The Palm Springs Wedding Blog

Vendor Selection

Questions for Palm Springs Wedding Photographers

No doubt, one of the most important vendors to hire for Palm Springs weddings is the photographer. They will be the sole person responsible for capturing images that will bring this one glorious day back to you & yours for the rest of your lives together, and the decision of who to hire is not one to take lightly.

We always recommend that brides & grooms sit down for a face-to-face consultation for each vendor you're considering hiring for the day in order to ensure your needs & wants are understood & can be met and so you can feel confident that they are thoroughly professional & your personalities will complement each other. This consultation may be most important for your photographer as, like it or not, they will be beside you throughout the entire wedding day (yes, even more than your beloved, like it or not!) and because this is the one vendor you will most likely continue to work with even after the big day as come and gone, to put together a wedding album, order prints, etc. At this consultation, you'll need to be prepared to ask some heavy-hitting questions so that all parties understand what to expect. So what questions should be in your arsenal? That's the subject of today's post, so stick with us.

With help from one of our favorite Palm Springs wedding photographers, Ashley Kiener of Ashley Kiener Photography, we've put together a list of everything you should be asking before you sign on that dotted line.

The Basics

As you are browsing through our list of local wedding photographers, take note of the ones whose work catches your eye & add them to your Borrowed & Blue Wishlist. (Just click the little "Add to Wishlist" icon at the bottom of any listing.) Then, shoot each an email or give 'em a ring to ensure they are available for the date of your wedding.

Once you have established they are available, schedule an appointment & bring these questions along with you:

  • How long have you been photographing Palm Springs weddings?
  • How many clients do you take on a year?
  • Are you photographing any other clients the same day? Ashley Kiener Photography tells us, "This one is huge for me. Some photographers try to book multiple events in the same day. I only book one event a day so that my clients have all of my undivided attention."
  • Will you be shooting the wedding yourself, or sending an assistant? (Extremely important if contacting a studio. You want to be speaking with the person who will actually be photographing the wedding.)
  • How would you describe your photography & your working style? Ashley notes that this is an extremely important question to ask, and we couldn't agree more. Listen for key words like, "photojournalistic," "traditional," "classic," "fly on the wall," "fine art," "editorial," to get an idea of they think of their own work. Before the consultation, decide which words you are looking for in a photographer.
  • Have you photographed at our venue before? If not, would you be willing to scout it out for the best locations for photos, to see the lighting at the time of our ceremony (especially if outdoor, etc? (If they do not agree to this, consider it a red flag.)
  • Can we look at a few full wedding albums you've shot? (Looking at their portfolio is great, but keep in mind this is a collection of their very best work. You want to see how they can shoot a full wedding, from beginning to end. Of course, for this you should be checking out our Real Palm Springs Weddings page!)

Get Down to Details

Next, we want to dive in a little deeper, asking potential photographers more detailed questions about their policies, pricing, etc.

  • Can you explain to us each of your packages & what they include?
  • If an engagement shoot is not included, what would it cost to add it?
  • Will you be bringing a second shooter, or would that be extra? (Important question if you're having a big wedding!)
  • Do you charge a travel fee?
  • Do you have insurance?
  • What is your cancellation policy?
  • What is the payment schedule?
  • Who will own the rights to the photos?
  • Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos? Ashley says, "This is a big one for the clients because a lot of photographers prefer no one else to be taking photos."
  • What other important policies should we know about?


After each consultation, sit down with your fiancé & ask yourselves some questions to gauge your feelings on each professional. We recommend doing this as soon as possible after each conversation & writing your feelings down so you don't confuse photographers!

  • Does this photographer fit the style of photography we are looking for?
  • Do we love his/her work?
  • Do they fit within our budget?
  • Did we feel comfortable talking to him/her?
  • Were they able to fully answer all of our questions and offer guidance?
  • Did they seem excited about our wedding & our vision?

When you find a professional that you can answer an enthusiastic "yes!" to all of the above questions, then you've found your match! Next step? Schedule that engagement session!

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Ready to get started? Click here to check out all our favorite local wedding photographers.

Feeling sticker shock at the cost of wedding photography? Check out this article where we've interviewed a few of our favorite professionals from around the country & got them to explain what goes into photography costs.

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