Planning a wedding is a lot of work and finding the right photographer can be a stressful, time-consuming task. When my husband Jay and I were looking for a wedding photographer we spent hours upon hours looking at websites and portfolios and felt it would be the most difficult decision regarding our wedding. We were having a destination wedding so we relied heavily on the body of work that each photographer displayed on their website. Luckily, when we found our photographer, we knew immediately that he was the one. He was amazing in every way and we couldn’t be happier with him and the service he and his videographer provided. By getting to know him through social media, following his blog, and reading client testimonials, Jay and I knew exactly what to expect on our wedding day and there were no surprises when we met him or even when we received our images. In order to help brides and grooms have an experience as wonderful as ours, below are some of the questions that I believe every bride and groom should know the answer to before booking a wedding photographer. If you’re happy with the responses your potential photographer gives you then you just may be one step closer to booking and checking one more thing off the list!
- Who will photograph our wedding day? This question is so, so important. Each photographer out there has his or her own style and you need to be sure that you like it. Look at their specific portfolio, their blog, and their photos on social media and make sure you are drawn to their images. If you’re considering me to photograph your wedding day, I’ll be the lead photographer on that day and I’ll have one of my second photographers along with me, too! If you hire one of my associates then that specific photographer (whose portfolio you’ll have access to) will be lead photographer and you’ll also have a second photographer to help capture your wedding day.
- When does coverage start and end? Find out how long your photographers will provide coverage on your wedding day and if they will cover all the parts of the day that you want photographed, including getting ready up until the reception. Personally, all of my full day coverage collections start at prep and end once you have cut your wedding cake.
- Will there be a second photographer? Sometimes photographers bring along an assistant and other times they bring along a second shooter. These two are very different. Assistants do just that: assist the photographer. They generally don’t take pictures and don’t provide coverage at a location different from that of the photographer. A second photographer is another professional photographer and he/she is there to take pictures from a different perspective or angle, and sometimes even at an entirely different location than the primary photographer. If the groom is getting ready at another location you want to make sure that the second photographer will be able to photograph him while the primary photographs the bride. And you want to make sure that while one photographer is getting all the must-have posed shots, another photographer is getting the candid shots of moments that are happening all around. My current full day wedding collections include both a second professional photographer and an assistant to help me with photography needs – or fluff your dress and hold your bouquet when needed!
- Can we see a complete wedding? Once you know you like the photographer’s style, ask to see a complete wedding to get a true sense of their coverage. Make sure that all parts of the day are represented in their coverage of a wedding including getting ready, ceremony, portraits, family portraits, reception, and cake-cutting, but also make sure they are getting unplanned moments such as grandma shedding a tear during your ceremony or crazy Uncle Bob’s dance moves on the dance floor. If you’d like to see one of my complete weddings feel free to contact me here.
- How many images will we receive? Find out an approximate number of images provided by your photographer. Will they tell the story of your day in 500 images or in 1,000+ images? While the quality is what’s most important, you still want to make sure that your photographer is going to provide enough images to cover the day. Personally, I deliver a minimum of 80-100 images per hour of coverage.
- How will my images be delivered? This question is one of the most important ones. Make sure you understand how your images will be delivered. Online gallery? Heirloom wedding album? Here at Idalia Photography, all of our collections include an online gallery that will allow you to view, download, share, and print un-watermarked, edited, high-res images and albums are included in most collections.
- Will all images delivered be edited? Some photographers edit each image they deliver to you and others only edit the images that go into the album. Once grandma decides which image she’d like to frame you want to make sure it has been edited, right? Personally, I wouldn’t want to put work out there that hasn’t been edited so every image in your gallery will be print-ready!
- Do you provide a print release? Many consumer printers are now asking for print releases in order to print copyrighted images. While we strongly recommend using our professional lab for printing, we understand wanting to be able to choose your own printer, especially down the road when you may lose touch with your photographer. Make sure your photographer provides a print release like I do.
- Do you have insurance? Be sure that your photographer is insured in case of equipment theft or injury. Many venues require that a Certificate of Insurance be issued to them before the wedding date. Your photographer must be able to provide one. We’re happy to provide a COI to your wedding venue, of course!
- What is your booking process? Find out about the contract and payment schedules. If you’d like to work with us, I’ll ask you for a signed contract and 25% retainer to hold your wedding date.
Do you offer albums? Make sure your photographer offers quality albums. If they don’t, then that should be a red flag to you, as it’s likely an inexperienced photographer who doesn’t feel comfortable offering albums. Because there is just no good reason to not offer wedding albums to wedding clients other than inexperience and being new to wedding photography.
After your wedding, your photos and video are all you’ll have left. It’s so important to create an heirloom to pass onto your future children some day! Click here to learn about the albums we offer.
Top 10 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer by NJ Wedding Photographers Idalia Photography
For more Tips for Brides click here. Happy Wedding Planning!!