Is Your Photographer “The One”? 7 Questions to Ask to See if You Vibe

With so many photographers and styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming looking for a wedding photographer. 

You’re probably asking yourself: “How do you know which wedding photographer is the right one for us?!”

Sound like you? I thought you might…

You can look at their portfolio, connect with their style, and fall in love with their work. But what about the person behind the camera? 

Most couples don’t initially realize how much time is spent with their photographer. From the planning phase to the eight or so hours on the wedding day (and beyond), you and your photographer may spend as much time together as you and your partner! 

So of course you want to find someone you both like and connect with… Someone who puts you at ease, both in front of the camera and when it’s not around. Because while you’re investing in quality photographs, you’re also investing in a person. So it’s important to really take the time and get to know them. And vice versa! Hint: It’s a major red flag if your photographer doesn’t take the time to get to know you.

Find someone whose work you love but who also checks off a few “must-have” boxes. Without compromising! Because the last thing you want to do is spend precious time and money on a wedding photographer who doesn’t deliver or who only makes you feel like a number on a special day you only do once.

To ensure you have no regrets and truly find a wedding photographer who feels like “the one”,  here are some questions to ask before booking.

Question #1: How would you define your style? How would you define timeless

You can get a sense of a photographer’s style by looking at the photos they post on their website and Instagram feeds. But it also helps to ask potential photographers how they define their style, and specifically, how they define “timeless” photography.

Why? Because timeless photos are the ones you’ll cherish forever. They are the ones you’ll look back on over and over again. They are the ones that will transport you back to that moment of your wedding day every time you look at them. 

This is so important because your wedding day will fly by and you’ll want to have beautiful photos to treasure forever and love as much now as you will in the future.

For me personally, timeless photos are film photos. Film documents everything in full color with lots of natural light. And really captures skin tones in a gorgeous way. I also believe your photos should reflect all the exciting, happy moments and bright details of your wedding. Not turn them into trendy, dark, muted, or oversaturated scenes like digital photos might.

Bride and groom walking for wedding photos at Redleaf Wollmobi Hunter Valley Wedding Venue

Question #2:  Do you direct and guide us for pictures? If so, can you share some examples of how you do that?

I hear it from almost all of my couples – “I and/or my partner are going to look awkward in front of the camera.” And as I tell them all, you don’t have to have experience or be a supermodel to look “perfect” in front of the camera. 

If you find yourself thinking the same, then you should definitely ask your photographer how they will help alleviate that fear. 

But remember – Perfection isn’t real… But guidance is. 

And I’ll give you plenty of that!

I’ll show you what to do, how to stand, where to put your hands, and all of that good stuff so that you’ll feel completely relaxed and look like your gorgeous selves. And it will definitely come across in your images. 

And if you’re interested in seeing how I, or any photographer, might guide you before your wedding day, I highly recommend booking an engagement session.

Question 3: What suggestions do you have for feeling more comfortable in front of the camera?

In addition to seeing how your photographer will direct you, another benefit to an engagement session is to start feeling comfortable in front of the camera before your wedding day. 

Engagement sessions help me see how the two of you interact. How you vibe and interact with each other. And gives me the sense of what you are and aren’t comfortable doing (and saves us time on your wedding rather than me having to figure it out then!)

Plus, you’ll already have practice posing and just being yourselves while getting pictures taken, so you’ll feel more comfortable when the big day comes. 

Behind the scenes wedding photographer in sydney photographing a bride and wedding bouquet

Question #4:  What’s the most important/favourite detail you like to capture? 

Every photographer has their own aesthetic and things they like to focus on capturing during a wedding day. Some couple’s galleries are full of portraits, formals, and people, while others have lots of photographs of personal details and decor. 

Asking a photographer what they like to focus on gives you a better understanding of what they value and if those values line up with yours. 

This is another reason why I love film photography because it allows me to slow down the process and capture those personal, meaningful moments in a unique way. I only have 16 clicks on one roll of film, so I approach each portrait and detail with intention. 
I also offer custom photo collections tailored to your needs. This ensures we have the time to get the photos you really want. With no regrets later on.

Peach napkins, elegant chairs, wine, grapes, candles styled and designed for a wedding tabel reception outside at Redleaf Wollombi in the Hunter Valley

Question #5:  What are your favorite kinds of weddings to photograph?

This is something you want to find out because it will help you know if your potential photographer has experience photographing your style of wedding. It will also give you a better sense of whether their kind of photography matches up with your wedding type. 

For example, if you plan on having a colorful beach wedding with a bohemian vibe, but your photographer loves taking dark, moody photos inside cathedrals, they may not be the best fit for you.  

The same goes for an elopement! If your photographer prefers or is used to photographing big weddings of 200 or more people, they might not feel as comfortable photographing as intimate a celebration as an elopement. 

Question #6: Can you share a full wedding gallery with me? 

The answer to this question is simple: Yes!

And if someone tells you no, turn around and run the other way. 

Because if you ask this question and the photographer says no, that person has something to hide. And photographers shouldn’t have or want to hide anything! Although they have photographs they love more than others, they should be proud of their work overall.

Like most people, photographer’s will show the best of the best in their social media feeds and online galleries. And that makes sense because we want to present potential clients with our best work. But these photos don’t tell the whole story and they won’t give you an idea of what your wedding gallery might look like.

When approaching photographers, ask to see photos of weddings similar to the one you’re planning. Or better yet, in the same location or venue you’re having your wedding. Look at the full gallery and see how the story plays out. Look for the lighting and the details. 

You can also look at other kinds of weddings just to get an overall feel for the photographer’s work. You may fall in love with what you see and book the photographer on the spot. Or you may find that their work isn’t the best match after all. And that’s okay! Because at least you’ll know before it’s too late. 

Haven’t had a chance to look at my portfolio yet? Check it out here!

Question #7: What is it you like to do for fun? 

As with most relationships, the more common interests you have with a person, the more likely you are to get along. Ask them about their hobbies outside of photography. Maybe they like to travel or cook or something else you also love. 

Not only will common interests provide ease and comfort during photo sessions, but their likes and experiences may also make them more equipped to photograph your wedding. 

Are there more questions you can think of to ask? I would be happy to answer them for you. Connect with me here.

Wedding photographer in Santa Ynez wine country drinking a glass of wine.

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Whether your love story is one blossomed from elegant romance or one of epic proportions, I am so excited to be a part of this journey with you and can’t wait to get to know you more. I am a fine art photographer providing my services all throughout NSW, Australia and destinations worldwide. Passionately devoted to capturing the beauty of your special day. 

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Sheri Mcmahon

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