wedding

12 essential questions to ask a wedding photographer

The task of choosing your wedding suppliers is an exciting part of planning your wedding and the first step in the process of bringing your ideas to life. But it’s not without its challenges and some decisions will be harder to make and which wedding photographer to book is one such decision.

So how do you feel confident that the photographer you are looking at is right for you?

The following questions are intended to help you feel both prepared and confident to find out the information you need before making the choice of who to book.

 
helen & dan - for web-1-36.jpg
 

1) Are you available on our wedding date?

It may seem obvious but it’s probably one of the first questions you should ask, if the photographer isn’t free on the date of your wedding (and presuming you can’t change it) it’ll save you a lot of time asking many of the other questions before finding out.

2) Can I see previous examples of your work?

In most situations it’s probably safe to say that if you’re at the point of wanting to ask questions you have already viewed their images - and like them. However, if you haven’t or you’re at a wedding show for example meeting several new suppliers then seeing their previous work is crucial. Look at their style, the types of shots they take and if they are consistent. Ask questions about the shots you like too, it will give you an insight into their process and how they may approach your own wedding photos.

3) How will I receive my final images?

You’re happy with the standard of work you will receive but in what form will you get your final images? There are various packages out there covering online galleries, usb devices, prints and albums. Photographers will have different preferences about what they want to offer their clients so make sure you’re fully aware what you will be getting. Ask about what’s customisable, what materials and finishes are available and what papers you can choose for prints. It is also a good opportunity to find out if the photographer will do all the designing themselves.

4) Can I make special requests?

Special requests could take various forms. Everyone will have a certain expectation of the coverage they will recieve on the day but are there any images you really want captured? Talking about any specific images that matter to you is a great starting point for chatting with a photographer that will also allow you to gage how you get on, how accommodating they are and that they are generally interested and excited about shooting your wedding. Of course, special requests don’t just have to be specific photos on the day, they could be additional features to your package such as extra prints or an album. All professional photographers should be happy to tailor things to you.

helen & dan - for web-1-44.jpg
helen & dan - for web-1-45.jpg

5) How long will you stay for on the day?

Weddings are long days full of lots of smaller special moments from morning preparations with your bridesmaids and groomsmen to the parents seeing the bride in her dress for the first time as well as the essential elements such as the ceremony itself. Having a general understanding of how timings will run on the day is really useful for knowing the times you will need your photographer and checking what coverage they offer in their packages. Some photographers will detail a specific time or event that they will stay until, 9pm or until the first dance for example. If you want them to stay longer an additional fee may be added, it may even be on a cost per hour basis. Other photographers (such as myself) won’t apply any time limits and will stay into the after party or until they are happy they have got all the shots they wanted for you. In either case it’s worth making sure you know what to expect so you’re confident all the things you want will be captured.

6) Do you offer a pre-wedding photoshoot?

This may not be a high priority for some couples but it’s definitely something worth discussing with a photographer. Pre-wedding shoots (aka engagement shoots) are a fantastic way of getting to know your photographer more, experiencing what it’s like to work with them as well as having the opportunity to have more fantastic images of your engagement to treasure. A pre-wedding shoot may already be included in the packages your photographer offers or they may be a separate item you can book. There may even be an offer if you have a shoot and go on to book them for your wedding or vice versa.

7) Is a deposit required to book you and when is the final fee due to be paid?

Getting to the formal side of booking a photographer is knowing how much it will cost to book them for your date and when you need to pay the remaining balance by. The deposit will be a percentage of the total package fee and usually needs to be accompanied by a signed wedding contract.

8) Are there any additional costs?

It’s always worth asking if there are any extra costs connected with the package you are booking. Such costs may come from: booking a second shooter (if you want one), adding extra prints or usb’s to your package or for requesting the photographer to stay later than detailed in their packages. If your wedding is out of the area where the photographer is based they may also apply a cost for travel and accommodation.

helen & dan - for web-1-8.jpg
helen & dan - for web-1-9.jpg

9) Have you shot at our venues before? If not, will you visit them beforehand?

It is not essential that the photographer you book has shot at your venues before, although that may give you some comfort that they are familiar with the location and how things will run across the day. The venue may even have examples of their work in sample albums or be using them in their own promotional materials. However, if they haven’t shot there before it shouldn’t be a point for concern, chat to them and ask if they will visit beforehand to do a recce. For the majority of photographers this will be common practise to visit any venues prior to the wedding anyway.

10) What information do you need from me before the wedding?

With all the questions that may spring to mind to understand the photographers role and what to expect from them it’s equally important that you feel confident with what is needed from you. Typically this will be completing a wedding contract at the point of booking but nearer the time of the wedding providing a breakdown of all the timings and suppliers for your wedding day will be essential for your photographer planning their approach so everything can run smoothly. They may have their own wedding schedule they’ll ask you to complete and return to them. Asking what you’ll need to do along the process is good for making sure you feel well informed and also establishes that open dialogue between the two of you.

 
helen & dan - for web-1-26.jpg
 

11) Do you have backup equipment?

This may sound like a cheeky question to ask for some prospective couples but knowing what backup measures are in place for the things that can go wrong isn’t something you should avoid when talking with a photographer. And you don’t have to be technically minded to ask this by any means, just having a general understanding of what they do to cover any potential problems such as a failed camera or corrupt memory card is important for you to know. How they convey this to you should help reassure you that they are professional in their practise.

12) Questions to ask yourself!

  • Do I feel a good rapport with this photographer?

  • Do I like their images and their style?

  • Has this photographer listened to what I’ve said and been happy to share the information I need?

  • Would I feel happy to ask more questions if I needed to?

H&D web B&W-1.jpg

5 reasons why wedding ring photography is important

 
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY170.jpeg
 

Do you find it bizarre why so much attention is given to photographing wedding rings? Did you have a meeting with your photographer and they were really passionate about it or because you've been trawling through page after page of wedding photography ideas on Pinterest and they always come up? Then this post is for you. Here are five of my reasons why wedding ring photography should be an essential on your must-have-wedding-photo-list. It's certainly on mine! 

1. I give you this ring.

At some point or another we have all heard these words associated with the exchanging of rings and the unending bond that they represent. Let's just remind ourselves of them whilst we're here: 
"I give you this ring as a sign of our marriage, and as a symbol of our love. I promise to care for you, to respect and cherish you, throughout our lives together."
In fact we may be so accustomed to hearing those words as we grow older that we begin to overlook the significance they hold. Wedding rings remain one of the greatest symbols of love and commitment two people can share together. They are one of the first things fiancés buy together and in reality will be one of the few surviving momentos of your wedding day, other than your wedding photos and dress (unless you 'trash the dress' of course - more to come on that in the future). So a keepsake that's so constant in your life together has to be worth including in the memories captured in your photos, right?

 
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY331.jpeg
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY330.jpeg
 
 
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY332.jpeg
 

 

2. More than a memory.

Introducing the notion of your wedding rings being a keepsake was no accident. Your wedding rings are a symbol of your love and commitment to each other but they will eventually develop into a much deeper symbol of your identity and your family. Their value will grow as your history does and you may end up offering them to your children for their own wedding proposals or they may inevitably be passed down as an heirloom. In any case, the journey of your rings starts on your wedding day and that's also when they will look their best - that's something your family will want to look back on as well as you.

3. Let's celebrate!

Literally! Your wedding is a day long celebration just for you. It's full of smiles, laughter and probably a tear or two. There's confetti to throw, glasses to raise and ridiculous dance moves to break out as the night goes on. Everything you have planned and brought for months and months plays some part in your wedding day, whether big or small, and all those things get photographed. So why not your rings? 
You may be thinking - "let's not get reckless here! These are our wedding rings not a box of confetti". And I value why you'd feel cautious handing your rings over to someone to take them around different spots to photograph them.  
I remember buying my camera, it was brilliant and when it arrived I was super excited to unbox it. Once I was holding it I found myself feeling nervous, not wanting to scratch it, protecting it almost. This sounds reasonable but I found that it was somehow stopping me from being immersed in shooting with it, finding safer, less risky perspectives to shoot from, not resting it on the ground or on a wall. When I broke out of the habit and started shooting the images I wanted to begin with, the whole experience changed and was way more fulfilling. My point being (yes there was a point to that) you should dive in to your wedding day and immerse yourself in the experience and the photography, and when you dive in - take your rings with you. You may regret it later.

ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY619.jpeg
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY611.jpeg
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY624.jpeg

 

4. Creativity.

If you browse wedding photography looking for inspiration you may find yourself amazed by the sheer amount of ideas that photographers come up with. I know I do. The creativity and desire to integrate different details and items into new and interesting photographs is something that drives the passion of all photographers, particularly those who specialise in weddings. Wedding rings provide a fantastic opportunity to embed your theme, colours, flowers, even your cake into your photographs. It's also a brilliant element to use when getting the photographs of just the two of you. The scope for creativity is as endless as the infinite bond they represent and within it is a chance to create truly personal and original photos. 

5. The icing on the cake.

Photographing people is a fantastic experience, especially on their wedding day. As a photographer you look for those little glances and small moments of someones personality coming through. You use the elements you have around you to bring that out as much as possible, to make it unique and to make it an experience for the people you are shooting. The experience continues when they view the images and when they exhibit them - whether online or in a frame in their home. That continued experience is something I try to hold in my mind whilst I'm shooting - how would this look as an album or as a series of framed prints?
Giving attention to the details and accenting the wider shots of two people together with the intimacy and scale of their wedding rings resting together really helps bestow an identity and a story to the images as a collection, they thread context and meaning to an album and they encourage that feeling of 'us' for the people who see them every day. The small details really can be the icing on the cake of your collection of images.

 
ANNE & DAVE - WEDDING DAY582.jpeg