Q: How will I know if a photographer is a good fit for me and my wedding?
A: I strongly recommended meeting with a photographer in person before booking a date. It is very important to make sure that everyone is on the same page with how the day will go, the style of photography, and to lay out all the expectations to proceed in the wedding planning process. I personally meet with all inquiring clients to make sure that we will make a great team moving forward!
Q: We understand the value of having wedding photos taken, but have to admit that we had some initial sticker shock when we started researching local businesses. What makes wedding photography so expensive?
A: This is such a loaded question for any photographer in the field because the answer is so subjective to the artist. In short, we provide a service that offers an experience during the most important milestone in your life. We take on a great deal of responsibility in making sure that the photographs you receive are perfectly preserved memories to share with future generations. In order to achieve great client satisfaction, most photographers take a select amount of weddings per year.
This is so that we can take the time and great care into editing your images. Most photographers strive to publish real weddings in local and national publications. When published, the photographer has an ambassador company endorsing their images. The level of credibility and trust prospective clients will associate with published small business photographers is different than that of someone that is just starting out in the industry. The final and most important thing to look for when searching for a photographer is reviews. Photographers cherish their reviews because they help expand our business and allow us to continue doing what we love. Your wedding photographer, of course, does not have to have all of these qualifications, but those key points will definitely put your mind at ease when you place a very important day in their hands.
Q: Is it okay if other people take photos while you’re taking photos?
A: I love the idea of an unplugged ceremony, just so that I don’t capture family members with their phones out as you are walking down the aisle. Flashes on other cameras and cell phones can often times be caught by the photographer during memorable times such as the cake cutting. True story: I had a couple re-do their cake cutting when I noticed that a guest had been taking photos behind me using their flash, causing me to cast a shadow onto the newlyweds. It is a huge distraction to see other camera equipment including phones present when the moments matter most. Ask your guests to simply enjoy the celebration!
Q: During a consultation with my caterer, I was asked how many vendor meals I will be needing. I had not thought about this before, so since they brought it up, I was wondering what the etiquette is in providing food for my photographer. I certainly don’t want to be rude and neglect them!
A: This is an excellent question! The etiquette is to provide a meal for all of your vendors. Before I became a photographer, I was a catering manager for a midwest grocer company. If you want your photographer and other vendors to perform their best on the day of your wedding, take care of them (and their stomachs), and they will be in better shape to take care of you!
Q: What are the most important things to consider when determining the number of hours and photographers needed on my wedding day?
A: Always consider the logistics of your wedding day. If your wedding ceremony starts at 1 pm, and the reception does not begin until 5 or 6 that evening, you will most likely need a package that covers the majority of the day. When meeting with a photographer for the first time, they will provide a quote for the amount of time they think will be necessary to fit your needs and your requests. One thing that helps with efficiency is scheduling a first look prior to the ceremony. This allows more time for photos and makes family photos painless. The typical hour I was always given between ceremony and reception in my first years as a wedding photographer was never quite enough time. I always point my couples in this direction so that I can under promise and over deliver. Last, have your photographer start when you are finishing up hair and makeup, and leave shortly after the DJ starts the party.
Q: Can we edit the images given to us by our photographer?
A: No, and here is why: professional photographers have spent their career perfecting their craft and style to make their work unique. When hiring a professional portrait or wedding photographer, you are trusting them with your day and to capture it in an artistic way that is true to their style and vision. When hiring us, we assume you love our posing and editing style and would be crushed to see a social media filter distorting our hard work.
Q: I have decided to not hire a wedding planner, but am a bit concerned with how the day will flow. Is that something my photographer would determine?
A: I strongly recommend a wedding planner to brides planning a wedding. I have always said that planners and photographers have the hardest jobs when it comes to weddings. Many might see a coordinator as an unnecessary expense, but it makes the biggest difference to both you and your vendors. Typically, the responsibilities of coordinating the majority of the day fall back on the photographer if there is not a planning service in the mix. Your photographer should be focused on capturing memories, and a planner should be working closely with the bride and groom to make the day as enjoyable as possible.
Q: I am planning a destination wedding, but have fallen in love with a local photographer. What is the expectation of payment and fees if I should ask this photographer to travel with us?
A: I’m so glad you asked! There are huge advantages to hiring a wedding photographer locally when planning a destination wedding. Many brides probably don’t realize it, but the photography options that come with resort wedding packages may be more costly than flying your local photographer in for your wedding. Also, when working with a coordinator at a resort or hotel, they may not know who will be photographing your wedding until the week of the wedding. Most photographers love to travel. All you have to do is ask and the answer will most likely be “yes.” Be prepared to pay for airfare or mileage roundtrip, a hotel room, and meals while your photographer is actively working with the camera. In most situations, the photographer will create a custom package for you that includes travel expenses.
Q: What is the typical amount of time it takes to get my photos back?
A: The editing timeframe for each photographer is different, but a typical turnaround is anywhere from four to eight weeks. Albums and other products that you order could take longer to receive.
About the Author:
Bri is the owner of Brianne Elizabeth Photography in Kansas City. Since 2013, she has been meeting new couples and learning their stories. Specializing in weddings and design, she believes in giving every client the best experience possible from the initial consultation to after the “I do’s.”