When you start to think about your Wedding Day, you quickly realize that you need to become an expert in almost every field. First, you ask your experienced friends how they started to organize everything. With this initial knowledge, you look for help on Google which becomes your best friend for the next few months while you are planning the perfect Wedding Day. What questions should you ask to find out more about the photographer who will capture your precious day? Below are 10 questions I suggest you ask any potential photographer.
1.Will you be the photographer on our wedding day? :
Often the person you speak to at the wedding show or during a private consultation is not the person who will take your photos on the big day. Some large studios sometimes even outsource work to a number of freelance photographers. The person you are talking to may simply be their salesperson and not even a photographer! Avoid this surprise and ask.
2.How many proofs will we get?
Proofs, usually provided in a digital format, are the photos chosen by your photographer as the best of the hundreds of images taken on the big day.
You will use the proofs to order any actual prints. Often the digital wedding proofs are the actual photos you receive on a disk or USB stick.
Usually a photographer will provide about 30-60 proof photos per each hour photographed. More proofs or photos taken is not necessarily better. After all you want quality over quantity.
3. How long we need to wait for the images?
On average most photographers will take between 1-3 months before you see your photographs. I think that 1 months is fair. I provide the images in 6 weeks and include this in the contract. As always make sure that any delivery timelines and payment schedules are clearly included in your contract.
4. Are there any watermarks on the photos?
Watermarks are a form of visual copyright placed directly on the photo. When viewed or printed, such images clearly showcase the photographer’s logo or copyright information. Obviously, this is not ideal for your final prints or digital slide shows. Some photographers remove the watermark only after you pay an additional fee.
I believe that you should have the right to print and view your photos without the watermark. Therefore, all my images are provided without watermarks at no additional cost.
5. What is your payment deposit structure?
A deposit ensures that the photographer no longer accepts any bookings scheduled for the day of your wedding. The first deposit is usually made at the time of the contract signing. An additonal deposit or a final payment is often due just before or after the wedding. If you need to amend the deposit structure, talk to the photographer. Whatever the payment structure, please make sure that it is clearly included in the contract.
6. Who will have rights to the pictures?
Unless stated otherwise in your contract the photographer retains the right to the photos, however, the people in the photograph, like you, have the right to your self-image. Therefore a photographer can only use a photo with your image for any marketing or commercial purpose, with your signed model release consent. It is always wise to ask the photographer to explain their contract and picture rights better. Remember of course, that you do not have to sign anything you don’t want to. So, if you do not want your photos included on the photographer’s marketing website, make sure this condition is noted in your contract before signing.
7. How can our family and friends see the photos and order prints?
Ideally, a photographer should provide access for your family to your photos. At Ever After Photographers you receive a unique password-protected gallery to share as you wish after you approve all of the website proofs. Your friends and family can view each photo and order them online in multiple sizes, printed on a number of unique fine art papers. After lovingly printing each photo in-house I send the images directly to the person who placed the order.
8. How long do you keep photos on the server?
Most photographers will keep the photos from your big day backed up on their server for a limited time. This is, of course, great in case you lose your photos.
Some photographers charge an additional fee for keeping your photos safe beyond the initial time period. Make sure that your contract specifies how long your photos are kept on the photographer’s server.
9. What is your cancellation policy?
In very rare and special cases, you may need to cancel or move your wedding date. Does the photographer provide a comprehensive cancellation policy? Is your entire deposit lost or does the photographer only keep the initial deposit? Knowing this policy upfront can prevent much confusion and frustration in the future. Again, ensure that the cancellation policy is included in the contract.
10. What happens if you are ill?
A common cold is unlikely to slow down any photographer on your big day. However emergencies can and do happen. What if your photographer falls ill on your wedding day? Is there a backup plan? If so, what is it? A clearly outlined emergency backup plan should be included in your contract.
Hopefully, you find the above questions useful during your search for a perfect photographer. Of course please contact me if you have any other questions, or if you simply would like some pressure-free advice. I’m always happy to help in any way I can.
Wishing you a very successful wedding photographer search and an amazing big day!