10 important questions to ask your wedding photographer
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Your wedding is one of the most iconic days in your life and you would like to document those memories with perfectly shot photographs. Naturally you plan to profile more than one, potential wedding photographer. While most photographers have their portfolios on hand, there are some pertinent queries you should clarify in advance. The final selection should be based on artistic talent, professionalism and your personal comfort level. To help choose the right wedding photographer there are some important questions every bride must ask. We’re going to list the ten important ones to ask…
1.How long have you been shooting weddings and how many weddings have you photographed?
Most photographers have wonderful portfolios, but these can be slightly misleading. If you want an experienced wedding photographer then it’s important to clarify this. Be sure to ask the photographer details about other weddings he or she has shot in the past. In fact, you can also ask them to give you references of previous clients, so you can cross reference and confirm their experience.
2.Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day? Will they also be taking pictures?
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Most photographers work with assistants on the wedding day and it’s important to understand if the workload will be divided with them. Do ensure that the photographer himself will be present throughout the entire wedding and won’t outsource the workload to assistants. You should also be aware of the headcount of the team, to address hidden costs like their travel and catering.
3. Do you normally visit the wedding venue prior to the big day for research?
A truly professional photographer would visit the wedding venue in advance. This is done to plan the composition of the images based on location. Another important element is that a photographer requires power points for things like lights and charging batteries. A well organised photographer will be prepared and know what to expect in advance. In case the photographer does not plan to visit the venue prior to the wedding, then you can suggest that they make that extra effort and review the location beforehand.
4. Are there going to be extra lights for the portraits?
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Wedding pictures include formal portraits of the bride, the bridal couple and the immediate family. For truly wow pictures, the photographer should use extra lights in the form of a soft box or ring-light. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with the photographer in advance if he plans to bring additional lights. Asking this question will also make the photographer realise that you have high expectation and a basic knowledge of photography. This will definitely make him try harder to please you.
5.How many hours would you be willing to work on the day of the wedding?
Indian wedding can be long drawn out affairs and you would require the photographer to be available throughout. However, some photographers may have a time limit and charge extra for any additional hours put in. It’s better not to assume that the photographer plans to be present through the entire course of the wedding. Confirm in advance so you can be sure that there will not be any surprises.
6.Are there any add-ons we can expect cost wise in the future?
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The wedding photographer of your choice will present a cost estimate prior to booking him or her. The amount quoted may not be an “all inclusive” figure. Please check with the photographer in advance for any additional costs like transportation fees, assistant fees, etc. It’s best to avoid a surprise increase in costs, from the originally planned amount.
7. Does the cost include retouching, colour adjustment and other editing services?
When you negotiate the professional fees of the photographer ask if it included Photoshop services too. Every bride wishes for perfect wedding pictures and you may want some retouching or colour adjustments to be done to the photographs. These services should be included in the total budget allocated to the photographer.
8. What is your refund or cancellation protocol?
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Although one hopes for everything to go smoothly, there must be contingency made for cancelling a vendor’s services or vice versa. This clause must be included in the contract and should be on mutually agreeable terms. This will be an insurance against losing money unnecessarily and allow you to plan accordingly.
9.Do you require an advance to close this booking and what is the schedule of following payments?
It’s common practise to confirm a booking for a wedding photographer with an advance. Please do clarify the terms of this payment with the photographer and include a refund policy for the same. It’s also a good idea to spell out the due dates for following payments, which should be subject to you receiving the wedding pictures. These points should never be treated as forgone conclusions, as it may cause misunderstandings later.
10.Will a back-up photographer be provided in case of an emergency where the original photographer cannot make it?
Life can be unpredictable and when it comes to your wedding, it’s best to be organized. There may be a number of unforeseen events like an illness, an accident or family emergency which may prevent the photographer from documenting your wedding. It’s prudent to ask in advance for a back-up in the event of such a circumstance. We can hope that there would be no such eventuality, but it’s best to be prepared for such a requirement.
The key to a beautiful wedding album is a combination of choosing the right photographer and some planning. These memories will last you a life time, so you should apply your organizational skills to putting all the key ingredients into place. Articulate your expectations clearly to the wedding photographer and don’t leave anything to assumption.