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Questions to Never Ask a Wedding Photographer


Wedding Planning

Today I’m talking about five questions to never ask a wedding photographer and better things to ask instead.

People understandably have lots of questions for wedding photographers. It’s a big undertaking to be the sole person in charge of documenting something as important as someone’s wedding day. There are some questions I and probably most wedding photographers dislike being asked, and with good reason.


50 questions, in list form, copy and pasted verbatim from (insert any wedding website here).

You’ve probably seen an article such as “50 questions to ask a potential wedding photographer.” If you Google “questions to ask a wedding photographer,” there are loads of results. People love to talk about this topic, and yet most people writing those articles are not wedding photographers themselves. Hmm.

I understand that being the sole person to document one of the most important days of your life to date is a big deal! However, not a single wedding photographer likes being sent these lists. Here’s why.


Bride and groom holding hands | Virginia Wedding Photographer


One, most the time, many of these questions do not apply to what I offer or what the couple wants (i.e. asking about film when I don’t shoot on film, asking about a 2nd photographer when they said they didn’t need one, etc.). If you copy and paste a list, I can tell you probably didn’t even read it since these questions are often left in that don’t make sense.

Two, it doesn’t tell me what is important to you and your wedding.  Articles like this are a great place to get ideas to ask potential wedding photographers you’re interested in. Decide what is actually important to you and ask those questions, not every question under the sun.

Three, you are not the only inquiry I get. On average, I get 50 wedding inquiries per year and book 10 of them. To answer these same list of questions over and over again is time consuming! This is why I have a FAQ page and try to include relevant information throughout my website.

Do this instead: Read pertinent information on a potential wedding photographer’s website, like their blog or FAQ page. Ask questions that are most important to you and applies to your desires and wedding.


Can we have all the images/the reject images?

No, no, and no. Why? Quality over quantity, people.

I tell my wedding clients to expect 50-60 edited images per hour of shooting. If you have me for an 8 hour wedding day, you can expect about 500+ images in your final gallery. I try to emphasize that a wedding album holds 60-80 images, people usually print/blow up their favorite 10 images at most to display in their home, and the rest? They probably go on Facebook. Quantity of images is just not as important. No one does something with all 500+ images from their wedding gallery, trust me.


Wedding Couple with their bridal party | Virginia Wedding Photographer


Reject images are also something you do not want. I remove all unflattering poses, duplicate shots, blurry/missed focus, people blinking, etc. Photographers purposely overshoot weddings so they don’t miss a moment or shot they want to get. My average is to shoot about 2000-3000 images per wedding. Many of those images are just duplicates to make sure I got one good one. I then cull the images down to about 500-600, only providing the absolute best ones.

Do this instead: If number of images is super important to you, ask how many images to expect. Just because you read on some wedding website that “photographers give 2000 images” doesn’t mean that’s true of every photographer, or even accurate. The most important thing is to be on the same page as your photographer and have a range of number of images included in their contract so there are no surprises.


Can we skip the engagement session and reduce the price of our wedding collection?

I offer a complimentary engagement session with every wedding collection I offer. Why? So I can get to know you! I would never in a million years think of showing up to your wedding day without having actually met you.

An engagement session is the best tool I have to get to know you, see how you are in front of the camera, and establish a relationship with you before your wedding day. I am a vendor who really cares about the personal experience of wedding photography. I use engagement sessions to establish my relationship with you two, build trust, and provide an amazing photo experience even before your wedding day! You and your fiancé get a fun photo experience out of it and beautiful images to use for your wedding website, save-the-dates, and to enjoy in your home! It’s a win-win situation for us all.


Who doesn’t want some magical images with the love of their life like this?! 


I get that your fiancé may not be into it. Or that you may feel really self conscious about being photographed. But I’d much rather warm you both up, see how you work together and in front of the camera, and prove that it’s not that bad prior to your actual wedding day. Most people walk away from the engagement session and say “wow, that was a lot more fun than I thought!” and then they realize the images are great too. WIN!

So no, I do not drop the engagement session for these very important reasons. And if for some reason we truly do not have one prior to the wedding, it is complimentary so the price of the wedding package are not reduced.


Have you shot at my venue before?

I most areas of the country – and especially in Charlottesville, Virginia – there’s no shortage of amazing wedding venues! I limit my weddings to 10 couples per year. So the likelihood that I’ve shot at your venue? It’s pretty slim, unless you found me because you saw I worked at your specific venue before.

The Seclusion wedding venue in Lexington, Virginia


The most important thing is to make sure your photographer has experience in many different situations, whether it be lighting situations, indoors/outdoors, etc. Most photographers know their cameras and settings well enough to be able to shoot anywhere, any time.

A better question to ask: Have you shot at a venue similar to mine? Or the same environment (middle of the day, on a beach, at night with low lighting, etc.)?


What gear do you use?

Unless you’re a photography buff, the answer to this probably won’t mean a whole lot to you. I know the heart behind this question is actually – are you using professional gear? And also usually, do you have back up equipment?

Woman holding camera to her face | Virginia Wedding Photographer Melissa Sheridan


The answer is yes and yes. If you’re truly interested in a peek inside my camera bag, you can see it in this post. I love my gear and am happy to chat about it any time! Most of my wedding couples are not photographers themselves or familiar with my gear specifically though.

At the end of the day, I always have multiple cameras, lenses, batteries, & SD cards. All my gear is insured and I have enough money set aside to replace all my gear should something unforeseen happen to it.



At the end of the day, if someone asks me these questions, it’s fine! I know that most people don’t know the ins and outs of wedding photography, which I why I get asked these questions a lot! This post is simply to inform potential couples of some better questions to ask a potential wedding photographer instead.

Questions you need to ask any wedding vendor can get overwhelming, but especially when it comes to photography. Hopefully, these questions to never ask a wedding photographer have helped you get some ideas on how to better chat up your potential third wheel!

xo Melissa

Charlottesville, VA Wedding Photography

Interested in chatting about wedding photography service for your big day? I’d love to be your third wheel with a camera. Contact me to see if your date is available!

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