Finding the right photographer to capture the moments on your big day is a daunting task. What do you even ask them? Where do you even begin describing how you hope to remember your wedding day? Here are 10 questions I have been asked by potential couples in the past that I think are hugely helpful in giving a little insight into who we are, what drives us, and of course- the services we provide. There are no right or wrong questions to ask your photographer, really- but get to know them and what they have to offer.
Do you have insurance?
And not just for the gear, liability insurance as well- so if someone trips over any of photography stuff- everything is covered. Some venues require that we provide a certificate of insurance prior to the event to even be able to work there. Make sure to ask your venue if they require this of your vendors, and also ask your photographer if they have it! (We definitely do!)
Tell me about your overall photography style(s)!
Some photographers have a more traditional style, staging things as the day unfolds, while others are more whimsical with how they capture the day, allowing moments to happen naturally. We think authentic, natural moments are the best, but do get creative when styling the photos of your details, and try to photograph them in a way that helps to tell the wedding-day story.
What is it like to work with you on the big day?
Does your photographer use one or two cameras throughout the wedding day? Do they do a lot of directing throughout the day, or simply stay on the sidelines and watch the moments unfold? I use a belted 2-camera system to cover the event quickly, and keep backup at the ready. We also have a ‘carpe diem’ mentality when it comes to wedding photography. We love to document real moments, and keep directing to a comfortable minimum. We still ‘seize the day’ by suggesting epic shots as they are possible- sometimes it is simply the difference of walking on the other side of the room, or having a dance during open dancing in a particularly beautiful corner. We want your photos to be gorgeous, and will take full advantage of every opportunity presented, while still allowing you to enjoy the moments throughout your big day. Our couples have said it's not just easy to work with us, but it's actually fun!
Will you be my actual Photographer?
Some photography studios have more than one primary photographer in-house, or will sometimes send associate photographers out to cover your event. Make sure the photographer you’re expecting, is the photographer you're getting. We are all unique artists, after all, and it’s likely the primary photographer’s point of view and style that you are drawn to. If you are getting an associate photographer, ask to see samples of their work. I cover all of our weddings as the primary photographer, and you always have the option of adding on a second photographer as well. Having two photographers is great- you get two unique perspectives of the big day, and two people can logistically be in two places at once- which is great!
What is your favorite wedding day moment?
The answer to this questions is fun, and will help you to get to know what it is about photographing weddings that your potential photographer loves. My favorite is the first dance- the stress of the day has melted away, and the couple has a moment to just be together. I love the unique connection between couples- I think it’s really special and always different. That connection is always really apparent during the first dance, and I just can’t get enough!
What happens if you get sick or something terrible happens to you?
No one likes to think of the un-thinkable, but where does that leave you if something terrible happens to your photographer? Best to figure out the back up plan well in advance. We love to network with other photographers, not just to make awesome friends, but also so that we can help each other if an emergency ever did arise. San Diego has a really incredible network of wedding vendors that love and would help each other in times of need.
Is it just you? Is there a second photographer or an assistant?
Get an idea of exactly what type of coverage you will be getting with this question. Some photographers prefer to work with another photographer, some like to work alone, some work with just a lighting assistant, and some have a whole team to get the job done. What does your potential photographer’s team look like? It’s also a good idea to ask if the sample weddings you are looking at were photographed by one or two photographers. We offer options, and let you choose whether or not you want to have an additional photographer cover your event, and also bring a lighting assistant when needed.
When should we expect to get our photos?
Ask when you get your full gallery of images back, as well as if there will be any posted on Social Media before that. We love posting sneak peek images on our blog and social media, so that our couples can see some of their gorgeous photos right away!
What type of editing is included?
This question goes a bit beyond simply wether or not the photos are edited, and asks what type of editing is included. Is it just color correction, or are the photos edited for style as well? Is there any retouching included, or is it an additional cost? We individually edit each photograph in your gallery for color correction, style and we even retouch the up-close shots of the bride and groom. It’s not your fault the camera sees everything in such great detail, and we do believe some things (like pores) are better left to the imagination.
What do I actually get back?
Photographers are all different in terms of what they give you. Is it products, digital files, or both? Some edit everything for color correction and style and give you back a gallery of beautiful images (like us!), while others simple shoot and turn over everything. Getting everything back from your wedding day may seem appealing, but beware— this is one of those where you’re better off with quality over quantity!