You’re engaged. You’re looking for a photographer. And my guess is, you’ve turned to The Knot for help. Am I right?!
Hey, there’s no shame in that! Many couples do. It’s a great and easily accessible resource to find vendors and get your questions answered. It would almost be silly of you not to use it.
But, if I can be honest, some of the advice they give isn’t so rad. And some of the questions they advise you to ask are a little silly.
So, rather than asking some of the questions, they suggest, here’s my advice on what you should ask your prospective photographer.
Questions The Knot Asks….
1. How many megapixels do your photos have?
Working with a certain kind of camera doesn’t define you as a professional. Nor does the number of megapixels an image has.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t expect high-resolution images! In fact, it’s the exact opposite.
Instead of “How many megapixels do your photos have?”, a better thing to ask is, “What can I expect to receive after my wedding?” Or better yet, “What makes you a professional photographer?”
My answer? What makes a photographer a professional is their experience.
With 6-years of experience under my belt, I know the cameras and lenses I prefer to use to capture you best. And I’ve got the top-notch gear and backup drives to go with it. All of which I own to provide you with the beautiful, high-quality photos you deserve.
It also means that I know that your wedding, like you and your partner, are unique. It’s not one-size-fits-all. So, what you receive at the end of it all is up to you! Of course, you’ll get hundreds of hi-res images. But whether you’d like an engagement session, boudoir session, album, or canvas prints, is totally up to you!
2. What if our photographer brings too much equipment. Is that a common problem?
A professional photographer should bring the necessary equipment to capture any photo. In any setting, at any time of day.
But, with that said, that can add up to a handful of gear.
So, once you’ve had the conversation about the venue and where you’ll be having your ceremony and reception, I recommend asking “How much gear will you be bringing?” And, “Do you need a safe place to store your equipment?”
Seriously, if you ask me this question, you’ll be my couple of the year!
Many venues have a storage area or separate room where we can store our equipment securely. Which means we don’t have to haul around equipment all day. Or worst, stick it in a corner next to a guest table for all to see. #EyeSore
3. Have you worked at my venue before?
This is a question I get asked a lot. And it’s actually a pretty valid one. After all, you want to make sure your photographer is capturing images in the best/coolest/unique places your venue has to offer. And knows where the optimal places for lighting are.
So, depending on what your photographer has to say when answering this question, I recommend taking it one step further.
a) If they say they have worked at your venue before, ask to see a gallery of a previous wedding.
b) And if they haven’t worked at your venue before, ask them if they would be willing to check it out beforehand.
(Hint: A truly professional photographer should be willing!)
Now, if your venue is 3-hours away, that may not mean they’ll carve out 7-hours on a random Monday to check out your venue. But it does mean they should arrive early on the wedding day – with plenty of time BEFORE they’re scheduled to be there – to check out all of the best spaces and create a game plan. During this walkthrough, it’s a great idea to pull in your wedding planner and/or the venue’s coordinator.
As they walk the space, whether weeks in advance or day-of, they should be aware of any lighting needs and issues specific to the space. And have brought gear necessary for any lighting situation and setting.
4. Should we be scared if you use lots of special effects?
After you’ve explored some photography styles and determined which one you love most, it’s important to understand how those images are created.
So, instead of “Should we be scared if you use lots of special effects?”, ask the following:
— “How would you define your style?”
— “Can I see a full gallery?”
— “When can I expect my gallery back?”
Your photographer might use certain effects to correct colors or highlight details. But, some effects can borderline trendy and look dated years from now.
If your photographer mentions they create a more editorial or artistic style of photography, this typically (but not always) means they’ll edit on the heavier side. And if they mention they’re a natural, classic, or documentary-style photographer, you can usually expect lighter editing.
On average, you can expect your gallery to be turned around in about 4-weeks. So, if your photographer mentions they can get your images back to you within a week or so, this is not a good sign! Quality can’t be rushed. And if they’re speeding through the process to get you your photos quickly, you’re likely not going to be happy with the way they look.
It’s important to see a full gallery (or multiple) because it gives you an overall picture of how the beginning, middle, and end of your day will look. As well as to see how consistently a photographer edits a full gallery instead of just a handful of images on Instagram.
Some things to be on the lookout for effects-wise:
— Under or oversaturated colors
— Super dark or washed out backgrounds
— Sunspots and sun rays
— Overlayered images
None of these effects are bad. It’s merely a style of preference.
And if you find that you’ve turned off by the look of the gallery…or just have this gut feeling that something’s not quite right…do yourself a favor and don’t book them! It’s likely a photographer will edit your gallery the same way. So, rather than crossing fingers and hoping for the best, don’t risk unhappiness. And don’t settle for someone you’re not in love with.
This is only one of the most important days of your life. And there are a ton of photographers out there to choose from.
5. What will you wear on my wedding day?
This question actually made me laugh a little…
So, let’s just clear the air now. Having photographed weddings for 6-years, I know how to dress appropriately. I.e., I won’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt at your wedding.
What you should be on the lookout for is your photographer asking “What’s the attire for your wedding?” Why? Because we want to match the style.
For instance, if you have a daytime event, you’ll find me in lighter hues. And if it’s an evening event, a suitable black dress or blazer.
A professional’s objective is to blend in… Not stand out.
Have other questions for me? Let’s Talk!
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