Top 10 questions to ask a Winnipeg Photographer before booking

A list of 10 typically unasked, but critically important questions you need to learn about your photographer and the images you'll get.


With over 13 years of experience as a Winnipeg wedding photographer and after getting to know all the couples who have booked with me, I’ve realized there are so many incredible questions that rarely get asked. Here are the 10 questions you need to ask to make sure you’re booking a photographer that will give you the wedding images you’ve always wanted.


Below is the list, in no particular order.

How many weddings do you shoot per year?

Most people don’t realize the HUGE importance of this question. When your photographer tells you their number here’s what to consider:

1-7  Ask yourself ‘why so few weddings?’… Is the photographer not a full-time professional? Why not? If not a full-time pro, can they handle their full-time job AND plan/shoot/edit 5-7 weddings as well? Are they having trouble booking enough weddings and are other couples not booking because they see something you’ve missed? Keep all this in mind.

8-20 This is the sweet spot for a full-time pro without being backlogged. Shooting under 20 weddings allows your photographer enough time to get to know each couple every year. This includes learning about and remembering their personality, style and specific needs/wants to be able to plan accordingly for their big day. This number also means they’re not backlogged during the editing process of your wedding. Being backlogged could mean rushing the editing process, not editing at all or taking 2+ months to edit your wedding. 

25-35+ If a photographer gives this number thinking it’s impressive and will wow you, be glad you read this article. Keep in mind there are 52 weeks a year and in Winnipeg 19 of those are during the traditional ‘wedding season’. Someone shooting over 25 weddings a year is surely booking 2, or possibly 3 per weekend back to back do you want to be the 3rd 10-hour wedding of someone’s overbooked weekend? With that many weddings on the go, is it possible to properly edit and deliver your wedding images in a timely manner. Also, a photographer surely can’t remember all those clients and their personalities with that workload.  All this will surely sacrifice the quality the photographer could be capable of.

How many photos do we get?

Another great question that people don’t usually ask. From my experience, delivering 50-80 edited photos per hour shooting is common. Bring up more questions if this number is lower and make sure you’re ok with why that number may be lower. Also make sure that number appropriately relates to the cost you’re being charged.

How do YOU prepare for our wedding?

If someone shoots 25-35+ weddings the answer will be probably be limited to charging their camera gear and arriving on time.

A great answer will include:

  • Planning with the couple throughout the year and finalizing a week before the wedding.
  • Scoping out the planned locations.
  • Researching the sun angle and sun’s position at each location then pre-planning a shot list.
  • Oh, and of course charging/cleaning their gear 🙂

Can we suggest photos we’ve seen before and fallen in love with?

This answer should always be yes. After all it’s your wedding and you should get pictures you have always dreamed of. That being said, don’t get carried away with a shot list. Be comfortable pre-suggesting 5 or 10 shots you would like, but leave the rest up to the photographer and the style you’re booking them for.

FACT: Giving a shot list or Pinterest board of exceptional images to an inexperienced photographer will not yield those same exceptional images. A hard fact to swallow, but very, very true.

Do you have liability insurance?

Most venues in the U.S won’t allow a photographer to shoot on their property without liability insurance. This is quickly becoming the norm in canada as well and for good reason. It protects everyone from injury or accidents.

DO: Ask this question before booking. If they don’t have minimum $1 million liability insurance ask them to get insurance before signing a contract. If they’re not willing, don’t risk it, steer clear. You may be in for a shock the week of your wedding when you learn the photographer isn’t insured and not permitted to photograph your ceremony or reception.

How long have you shot weddings?

These answers will help you gauge how confident and prepared the photographer will be on your big day:

 1-3  years They are still very much learning. Things may get missed, delays may happen, photos probably won’t be of the quality of a more seasoned pro.

5-10 years The photographer is quite experienced. They can probably confidently shoot in any lighting condition and can introduce some well-exposed creative shots.

10 years plus A well-experienced and prepared photographer and you can be confident you’re in good hands under any situation.

Do you bring 2 camera bodies?

On your wedding day your photographer MUST have 2 camera bodies available. The last thing you want is to have a camera fall and break, or malfunction without a backup around. NEVER risk booking someone with only 1 camera.

Can we see a complete wedding you have shot?

This is HUGE.  I rarely get asked this question, but it’s one of the most important ones. A photographer will typically display their best work over the lifetime of their career. Make sure you see a day in its entirety and bonus points if it’s at one of the locations your wedding will take place at.

How long until we get our images? Is that in the contract?

2 weeks is a great answer. If you hear 1 month + that should throw up a red flag. Regardless, any delivery time you get and are happy with make sure that guarantee is in the contract. If the photographer won’t put it in the contract, assume it will take a few months to get your images no matter their answer.

If my event lasts longer than scheduled, will you stay?

Is there an extra charge?

It’s common for a wedding or reception to run 30 minutes behind schedule at some point in the day. It’s typically no big deal for a photographer to stay 15-30 minutes without charging. If you ask them to stay 1 hour or more, then there will probably be a fee to have them stay. Find out what theirs is so there are no surprises day of.


I hope this article helped in planning your wedding in Winnipeg. I have seen countless weddings first hand over my 13-year career as a wedding photographer and have written many more articles to help local Winnipeg couples plan their perfect wedding. 

Check out the rest of my site or contact me for more info regarding your wedding. 

 Meet Brian 

"Voted Best photographer in Winnipeg!" -2018 & 19 Consumer Choice Awards

Brian Rudolf -Owner/Photographer
Empire Photography - Winnipeg


Brian Rudolf -Owner/Photographer
Empire Photography - Winnipeg