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Questions to ask photographer

Third Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
edited January 2016 in Photos and Video
FI and I have agreed upon a photographer (woo!) and I want to schedule a meeting with her before we sign a contract.

I have a few questions in mind to ask, but was wondering if anyone had other questions a total noob might not think of!

The package we are looking at includes an engagement session (she provided details already on that), "12 small prints" (I'll be asking details about that), 8 hours of photography, online gallery, 2nd shooter, "printing rights to full-resolution images" (not sure what is meant by full-resolution), and a pre-wedding consultation including timeline planning and styling tips.

Also, anything I need to make sure is in the contract? I know I should look for what would happen if someone cancels and how long it will take for our photos to be ready.


Re: Questions to ask photographer

  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    12 small prints probably means 8x10 or smaller, ask, and might not include printing rights.
    Full resolution means you can print a large photo, it is the highest resolution they can convert to jpg from whatever format and size they shot. If you might print something really large, ask for specifics.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Here's my quick suggestions…
    - Look for a number of wedding, not just one good wedding. Look at the composition of the photos.
    - Take a good look at group photos, everyone LOVES the photojournalistic poses of the B&G - but they often overlook the group images. You know the one of your whole family that you mom wants on the mantle. Don't get caught up in the still life pics - anyone can put a ring on a heel of a pretty shoe or take a photo of a dress in a window - just tell them you want it.
    - Ask about back up cameras. What type of lenses do they prefer and why. How do they deal with lighting.
    - Do they have experience at your venue?
    - Do they offer Second shooters?
    - Do you get the digital rights? Do you get ALL the photos or how many? Are they edited? What does edited mean to them? How big will you be able to print them/ how large will the files be?
    - What's the turn around time.
    - And above all - are you comfortable around them??

    When you look at their portfolio pay attention to the average looking couples with average venues. Some people are so gorgeous every photo looks amazing, I'm not one of those people so I like to look at images a more real couple when critiquing. I also look at photos of a location isn't over the top gorgeous, like the couple, a location that is so stunning that every photo looks like a postcard isn't going to help unless you are getting married at the same location- KWIM?

    Consider these things to start when selecting a photog and ask on your local board for recommendations. Also search for reviews of ones your considering. GL! :)

    P.S. I'm in Columbus...who are you looking at?
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • Thank you so much!

    We are looking at Paige Hough. I have looked at a lot of photographers, but with our $1200 budget, most are out of our price range and offer even less than what Paige does. I found 2 photogs I really like: Paige and another woman; but FI didn't like the other woman at all.
  • Oh, and I really like your advice about looking at average couples and/at average venues. I never would've thought to consider that, but it seems like that can really show the photographer's talent and eye for photos.
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I'm not familiar with her work, I'll have to Google her. Check in inn the Columbus board and tell us how it goes. Good luck!
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I like @photokitty's advice to look at group shots. My daughter and her husband have great pictures of them but most of the group shots are awkward. There were a couple of good ones. None of the family shots turned out well - big disappointment. 
  • Thanks @ILoveBeachMusic ;I think I'll take another look at her website/FB and pay attention to the group shots.
  • Yah I wished I had looked at group shots. Ours are terrible. The lighting is weird and we all look uncomfortable. Everything else was amazing and I love our photos but hate the big group ones.
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    For the love of all that is holy, get an exact time frame of deliverables in writing in your contract. 60 - 90 days to receive all the edited high resolution digital files (on CD, thumb drive, or website from which you can download for free) is reasonable. With two shooters, 100 edited shots an hour, give or take, is reasonable. 

    Also ask what happens in an "act of God" event. Who is going to photograph your wedding if the primary shooter can't show up? Usually in a contract it's someone of equal or better skill. 

  • Thank you for the questions!

    After lurking some photographer posts, I know that a timeframe is a big one. My SIL and brother never received their wedding video and I think something with their photos was messed up (or they never received the prints...not sure).

    I'm looking forward to possibly checking another thing off the wedding planning list!
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The contract dictates 8 hours of photography.  Is that a total of 16 hours with both shooters?  Can you split the photographers?  Do you dictate the time frame?  Is their meal time off the clock?

    My daughter had two photographers for her wedding.  They tag teamed each other for many of the "before" shots.  One photographer had a more traditional "eye", and the other a more artistic/photojournalist "eye".  Prior to the ceremony, while one photographer took family photos of the bride and her BM's, the other was with the groom's family and bridal party.  The photographers stayed past dinner to obtain plenty of candid and reception pictures.  They "stole" the bride and groom briefly for some somewhat staged departing shots.  They did not stay until the end of the reception, nor was it expected or necessary.
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