Questions to ask your photographer
This morning I was looking through the photographs of a shoot I recently styled and the photographer, the wonderfully talented Leigh Mcara, took some behind the scenes shots. I am terribly unphotogenic and like many people I feel uncomfortable having my photo taken. I hate even more looking at photos of myself. I have had several professional shoots in my time and the one where I felt I looked the worst was the one above…I know that’s not me…I’m not letting you see those. This photo is an amazing photo of my son Benjamin. Although I didn’t look my best, to be fair it was a shoot where I introduced my youngest daughter to the world. I was still carrying my baby weight and she was sleeping on average two hours at a time…ah the memories! No amount of YSL touche éclat or photoshop was going to change that but thank you to Timm Cleasby for capturing my children. I love love love these photos!
So when you are looking for a photographer for you wedding, what should you think about and what are the questions to ask your photographer?
Many people think that engagement shoots are an Americanism and there is no need. The thing with engagement shoots is that you get to work with a wedding photographer and hopefully the one who will capture your wedding day. You will get to know them and their style and they will get to know you. You will know the poses that work and you like and those you don’t. So before you write it off as an unnecessary waste, think about it, they have their benefits.
Get to know your photographer
Get to know how they work and their style. Do you want something traditional, do you want something modern, do you want posed photos? Does your photographer know your venue? If the weather isn’t great, what do they suggest? A good photographer will tell you, the weather doesn’t matter and the rain can make for some amazing photos.
Questions to ask
When you first meet your photographer there will be some questions that you want to ask but make sure you know, how many hours do you get, what is their style, ask to see their recent work and make sure it is recent, if you are having a videographer – how will they work together?
But make sure you communicate as well. If your photographer doesn’t know what is happening it’s possible that they could miss something. If you are releasing lanterns make sure they are aware before hand so they don’t miss it when they pop off to the loo, they need to know your schedule for the day. As an on the day coordinator, this is something I can produce and will share with all of your suppliers.
Photographers want to get it right and their work doesn’t end when they leave your wedding, that’s when it all starts. Editing your photos takes time and you might not get them back for several weeks so make sure you know their timescales and are happy with this.
Think about where you are getting ready. Not only with the make up artist and the hair dresser want room to set up and lots of natural light, your photographer needs to factor this in as well. The time you get married will also have an impact on light, think about the time of year and the time you are getting married.
Have a list of people you want in your photos and discuss this before hand. You might want to go for a relaxed style but want to make sure you have a photo of Great Aunt Mable, make sure your photographer knows this otherwise it could get missed and you could be disappointed.
What the professionals say
Earlier this year I worked with Hollie Nicole and I thought she was wonderful, this is the advice she gives to make sure you get what you want…
‘Firstly decide what style of photography you like, every photographer produces different work. That is what your buying.
Meet your photographer before you book to see if you click, you want to feel comfortable around them on your wedding day.
Make sure you read your photographers contract. Know what you are getting and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your wedding will look amazing so any photographer will be able to capture your day. Photographers may seem expensive but professionals will have and will continually invest in the best equipment and lenses which runs into thousands of pounds. Try to remember you are not just paying for the wedding day coverage but days and weeks worth or editing after your wedding.
Communicate with your photographer. This is key! Trust them to capture your day, remember you can not see what they are seeing through the lens however if you have anything in mind you must let them know. Honestly my best images have come from working with relaxed couples who trust you to do your job.
Group shots – try and limit these to around 10, when you have a massive list, it takes so much time and your guests get bored. Most photographers ask for a helper to speed things along remember your photographer knows no one at your wedding.
I know weddings can be stressful but try to relax and enjoy your day it will show through on your images.’
Do you have your photographer yet? What questions did you ask?