Your wedding is such a beautiful and loving event. You have been dreaming of this day since you were a little girl. Planning a wedding get can be magical but also very stressful, especially when it comes to vendors.
Your vendors can can either make or break the vision of your perfect wedding. You are putting all your faith in them. You need to make sure they will be right person for you and your fiance. Obviously locking in on your venue is the most important task when starting to plan. The next vendor to secure is your photographer. You may not think photography is important, but think about it. After the wedding what are you left with? The venue kicks you out at the end of the day, your guest ate all the food and cake and took your beautiful centerpiece, flowers wilt and die over time. But your photograph and video will be with you for years and decades after your day. You will have your photographs to show to your kids and grand kids. Photograph that you can pull up and loon back on a remember how amazing your wedding day was.
When choosing a photographer you need to make sure they fit your personality because they will be working with you about a year before your actual wedding day and a few months afterwards, shooting your engagement session, coordinating and helping with the timeline, creating your save the dates, designing your wedding album etc. On your wedding day they are with all day long. Since you will be communicating with this person for such a long time it would be a good idea that you like your Photographer as a person as well as a professional. So how do you know if they will be right for you? Ask Questions!!!! Here are 10 questions to ask your photographer.
1. What is your Photography Style? This is an important question because photography is an art which means everyone will approach your wedding differently. Knowing which style your photographer shoots in crucial because you want to make sure it fits the overall feel of your wedding. To learn about the different wedding styles read Different Styles of Wedding Photography. If you want your wedding to romantic and airy don't hire someone who uses bold colors and contrast. You may think it would be easy to ask a photographer to match your style but we are creatures of habit. Photographers spend years working on their craft and honing in on their style so that it fits them. 2. How Many Weddings Have You Shot? Photographing wedding is unlike any other photography. If your photographer miss a shot like the 1st kiss it's not like they can reset or interrupt your wedding and ask for your to kiss again. Photographing weddings take a lot of skill, planning, and thinking on your feet. Depending on how important your wedding photos are to you and your future husband / wife, you may not want to be someone's first wedding. You want to make sure you are comfortable with their experience and portfolio. Photography like any art had a lot to do with skill and creative eye more than experience, so do not totally count out the newbie if you like their portfolio. 3. What Happens if the Photographer is Ill or Unable to Make it to the Wedding? Your photographer may be able to produce out of this world photos for you but remember they are only human. They can get sick just like you. Make sure there is a contingency plan because you do not want your wedding day that you worked so hard on arrive and you have no photographer. Many photographers are 1 or 2 person machines so make sure they have a plan in place to get you a photographer of the same caliber and photographic style. If they tell you that they have a way to ratify the issue, make sure it is in the contract. My contract states "PERSONNEL. The Studio may substitute the photographer in the event of a photographer’s illness or incapacity. In the event of such substitution, the Studio warrants that the photographer taking the photographs shall be competent and professional. The Studio may utilize one or more assistants at the event, and such assistant(s) may also take photograph under the supervision of a principal photographer." If they do not offer a suitable answer, maybe look for someone else. 4. Do you have insurance? There are a million things that can go wrong at a wedding, you may be running late, the officiant or singer microphones don't work, the DJ equipment can malfunction, or the photographer can accidentally knock over your beautiful cake while trying to get that money shot (not saying this has ever happened to me ;-), well almost). Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case Uncle Bob trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg while doing the funky chicken. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously. You want to make sure your photographer has insurance especially if the your venue requires it, many high end venues do.
Essence Latifah Photography carries general business, equipment and liability insurance. 5. Will you color correct my images? Color correction is the most basic edit there is and should be applied to every image. There are so many different lighting situations going on, from in the church to outside for creatives, to back inside for the reception and then outside for the exit. You do not want your skin to have a tint of blue on one photo, red in another, and orange in the next. Many photographers will not color correct any, or will only color correct “select” images from your wedding. Be sure as to what you are getting. 6. Does your studio do post-production? Post-production plays a big part in how the finished photos will look. With that said you want to make sure that they actually do post-produce your images. Be extremely CAUTIOUS, as many studios don’t post-produce your images, rather they give them to you unfinished and straight from the camera, especially the low budget ones. In this situation, you are not receiving a finished and professional product. Essence Latifah Photography offers 2 levels of post-production on all images delivered to you. The first batch of photos delivered have all been color corrected, had the white balance, contrast and exposure. This is in your online gallery. From there you will chose the photos for your album and your prints. Once you choose these photos we edit them further so they look perfect for your wall. 7. How long after the event will the proofs, album, etc be ready? There is no standard time as to when your proofs, albums, etc be ready. Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that say that they can have your photos to you within the week or the next day is enticing because I know you can't wait to see your photos. But those studios more likely not do any post production or color correction. However, most studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. Essence Latifah Photography has developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. 8. What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear? Your photographer will be with you for majority of your wedding day capturing all the best moments of your wedding. Even though the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, it’s important that they are not distractions. You do not want your photographer to show up in a bright yellow or red ensemble you kind of want them to be invisible. More so, if you are having a religious or traditional cultural wedding there are some color that will make your guest cringe. Here at Essence Latifah Photography our attire consist of black suit pants and button down shirt or polo, maybe a jumper for the women. 9. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Is there an extra charge? Knowing up front the photographer’s policy on overages is critical. The last thing you want to hear on your wedding day is that your photographer is leaving before you even cut the cake. In my experience 90% of all wedding run late. Having to pay and extra $500, $1000, or $1500 before your photos are released is something that you do not want surprising you. 10. Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings? Pro tip: Unlike an album or a highlight gallery, a full gallery will give you a better sense of your photographer’s style, as well as his or her attention to detail. Make sure these are from weddings they’ve shot in the past few months so they’re an accurate representation.