Finding and hiring a photographer for your wedding is a big step. This is the person that will be with you for the entire day of your wedding. This is the person who will document the day, process the photographs, and provide the album that stores your memories for generations to come.
Remember that after the wedding day, the only thing you have left is your spouse, and the photos. We want you to have the best possible photos to remember your day.
To help you choose the best possible photographer (who might not be me) I've put together a list of questions and answers for you. Feel free to use this list of questions when you interview other photographers.
Q: "Who should be my photographer for my wedding?"
A: This is probably the most important question that you can think about, and the most important question to ask the various photographers when you are interviewing candidates.
A photographer, in my opinion, is more than just a person with a camera. They are recording history, but there's also some innate artistic interpretation going on. Anybody can push the button on a camera but a true photographer will think about things like "what's important here?"
"what do we want to see and remember?" as well as "what things are distracting from the main message?"
Your wedding photographer will probably spend more time with you during the wedding preparations, and the wedding day than any other vendor you have, and in fact, more than most of the people in your wedding party! Our job is to be the fly on the wall, documenting your day. Then at the end of the day when everybody else is done, we still have a big job to do to put it all together in such a way that the story can be told.
You need to choose a photographer that you are comfortable with personally, professionally, and artistically. Two out of three will lead to disappointment. If I am not a good fit for you in all three of the above categories, I will help you find another photographer that is. My goal is for you to be happy.
Q: "How would you define your style?"
A: This is actually a great question, and it's something you should ask every photographer that you are interviewing for your wedding.
I would define my style as artistically classic. That means I want to create beautiful artistic images that will look great now and 50 years from now. I will give you beautiful creative photos that will stand the test of time. If you're looking for a photographer that is going to put all kinds of filters and textures to his work, then I would be happy to recommend some.
Q: "How much should I expect to spend on wedding photography?"
A: There are photographers to match every budget. Some are as cheap as $500 for the day. Others can range to over $20,000 for the day.
My packages start at $1,800 for 8 hours of photography. We also have a variety of a-la carte products that you can add on.
Every pacakge I offer includes all the digital images from your event!
Q: "Why are you so expensive?"
A: The short answer is that my prices are based on my costs, and what I put into the production. I am not the cheapest alternative, nor am I the most expensive. I believe I am a good value for the price, and my customers seem to agree.
If you get a photographer that only charges $500 to $1000 for a wedding you are most likely getting images straight out of the camera, with no corrections. If someone is doing the same amount of work that I'm doing, with the same amount of gear that I bring, providing the same quality of work that I provide- then they are losing money, and they will not be able to stay in business.
Q: "How much do I save by getting a package vs. getting everything a la carte?"
A: On average, you will save between 15 to 30 percent buying a package.
Q: "Who will actually come and photograph my event?"
A: I will. I do not subcontract weddings. If you book a wedding with me, you will see me on your wedding day.
Q: "Since your wedding packages include all the digital images, and I can take the disk to a local place to have the photos printed, why should I buy prints from you?"
A: First, I really want you to have the disk. This ensures that years from now, you have all of your wedding photos.
When you order a print from me, I retouch the photo to make sure that everything about that photo is as perfect as possible. I remove stray hairs, I remove facial blemishes, I make sure the eyes are clean and bright. On average, this takes me anywhere from 5 minutes to 30 minutes per photo.
I order my prints from a professional lab, which only serves professional photographers. They use calibrated equipment, to make sure that what I see on my screen is exactly what you will see on your print. Have you ever noticed how you get different color prints from different places? That doesn't happen here.
All of these things account for the higher price of my prints vs. your local print shop.
Q: "How many photos should I expect to get?"
A: You should expect between 40 and 60 photos per hour of shooting, per photographer but you could potentially receive more too. Keep in mind that some photographs are merely to establish the story line when we go to produce the album; not every photo will be cover quality.
Q: "Can I see an online gallery from a previous wedding?"
A: Definitely. In fact, I prefer that you look at that to determine what I can do. This gives you an idea of how I will cover your day, as well as a better overall picture of the results you'll get. Anybody can go out and take 1,000 photos and put the best 10 up in a portfolio but consistently getting the shot, capturing the moment, is more important. Yes, you will have your cover shots, but the overall result is equally (if not more) important. Drop me an email for access to a gallery from a previous wedding.
Q: "What does it take to book you?"
A: By signing a contract, and putting down 1/2 of the package price, you have reserved me for that date. If you are not sure which package you wish to choose, then 1/2 of the smallest package can be put down as an initial deposit to reserve the date. Note that locking in the date also protects you from future price increases, even if you choose to go to a higher package.
Q: "Why should we do an engagement session?"
A: This is more than just a chance to get some good pictures. This is a chance for you and I to get to know each other, for me to find out what you like, and for us to learn how to work together. We're not just capturing moments we're creating art together. The more I know about you, the better your wedding day pictures will turn out. Many couples like to book this engagement session 2-3 months before the wedding, so they can use the photos for the wedding announcements, or the save the date cards.
I've also found that the engagement session builds trust between us. Most people have bad memories of being photographed our mothers dragging us off to places in the mall run by disinterested people who waved toys in front of us. Later we sat for school pictures (which never looked good). Or, people would force us into groups and bellow, Say cheese! (which is really cheesy) as we exposed our teeth in a grimace, looking forward to having the whole thing be over.
Our sessions are different. We might ask you to stand a certain way, move a certain way; when you see the pictures, you'll understand why. Because we use digital SLR cameras, we can usually show you the pictures right on the back of the camera so you can see that we make you look good.
On your wedding day, you're not going to have time to look at the back of the camera. You'll be doing so much, talking with so many people, managing so many details, that you'll just have to trust that I get the pictures.