Sure, today’s affordable digital cameras can make anyone seem like a good photographer. But there’s a lot more to getting the wedding photos you want and deserve than just pointing and shooting. After this most important and special of days, it will be your wedding albums and pictures that you turn to time and again to remember and cherish those once-in-a-lifetime moments. Choose your photographer as carefully as you’ve planned every other detail of your wedding, and you’ll still be enjoying those images years from now.
To help, we’ve put together a list of ten critical aspects of wedding photography you should know and understand, along with some of the most important questions you should ask prospective photographers to help you make your final decision.
10. Samples: Do you have samples of your work I can see? Do you have a completed product exactly like we will receive that shows us one wedding from start to finish? Is this sample from the actual photographer who will be at my wedding or someone else on your staff?
- J. Santiago Photography, you can view our body of work on our websites. Upon request, we can deliver sample products to clients to see finished work and products. All products and samples shown are the work of the photographer that will be at your wedding.
9. Image Preservation: What steps do you take to protect my wedding photographs and how long do you archive them? Can I come back in 5 or 10 years and get more photographs or replace my album if something happens to it?
- We use 100 year archival paper for all of our prints that are both guaranteed by us and our labs. We archive all data in the cloud and locally for several months; however, due to size and the volume of clients after 6-12 months photos are removed before we do remove them the client has the choice of extended archival services via AWS for a nominal fee per month.
8. Equipment: Do you use professional-quality cameras capable of capturing great images in all lighting conditions, or do you use consumer-level cameras? Do you have backup equipment if something happens to your camera or lights? Can I have black-and-white photographs or can you add special effects if I want to? Do you bring additional lighting equipment if it is needed?
- We use the latest professional grade equipment that is available from our cameras, and lenses to our lighting equipment and editing software. We employ a wide variety of backup solutions to ensure that both our equipment and your photos will be protected in the event of a failure. While everything is shot in color, any photograph can be converted into black and white, also we have excellent designers on staff to complete any special effects that you would like. We are a full-service studio that has multiple lighting sources available including speed lights, as well as studio grade strobe lights.
7. Collaboration: Will I be working with you or someone else on your staff? Do you work with an assistant? What is the process for reviewing, selecting and editing the final images for the album, enlargements, and print sets?
- You will always work directly with your photographer. We do work with assistants during weddings, and depending on the size and request a second wedding photographer is sometimes needed. We visually inspect all of the photos for quality and print value, the best photos are then selected and edited down to the final amounts. The average wedding will be around 500-900 final photos that are approved.
6. Deliverables: In what format do you deliver the proofs? What is included in the price? What additional options or products are available and how much extra for those items?
- We employ an online gallery. Which we then review with the client in person at approx week 4 or 5. The online gallery is a set of proofs that the bride and groom can send off to their families, this allows family members to review and order any prints or products that they would like, these are separate from the final order placed by the bride and groom.
5. Time: What is the maximum amount of time I will wait to see proofs? Once I’ve selected my pictures, how long will it take for final delivery of all printed products?
- Turn around time for a wedding is usually between 4-5 weeks to review, cull, edit, process, and proof your photos. Once selected it takes about a week to receive the final products from the lab. You can request a rush, however, this will depend on the availability of the staff, this will be an additional cost that is determined by the size and the time frame.
4. Quality: Do you print the photos yourself or do you use a professional lab or a consumer hobbyist photo finisher like one of the big box stores? Are the images guaranteed against fading for my lifetime or beyond?
- Quality is something that is one of our top concerns, we use several professional grade labs that are trusted by many in the photography industry. Quality is our highest concern and we are focused on it from capture to print.
3. Style: What is your artistic style? Do you shoot traditional poses, or have a more photo-journalistic approach, or is it mixed? Do you like to shoot in the studio or at different locations, as well as on the wedding day? Can I see examples of an entire wedding day shoot to see how you might tell a wedding day “story”?
- We are photo-journalistic by nature, capturing those intimate and candid moments shared throughout that special day, there are special scheduled sessions for formal posed photos with the bride and groom as well as the family. These are done on location, and some at various locations both before the wedding day as well as on the day itself.
2. Experience: How long have you been photographing weddings? How long have you been in business? Can you provide references? Can I view some of your albums? How do you manage distracted or uncooperative subjects or guests?
- We’ve been in the business for several years now and are looking to expand further into the market. References are available upon request; however, nothing is as good as reading our reviews online. We are very skilled in managing distracting and uncooperative guests and subjects. Rest assured that the day will not be ruined by a pesky guest.
And perhaps the most important thing you need to discuss with your photographer …
1. Assurances: How do you ensure my satisfaction? What are your backup plans in the event you’re late or called away by an emergency? What happens if there’s an equipment failure, or some other unforeseen issue? Do you carry liability insurance? Can I get all of the points we’ve covered in a written contractual agreement?
- We trust that all of our clients have done their research; and that during our consultations we are able to come to a good understanding of style and artistic approach, this will clear up any questions and make sure that our clients understand our approach to that special day. We do guarantee that we stand behind all of our work, we have plans in place if there is the event of a sickness or emergency that we can not make it to your wedding that back up photographers are standing by to cover in the event that we cannot. We have backup equipment available if there is a failure and nothing will keep us from completing our assignment. We do carry insurance in the event of an incident, all of this is covered at great length in our contract.
Do not take “no” for an answer to that last question! A written contract signed by all parties protects you and the photographer, and does more to ensure your wedding photo bliss than any other action or decision you can make.
[ut_alert color=”white”]-Source: Professional Photographers of America
Original Article: http://www.ppa.com/about/content.cfm?ItemNumber=1583[/ut_alert]