With there being so many photographers out there, it’s hard to find the right person, one that stands out from the crowd. Photography is a crucial element to your wedding day, as this is what forms the main part of your memories. Those images stay with you and often get passed on through the generations.
As a couple, our biggest regret was not investing in the right photographer, as we were on a tight budget and timescale. We just got a friend to do it and this was our biggest regret. Yes, our friend took some nice pictures, which we are truly thankful for. But it isn’t the same as having someone who has the experience of photographing countless weddings. Unfortunately, we don’t even have one image of just the two of us, we didn’t have a couple shoot at all on our wedding day. It is now why we live for photographing other people’s days with our photography business S2 Images, to give them what we didn’t have and more.
We’ve put together a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer and what to look out for, to assist with ensuring that you are hiring the right person / people for you.
But first, here are some top tips:
One of the most important things we would say is to find a style that you like. A person whose images excite you, where you can imagine yourself in those photographs.
It’s important to see a full gallery of images, to know what to expect. Portfolios are full of the best images. Seeing a full gallery, what clients receive back, is important to get an understanding as to what the photographers work will be like throughout the whole day.
Two’s Not A Crowd
We personally, as a husband and wife team, feel it’s important to have 2 photographers. This gives you the chance to have both sides of the morning preparation covered, without compromise. You also have crucial moments photographed from 2 different viewpoints. A moment is less likely to be missed and often it feels less intrusive, as you don’t have one photographer having to run around. The two photographers tend to be strategically positioned. It allows the day to feel a lot more relaxed.
Not every photographer comes with a second photographer as standard. Some are main shooters, who hire a second shooter. We would recommend asking the photographer to see the seconds work, who will be at your wedding. This is so you know what their work is like and it should give you a general feel of how they will work on your day.
10 Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer
There are quite a lot of blogs that will give you an excessive copy and paste list of questions, which range from boring to unnecessary. Please know, every photographer actually loathes this. Most of us are putting our hearts and souls into our business, so a personal approach goes a lot further.
Most photographers simply want to get to know you, as much as you would want to get to know them. Share as much detail with them about you and your day, what you are particularly excited about, what actually makes your day personal to you. If we form a good relationship with you, it only allows us to get better photographs.
Are you available?
Photographers are often booked straight after couples have booked the venue. It’s important to check their availability as soon as you have set a date. The last thing a photographer wants to do is tell you they are unavailable when you’ve formed a good bond already. It’s the first thing that needs to be asked.
Do you have any full wedding galleries that we can view?
As explained earlier, it’s important to see a full gallery, to understand how a photographer tells a full story of a wedding day.
Please can we see a pricing brochure?
Find out if the photographer charges by day rate or per hour.
Many photographers have a maximum amount of hours that they shoot in their day package, they then may add on an hourly rate beyond this. Many photographers only take on bookings for full days, as they want to dedicate a day to each couple. This is also so that they can tell a full story of your day. Some may take on shorter days or charge per hour. It’s important to know what you’d prefer and find a photographer to suit.
Do you shoot in mostly a documentary style / stage photographs and/or shoot group shots?
Some photographers photograph in a candid / reportage style and do not like to take traditional group photographs. Others like to stage a lot throughout the day. We fall into a category that blends both, in a complimentary way. We love to capture natural moments but we also see value in general portraiture.
It is important to figure out what style of photography you prefer, as it forms a big part of the day. You cannot hire a photographer whose style doesn’t suit you.
How do we book?
It may sound like an obvious question, but if you want to secure the date, many photographers will not save the date unless you’ve paid a booking fee and signed a contract. Either way, it’s important to know in case you want to ensure that the date is yours.
How many photos do we receive?
Usually there is a minimum amount of images that you receive back. Often this depends on the content of your day. With digital photography, there doesn’t tend to be a strict cap. But most photographers will want you to receive a good quality story of your day.
How do we receive our photos?
There are so many ways to receive photographs, it is best to find out what to expect. Some photographers are fully digital – sending online galleries, some offer albums and some give USB’s.
Can we print our photos ourselves?
By law the photographer actually owns the copyright of any photograph that they take. Most wedding photographers in the UK actually give you print rights, whether it is to you or your loved ones. However, some may only give a few and/or you have to purchase prints. This is often what people getting married abroad get caught out on, as they have a photographer included in their wedding package but then have to pay for each image to be printed.
Do we have to purchase an album at the point of booking or can we purchase one after the wedding? Do we have to purchase an album at all?
Some photographers will give a discount if you secure your album early on. Some will offer albums, others won’t. But it’s important to know where you stand. From our own experience, we never push people to purchase albums. However, we have noticed that if couples secure their album in their package, it guarantees that they will have an album. If they say they want one after the wedding, it often doesn’t happen, because life gets in the way and an album is no longer a priority. This is quite sad, as you never know what will happen with technology in the future. Is anyone still using floppy disks? Some computers don’t even take USB’s. Hard drives can go corrupt after some time. Albums are what stand the test of time. You cannot beat seeing images in print and ultimately, an album is what becomes a family heirloom and gets passed down through the generations.
Do you have insurance?
This is one that straight away points out an amateur and a professional. Any professional photographer will have public liability, professional indemnity and equipment insurance. This is something that is usually stated on a photographer’s website, if they have a FAQ’s page.
There are countless questions that you can ask your photographer, but ultimately, there still needs to be a level of trust. Usually this is shown in the way that any business conducts themselves. Yes, it is important to get a further understanding but it is most important to form a good relationship with your photographer. They are the vendor that will spend the most time with you on your wedding day. Often there during the excitement, tears and laughter.
THIS IS A GUEST FEATURE WRITTEN BY // S2 Images // Wedding Photographers
Hey there, we are Sonia & Simon, a married couple that met through photography. It’s our biggest passion, and photographing together means everything to us. We are both lead photographers in our own right, with over 20 year’s worth of experience between us. All the formal stuff aside, our main aim is to tell a great story of your day and to make sure you are having an awesome time. If you are having fun, it shows in the images. We want for you to see your images back, be wow’ed at their beauty and for you to be moved by your story.