This post came from a conversation between someone who is already married. They told me something very interesting. Their wedding photographer was hired and shot the wedding but afterwards, when the bride got her photos back, she was disappointed. The pro was a "pro" and definitely knew what he was doing, but yet he didn't deliver the images how the bride wanted. He gave her a USB stick with unedited photos (including some that were so dark and out of focus!) Yikes!
She also gave the photographer a list of shots that she wanted. And a lot of them were not "checked off."
This got me thinking about how I make a relationship with a client before I shoot their wedding. It even reminded me of the last wedding that I did. I was given a list of pictures that the bride expected to have and I kept them in a fashionable fanny pack the day off- to make sure that I fulfilled them.
Hiring your wedding photographer might be daunting! There are so many choices on google and on Instagram that you love- how do you know who to pick?
You might even sit down with a potential photographer and talk to them over coffee.
What would you ask them?
As a photographer, this is what I would expect a client to ask me:
1. "What makes you passionate about photography and wedding photography especially?"
Hopefully they will be tripping over their words at this point- in a good way. A good photographer will LOVE their job- every minute of capturing your love story in a unique and fresh way!
This question is also a good one because you will be able to see the photographer's fun personality shine through.
Weddings are 10 hour to 12 hour days sometimes. And keeping a professional attitude ALL day is sometimes hard, I know. But yelling at guests during the reception or pushing people aside to get the "shot" or even taking cameras away from guests (all true stories that I have read about) is NOT okay.
2. "How soon am I going to get my images?"
As a photographer constantly trying to beat instagram for great customer service, I am surprised to hear when a photographer takes more than 2 weeks to get the images to a client- it's just too long after that. I even heard of a photographer taking 6 months!
3. "How will the images be delivered and how can I use them?"
Most photographers will give you a USB stick with them. But always read the fine print- some photographers will make you purchase them separately after the wedding.
Ask them if prints, gifts, or albums are included in the cost.
Most photographers that I know will not give a client the copyright to their photos- but they will give a "print release." These are TWO different things. The first is giving up the photo credit from the photographer, while the second maintains the credit and gives you permission to print for personal use.
Also, I don't know a SINGLE photographer that will give you RAW or non-edited photos. Make sure that your photographer will at least simply retouch the photos with light editing.
4. How are they going to be published?
I have had a few clients want me to not publish their work online. But I do need to know about this ahead of time.
As part of my booking process, I do make sure that clients know that I will be submitting their wedding for online publishing and for social media pushes. I would HATE to accidentally publish their private wedding that they don't want all of the WORLD to know about.
4. How do you suggest that I write my timeline for the wedding?
Most photographers will know how much time it will take for them to shoot various aspects of your day. Have them tell you what timeline works best for their work.
If you have a lot of pinterest photo ideas that happen during the daytime light (soft and "clean" looking), then an evening wedding might not be for you. If you like the dramatic photos taken at night or with indoor studio light at a dark location, then this is something to consider when you book a wedding venue!
I've been at weddings that only give me 10 minutes for the bride and groom. Don't rush the photo process. Put in your timeline at least 30 - 45 minutes with JUST the BRIDE and GROOM. Put 30-45 minutes for just the wedding party. Put 30- 45 minutes of just family pictures. If you want getting ready photos- that is another 30-45 minutes.
So before you sign a contract with a photographer, make sure that you are asking them these questions!
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