Hiring a Wedding Photographer FAQ – Questions for a Wedding Photographer

At Clane Gessel Photography, our core belief that every couple should love their wedding photos.  Finding the perfect wedding photographer can seem overwhelming.  They will be telling the story of your wedding day and need to be sure that they tell your story in the way you have always dreamed your wedding to be.  You want to make sure that they are spot on. To help you get the perfect wedding photographer, find one that matches your unique style while also being clear about what you are and are not getting in your package.  To help you out, we have put together a little list of questions for when you’re hiring a wedding photographer, along with our answers.  We want you to have amazing wedding photos, even if we aren’t the ones shooting your wedding.

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The best questions to ask when hiring a wedding photographer

When you’re hiring a wedding photographer, keep in mind that photography is subjective.  Some people might like a piece of art and others might not.  My images probably aren’t loved by everyone, I don’t want them to be loved by everyone.  They speak to certain people that are more discerning, care about art, and can see the emotion in the photo.  Those are my couples.

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Make sure you know what makes your photographer different than others.

What makes you different as a wedding photographer?
We use the environment, surrounding and couple’s personality to evoke strong emotions and help tell a personalized story of the day.  We are passionate about photography, and a portfolio spanning 300 weddings over 14 countries shows our drive.  We shoot images that no one else can, that’s why you’ve never seen images like these before.

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Happy brides come from knowing what’s included.

What is included when we book you?
This is a great question when hiring a wedding photographer.  We include everything, anywhere, all the time.  Our photos aren’t the only thing that are different about us.  We are the only photographer in the country to offer a complimentary engagement shoot anywhere in the country.  All travel is included anywhere in the USA for the wedding as well.  We include an album, editing, two shooters, a full resolution flash drive of all photos, and of course, amazing images.

Who edits your photos?
This question is SO IMPORTANT when hiring a wedding photographer.  I edit everything.  Most photographers shoot then send them out to edit.  We keep photos in house from start to finish.  I vehemently believe that the same eye that shot the image, felt the emotion of the day, and should be the one to translate that emotion through editing.

Do you bring an assistant or second photographer?

How many images are on the flash drive?
Roughly 1000-1500 depending on time shooting.  All full resolution, no watermarks… watermarks are tacky.

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We’ll mail you a box with more info – shoot us an email!

What’s your background that qualifies you to shoot our wedding?
A portfolio of 300 weddings across 25 states and 14 countries, publications in National Geographic, Smithsonian, and nearly every bridal magazine, and the care and attention to details.

How many weddings do you shoot a year?
Only 20.  More than that, and I feel creatively spread thin.

Can I see more of your work?
Always ask to see many of your potential wedding photographer’s weddings from start to finish.  Look to make sure they are consistent and have several great weddings.  Pretend that you are looking at your wedding when you are looking through their weddings and ask yourself if you would be satisfied if this was the set of images you got.  Ask them for references or to talk to previous couples.  Know your wedding photographer. What is included in their images is just as important as what is not.

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What is your style? Does it match your wedding photographer?

What is your wedding photographer’s style?
Initially, some photographer’s portfolios look great, be sure to look deeper.  Ask them what their style is.  Wedding photography is a combination of the emotional aspects, the composition of the image itself and technical abilities of the photographer to connect with the couple.  Ask how they do this, ask their style.  We can’t emphasize this enough: there is nothing better than a great fit between a couple and their wedding photographer.  Our philosophy on wedding photos is right on our homepage.

When it comes to wedding photos, what will you get?
Before you have approached your photographer, you should have a little list down containing all of the things that you want out of your wedding photography.  When you then go to sit with the potential candidate, you can ask them what you get. Do you get an engagement shoot? Post-production editing? Albums? Save-the-date/invitation design? A high-resolution disk of all photos?  With that disc, what printing/sharing rights are included?  Full rights?  Partial rights?  How many photos are you going to get? 10? 100? 1000? Prints included?  Be sure you know what you want and what it will cost you to get all of those things.  As stated above, Clane does not charge extra for any of these things.  It is all set in the price of the package.  There are a lot of photographers who include everything like we do, but there are also a lot who don’t.  Be sure to know what to ask when looking for a wedding photographer.

What is a proofing disc?
This is a HUGE distinction that is often overlooked when hiring a wedding photographer.  But you are educating yourself by checking out what to ask so you will not be deceived.  A proofing disc is a lower-resolution or copyright-restricted set of your wedding photos.  These cannot be printed at all or in certain sizing unless, of course, you pay more.  When you see “disc of your wedding photos” or something similar, make certain that you know what type of disk this is.  Ask if you have the rights to print from the disk and please ask if the images are watermarked.  Clane is all about sharing the rights to weddings with his couples.  Then they are free to print now, in 10 years, even 50 years down the road without any troubles.

Who is shooting the wedding?
Many photographers in Seattle operate as a studio with multiple photographers under their name, so you never know who you’re getting on your wedding day.   This is a very important question when hiding a wedding photographer.  We are not a studio.  Clane personally tells your wedding story from engagements to wedding day, and follows each couple into post-production and personally creates each couples custom album.  Ensure that when you book your wedding photographer that you have talked with them, interacted with them, and know who they are.  Look at a previous wedding that they and not the studio have produced from beginning to end.  See what kinds of details they captured and which they may have missed.  To sum, know the person who is shooting your wedding and ask to see a comprehensive wedding or two that they have completed from beginning to end.

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Each couple gets a customized gift box and sees their photos within 14 days

When can I see my photos?
Months and months have gone into planning your wedding.  You shouldn’t have to wait months afterward to see your wedding photos.  Clane has every wedding for every couple ready for viewing within 14 days of your wedding.  Ask your wedding photographer about when you will see them.  We get contacted by couples who are across the world that is still honeymooning telling us how thrilled they are with their wedding photography.  There is nothing more exciting as photographers to have couples sharing their photos with their friends and families and having their excitement about their wedding carry on for weeks and weeks after the actual day.

These ‘questions for hiring a wedding photographer’ are just a guide to help get you started once you get engaged.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.  Happy planning!


Getting married or know someone who is?  We’d love to be a part of it!  Drop us a line here to start your wedding experience.

Article by Clane Gessel Photography