5 Things to Ask Your Potential Wedding Photographer
Wedding planning can be STRESSFUL. We get it-you've ((probably)) never done any event on this scale before, and there is a LOT of pressure from a LOT of different places. Typically, couples start the planning process by choosing a date, venue, photographer, and picking out a dress. All of those decisions are super important, but I personally think that the most stressful of those 4 is choosing a photographer. Today, anyone can be a photographer, and it can be hard to determine who is credible and will really take care of you. I suggest to all my potential clients to ask the other photographers they're chatting with these 5 questions in advance.
Ready? Let's dive in!
QUESTION #1: What does this fee include?
Are there additional add-ons I will NEED to pay for, or just potentially want to purchase?
Basically, with this question, you're learning if the Digital images are included in their up front package price or if you'll be required to purchase them in addition to paying for the photographers time on the wedding day. Not many photographers charge additionally for digitals from the wedding day (WE DON'T), but it's very important to be clear on that! This is also a good time to ask if they require prints to be purchased through them, or if your package will include a print release.
OUR ANSWER: Your up front fee covers all your needs. Hours of coverage, digital images, and a print release. If you WANT to purchase prints with us later, great! If not, no pressure. The only potential additional fee that you could incur is if you decide to add on additional hours of coverage or a second photographer.
QUESTION #2: How long do you store my images, and where?
This is really important to know in advance. Should you be expecting a flash drive, online gallery, etc.? How long do you have to make sure that you get multiple copies of your images?
OUR ANSWER: We store your final digital images on our SSD (external hard drive) FOREVER, and online for 6 months after your wedding (usually longer, but this is what our contract states). However, we know that technology is never 100% reliable, so we ask that you download, save to dropbox, etc. as soon as you possibly can. Luckily, when our equipment was stolen last year in Portland, none of our couples files were lost, but it made us very aware of the scary possibility, and we want to make sure that YOU have your images backed up as well!
QUESTION #3: What do you bring to our wedding in terms of backup equipment?
DON'T try to rapidly scribble everything they list and then google it to see if it's "good." Just get a sense of whether or not they're prepared. A good answer would be a backup camera body, batteries, flash, and extra lenses. This is really a question to weed out a professional from an amateur, and it's a great opportunity for you to gauge how well prepared they'll be for your wedding day.
QUESTION #4: How many images should we expect from our wedding day?
Some photographers limit images (for example, you get 50 images per hour they shoot). That means that some candid or behind the scenes images may not make the cut. Make sure you clearly understand what you can expect from your final gallery.
OUR ANSWER: We don't limit your gallery. We estimate 75-100 images per hour we shoot, but we won't hold back any great images just because you've hit an arbitrary limit. Our average gallery size ranges between 700-1000 images, and around 80-100 images from engagement sessions.
QUESTION #5: How many team members does this package include?
Most photographers offer to bring a second shooter for a fee. Check to make sure if this is included, a required fee, or something you can decide to add if you're interested.
OUR ANSWER: It depends on the package! All of our packages include the option to pay for a second shooter to come (which we recommend if it's in the budget). Our second shooters are trained by us, and we edit their images, so they are indistinguishable in the gallery. If you're looking for a lot of candid photos and want a truly documentary-like experience, we highly recommend adding on a second shooter.
BONUS QUESTION: Can I see a sample gallery and view your contract?
Don't expect your gallery to match the sample they provide, because all wedding days are different. However, this is a great way to reference what your images will look like through different lighting circumstances!
I hope this info was helpful! If you'd like more info about our availability and packages, head to caryshaslamphotography.com for more info!