(Closed) Photography Meeting…What to ask???

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
10851 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

  • Pricing/packages
  • Hours included in that package/pricing
  • How many photogs you get
  • Editting & how you get images (discs, USB, etc)
  • How many photos to expect
  • Timeline for getting your photos back
  • Do they require a regular or vendor meal?
  • Preferred blocks of time for getting photos done so you can timeline the day appropriately
  • Travel fees depending on how far your venue is from their office
  • Do the hours in your package include their travel?

Post # 4
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

You can also ask if they include an engagement shoot

how many photos you usually end up with (ballpark figure, of course)

Costs for printing extra photos and how you’re allowed to use the photos they give you

Album styles and costs if you want that- If you do want albums be sure to ask about cost for “parent” albums

 

Post # 5
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

Oh- also ask if they are familiar with your venue/have ever photographed there before

Ask if they plan to bring any sort of lights/strobes or just use on-camera flash

… I had another but just forgot it.  🙂

Post # 6
Member
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I remembered!

Ask to see an entire wedding if you haven’t seen one already. Most photographers post the best photo from each wedding on their website, but you want more than one great photo! If they have shot in your venue, ask to see that wedding in particular. Either way, you want to make sure they can capture posed photos as well as the “moments” well.

 

sorry for barraging you with posts. I’m done now, I swear.

Post # 7
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

I’m going to interject here because while these points are important, the most important thing has yet to be mentioned.  We may have a different business model than other photographers, but for us making a personal connection takes precedence over everything mentioned here.  The most important part about getting good results out of a photographer is picking someone whose work you love, and whose personality you enjoy being around.  And most most important is that you trust them.  The package/pricing aspect of the meeting is usually the last thing we go over.  If you love us, and we love you – we’re going to find a way to do your wedding.  It’s as simple as that.  They should seem interested in you, in your story, in your personalities, and your interests.

 

But to get specific some additional thoughts:

* Pricing – Yeah, it’s important that you have a range or at least an idea of starting points.  If the photographer has a starting price of $2000 you shouldn’t expect that to be a full package with all sorts of product included.  It’s usually a foot in the door starting point.

* Hours – Do have a general idea on your timeline from the time you will be getting ready to the time you have your venue until.  Have an idea of how much you actually want covered.  To us it’s always better to cover the beginning than the very end.

* Editing – you should know what their standard editing process is.  A lot of photographers do not do retouching, so if that’s something you expect you should clarify it.  Most photographers will also deliver full resolution images in a JPG file format on a disc, USB drive, or downloadable format.  You should have a print release so you can take them to the lab of your choice.  You do not need a full copyright, and that won’t be on the table for most pros.

* Timeline for getting the photos back – most are 6-8 weeks if they do editing work, and you can expect it to be slower in the summer months.

* Feed your photographers.  Feed them what the guests eat.  Don’t let your caterer give them a “vendor meal.”  It’s bad karma.  Love them and they will love you back.

* Your photographer should be involved in planning your timeline.

* If travel is involved you should know if it’s inclusive to their quote or extra.  Most will want to handle their own arrangements.

* Hours should never include travel.  But hours are consecutive.  So if you start at 10am and have a 2 hour gap in the middle don’t expect to not be charged for that.

* No one should not have the option for an engagement shoot.  That seems like a no-brainer.

* Ballpark number of photos – it’s good to have your expectations set.  I know a LOT of full time professionals, and no one I know turns over all photos taken.  Usually a 2 person team averages 100 per hour.  

* Albums – photographers handle albums differently, we personally like to use credits so our clients don’t have to make decisions on albums in the very beginning.

* The have you shot at my venue question – Do you want fresh creative photos?  It’s truly not an advantage to hire a photographer based on their past experience at a venue alone.  

* And as far as the lighting/strobe question goes they should be prepared for any lighting condition – but that means you need to be able to tell them what the lighting conditions are.  If your reception venue has 30′ ceilings painted black, or the entire event is going to be outside – this is stuff they need to know before the day of the wedding.

* Photographers should be okay with you seeing a past wedding gallery.

Post # 8
Member
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ask what happens if they get sick/otherwise incapacitated.

Post # 9
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@StL.Ashley:  This is the big advantage to going with a 2-person team, or having a second shooter.  The likelihood that both people are incapacitated is small.  The best a photographer can do is do is help find someone to fill in. Most full time professionals in a metro area are networked well enough to find emergency photographers when needed.  There will never be a guarantee for this scenario or ANY vendor that you hire.  Even if you hire a photographer from a huge studio, there is still a good chance that on your day all of the photographers will be booked out.  Your officiant could not show up, the DJ could not show, the florist could not show.  Etc etc.  With weddings there is a measure of risk.

If you are hiring someone who is new to the business, part time, etc then this may be a big cause for concern.  Especially if the amount you paid them is so low that missing a day of work wouldn’t be the end of the world.  Personally I’d have to be pretty close to death to be willing to hand thousands of dollars over to another photographer.

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