Many decisions go into creating the wedding day of your dreams; finding the perfect wedding photographer to capture those memorable moments is one of the most important decisions of all. When you know the right questions to ask your wedding photographer you can rest assured you’ll make an educated choice and feel confident you’ve found the right person. Here are the things you should ask your wedding photographer.
What is your photography style?
This should be the first thing you ask, since the look and feel of a photographer’s work should excite you and inspire you to dream about what your photos will look like. My style is primarily photojournalism, meaning I document the day as it unfolds naturally. I blend in elements of fashion and fine art for a style that is classic and creative.
How many weddings have you shot and have you shot weddings similar to mine?
After more than fifteen years behind the camera, shooting both weddings and fashion, I feel confident about the skill set I’m able to offer my clients. I’ve worked with all ages and personalities, so I’m comfortable directing and interacting with groups, and I know how to walk into any environment and find the best locations with the best lighting to produce beautiful work in any setting. A seasoned pro also knows the best equipment for every type of shot and knows how to get them under pressure. These are just a few of the reasons why you want to work with someone experienced.
How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?
Some studios have a huge pool of photographers they work with, so they book multiple events in a weekend. Often you won’t know who your photographer will be until they arrive on your wedding day. As a boutique studio I only book one wedding per day, so I’m able to get to know my couples and give personalized attention to everyone I work with.
What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment?
A true professional carries two camera bodies and an array of lenses, flashes, and other peripheral equipment. I carry two cameras at all times, which allows me to photograph with different lenses to create a variety of images. Having a second camera body also guarantees that I have backup equipment if anything should go wrong.
Do you provide a contract?
Not all photography studios provide a contract, but they are absolutely necessary. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. You should require a contract from your photographer that details what services they will provide, including pricing, termination, resolution, terms, etc. It’s in your best interest to hire a photographer that provides a contract and be wary of photographers who don’t.
What is included in my package?
When comparing fees, make sure you know exactly what’s included. If you want prints, proofs, and an album, ask if they are included. Also ask your photographer whether or not they include travel costs in their packages. All of those extras add up quickly, so understand exactly what you will receive. Another place photographers differ is in the number of images you receive. Some photographers only provide a certain number of final images, around 250 images is not uncommon. I typically provide about 50 images per hour of coverage, so an eight-hour wedding would yield at least 400 images.
What happens off the photographer is ill?
Although accidents and illness are rare, your wedding photographer should have a backup plan to handle unforeseen issues.
Do you have insurance?
Your photographer should have insurance! Most venues require this anyway, but if Aunt Mildred trips over the camera bag you want to know that it’s covered.
Will the photos be retouched and color-balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
Some photographers don’t retouch your images before you receive them, so this is something you’ll want to verify. Retouching and color-balancing are the final polish that make your images shine. I believe it’s important to retouch every image for my clients…because if your photographer doesn’t do it, who will?
How many hours of coverage will we get? Is there an extra charge for overtime?
It isn’t unusual for an event to start late or run later than expected. Be sure to inquire about your photographer’s overtime policies so you won’t be surprised if they charge an extra fee. Knowing how many hours of coverage you got helps with planning; if you know you have six hours, you may opt to have them leave after you cut the cake instead of after the last dance, or you could opt for more coverage to avoid overtime fees.
How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc. be available?
All photography studios vary in the amount of time it takes to complete post-production. Some studios that don’t do any post-production or color correction may try to entice you by telling you the proofs will be ready the next day or within the week. However, professional editing typically takes anywhere from two weeks to six months.
Great wedding photographs begin with great a relationship, and the first step is a conversation. I believe it’s important to get to know my clients, their likes and dislikes, and their dreams so I can tailor their wedding photography to something unique and meaningful. My wedding day was one of the best days of my life, and I wish the same for you. With all of the work and planning that goes into your wedding day, you deserve great photography…and now that you know the right questions to ask, you can feel confident you’ll get it.
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