Few things in life are as eagerly awaited as a beautiful wedding. Nothing, especially the wedding photographs, should be left to chance on your special day.
After deciding on the location for your wedding, one of the most important vendors you'll choose is a professional photographer. Because of this, it is essential to hire a photographer who possesses the ideal balance of personality, expertise, and experience to record the unforgettable events of your special day. As such, it is highly recommended that you compile a list of questions to ask a wedding photographer before making your final decision.
What do you, as a professional photographer, need to know in order to capture your clients' most memorable moments on their wedding day. Creating a wedding tale takes more than just a few high-quality cameras and fancy editing software. One must blame the photographer.
Here Are Some Frequently Asked Questions To A Photographer.
Is This Your Full-Time Business?
There are a few possible interpretations of this enquiry; please be specific.
A lot of photographers claim to "specialise" in anything from weddings and families to infants and maternity to boudoir and business photography. Inquire what percentage of the photographer's clientele consists of wedding clients as opposed to portrait clients if you notice both wedding and portrait photography featured on their website. You might gauge how long they spend at weddings from this. That someone works as a photographer does not necessarily indicate they specialise in weddings.
In an effort to help the average bride and groom weed out the part-time, semi-dedicated photographers, this question appears on many "things you need to ask" lists. However, the truth is that a photographer's website, blog, social media involvement, and initial response to your enquiry can reveal a great deal about their expertise and professionalism.
What Type Of Editing Is Done On The Photos?
People who commissioned your work often ask, "Will the images be edited?" or "Will they be photoshopped?" without understanding what they mean. Revision and improvement are two distinct processes.
Most photographers apply a basic edit to every shot; enhancements and photoshopping are usually saved for one-offs or use in print.
Image editing might take anywhere from twenty minutes to many hours per image. Any photographer that guarantees flawless skin in every shot is either being dishonest, charging too much, or taking too long to edit your photos. In either case, it's a false promise.
Can I See A Complete Wedding?
Inquire about attending many weddings. If at all feasible, you should look into weddings in a setting comparable to the one you are planning (a dark inside the venue, a farm, a winter wedding, etc.).
If you are a plus-size bride or the bride and groom have a large height difference, etc., ask to attend weddings of similar couples. It's important to know that the photographer is comfortable collaborating with a wide range of people and couples, not just the "model-pretty" sorts.
What Type Of Lighting Do You Use?
What would you make of the photographer's description of their lighting setup, which included "four speedlights with two softboxes all controlled by eTTL enabled pocket wizards"?
The reason for this is because a good wedding photographer must be able to adjust to any given scenario. You need to feel confident in the photographer's flexibility in case the weather prevents you from taking pictures in a picturesque outdoor setting and instead forces you to use a dingy, unlit interior venue. One flash permanently attached to the camera could compromise the overall quality of your photographer's shots.
Your photographer's ability to use several flashes, and do so well, will significantly enhance the visual impact of your final images. Some photographers will refer to themselves as "natural light photographers" to avoid admitting they are flash photography novices.
How Long Have You Been Working As A Wedding Photographer?
It is usually beneficial to build someone's credibility from the start. Even if a photographer is skilled overall, there is a vast chasm between their work and that of a professional wedding photographer. A skilled photographer for a wedding will be familiar with the routine and stress of the event, so they can anticipate the most meaningful moments and never miss a snap. Despite the temptation to save money by going with a less skilled amateur photographer, we strongly advise against doing so. There are many skilled photographers who occasionally shoot weddings as a side gig, but is it wise to put yourself in danger for subpar results?
If you want someone you can trust to record the memories of the most important day of your lives; it's worth spending a little more on a professional wedding photographer. As a rule, a professional wedding photographer will have been working in the industry for at least a few years.
Can I See Your Portfolio?
This is a surefire method of determining whether or not your photographer has sufficient expertise, especially if they don't have any internet samples to peruse. Take this chance to discuss their work and look for a range of shots, a wide range of experience, and a distinct photographic style. You can do this by reading their recent newspaper articles or online at their wedding blogs. Follow your gut, especially if you can see yourself in the pictures and mentally reliving the wedding day. As a general rule, that's a promising indicator.
You want to ensure that the photographs your prospective wedding photographer has shown you are from actual weddings, not just from a photography course or a styled session. Your portfolio can include these photos if they serve to raise awareness. Many hours are spent on styling and preparing professional models for styled wedding shoots, although this is not the case for a real wedding. The stress and scheduling restrictions of a real wedding are not reflected here. All the pictures you see on my site are actual ones I've taken during weddings.
What Is Your Photography Style?
Any Sydney-based wedding photographer worth their salt will bring their distinct approach to the job. By looking at their previous work, you can tell the Difference between a great wedding photographer and an ordinary one. Reportage wedding photography, also known as candid wedding photography, is the method I find most effective for recording emotions as they unfold in the heat of the moment. You'll want some artistic photos, of course, but the day really has to be documented as it happens so that the story can be told. Respect for time is essential to keep the day running, and being able to think on your feet and come up with creative solutions is a skill that comes with experience and practice.
No one will stand for a wedding photographer who demands 20 posed group shots in Australia. The key is to be organised and productive while you piece the story together. If you employ a pro, they will know how to stick to this when setting up their hero shots.
What Equipment Do You Shoot With?
This is the question to ask if you want to know more about the photographer's technical skills than anything else. Pro photographers typically utilise Nikon, Canon, or Sony cameras and must have full-frame sensors and fast prime lenses. Questions regarding lighting and exposure can provide insight into their planning skills and help you identify potential problems with the venues you're considering. Do they seem knowledgeable about the topic at hand?
Photographers who bring only one camera to a wedding, even if it has numerous lenses, are not pros and run a high risk of losing all of the photos. Any self-respecting photographer knows the importance of having a backup camera handy.
Do You Have a Physical Location for Your Business?
Pros and downsides exist for photographers who do not have a studio. It costs a lot of money to rent or buy a studio space, so if your photographer has any studio, you may expect to pay extra.
Your photographer's ability to produce professional results will not suffer because of their choice of the working environment.
If your photographer only does weddings, they likely won't require a studio, just an office space. They don't need a studio because they do all their work off-site.
What’s Your Turnaround Time?
The time it takes to receive your photos after sending them to a photographer will always be different. Don't worry too much about comparing photographers' turnaround times if you can't be sure that you're comparing like services (for example, don't compare a photographer who edits their photos to one who hires someone else to do the editing).
Normal turnaround times may also differ from one season to the next due to fluctuations in the volume of orders and the time of year they are placed.
If you ask your photographer, they may be able to offer you a ballpark estimate of how long the turnaround will be. However, it is not uncommon for a contract to not include a firm time frame for delivery.
How Many Weddings Have You Shot?
There's no magic price if you're looking for a professional photographer. Each photographer has their method.
While some photographers may only shoot 15 weddings a year and perform all of their editing, others may shoot 40 or more weddings a year and pay someone else to handle the post-production. Again, comparing two wildly different business models is like comparing apples and oranges; if you must ask, always add "as the major photographer."
The experience of being the primary photographer vs the second shooter is vastly different, and the two should not be lumped together for statistical purposes.
Instead of asking the photographer how many weddings they've shot, try starting a conversation with them and asking them about their previous season. Find out where they shot, what kinds of challenges they faced, what kinds of clients they worked with (shy, plus-size, height-differences, etc.), what kind of workshops or seminars they've attended, and so on. This will give you a sense of their versatility as an artist and entrepreneur.
Do You Scout The Locations And/Or Recommend Locations To Us?
Some photographers won't even consider suggesting sites, while others are adamant about picking the perfect backdrop for the wedding. Not every photographer will do a thorough location scout, but good photographers can adjust to any circumstance.
Each church and park eventually blends into one another. Good photographers are able to adjust to any circumstance. Your photographer will charge you for each hour of their time on the job (shooting, editing, meetings, scouting, etc.). In order to charge more, some photographers demand to spend many hours "scouting" potential shooting spots before your big day. (It is ultimately up to you to decide how you feel.)
What Is The Difference Between A Client Meeting Before And After They Book You?
It may come down to your clients' preferences when you meet with them—before or after they make a booking. Clients who want to meet in person typically have a number of questions they'd like to ask and are eager to do so. Customers who are sure they want to work with you are more likely to pay the retainer online, mail it right away, and schedule a meeting to discuss the engagement session, expectations, and other details later.
Can You Photograph Abroad?
A lovely sunny day with a blue sky is the best background possible. The great Australian weather can't promise this, unfortunately. In addition, it's a major factor in why so many couples decide to tie the knot in a foreign country. A photographer in Australia might be just as economical as one in another country if you are planning a destination wedding. In addition, you get to know them in advance, communicate in English, and have them available whenever you need them while you're away. Inquire about the fees involved if your photographer can shoot internationally; you may be surprised at how affordable it is.
Will You Have An Assistant With You?
Some photographers usually have an assistant on hand to help lug about their bulky and often cumbersome equipment. Some photographers have opted not to need assistants since they've invested in lightweight, easily transported equipment.
In the days of film and more complicated metre readings, assistants were more common; they would speed up the day by taking a variety of metre readings for the photographer. All of that is superfluous now that there are DSLR cameras.
Don't confuse "helper" with "2nd shooter"; instead, have your photographer define the second person's role in writing.
What’s The Difference Between An Assistant And A 2nd Shooter?
A photographer's assistant is there for the photographer's benefit, not the couple being married. The photographer's helper is responsible for the menial tasks, such as carrying baggage, lighting, holding reflectors, etc. A helper takes no extra shots. A photographer's helper can be anyone from a close friend or family member to a complete amateur with a desire to make a few more money in exchange for helping out on a shoot.
The presence of the second shooter is for the advantage of the bride and groom. The second photographer is a qualified professional with backup equipment whose primary job is to capture additional wedding day memories for the bride and groom. A second photographer will charge a fee because they will likely be capturing someone else's wedding if you do not contract them for the day.
There are photographers who will hand their assistants a camera and tell them to "go nuts, have fun," and you may be offered the resulting photos. However, likely, these helpers have not received formal photography training, so the images they take will not be very high quality.
You have the right to know who will be shooting your wedding as a second shooter, how long they've been working with the main photographer, and what they'll be doing during the day.
You shouldn't see the second photographer you hired lugging around the lead photographer's equipment. Don't believe the hype about getting a free backup shooter. You will most likely be assigned a brand-new employee or intern.
What Is The Cancellation Policy?
Cancellation procedures should be clearly stated in the contract. There should be provisions for the photographer to back out, the couple to cancel before any services are supplied, and the couple to cancel after any services have been offered. What monetary payments or compensation are owed to either party in the event of cancellation should also be included in the provisions.
FAQs About Wedding Photographer
The genre of photography known as wedding photography is a hybrid of many other types of photography. It includes portraiture, family and group photography, documentary photography, boudoir photography, event photography, and close-up photography. As a result, wedding photography necessitates using numerous pieces of gear in addition to extensive prior planning.