinator if the clients don’t have one, but it doesn’t have to be a professional wedding planner. It could be someone from one of your client’s families or a friend who they ask to run point on the big day.
6. How many group photos do you need of family, friends, bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc.?
Expect that many guests will ask you to take their group shots. Having a coordinator can help you manage the groups. The family of the bride and groom, friends of the bride and groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen and any other close family groups should be captured.
A coordinator can also tell you how to prioritize the groups, so you can manage your time accordingly.
7. Do you have a list of poses?
Some clients put a lot of thought and research into their wedding poses, while others will want to leave that up to their photographer. It’s important to be prepared for either response.
If your clients have selected their own poses, listen to even their craziest ideas! Be patient and work with them to finalize a list. If they don’t already have poses picked, you should suggest both pose ideas for the bride and pose ideas for the groom.
We recommend making a wedding photoshoot checklist that covers all the poses.
8. When do you want to take solo couple shots?
Ask the couple when they want you to take their solo couple pictures. Some clients will only want individual shots before the ceremony and couple shots after, but others may want to take all of their main photos as a couple before the ceremony begins.
Sometimes clients will want a private “first looks” moment before the ceremony, or they might want to prioritize up close photos before the ceremony if it’s an outdoor wedding where rain or heat is a concern. Working with your clients to create a schedule for the wedding day will make both your lives easier. Photographing weddings is all about planning ahead!
9. Do you agree to sign a photography contract?
It’s key to write up your client terms in a photography contract. A wedding photography contract covers all the details of the shoot, including budget, quantity of photos, number of poses, total group photos, and more.
Ask the couple if they agree on the contract or not. If they don’t, you can work together to adjust it. Once they’ve signed the document, both you and your clients should follow it for a successful venture.
Every professional wedding photographer has a contract! This document protects you and your client. It’s an essential part of being a wedding photographer.
10. Would you recommend my services to others for a discount on your shoot?
A recommendation by someone who has already used your services will help drive more clients to your photography business in the future.
Ask this question last, after you and your new photography clients have warmed up to one another and the wedding is approaching. Once they’ve seen what a friendly and professional photographer you are, they’ll be more likely to want to recommend you as a wedding photographer in exchange for savings on their big day.
Personal Questions to Ask for a More Successful Wedding Shoot
These questions aren’t strictly required per say, but we highly recommend asking them. Getting to know the bride and groom, their relationship, and what they envision for their wedding can make a big difference in the quality of shoot. By getting a little personal before hand, you can create wedding photos that actually feel personal.
11. How did you meet?
Getting to know your clients’ story starts with “How did you meet?” It’s one of the most important questions to ask as a wedding photographer. You can ask more specifics like how they met for the first time, what their first date was, when they fell in love, and other fun questions about their relationship.
Having an open discussion where you learn a bit about them will help build a solid foundation for your your joint project moving forward. Understanding their dynamics and background is the key to capturing wedding photos with confidence on the big day.
12. What are your 3 favorite things about your partner?
This question can really help you understand the couple and the types of photos that will capture their relationship. Try to get each person to answer with both physical and non-physical traits.
For example, if the bride says one of her favorite things about her partner is how spontaneous and silly he is, having him throw her over his shoulder laughing could be the perfect pose to capture their relationship, but you probably wouldn’t think that if her answer had been his poise and strength.
However, you probably wouldn’t use that pose if her answer had been his poise and sophistication. As you can see, it’s a great question to help you understand their relationship and how to capture it.
13. Which moments do you envision most on your wedding day?
Most people who are getting married will have a few big moments that they’ve imagined. Using separate questionnaires for the bride and groom can help you find out what they are. You may get answers you expect like the first kiss or their first dance at the reception, but you also might uncover some things you wouldn’t have known.
For example, perhaps the bride has always imagined a heartfelt father daughter dance or envisioned tossing her bouquet. Those little things can give you an idea of which moments deserve special attention, which helps ensure that you don’t end up with disappointed clients.
14. Who do you envision helping you to get ready in the morning?
The wedding day typically starts as soon as the bride and groom wake up. Photographers often shoot during the getting ready process for both sides of the bridal party. We often see traditional wedding photos of the bride’s mother and bridesmaids helping her get ready while the groomsmen get ready with the groom.
However, it’s a good idea to ask both parties who they actually envision getting ready with. The bride may tell you that she envisions her mom being there, but has really always imagined her sister helping her into her dress.
Perhaps the groom has always imagined drinking a glass of scotch with his dad before he walks down the aisle. Without asking beforehand, you probably wouldn’t have known a moment like that is extra important, but now you can be sure they’re captured.
15. Who is the family and bridal party? Are there any dynamics I should know about?
It’s not uncommon for a clients’ families to include step parents, step siblings, and weird uncles they wish hadn’t attended. Sure, they could be one big happy family, but it’s better to know upfront. For example, certain family members may prefer not to be photographed together.
Ask for a list of immediate family members, names of everyone in the bridal party, and any issues you should be aware of.
I actually attended a wedding where the maid of honor and best man were a recently broken up couple. All I can say is that I’m glad the photographer was briefed and didn’t ask them for any portraits together. There may not be any issues, but it’s always best to know what you’re walking into.
That’s all! We hope this guide helped you to learn about the best wedding photographer questions to ask clients before a shoot. Ready to showcase your own wedding
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