10 things to ask your wedding photographer
You’ve said yes to the dress, booked the venue, decided on the type of ceremony, found a groom! Another big consideration is your wedding photographer. At the end of the day when all the confetti has been swept away, the dress is dry cleaned and the flowers have died, your wedding pictures are what is left to preserve the memories of the biggest day of your life. So no pressure to find the right photographer for you then!
Whether you have narrowed it down to a few possibles or have your heart set on one photographer you should always try and meet them in person. You want to feel comfortable with this person(s) as you’ll be spending your whole wedding day with them and if you feel at ease, you’ll not only enjoy yourself more, but they’ll get better shots. Result! Aside from your gut instinct I’ve gathered some helpful questions to ask before choosing a photographer.
1. What style(s) do you specialise in?
Most photographers use a blend of several different styles of photography and have a preferred style. For example a photographer specialising in Photo journalism (sometimes called Documentary) will have a very hands off approach and will shoot the day as it happens without any real ‘posing’ whereas a Classic wedding photographer will take pictures that are a bit more formal – maybe like those in your gran’s album. For more information on Wedding Photography styles, there is a great article here.
Another way of seeing if the photographer you like is the right one for you is to ask them what key words they identify with their brand and see if that matches your vision. For example mine are FUN, CONTEMPORARY and ROMANTIC and my style reflects that.
2. Will the photos be retouched and colour balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs?
Some photographers will ‘photoshop’ all your photos before you see them, while others will show you untouched proofs and only work their magic on the images you order.
3. What exactly is included in your packages?
This is important when comparing costs. Check whether prints, albums, digital files, as well as if extra coverage such as engagement shoots are covered. Not a deal breaker as you can always make your own album or chose as an ‘extra’. Just make sure you are comparing like for like.
4. How many hours of coverage do we get? What is the charge for overtime?
If overtime is costly it will help you plan your day accordingly e.g have them leave after the cake cutting rather than the first dance. Or buy a package with longer coverage up front so you don’t have to worry.
5. What is the deposit and total fee?
Most photographers will charge a booking fee to hold the date, find out when you have to pay the remainder of the balance.
6. Will you be my actual photographer, or will it be one of your associates?
Don’t assume that Bob of Bob Photography will be taking your photos. It doesn’t mean that Sue his associate is any better or worse, but you’ll want to meet the person who is ACTUALLY taking the photos on your day and see examples of their work.
7. Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for them?
Second shooters can give you a different perspective on major moments during the day but this may cost you extra. It’s all about seeing what each package entails, so if in doubt – ask!
8. How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
After the big day you’ll want to see your professional photos ASAP especially when you’ve seen all your pals mobile shots on Facebook and Auntie Jeanie’s with everybody’s heads cut off! Some photographers offer sneak peeks on social media and others can make you wait weeks during peek times. At least if you know you can mange your (and your new mother-in-law’s) expectations.
9. What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos?
If you are a Facebook and Instagram addict, not being allowed to share your photos online will be painful – better to know as early as possible to mentally prepare yourself!
10. What is your Plan B, if you’re sick?
If you are going with a company that employs a team of photographers, you’ll have built-in back up. But if you’re going with a solo shooter, ask what plans they put in place to ensure, in case of emergency, you still get photos with a similar look and feel to what you were expecting.
That’s it. You will have other questions you think of that will help you narrow down your search. The main thing is to ask them! I hope that helps, happy hunting.