Wedding photography can be a confusing purchase for many couples. It is usually a decision that is driven by emotions (this is a good thing!). For most brides and grooms, it will their first time working with a professional photographer and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out if you have all the information you need to make a decision.
Here are my suggestions for the top five questions to ask your wedding photographer before you sign a contract.
1. What is your style?
There are many styles of wedding photography and many different factors affect style. Some things should be obvious from looking at a photographer’s wedding portfolio, such as shooting style and editing style. Other things are less obvious and will really affect your experience during your wedding day. Your photographer is one of the only vendors that you spend more time with on your wedding day than your guests.
At Sujata Photography, I describe our style as “Elegant Documentary”. My background is as a photojournalist, so our focus is always on capturing real moments and letting your day unfold without a lot of intervention from us. We work hard to help our couples plan their day for the best photos ahead of time so that once the wedding arrives, we can just let it happen.
We still do formal portraits with your family, bridal party and just the bride and groom. We want you to have beautiful photos all day, but we never want portraits to take over your day.
2. Who is on your wedding day team?
Some photographers work alone, while others can have a large team of people.
At Sujata Photography, Kris and I (Crystal) work together at every wedding. As a husband and wife team, I think we bring a unique perspective to our work. Since we work together at every wedding, we have a great system and smooth communication. For most of the day, I run the show and Kris is my second shooter. This system allows us to get lots of formal portraits while not missing the candid moments in between.
3. Can I see a full wedding day gallery?
So you have browsed through a photographer’s portfolio gallery, looked at a few blogs posts and you think “Great! I love every photo!” As photographers, we put out our best photos for the world to see, but on a wedding day we are faced with some of the most challenging photography situations. On a wedding day, I am an event and documentary photographer, a portrait photographer and a detail and product photographer. We go from crowded getting ready rooms, to very dark churches with no flash allowed, back to blasting sunshine (or sometimes pouring rain) and finally to crowded dance floors with swirling laser lights.
You want to make sure that any photographer you hire can handle all these situations and will deliver photos to the same standard throughout the day. In the spirit of this, here are two recent weddings we photographed that you can check out the full wedding gallery:
Joanna and Jay – Multicultural wedding day (BONUS: this wedding has two ceremonies!)
4. How do I receive the final photos?
This is a really important one! Every photographer does it differently.
For us, the most important final product for our clients is their wedding album. All of our collections include a 30-page album (we have several different album choices). When I am photographing your wedding, the album is always at the back of my mind. Since our focus is on story of your wedding, the album is where our work really shines!
All of our clients also receive an online proofing gallery for at least 6 months. This gallery will have all your finished wedding photos. You can share this gallery with friends and family as well as order additional prints and products.
Most of our clients also choose a collection that includes high-resolution digital files with a print release. What does this mean? This means that you will be able to download all the photos from your gallery. The files will not have a watermark and they will be large enough that you can make prints at the lab of your choice.
This is where I find most couples get confused when hiring a wedding photographer. Make sure you are clear on this before you sign a contract. There is nothing worse than thinking you will receive digitals files from your wedding day only to find out afterwards that was not included in the price you paid.
5. How long does it take to receive photos after the wedding day?
Standards for delivery of wedding photos vary greatly from one photographer to another. I have heard some people take as long as 6 months or even a year! I personally think that would be so disappointing to have to wait that long. We guarantee all of our clients will receive their finished photos within 4 weeks of their wedding. Most of our clients actually see their photos within 2-3 weeks.
We actually set an appointment with our clients, so that before your wedding day, you know exactly when you will receive your photos. When we get together, we show you a slideshow, your full gallery and a pre-design of your wedding album, so that you have your album as soon as possible
There are lots more questions to ask before you sign a contract, but in my opinion these are five of the most important and often overlooked questions.
Have a question I didn’t answer? Click on Contact on the toolbar above to send me an email and I’d be happy to answer it!