When I meet with new clients it is very important for me that they have a clear idea of exactly what they will be getting from my service and they are 100% confident that my style of photography works with their personal tastes.
With this experience in photography I have written my Top 5 questions you will need to know from me or the wedding photographer you choose to capture your big day.
- 1. Learn about your photographer and ask yourself, do I like them?
This for me is number one, as above all your photographer will be an integral part of your wedding day and will assist you or be solely organising you and your guests for the formal and additional photographs throughout the day. They may be the best wedding photographer in the world, but if they are ordering you and your guests around then you will not enjoy the experience. I personally take a lot of pride in the feedback I receive from weddings not only on my pictures, but on the how relaxed the guests are with me. Not only does it allow me to get the best out of them as they will be far more natural, but means they don’t find the photography intrusive and enjoy the experience.
- 2. Style of Photography
This follows on from getting an understanding of your photographer as I personal work in a fashion based/photojournalistic approach combing natural images of the day with dramatic composed photographs. There are three main styles and I have highlighted some of the main differences to give you an idea on what might suit you best:
Photojournalism is achieving photographs in a candid and unstaged manor which creates a selection of images that tell a story. It is particularly suitable for weddings as an album of staged pictures is not a whole lot of fun to look through, but when the photographs tell the story and show guests laughing and relaxed, it is much easy for the viewer to gather an idea of what they day was like.
Traditional wedding photography has much more of a focus on organized and structured pictures by the photographer, including the classic family pictures.
Fashion-based approach this is a style that is becoming more and more popular and is where my style sits. In contemporary or fashion-based wedding photography, photojournalistic images of the events of the day are combined with posed images that are inspired by editorial fashion photography as would be found in magazines like Vogue. This style often involves more innovative and dramatic post-processing of images.
The best way to judge your photographers style is to quite simply look at their previous weddings. I would always say try to look at a complete album as this is what you are looking to achieve whether he does it for you or you do. Check to see if it has captured all of the individual components of the day, including details like the table decorations or the bride’s maid’s hair pieces. Does it tell you the story of their day and is it how you imagine your album to look, as their structure and style will normally follow suit for each wedding.
- 3. What will we receive after the wedding?
Every photographer will offer something slightly different and will have put together their own wedding packages; this makes it very important to fully understand what you will receive back after your wedding day. A selection of the key questions you should ask are below, with what I currently offer as a guide.
- How many photographs are we likely to receive?
- Will we receive them on disc/negatives as part of our package or will we need to purchase them separately?
At an average sized wedding I will take approx 1400 photographs, that I will shortlisted down to approx 350, they will then be edited and given to the couple. I include the disc with all 350 photographs on with my all my package, as this allows couples the freedom to create their own albums or pictures at a later date. Be aware that some photographs can charge around £600 for a disc, so do check!
- How much input can we have in choosing which photos we have in colour or Black & White and will that come as an extra cost?
Personally with my higher end packages I offer a contact sheet which is all the 350 images on a few A4 sheets with the photographs in small. This allow couples to see their pictures face to face and choose which if any they would like to personalise (they may love it in black & white, but granny may like one in colour).
- How much input can we have on the direction of the shots? Can we create a shot list for you to work from?
Creating your own shot list for formal shots is a must and something I always ask couples to do themselves. The photographer can advise on this but it is a personal selection of photographs mainly as a record of your family and chosen bridesmaids/best men on the day. Asking your photographer is for particular shots you may have seen or researches should not be a problem as most creative people are always open to new idea. It is however important to bear in mind that they will have been doing this for many years and will have a very clear idea as to what will work and what wont so do listen to what they have to say too.
- 4. Read through your contract
This follows on from point 3 and is really to confirm that the deal you have agreed, including any reductions or extras are included. One point to look out for is when your deposit and final payment are due as you will need to factor this into your wedding budget.
- 5. Wedding Insurance and Wedding Photographer Insurance
Most professional wedding photographers will have insurance for themselves and their equipment. This covers them against any damage to their equipment, but more importantly liability protection in the event that one of your guests was to trip over your active photographer and injures themselves. The main question for your wedding photographer is what they would do in the event that they could not attend your wedding. Personally I have hand selected three professional that I believe can deliver photographs to a standard that I would be happy to deliver.
- Your Wedding Insurance
Nowadays I hear of more and more couples getting Wedding insurance. A great website that covers everything you will need to know about taking out cover in the event of your wedding and/or reception being cancelled, overseas weddings, gift list items and failure of suppliers is www.wedding-reception-insurance.com they also answer key questions like, why take out wedding reception insurance. It can seem like another additional cost, but can provide great peace of mind as after all you will probably spend more on your wedding day than any other day in your life.
I hope this is helpful and I will keep updating these pages so keep checking in…