In a previous blog post about how to choose your perfect photographer, I emphasised the importance of asking the photographer questions to establish whether they are suitable for your requirements. In this post, I will go through a combination of some frequently asked questions and some questions I would recommend you ask any photographer, to help you through your discussions with photography suppliers. If this posts sparks any questions in your mind, or you’d like to have a chat about choosing the perfect photographer for you, please visit the ‘Contact Us’ page and don’t hesitate to get in touch.
1. How do you make sure my photos are safe?
It’s crucial that your photographer takes all necessary precautions to keep your photos safe and secure. Any photographer worth considering will have suitable equipment to assure you that your images are protected. For example, my camera records all the images I capture to multiple locations, meaning that if there is a technological issue in one location, you have an automatic back-up of the photos. I also buy high-end memory cards from a leading brand and change these frequently throughout the day, transferring all your images onto an external hard drive before I’ve even left your venue! I always want my couples to enjoy their day and have peace of mind that their photographs are in good hands.
2. Do you have backup equipment?
It is always good to know what contingency plan your photographer has in the unlikely event that there is an issue with any of their equipment. It’s important to know that they have a back-up in the unlikely event that a problem arises. I always take three cameras, multiple lenses and several spare flashes to every wedding, so whatever happens, I have the equipment to do my job.
3. How involved in our day will you be?
Ultimately, this should be completely your decision! All photographers approach weddings in a slightly different way, but in all cases they should consult you to discuss how and when you would like them to be involved in your day. For the majority of couples I work with, they really want a photographer to blend into the background and capture lots of natural and happy shots for the vast majority of the day, however they still want a few of the traditional portraits and family shots too, which is when they ask me to take the lead a little more. Always discuss this with your photographer in advance of the day so that both parties know exactly what’s expected and you can achieve the best balance for you.
4. What happens if it rains?
Here in the UK you can never guarantee glorious sunshine, even in the height of summer, so it’s important to know that your photographer will be ready for any eventuality. Even on rainy days, there are always plenty of ways to ensure that you still have beautiful photographs to look back on. Sometimes this involves dashing out when the rain breaks to make the most of the natural lighting, however just in case, I take a full lighting set-up to all weddings to make sure that I’m ready for any twist and turn the weather can throw at us.
5. Have you been to our venue?
It’s important that your photographer knows what to expect from your venue, so even if a photographer has never shot a wedding there, it is reasonable to expect that they will pay the venue a visit before your big day. I visit every venue prior to the wedding, sometimes even visiting with my couples. A venue visit gives your photographer a chance to chat to the staff and familiarise themselves with any regulations and limitations that the venue may have in place. It also allows the photographer to see the space and lighting that the venue offers and find some great spots for taking photos.
6. Do you have a contract we need to sign?
It can seem daunting signing on the dotted line, however a contract for services protects you as much as the photographer, and any professional will ask you to sign one. My contracts give my customers peace of mind that they have me confirmed for their big day and that I am fully committed to attending their wedding. I always encourage my couples to ask if there is anything they are unsure of, so if you have any questions about any aspect of your contract then it’s always worth contacting your photographer to clarify and they’ll be happy to help.
7. How do we book?
Perhaps an obvious question, but an important one! If you’re happy with what you’ve seen and who you’ve met, you need to know how to move ahead and secure your date before their services are snapped up! In my case, I require a deposit of £250 and the completion of my booking form/contract, which is standard practice across the industry.
8. Can we see some full wedding galleries?
It’s all very well seeing the best examples of your photographer’s work, but you want to be sure that they can deliver a high standard of imagery consistently across your entire gallery. Any photographer should be happy to show you an example of a complete wedding, so you can gain a better idea of exactly what to expect from a full set of photos rather than just the highlights.
9. Can we customize your packages?
No two weddings are alike and as someone that works in the wedding industry I can confirm that this is very much the case, so it’s crucial that you know that your photographer will be able to modify their packages to exactly what you require. Think about what you’d like. Is an album important to you? Would you like an engagement shoot, or a second photographer? Speak to your photographer and they can offer help and guidance if you’re not sure what you need and can provide you with a personalised quote.
Bear in mind, it’s always worth looking at the number of hours your photographer offers as standard, as if you have to add extra hours to your package to cover your whole day, this can add up very quickly! I offer unlimited coverage included as standard, which enables you to plan your day without worrying about when I’ll be in attendance or whether you’ll have to pay for additional coverage.
10. Are you insured?
This isn’t necessarily something you’d think to ask your wedding photographer, but it’s valuable information to have and really helps establish the professionalism of your photographer. Make sure your service provider has public liability insurance and are prepared for any situation that could arise whilst you’re using their services, making sure you’re both covered in any eventuality.
11. How will you be dressed?
Again, this is really down to you, so if you have any special requirements then discuss this with your photographer, but for most couples, if a photographer promises to blend into the background, wearing a smart suit like the rest of your guests, will make a difference.
12. When will we receive our images?
I know how excited my couples are to receive their images, and it’s always good to be given a rough time-frame for how quickly your photographer can return these to you. Often, it will be written into your contract so you can be assured that you will receive the gallery in reasonable time. Each photographer will be slightly different, however my quoted turnaround time is a maximum of 6-8 weeks, which covers the very busy Summer periods. Whilst this can feel like a very long time when you’re eagerly anticipating your wedding photographs, remember that your wedding photographer will want the images to be perfect before they’re sent to you and will spend a long time processing these behind the scenes to ensure that they are happy with the result, and you will be too. Normally, I send a few images within the first week or two as a sneak-peak so my couples can see how I’m progressing and get a taste for what their gallery is going to look like.