Post # 1
I’m looking to being to contact a bunch of the photographers that I have fallen in love with, but I’m not sure where to start.
Obviously I will ask their availability on my date and their price packages … but what other questions should I be asking in my initial contact. We really want to get to know them and their feelings regarding photography (as with many other couples before us photography is very important to us!) and also don’t want to meet with too many in person. Maybe 3-5 before we choose one. I would also hope to be able to look at a "full package" of a weddign they shot – not just their favorite 50 images – is this asking too much?
Also I know I have heard people say that many photographers will ask you for your budget and then they that they either can or cannot work with it — I don’t want to just give away money here — so what is a good way to go about the money portion?
Thanks in advance!
Post # 3
Asking to look at a full wedding — or several — is totally reasonable, and should be expected by the photographer. Also think about asking to see pics of weddings that will resemble yours (e.g. a low-light venue, a beach wedding, etc.)
Before you call, decide how you want your wedding photographed (how much direction you want/need, what style, etc.), and in your inital contact, determine where your prospective photographers stand on these points/their wedding photography ‘philosophy’, for lack of a better term…it should help you narrow down your choices. Also, I’ve heard from a lot of brides that having more than one photographer there makes a huge difference, so that may be something to ask as well.
At your interviews, I found that some of the most enlightening questions were those that forced photographers to admit that they weren’t perfect (since we all know that nobody is)…and the best answers were those that described how they addressed those issues. E.g. — ask about their strengths and weaknesses as a photographer; what they find the biggest challenge in shooting a wedding is and how they handle it (that second one seemed to stump our photographers most frequently, which was great b/c it meant we weren’t getting a canned, practiced answer — I referred it as our "Ms. America" question ).
I’m sure there are many sources out there, but I found that the book "Bridal Bargains" is a great resource for question suggestions.
Post # 5
IMO here are a couple of key ?s: How do they back up their pics throughout the day if digital? What type of camera do they use and do they have a backup? Will they give you a copyright release? What are their print prices? Get everything in writing before you sign anything.
Post # 6
I find it humorous when brides ask me what kind of camera I shoot with and when I tell them it’s obvious they have no background or clue about photography. 🙂
DCBride had a lot of good questions to ask.
If you are on a specific budget, don’t be afraid to tell your photographer that. Tell/Ask them "I really love your work and would love to work with you; is there any way we can work a out a package in my budget?" You’d be surprised. Some photographers will just take out an album or prints to fit your budget. Ask how many hours they cover. Some photographers get paid by hour rather than package deal.
If the photographer offers you a CD of your images (also known as digital negatives) make sure they are hi-res (high resolution). No sense in getting a CD of images if they aren’t even print quality. They is a HUGE difference between email quality and print quality. Normally hi-res is 300 dpi (some photographers do 200 dpi); low res is anything lower than that (websites usually use 72 dpi).
I love your idea of asking to see a whole wedding rather than just the best shots. This way you can see if their lighting and exposure is consistant.
Post # 7
Oh one more thing…don’t forget to ask for references — both clients and vendors. The clients can comment on how they were treated and the final product, etc., and vendors can comment on the photographer’s professionalism throughout the day, etc. Granted, the photographers will likely only give you names of people they think will have good things to say about them, but it can’t hurt, and you may be able to read more into people’s enthusiasm than into the words themselves.
Post # 8
Thanks!! I do actually kind of know what I am talking about since I have my own DSLR (Nikon D60) and at the last three weddings I went to I averaged about 250 pictures per wedding! haha!! At least a few times the photographer came over and took the same picture I took a minute or two later 🙂
With that said, I also dont want to be the person that "knows it all" – because I dont at all! Especially when it comes to packages etc. I totally didnt’ think about requesting high-res, I just assumed!! I also know I want an album for us, but I feel like I can make them for our parents online somewhere if I get the images. Hopefully I can save some money there. Though I do feel as if we need two (if not three!!) photographers to get it all since we’ll have almost 300 people at the wedding!! haha. Goodness gracious. Good thing I have a lot of time to do all this!
Post # 9
there are a lot of sites you can post pictures online for your family to see. you could go to flickr, photobucket or theweddinglens.com.