If you are on the lookout for your perfect wedding photographer you will have most likely learnt by now that the range in style and approach is immense and I will be the first to admit it can be a little overwhelming when trying to make a choice. I always recommend to enquiring couples that we try and meet so you can discover for yourself if its the right fit. Not only is your wedding photographer responsible for capturing your special day but also someone you will be spending a lot of time with on the day so you want to be sure you get along and their values align with yours. It is a huge belief of mine that if you are comfortable with your photographer, not only will you have a better wedding day but you will also look back at your photos a lot more fondly as you allowed yourself to relax in front of the camera.
To help you along with meeting with your potential wedding photographer I have put together a few questions I love clients to ask and my own answers as an example.
1 - What is your style?
Why ask? - When it comes to wedding photography, there is a whole spectrum of styles a wedding photographer can adapt and plenty of terms to describe a photographer's style such as 'Photojournalist', 'Modern', 'traditional' or 'fine art'. I would advise when looking for a wedding photographer to have a think about what styles you like.
My answer - I consider myself a wedding photojournalist and focus on documenting the wedding in a natural and unobtrusive way. I strive to capture the emotions of the day and avoid fake smiles and overly posy shots. At the same time, I am always happy to take any group photos you or your guests would like throughout the day.
2 - When and how do we receive our images?
Why ask? - A photographers skillset is not only just limited to the wedding day, their job continues after the wedding day in how the process your photos. Be sure to find out from your clients how many photos the photographer will be providing and to what degree your photos will be edited. If your photographer takes on a high number of weddings a year then they also may take longer to deliver your photos.
My Answer - After the wedding, I will take your photos home ready to be edited. The main delivery of your images is through your own online gallery where you can easily download all the photos with one click or individual photos you would like to like to store on your computer. For those who would like one, I also post out a USB. Once you have your images you can either print them with your preferred lab or print directly through your online gallery. In regards to delivery time, this can vary throughout the year but during peak time expect a delivery time of 3-5 weeks.
3 - Whats your approach for family photos?
Why Ask? When it comes to family photos, wedding photographers have varying degrees of dedication towards them. For example, more traditional wedding photographers will often take more time with family photos and a larger number of shots, however, this additional time can eat into time which you may consider better spent chatting to your guests and enjoying your day.
My Answer - I do think family photos are an important and great way to capture all your loved ones together. However, as a photojournalist, I don't want to keep you from your guests and canapes any longer than necessary. Because of this, I have developed a strategy that allows me to get you great family photos without taking up your precious time. It typically takes around 15 minutes. After this, I focus on getting shots of the rests of your guests in a more natural setting.
4 - Can we ask for certain photos?
Why Ask - A good wedding photographer will take the time to get to know you to get a better idea of what is most important to you. You may have a feature of your wedding venue you are in love with that you would love a shot with, or you may have seen a wedding photo on Pinterest you are totally in love with.
My Answer - Of Course! I like to consider myself a very social and approachable photographer and want you to feel comfortable to ask for whatever you like. I take the time to ask you before the wedding day for a specific shot you want. Of course, I know to get shots of the rings and of you and your parents etc so this is more for anything out of the norm such as a photo with friends you haven't seen for a long time!
5 - Whats your start/end time?
Why ask? - I believe your wedding is so much more than the Ceremony and speeches but all those amazing moments that surround it, it's like a year's worth of moments crammed into one day! There is a lot of emotions in the air in the morning and excitement in the evening and you want to make sure your wedding photographer is there to capture that. Some wedding photographers have a limited time and the last thing you want is your photographer leaving before the holy grail of wedding photography - the dad dance off!
My Answer - Because I want to capture every unexpected moment throughout your day I offer unlimited coverage so when I start and when I finish is totally up to you! I never want you guys to worry about when I'm leaving and have to organise things around it I just want you to relax and enjoy your day knowing everything is being captured. If there is something special happening early in the morning I'm more than happy to be there. I stay at least an hour after first dance but if the dance floor is full you better believe I'm sticking around!
6 - How do we get an album
Why ask? - Ok so here's the thing, living in the modern world of photography definitely has its advantages but the biggest problem with digital photography is exactly that, its digital! Having a print of your photograph is like having the complete product and there's something about a physical print that has so much more resonance than a digital copy. A wedding album is an extension of this thought process and having something physical as a memento of the day I think is really important.
My Answer - Getting a wedding album from me is really easy. Before or after the wedding you can order an album, once you have received your wedding photos all you need to do is pick your images in your gallery and I will send off a design for your approval and were done! You can also choose from a wide range of cover options.
7 - What are the benefits of a second photographer?
Why Ask? - When looking for your perfect wedding photographer you will see a lot of them will offer a second photographer, either as standard or as an additional extra. You may be wondering what exactly are the benefits of a second photographer for your wedding.
My Answer - In my opinion, a second photographer is the best value add-on you can have for your wedding coverage. Not only do you get coverage of the other side of the story in the morning ( groom prep and guest arrival ) but you also get so much more including a second angle for the ceremony, more candid shots of guests, more couple shots, your main wedding photographer can also spend more time on shots such as venue details knowing that candid moments are not being missed. It also means your wedding photographer has an assistant on the day to implement lighting techniques not always possible with just one person.
8 - What happens if you are ill or unable to attend?
Why ask? - Your wedding is a special unique day and can not be repeated or rearranged, understandably then it is important that there be someone to capture the day no matter what. Knowing that your wedding photographer and other vendors have plans in place should the worst happen can relieve that worry
My Answer - I like to have backup plans for all scenarios including if I am not able to attend your wedding. If you have a second photographer booked then that person will become your main photographer, this is one of the reasons I make sure my second photographers are up to my standard. If you haven't booked the second shooter then I am very well connected in the photographer world and will do my utmost to send you a replacement at no extra cost, fortunately, we live in a world where there are facebook groups for this eventuality.
9- What do you love most about photographing weddings?
Why ask? When looking for a wedding photographer you want to feel you have found one that is on the same page as you when it comes to weddings and cares about what they are doing. By asking them what they love most amount weddings and looking for a genuine answer you can get a better idea of what your wedding photographer is more likely to focus on.
My Answer - As a documentary wedding photographer I love what I call the 'moments between moments'. Those proud looks from parents, friends cracking up when trying to arrange a group photo, the bouquet toss going nowhere near the guests, the nephew sneaking sweets from the sweet table before its open. I am always on the lookout for these little stories in between the traditional parts of a wedding day as these are unique to every couple and make great memories.
10 - How do you schedule your wedding photography?
Why ask? So you have found a wedding photographer whose work you love and you get along well with, the last thing to find out is where they will be throughout the day and what time they need to produce the photographs you want. Photographers can vary a lot in regards to this so it is definitely worth asking.
My answer - As well as getting awesome wedding images for you, I consider the other half of my job is to help you have the best day ever! A lot of this comes down to simply letting you enjoy your day without taking up much of your time. The only 2 times during the day I need anything from you will be for the couples session and your family portraits. For both of these, I work in a time efficient way ( about 15 minutes) for both so you can focus on having fun and enjoying your day.