Thanks to Allison McCafferty who offers help to wedding couples seeking advise with this great piece, 10 Questions You Should Absolutely Ask a Wedding Photographer. She began her career as a professional photographer in 2011. She started her business as a portrait photographer and later got into weddings. Having shot over 100 weddings, she focuses her business in the NJ and Philadelphia area. Her home studio is located in Shamong, NJ.
10 Questions You Should Absolutely
Ask a Wedding Photographer
Choosing the right wedding photographer can be a daunting task. You start a google search, scour Instagram, ask your friends for recommendations and you have a long list of awesome prospects. There are so many styles of photography, everyone has a different package and offerings and after a while it all starts to blend together.
I get asked many of the same questions every time I speak with a couple. I’ve compiled a list of the most common questions on my FAQ page. I want to make sure my couples are excited to work with me and feel confident I am here to help them throughout the planning process.
1. What is your style of photography?
There are so many styles of photography. Traditional, photojournalistic, light and airy, dark and moody, the list can go on and on. My style is mainly documentary. I treasure candid moments and I am always looking for the in-between moments. I document moments as they happen and will never ask you to “re-do” something or create a fake moment. During portrait time, I will put you in some great light and will ask you to just interact with each other. If you need some prompts or ideas for posing I will absolutely guide you, but I want your photos to be authentic. You should be able to look back on these photos and remember the day as it happened, not how it was set up by your photographer. My editing is clean and vibrant. Not too bright, not too dark and the colors are bright and beautiful.
2. Do you work with a second photographer?
Many couples think that having a second photographer is imperative. Are they absolutely necessary? No, but having a second photographer will provide you with more angles and more final images. Personally, I almost always shoot with a second photographer. Their duty is to grab the secondary angles during the ceremony, portraits, cocktail hour and reception. While I cover bride prep, my second photographer covers groom prep which are often in two different locations. When a wedding is large, it helps to have the additional coverage. A small beach ceremony and an intimate dinner for 12 guests does not require a second photographer.
3. Speaking of final images, exactly how many photos do I receive?
I’ll start with this. Every wedding is different. I don’t think any photographer can guarantee an exact number of images. It all depends on the flow of the day. A wedding that has a lot of travel time between locations will result in different coverage than a wedding that has prep, ceremony and reception all happening in one place. Some weddings run behind, some have huge guest lists, some have long dinner hours, some have the dance floor packed right away. On average, I would say I deliver anywhere between 75-100 images per hour that I shoot.
4. When do I get my photos?
I’ve heard horror stories of couples waiting six months up to a year to get their wedding photos back. I can’t imagine having my couples wait so long. I edit a sneak peek of 40-50 images and get them to you within a day or two of the wedding. While phone photos can be great, having a sampling of your professional photos right away means you can share them with your friends and family, post on social media or order custom thank you cards. The rest of your images are delivered to you within six weeks of the wedding.
5. Do you have insurance and equipment backups?
Such an important question to ask. Make sure your photographer is covered. I have a $1 million insurance policy and will send a copy to your venue when requested. I shoot with two cameras as does my second photographer. I have multiple lenses and multiple lights, so if something were to breakdown it’s covered.
6. What rights do I have to the photos?
Many couples ask if they have “copyright” to the photos. What they really want to know is what rights do they have to their photos. A print release gives you the right to print, share online and reproduce your images. I provide my couples with a print release so that they can print as many of their photos as they would like and can share them on social media. They are not watermarked and they are all high resolution digital files. I hold the copyright to the images because I am the one who created them, but you get full rights to printing, sharing and reproducing them.
7. What happens if you get sick or can’t make it to our wedding?
Having a backup plan is crucial. Make sure your photographer has a plan in place should they become so incapacitated that they can’t physically photograph your event. Thankfully this has never happened to me, but if I were to drop dead tomorrow or become so ill that I was in the hospital, your wedding would still be covered. My second photographer would step up to be the primary photographer and she has a list of photographers that I know and trust that could fill in for her position.
8. Can I see a full wedding gallery?
The ability of viewing a full wedding gallery versus just a snippet on a blog allows you to really see how a photographer documents a wedding day. It’s easy to post their best work on Instagram or on their website, but to really see the whole story from start to finish allows you to get a good feel for their work. I am happy to share full wedding galleries with perspective couples (and I always ask permission of the gallery owners as well).
9. How long have you been a photographer and how many weddings have you shot?
Asking both of these questions is important. Just because a photographer has been shooting for 15 years does not mean they have wedding experience. You are paying for the experience and talent a professional wedding photographer has. Yes, there are photographers under the $3,400 mark, but that usually means they’re either inexperienced in shooting weddings or they are shooting at a high volume. I currently only shoot 25 weddings a year. That allows me give each of my couples the highest level of service and attention they deserve.
10. How do you backup your files?
What happens if the hard drive your wedding files are on crashes and they haven’t delivered them to you yet? Your photographer should have a solid backup plan in place. The night of your wedding I download your images onto my main hard drive as well as to a secondary external drive. Both drives are also backed up to the cloud. Memory cards can also fail over time, so make sure your photographer’s camera has two memory slots in their camera. (Mine do, I shoot with a Nikon D850 and a Nikon D750).
I hope you found this list of what questions you should ask your wedding photographer helpful. As I mentioned before I do have a long frequent questions list on my website and I am more than happy to answer any additional questions you may have. It’s my goal to be as helpful as possible during the wedding planning process, so that you have a stress free and amazing wedding day. Contact me today to set up a meeting or phone call!
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10 Questions You Should Absolutely Ask a Wedding Photographer