Aside from choosing your venue and dress, your choice of photographer is probably the biggest decision of your planning process.
With so many photographers out there, and so many styles of shooting, the process can be quite daunting so its important that you choose one that you get along with (as well as whose style you like).
Here are some of the questions I often get asked by prospective clients – knowing what you want and also what can be offered will help whittle down the list.
This blog was originally intended to be quite a short list of important questions to ask, but as I wrote it its morphed into a monster so I’ve split it into two parts to give you a break from my waffling.
I’ve included my answers to the questions as I know you will be wanting to add me to your shortlist!
- How would you define your style of shooting – is it photojournalistic (reportage), traditional or high fashion?
I’d like to think that my style is a mixture of all of them! Generally during the day I would approach your wedding in a photojournalistic style, keeping to the background and shooting as unobtrusively as possibly to capture all those candid moments you miss – the little looks, bridesmaids playing, guests having a great time.
During the group shots (you can’t really avoid having family groups) my more traditional style comes out – although I try to put a more contemporary twist on things.
Finally, I like to take my couples off by themselves for some more intimate shots which are more posed but still natural looking.
- Do you use artificial light or natural light?
I tend to use both as and when the situation dictates. Most of the time I will use natural light if possible, but for some situations such as the speeches or first dance I will use flash. By controlling the light available I can create creative images that your guests will not be able to recreate.
- What packages do you offer?
I currently offer three packages. Eight hours, ten hours or all day coverage. All include images on a USB. The full day package is the best value for money as it also includes a pre-wedding shoot and a table top album. More details can be found on my website.
- Are you insured?
Yes – we carry full Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance and all our equipment is covered for loss
- What information do you need from me before the wedding?
I’ll send you a questionnaire to fill in once you book that has all the contact details for the wedding parties, the reception, venue addresses etc. We’ll also put a list together of the group shots you want and any other details you would like covered.
- Will I get a written contract?
Yes, I feel it’s important we all know where we stand before the event so there are no misunderstandings later.
- Do you require a booking deposit?
Yes – There is a £200 deposit to save your date with the balance payable one month before the wedding.
- Will we meet before the wedding?
Definitely. Often we’ll meet before you even book us to show you more of our work, discuss your plans and to generally check each other out. Sometimes it’s evident that parties will not get along and its important that you book a photographer you feel comfortable with.
We’ll also meet either at the pre-wedding photo shoot, or just for a coffee where we can go over plans in more detail.
- My event lasts longer than expected – will you stay and is there an additional charge?
If things are just running a little behind the don’t worry I won’t bail and leave you without a photographer and there won’t be any extra charge – unless you have just decided that you’d like me to stay a couple of hours more and capture the first dance as well.
Our full day package is the best value you can purchase – I’ll be there from bridal prep to first dance with no limits within reason. Quite often I get carried away once the dancing starts and end up staying far longer than required – I’ve often received texts several hours after I was expected home asking if I’m leaving soon..
- Are you a member of any professional organisations?
I’m currently a member of both the Guild of Photographers and the National Photographic Society (NPS)
- Can you show me a complete set of wedding images?
If you take a look at our blog then you’ll see a wide selection of images from individual weddings which will give you a good idea of what to expect. When we meet up for our initial introductory meeting I’ll bring some albums and my laptop so you can see some examples in full.
- Can you supply an album?
Yes – My all day package includes an A4 coffee table album. More expensive bespoke albums can also be purchased.
- Do we get all the images digitally?
All my packages include a USB of images from your wedding day. You don’t get every single image taken during the day – we’ll weed out the ones that are out of focus, where you are blinking or where there are multiple copies of the same shot. What you will get is the best selection from the day – normally around 350 images for a full days shoot.
Also included on the USB is a Licence to use, allowing you to use the images as you want for print purposes and social media.
Copyright of the images stays with the photographer though and we may use your images in various social media.
- Are all the images processed?
Yes – the USB you will receive will contain fully edited images.
- Can I get the Raw, unprocessed images to process them myself.
Sorry, I never give the raw images away – they need work to get them to the standard I present to you on your final USB, and therefore are not a true representation of my work.
- When will I get my images?
Ideally I like to get all your images processed and into your online gallery within 4 weeks – at busy time this might take longer. One you have had a few days to look at the images I’ll start producing your album if you require one. Once you have approved the proofs then the album will take approx. 10 days to make. You’ll then get a lovely package in the post containing your USB, any prints you asked for and your album.
- Can family and friends get copies of the images?
Once your images are processed and uploaded to your individual online gallery I’ll send you a link which you can give to anyone that is interested. They will then have the change to buy images from the gallery for 6 months.
- Do you back up your images in case of fire?
Yes – I have a four part backup strategy. First of all your images are copied to my computer when I arrive home. Secondly those images are cloned onto a separate drive. At the same time everything is uploaded to a cloud account run by one of the world’s leading data backup providers. Finally the original cards from the cameras are not used again until I am happy that everything has been copied, processed and backed up.
- What happens if you are ill on the day of our wedding?
Firstly it would take a lot to keep me from turning up! In the unlikely event that I’m strapped to a hospital bed to prevent escape then I would immediately be in contact with the many photographers I know. These are all people I recommend on a regular basis if I’m already booked so I know their work is good. If none of them could help out, then as a member of two national photographic organisations I have access to all their members via the forums so an SOS would be sent out ASAP.
- How much equipment do you bring to the party? Do you have backups?
The answer to the first part of the question is normally too much! I shoot with two camera bodies which are on my person at all times, so in the unlikely event of one failing I always have a spare. In addition to this I have bags full of lenses, lights, tripods etc.
Part Two of this blog post can be found here