Post # 1
Hi bees! FI and I are slowly checking off our list of To-Do’s and other than the venue (which is booked!) I really wanted to make sure we found a photographer ASAP!
We have our first meeting on Monday with a prospective photographer and I have no idea what questions I should ask or what I should come prepared with. Does anyone have any advice about choosing a photographer? Any important questions I need to ask?
Thank you, bees! 🙂
Post # 3
View a full wedding.
Check that they have liability insurance.
Do they have back up gear.
Ask to see a strait out of camera image vs. an edited image.
Package options and what they include (disc, album, 2nd photographer, prints, engagement session, etc.)
How many images per hour of coverage. and what quantity is “retouched” or “corrected”.
Will there be any additional travel fees for your venue?
Post # 4
@atomic: why would you tell someone to ask for a straight out of camera image if the photographer doesn’t deliver images straight out of camera? Part of the service a photographer provides is the processing of the images. I never show SOOC images to clients and I never will. Now showing a basic edit vs full edit would make sense.
Post # 5
@mariematt: Because in the age of digital photography everyone and their brother thinks they are a professional photographer .The truely inexperienced photographers tend to cover up lack of photography skills with post processing (note: I did not say all). I show all of my clients examples of my SOOC images vs. the retouched file. I pride myself in getting my shots correct in camera, and demonstrate this to my clients as I have found that it helps ease their minds when making thier decision.
I know several other photographers that do this as well.
Post # 6
@atomic: the only thing that is relevant is the end product. That’s what they will be printing/viewing/putting in an album. So a full wedding should suffice. Honestly when a prospective client starts asking to see RAW files it’s going to tip most photographers off that this might be a high maintenance client. This has been my experience in my market.
Post # 7
@mariematt: We can agree to disagree then. As I feel the photographers competence and photographic skill is just as relevant as the end product.
Post # 9
My thoughts on the straight out of camera debate… ehh… I think “here is what they look like with basic included edits” and “here are examples of special edits” would suffice. Definitely make sure you know that ALL images will receive editing and what kind of editing.
I don’t see anything wrong with a photographer showing the same image as straight from camera, basic edits, and retouching/special edits. Not all photographers will want to do that and they probably don’t have to…. but if there is ANYTHING about only a certain number being edited mentioned, you should clarify what that means, and see examples.
Post # 10
Who cares what is looks like sooc. I’ve pulled images back 3+ stops in Lightroom and made them look and print great. Plus I shoot in auto whithe balance all the time and it looks horrid. Once I left it on sunlight in a church. Horrible. Why don’t I just ask to examine my caterers produce too?
Post # 11
@atomic: what I’m saying is that the average prospective client isn’t going to look at a SOOC file and say “Ohhh that image is really underexposed and the color balance is way off”. They don’t know what they are looking at. All you do when you show a SOOC file next to an edited file is how skilled you are at editing, not shooting. Clients don’t care about SOOC files.
@Atlanticbride: +1. I don’t color balance in camera because it’s much, much easier to correct color balance in a consistent way in post with editing programs these days. The nature of a wedding, where you are in and out of different lighting conditions constantly, doesn’t really allow for constant custom WB every time you move into a new room. That doesn’t make me a bad photographer, it makes me an efficient one. 🙂
Post # 12
I haven’t really read through the other posts but these were the questions we had for our photographer:
Are print rights included? (if not, mow much to add them? you’re DEFINITELY going to want them)
Are you willing to travel?
Backup photographer? (in the event that he cannot make it)
Full editing included in cost? (crazy…but some photographers charge extra!)
Is there a time limit for the day of? (will they be available for hair/makeup, getting dressed, and whatever else)
Fees? (cancellation, date change, time)
Ask about package deals! We got a canvas thrown into ours for only $100 (around cost) and he also offered photo albums, guest books, photo books (like cardboard pages with the couples favorite pictures)
I would hope that you’ve already gone through their portfolio and if they’re smart they’ll have pictures and albums out when you get there so you can look through them.
Also consider an “unplugged” wedding! We’re paying good money for our photographer and we don’t want his images to be ruined by a guest’s camera flash, red focus dot, or any guest getting in his way trying to take a shot he could capture much better than they could so we’re saying no to cameras/flash photography from guests.
One last tip-don’t skimp or settle on a photographer! You can’t have these pictures redone and a good photographer won’t be cheap so aim for the higher end of your budget!
Post # 13
We are wedding date twins, and we just had our first meetings with photographers and decided on one this week! I think the other bees have covered good questions to ask, but I just wanted to add how important it is to get along with your photographer. You are going to spend so much time with him/her – make sure your personalities mesh well!