Questions To Ask Wedding Photographers
We often get asked “what questions to ask wedding photographers?”. It can be daunting with the amount of money involved and you want to ensure that everything is going to run smoothly.
Most established businesses will answer any questions you have and can give you peace of mind that they will provide the service you require.
Wedding photography is perhaps one of the most important things to get right. When the wedding day is over we want you to look back through the photos and be happy that you have beautiful images you can cherish and reminisce over for many many years.
With ten years of experience your thoughts and questions have helped us create a truly personal and unique wedding photography service.
Before Your Wedding Questions…
Q. Are you a full-time wedding photographer?
A. Yes, I have been a full-time photographer for many years. I have specialised in weddings for the last four years and have ten years’ experience of shooting weddings. On average I shoot 45 weddings a year. Shooting 45 or below this number helps us focus on delivering my customers a prompt and professional service.
Q. Do you travel?
A. Yes, and if your wedding is in England we do not charge for travel. Outside of England we normally only charge for travel and two nights’ accommodation extra.
Q. Are you insured?
A. Yes, any photographer that is not insured, may effect your own wedding insurance if you have taken one out.
Q. I have certain ideas I would like – can you do these?
A. Of course – I love to hear new ideas. I’ll try anything and work with you to get the images you want.
Q. What happens if your camera breaks on the wedding day?
A. I have two backups of everything so no need to worry.
Q. We are having a videographer, do you need to know about them?
A. Most videographers work alongside the photographer, so it’s never really something we need to know about.
Q. How far in advance do I need to book you?
A. This is of course up to you, but as a guide we always have at least five weddings booked two years in advance and nearly all our weekends are booked up a year in advance. This being said, sometimes days do get missed so it’s always worth asking even if it’s a last minute booking.
Q. How do I go about booking you for my wedding?
A. If you are interested in booking us I would like to meet with you first and discuss your day. If logistics make it difficult to meet, for example you live abroad, we can always arrange a meeting over the phone or Skype calls are even better. If you have already had a meeting and would like to confirm your booking, the next step is to complete our online wedding booking form. To see our booking form press here.
Q. Will I need to meet with you before our wedding?
A. In most circumstances we love to meet with our customers and we are happy to travel; however, if you live quite some distance away we can keep in touch via email, Skype and phone. We will always confirm your wedding plans around one to two weeks before your wedding.
Q. What happens if I need to cancel our wedding? Will I get my deposit back?
A. Unfortunately if you cancel your wedding we are unable to offer a refund on your deposit. This is why we only take a small deposit to book the date. We cannot refund deposits as it is likely we have turned business away for your wedding date since you made your booking and it may be unlikely that we will get another booking for your date as most of our customers book 18 months in advance.
Q. What if I change the date of our wedding?
A. If you have to change the date of your wedding please let us know as soon as you can. If we have your new date free we can move your wedding for a £50 charge. Again, this is because it is likely we have turned business away for your original date. If we do not have your date free unfortunately you will lose your initial deposit.
Q. Once we have paid our deposit, when do we need to pay you the balance?
A. We split your total balance into three payments. The first being your first deposit of £250, the second payment is due 3 months before your wedding. This amount depends on which package you have, but is 50% of the total balance. The final and third payment is due on receipt of your proofs after your wedding; again this amount will be different for each package.
Q. What happens if I miss my second deposit date?
A. If you miss or are unable to pay your second deposit on the date given to you by us we may refuse to photograph your wedding. However, in most cases if you contact us and arrange a different payment date we may honour this if it is not too close to the wedding day.
The Wedding Day Questions…
Q. How long will you stay for?
A. We stay until the evening buffet; this is normally around 9pm. We can stay for a short while longer if needed, for example if you have fireworks – we want to make sure that you are happy and everything is covered.
Q. What happens if it rains all day?
A. If it should rain on your wedding day we of course don’t stop working; if anything we work even harder to ensure you still get great photographs from your wedding. We will look for gaps throughout the day to make sure that you get your creative portrait images. However, if it rains constantly without any breaks (this has happened to us once) we will give you a free creative portrait session after your wedding.
Q. Are you the photographer that will shoot my wedding? And do you have other photographer’s assistants that work with you?
A . Yes, I shoot all our booked weddings. Depending on which package you book there will also be a second photographer. Click here to meet my second photographer.
Q. Do we need to provide food for you on the wedding day?
A. No, we will leave for food during your meal. However, if you want us to photograph your meal you will need to provide us with food as we will be unable to leave the venue to get our own food.
Q. How will you and your assistants be dressed?
A. Our motto is to dress as a guest; however, because we need to be practical as we carry a lot of equipment and need to get in awkward positions to get certain shots, you will sometimes see me lose my tie at some point in the day and remove my suit jacket.
Q. Is it okay for other people to take photos whilst you’re working?
A. Yes of course, we have no problems with this and we will make it clear if we need an area or space with no other people in the way to take certain photos. We will never tell people not to take their own photos, and we quite often have guests stood next to us taking photos alongside us.
Q. What happens if you lose or damage the camera’s memory card?
A. Our cameras copy the photographs onto two memory cards inside each camera so it is very unlikely we will lose/damage both cards. Our cameras never leave our sides and we also have backup cameras, cards, flashes, lenses and much other camera related equipment that will allow us to continue to shoot your wedding whatever happens.
Q. What happens if you’re ill on our wedding day?
A. In the last ten years this has never been a problem as it would take a very serious illness for me not to be able to attend your wedding. But in the very worst case scenario I would organise another photographer to attend your wedding from our many contacts.
After the Wedding Questions…
Q. How long will it be before we see our photos?
A. It depends on the time of year but normally you will see your photos three to six weeks after your wedding.
Q. What happens to the photographs you have taken on the day?
A. Once we have taken your photos the first thing we do after backing them up is select the photos for editing. We delete the ones we don’t need.
Q. Can we see all the photos you have taken?
A. Unfortunately this is not possible because of the huge amounts of data the images take up; remembering that we have several weddings every month we cannot do this. But don’t worry, we keep the very best photos and the ones we delete are often virtually copies of the ones we keep – we basically take three to five photos of everything to avoid taking photos with people’s eyes shut or funny facial expressions when people are talking. We also delete most of the unneeded photos on the actual day during your meal time; we do this to review our work.
Q. When do we pay the last payment?
A . The last payment is due as soon as we have made any changes to the final set of images and they are ready for processing into albums, proof books, and copied to USB. We will not process your images for delivery until the last payment has been made.
Q. Once I have paid you the last payment, how long will it be before we get our photos?
A. We can give you a download link instantly whilst you are waiting for the physical products. The USB takes around two weeks to be made, the proof books normally within three weeks and albums vary depending on how many changes we have to make to the design, but normally within three weeks once approved.
Q. When I get my photos will they have any copyright restrictions?
A. No, we have shared copyright with our customers. When you have your photos on USB you may do anything you like with them.
Q. I really like black and white photos, do you do these too?
A. Yes, you will receive all your edited images in colour and black & white.
Q. Do you do selective colouring? For example, can I have my flowers in colour and the rest of the photo in black and white?
A. We don’t do this unless you ask for it as it does not fit our photography style. In my opinion it is generally a dated look and does not complement our photography.
Q. Do you back up my wedding photos?
A. Yes there are several stages of backup. As soon as we have photographed your wedding we back them up and as soon as we have edited them we will back them up again. We also back up to an Internet cloud so we can access your photos from any computer with an Internet connection and download them instantly.
Q. Why is wedding photography so expensive?
A. This is the question I see most often from brides on the Internet. Wedding photography seems like easy money — work for one day and rake in the cash, right? But most full-time wedding photographers carry over £15,000 worth of wedding gear and often work 60-hour weeks. We hand edit each image to make sure it’s perfect and as you can imagine it is very time consuming when you are working on 400 images. Add insurance, taxes, fuel, travel, software, advertising, albums, repair, shipping, and studio expenses, and many photographers end up making less than minimum wage for the first few years of their career.
Q. How can I make sure I look good in my photos?
A. Relax. Trust your wedding photographer. If you’re relaxed it will come through in your photos. Leave some breathing room in your schedule so you don’t feel rushed.
Q. I keep hearing about “shoot and burn” photography. Sounds painful. What is it?
A. Yes, it can be kind of painful. “Shoot and burn” is slang for photographing a wedding and burning it straight to CD without post-processing. It’s usually super cheap — for a reason. Bad lighting isn’t corrected, distracting elements aren’t removed, and other unwanted things remain proudly on display.
Digital files may be important to you but find a full-service photographer who will edit the images and print reference proofs before handing over the photos. Please don’t let the digital’s rot on your hard drive. As a photographer I want you to proudly display your wedding photos – don’t hide them!
Q. Do I really need a second shooter?
A. There are many advantages to booking a package with a second photographer. Firstly, you get more photos and you can see your wedding photos from two different perspectives. Please click here to see my second photographer’s work.
Q. You can Photoshop that, right?
A. It depends. As a photographer, I want to get everything as perfect as possible in camera. Posing, location scouting, and camera settings can “fix” most things before I even click the shutter. If your uncle photo bombs you I’m going to retake the photo — it’s much easier to get the photo right than to fix it with Photoshop. Many photographers charge for extensive editing in Photoshop because it can be very time-consuming.
Engagement Shoot Questions…
Q. Where can we have our photographs taken?
A. You can be as creative with location as you would like or you can just keep it local and go to your favourite spot. If you would like us to travel there may be an extra travel cost; please provide us with plenty of notice so we can arrange this for you.
Q. Can we bring our children or dog with us?
A. Of course. It can be a fantastic opportunity to get the rest of the family involved. It’s always a good idea if you have young children or a playful dog to bring someone along who can look after the little ones towards the end of the shoot so you and your partner can have some romantic photos together.
Q. How long will it be before we see our photos?
A. Normally within three weeks.
Q. How many photos will we get?
A. Normally around 30-40 hand-edited photos.
If you have any other questions that you feel should be on this list, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or fill in our feedback form below.
To see more questions have a look at this Questions for potential wedding photographer