37 QUESTIONS TO ASK A PHOTOGRAPHER
Sweet Beginning, Engagement, & Wedding Tips
A blog series to help every couple on their adventure to marriage.
By | Crystal Horton Photography
Mother's Tears of Love
So many photographers. So many options. So many qualities and prices and packages and availabilities; how do you choose? How do you shuffle through all the different options? How do you not get suffocated? Right now, you need to know that your wedding is important. It is special. This particular event, with these specific people, will never happen again. This is a one shot chance to capture all the memories of that day. If you are reading this, you know that you shouldn't trust your wedding photographs to just anyone. You understand that your wedding is worth every penny that you are putting into it. This blog will give you so much power. I want to help make sure that you don't get stuck with 'joe-bob or jane-doe' who simply bought an expensive camera and call themselves a 'photographer'.
When I was getting married, which feels like forever ago but was only 4 years, I was petrified to go to a wedding venue event. Everyone making a big deal out a big celebration that costs thousands of dollars and only lasts for a few hours! I remember opening the door to the duke energy center in downtown Cincinnati, going up the escalators, and into the giant room full of people wanting my money. My sister-in-law having won free tickets was very excited, and my mother-in-law couldn't wait to try all the free cake samples. Me on the other hand, I was so scared. I felt like I was a cash cow. Did any of these professional really care about me and my wedding? Do they really listen and care for what I want to look back at every year? So after walking through the door, I stuck the bride sticker on the pocket of my pants and allowed my shirt to hide it. I just wanted to be one of the women in the crowd. I became a chameleon and I was happy! My goal was to get ideas, maybe try cakes, but to observe photographers.
I was already looking at becoming a photographer myself, so my research on what made a good photographer was basically done, but I still needed to talk with a professional and get the real them. I wanted a passionate professional who would not know I was the bride, but would still treat me with the upmost respect. In honesty, this was the best thing ever because I quickly eliminated several "professionals" who pushed me away because they didn't see the name tag that said bride, mine was hidden for that exact reason.
I did find my photographer that day, and actually found two options. One had their entire staff booked for our wedding date, but thankfully the second still had one of their highly recommended photographers available. Both of the professionals answered my questions and really hit the hammer on the nail. Not because they knew what to say, but because when they said it, I could feel and see that they meant every word. They may have had passion in their art, but they also showed that they cared about 'my wedding' when they spoke to me.
P.S. both photographers had no idea I was the bride until I told them after the conversation. I originally told them I was helping gather information, which was true. I was helping gather information for my husband! *wink*wink*
So let's get down to it. What are the things you should be thinking about and asking professional photographers when on the hunt? This will help you separate the money makers from the passionate ones, and the mediocre from the top artists.
- Are you free for my wedding date? (no point in the hassle if they are busy.)
- Besides memories, what am I getting?
- Are you paying for just their time?
- Are you getting any photographs or albums with your purchase?
- What kind of customer service can you guarantee?
- Are you getting constant communications?
- Are you treated the same as a $1000 wedding if you'er only spending $200?
- Is photo enhancement important to you(the bride)?
- How much Enhancing or Editing is included in the price?
- How extreme is the enhancing?
- When I get a photograph, will I look plastic or like I have a heavy amount of makeup on?
- When enhancing my photos, if I get a giant volcanic crater of a pimple will it be removed from the photographs?
- How clear and understanding are the packages?
- Does the photographer have a website?
- Is the website clean?
- Does the website load fast?
- Is the website easy to navigate?
- Can you easily find the prices, portfolio, and contact information?
- Do you like the photographs? (Why would you pay more or less for photos you don't like?)
- Really look at the price with the photograph quality. If the engagement session is only $40, does the entire engagement session look like it's only worth $40? If the package is $120 does it look like it's worth $300? Always getting a better photograph for a lesser amount is better.
- Are there hidden fees?
- Do you pay extra for a CD/memory stick?
- Do you pay extra for a photo album?
- Do you have to pay extra for designing that photo album?
- Is there traveling costs?
- Are the photo prints printed on photographic, uva/uvb, fade resistant paper or just local walmart prints?
- Does their package price include taxes?
- Can you pay for an extra hour, or is 8hrs the max?
- How long have you been capturing photographs? Anyone in today’s world can go out buy a $1000 camera and say ‘ I’m a photographer’. That should scare you! Someone could take your money and capture dull, lifeless photos which you could have paid your uncle Larry to capture on his cell phone. This isn’t the most important question to ask because someone could be gifted with the photographer's eye, and basically take amazing photos of everything.
- Are the photographs unique or traditional or do they all look the same?
- Can you feel the emotion in the photograph?
- Can you CLEARLY see the photographer is passionate?
- Will teasers be uploaded to social media?
- How will I receive completed memories?
- What is the process after a photography sitting is over?
- Do you upload photography sittings in order, or as they are completed? This is a major note to make as a bride. A wedding photographer could capture over 1000 good images from your wedding, and that should take about 6-8 weeks for enhancing. HOWEVER a senior sitting may only get 80 images, and take only 2 weeks for enhancing. Don't be discouraged if they upload sittings as they are finished. It's not fair to the senior to have to wait 2 months for 80 photographs.
- Do you really want to skimp and "save money" on your wedding photographs? You might want to save money but do you really want to gamble that you are going to get mediocre stale mundane photos?
Your wedding is special. This event, with these people will only happen once. Your memories are priceless. Don't let just anyone capture photographs of your wedding. The last thing you want to do is hire a photographer just because they have a good price. Do you want to regret that decision for the rest of your life? Do you want to see bad photo every time you look at your wedding? Don’t set yourself up for failure.
Most of all don’t be afraid to ask questions. The more questions you ask the better chance you will have to get the photographer you want. You also increase the chances of getting photographs you will love. This is powerful knowledge, I'm giving to you. You should believe that the photographs of your wedding really don't have a price value! Your memories are priceless! Your memories should come to life every time you look back at them. Don’t gamble with your wedding day. Be 100% sure that your photographer is giving you their all, that you are getting the best you can get!
Questions to ask a Wedding Planner
Questions to ask a DJ
Questions to ask a Caterer
Questions to ask a Venue
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Crystal Horton Photography
1729 Red Clover Dr., Lebanon, Ohio 45036
Captivating Wedding Photography in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Ohio Tristate