When you look back through your wedding album in 20 years, what do you see looking back at you?
The question above is one we like to ask when you first inquire. Because if you hire a photographer without asking yourself that one question, your album could be filled with images you aren’t exactly proud of. Yikes.
They could be too trendy (yep, that’s a thing) with weird angles, awful instagram filter style editing techniques, or your portraits done with fisheye lenses. Or they could be filled with cheesy props and awkward poses.
So, to help you avoid buyer’s remorse, here are six questions you should ask before you sign a contract or shell out a single dime:
1) How are you going to make me feel comfortable and look my best?
If you feel awkward in front of a camera, you’re not alone! Most couples feel that way… And your photographer absolutely should have a plan of attack for this common concern. So, if they don’t, head for the hills! Or at least on over to our contact page. 🙂
With us, immediately after you reach out, we start building rapport by phone, Facetime, or Zoom. That’s because we know that good photos are likely to happen when you feel comfortable with the person taking them.
Then, on the day of an engagement session or wedding day, we’ll crack a few jokes, and we’ll provide gentle guidance on where to place your hands or how to shift the angle of your head.
And last but not least, we’ll perfect things further by using lighting techniques that ensure you look your best.
2. What do you do to make sure I get the photos I want and still have time to celebrate with my family & friends?
Let me set the record straight: Your wedding day is not a photo shoot. Anyone who tells you otherwise is in this for the wrong reasons. (But more on that later.)
Seriously though, any photographer worth his or her salt should talk through a list of a possible family and friend combinations and help you create a photography timeline that works seamlessly with the rest of your celebration.
And they should absolutely be able to provide you with some tips on how to maximize your time that day. (ex. Go for the first look to minimize post-ceremony photos and move on to the party!)
3. Can I see a full gallery?
YES! Great question! In this social media-focused world we’re livin’ in, it’s so common for photographers to focus on taking photos solely for Instagram or Pinterest.
But we’re guessing you want photos that tell the entire story of your day. Right? So, ask them for a full gallery or two (or three!) so you can feel confident that they can take photographs of people, details, and everything in between.
Here’s a link to a full gallery that we love.
4. Who do you hire as a second photographer for the wedding day?
Attention everyone! This one is so important! Many photographers (especially the big factory studios) search for extra wedding-day support by putting a listing on Craigslist or in a photography Facebook group.
But do you really want to trust your wedding day images to a random hire? No way! It could be their very first wedding!
With us, you can rest assured that your entire gallery will be consistently impressive regardless of who is behind the camera, because we only work with photographers who have been trained by Mike himself, and who share the same inclusive and anti-racist/bigotry values we outline in our about section.
5. How long does it take to get the photos?
You don’t want to wait months on end to relive the best day of your life. So, be sure to understand how long it takes your photographer to share a few photos and then the whole gallery of images for your day. We give a large preview gallery immediately after (the next day, or day after that) your wedding and engagement sessions – so you can relive it all right away!
Also, be sure to ask how and for how long you’ll be able to access the online gallery. Many photographers only keep the gallery “live” for 3-6 months. After which, you’re out of luck if you haven’t already downloaded the images or have misplaced them.
(And in case you’re wondering, we keep ours active indefinitely.)
6. How do you handle lighting conditions that aren’t ideal? How do you handle a wedding when it rains? A church that doesn’t allow flash? A dark space in general?
We hate to be the ones to burst your bubble, but life isn’t always a sunset – and neither is every wedding day, or engagement session. Sometimes, you just can’t shake the rain. Or sometimes your venue has funny rules that you weren’t aware of. So, be sure to ask if your photographer has experience (and the skills needed) to deal with bad weather or less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Hint: Just winging it and hoping for the best isn’t an answer.
We actually thrive in those situations, as they give us a chance to be creative in different ways. And they don’t stress us out because we’ve been transforming locations with a little lighting wizardry since 2008!
To be clear, we still prefer (and get excited by) good light. But if you work with us, just know, that no matter what the day brings, we’ve got a plan – and it will be beautiful today, tomorrow and in 20 years.