First off, Congratulations on your engagement and I am so excited that you have landed here. Now I want to get REAL with you real quick on the things you SHOULD be asking your future Wedding Photographer. All the time I hear brides when I sit down with them at a consultation say, "Well, I am just not sure WHAT to ask?" or I get a bride that has a notebook FULL of questions!! Either one of these is not the MOST productive way to make sure you are asking the RIGHT questions. Now as I go into my 5th year of wedding photography and have shot 40+ weddings, I have honed down the MOST important questions to ask your Wedding Photographer!
1. FULL GALLERIES... The FIRST and by FAR the most important question I tell ALL of my brides even if they don't end up booking me is to ask for 2-3 FULL GALLERIES of weddings. It is so easy to showcase 5-20 decent images from a WHOLE wedding but what about the other 95% of that wedding?? This is one of the BIGGEST mistakes that I believe brides make! As a wedding photographer I can tell you that NO photographer should be upset or justify why they can NOT do this. Here are just a few I can show you immediately at any consultation or over email but these links are in my first email back to you when you inquire so you DONT even have to ask!
2. ASK ABOUT DIFFERENT LIGHTING CONDITIONS... This one stems off the previous question. The main reason for this is because a photographer can show you BEAUTIFUL galleries of weddings but pay attention to the LIGHTING CONDITIONS. Notice if the whole gallery is done outside in natural light but you have a wedding that is done COMPLETELY indoors. That could be a problem. That photographer might not have the equipment to photograph indoors in a dark reception. Ask to see those images also.
3. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY PHOTOS TO BE RETURNED? This is different to EVERY photographer depending on their situation and there isn't a wrong answer it really just depends on how long you would like to wait! The industry average is about a month. My turnaround time is 4 weeks for your online gallery containing all of your images that is ready for IMMEDIATE download. Your album proof if included in your collection will then be ready within 2 weeks of that time (or 6 weeks after wedding) and then as long as there is good communication between us we can get it revised and ordered. The lab takes about 3 weeks for printing and shipping and I will contact you immediately for pick up or I will ship it to you!
4. Again stemming off the previous question... WILL YOU EDIT ALL THE IMAGES? Though this seems like a silly question I have come to find out that some photographers only edit their favorite 50 or so and the rest are returned to you untouched. Now this seems CRAZY TO ME!! You pay me for my art and creativity this means I SHOULD NOT be giving you any image that has not been finished and you WILL NOT get an image that is not edited by me even if it is near perfect out of the camera. I will make sure it is sharpened and enhanced to make it even better!
5. CONTRACT?? This should be a silly question as well but there are still photographers out there that do not use contracts. This should be the largest RED FLAG of all of them! Contracts are used to protect YOU and the Photographer! I will go through every each of my contract with you to ensure you understand everything!
6. INSURED?? This is the next question that will separate the PROFESSIONALS from the Amateurs. I could be here all day telling you why the photographer needs to be insured but a few main reasons are because equipment fails, memory cards get lost, and accidents happen! PLEASE ASK!! Also a lot of venues also require photographers to prove they are insured!
7. WHAT HAPPENS IF PHOTOGRAPHER GETS ILL? I know I kept saying this stems from the other question but this one does to! Easy to flow from one to the next at least :)!! But this is a VERY important question.. I have kids and my own health and though I have NEVER (KNOCK ON WOOD.. No like right now get up and Knock on wood) missed a wedding but I know it can happen! I do though have an AMAZING support system to help with my kids but what if they are in the hospital? I have BACK UP! I ALWAYS have back up! I have networked and made several friends around the area though would be HAPPY to help me out if I am in a pickle. I also always bring an assistant that could step in if I was in a huge pinch!
8.WILL YOU HELP IN THE TIMELINE OF MY DAY?? YES YES YES I WILL!!! PLEASE let me help with the timeline of your day! Trust me any photographer should be completely willing to help you with that! This is the first wedding you have put together most likely but I have been to 20 weddings a year! I know how a wedding should run and when and where you should be during a wedding! I also know how much time it usually takes not how much time you think it will take! :)
9. IS THIS THE ONLY WEDDING YOU WILL SHOOT THIS WEEKEND and WILL YOU BE SHOOTING MY WEDDING?? Now this is another other that a LOT of brides just assume! DON'T!!! A lot of the big name, get DJ, photography, and photo booth all in one stop shop do NOT send their photographer to the meeting nor show you the portfolio from one photographer. What if you guys don't get along during your wedding? Wouldn't be the worst thing to have to spend the best day of your life for 8+ hours will someone you DON'T get a long with?? Knowing that you and your photographer are a good match is a VERY IMPORTANT! I will be at the consultation and AT YOUR WEDDING as the lead photographer. You are hiring Kaye's Photography and I am Kaye!!
10. And the last question I hope you are asking at the end of my consultations... HOW DO I BOOK YOU?!? YAYYY... It just takes a $500 non refundable retainer fee and signing the contract! I cant wait to book your engagement session and start working one on one with you make your wedding day the smoothest day I can make it!!
Thank you so much for reading these and I hope it will help you when meeting with me or other wedding photographers! Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or the contact me page ABOVE!!! I cant wait to talk with you and plan your big day!