There are a list of questions going around, "what to ask your wedding photographer". I have no idea where the questions are from (maybe The Knot?) But I think they are really great questions to ask! So I'm going to answer them right here!
1. Are you available on my date? I hope so!
2. Do you do any discounts for getting married in off-peak season? I do not. Only because my prices are already reasonable.
3. Are you insured? I am. I'm insured, my gear is insured and my studio is insured.
4. Do you work from a shot list and will I be able to give you a list of specific shots we would like? I don't work from a shot list, as my style is to capture candid moments. But I'm a professional and I know all the basic shots to get. I only need a list if you have something very specific. Like, "A group shot with our college friends" or "A portrait of the bride and groom with their Star Wars Masks".
5. Do you shoot mostly in black and white or color? I shoot everything on a digital camera in color, and then I edit some images in color and black and white.
6. Will you help me with my time line for photos for the wedding day? I would love to!!!
7. What will we do if it rains? I have 2 large clear umbrellas and I love pics in the rain! I'm also very creative and always find great spots to shoot in any weather. Click HERE to see an entire album of a wedding day that it rained.
8. Do you work with a second photographer? I have a list of people who shoot with me, at different levels of photography skill. I actually like shooting weddings on my own. But for large weddings, I can hire a 2nd shooter or an assistant.
9. Do you offer an engagement shoot as part of the package? Sure!
10. Do you allow guests to take photos while you are? This is up to the couple. I love an "unplugged" wedding, when guests are asked to put away their phones and just enjoy the day. I've encountered problems with well meaning guests who want to take pics as a favor to the couple, but end up blocking me from getting important shots. So I ask couples to decide what they want, and suggest they talk to friends and family about "what not to do" so that I don't miss any shots.
11. Have you worked at our wedding venue before? If not, will you visit beforehand? I've shot every kind of venue. Cathedrals, basement bowling alleys, backyards, country clubs, etc... If I haven't shot at a venue, I make sure to go online and view the venue. I look at other photographer's images to get an idea of the venue size and lighting. The internet is very helpful sometimes!
12. How would you describe your photography style? I've had people describe my style as candid, expressive, unconventional and warm. To me it's all about capturing the magic of your day. And every wedding I shoot looks unique. (My style shouldn't be what you notice when you look at your wedding photos.)
13. How do you make us feel relaxed in front of the camera? Ah, this is my specialty. I am very laid back and I like to make people laugh. People who say they hate having their picture taken are always surprised by how much fun we have.
14. What information do you need from us before the wedding? Just the basics and a timeline when it gets close to your date.
15. What time will you arrive at the venue? I typically shoot the couple getting ready, whether it's at the venue, a hotel or their home. I'm always on time, almost always too early.
16. Do we need to provide you with food? Well, if it's an 8 hour day, I'll need to eat. I pack a cooler with water and snacks (that I share with the bridal party, because I'm nice!) It's nice to take a moment to sit and have a meal. No one wants their picture taken while they're eating. I will usually grab a bite while I look at the images I've taken so far, to get an idea of what pics to edit and get to you by the next day.
17. What time will you stay until? This depends on what the couple wants, how many hours or coverage, etc... What I prefer is to take photos of the couple getting ready (starting an hour or 2 before the ceremony) through the reception. I like to be at the reception long enough to get all the first dances and then a few shots of everyone on the dance floor having fun. 8 hours ends up being just about right.
18. What is your backup plan if you can’t attend on the day? I've never missed a wedding. If there is an emergency, I have 2 photographers available to back me up.
19. Do you have backup equipment in case your equipment fails? Do you back up your files online just in case of a fire? I have 3 camera bodies and multiple lenses in case of equipment failure. I back up all my files online as well as an external hard drive.
20. Do you bring your own lighting? I bring a few flashes as well as an Ice Light. (Which is basically a light saber for photographer nerds.) This is the bride's son assisting me (because who doesn't like light sabers???)
21. Do you shoot natural light or artificial light? Or both? Both, but I prefer natural light. My camera gear is the very best and I choose gear based on low light performance. So I prefer natural light but am equipped to deal with any lighting situation.
22. What wedding packages do you offer and what are the prices and what’s included? Click HERE to read details. (My prices are in the mid-range for Cleveland wedding photographers.)
23. Are there any additional charges that apply due to our venue location? The only additional charges would be if your venue is an hour or more away from me.
24. Will we receive digital copies of all images? You will receive digital copies of all the edited images with full print rights. I edit all of the best images. Then I go back a 2nd time to make sure I didn't miss any good shots. I delete any images that are blurry, have someone's eyes closed, etc...
25. How many images will we receive from the wedding? I truly believe in quality over quantity. I do not want to spend my time at your wedding worrying about how many shots I'm getting. I want to be present and concerned with getting amazing shots. It also depends on a number of things, like a 2nd shooter, weather conditions, and basic vibe of the wedding. I average 400-600.
26. What rights do we get to the photos for personal use? You get the images with full print rights and ability to post and share as you wish. I don't add my logo to images, so I ask if you post online to give me a photo credit. Plus it's fun for me to see which images you like best and what your friends think about them.
27. Will you use our images in any advertising? I love sharing images of my wedding photography on social media. Some people love seeing their images online. Or occasionally in print in a magazine. Others, not so much. We can discuss what you prefer.
28. Do you offer a printing and/or album service? It's important to me not to force people into buying albums as part of a package. Hire me because you like my work. And if you decide you want an album, I love making them!
29. Can I see pictures of what your album options look like? I have examples of album options to show customers in person, and I can send you pictures as well.
30. Do you do wall canvas photos as an option? Sure do!
31. How long will the pictures take to arrive? I try to have a link to you with a dozen or so images within a few days of your wedding. People are excited to see their pics and share them with friends, so I pick the a few great shots and get them to you fast. After that it's the standard 4-6 weeks. Depending on how busy my wedding season is, I might get them done sooner than that. I like to edit the images as soon as possible, while the wedding is still fresh in my mind.
32. What is your booking process? We talk (email, text, phone, in person) and then if you want me to shoot your wedding I send over a contract. You sign it and send me some money.
33. How much is the deposit and when is this payable? I need some kind of deposit to put you on my calendar. 50% is good. So is paid in full. So is a smaller payment. I know weddings aren't cheap and I'm happy to let you pay me in installments.
34. Can I see an entire wedding you've shot? Yes, click HERE to see every wedding I've ever shot.