What to ask your wedding photographer
Hello my future brides we are taking this force vacation time due to COVID 19 to not only update our web page and social media but we are providing much need it love to our blog and youtube channel. We starting a series of advise for the bride and groom specially if you are recently engaged and planning a destination wedding during this somewhat difficult times. WE don't want to call them difficult lets call them challenging. We know is it very challenging to plan a destination wedding from a distance, when you have no direct contact with your wedding coordinator or wedding suppliers but if something has tough us this pandemic is the that even tough we are apart we can cut the distance with video chat!
Puerto Rico has some amazing , talented wedding vendors and we encourage you to when planning a destination wedding on the island to reach out and hire the local talent. Not only are you helping the local economy but you are helping many of the small business owners on the island.
All this free time is allowing us to create like mentioned before a series of Advise videos for couples who are planning a wedding. Our videos are specifically about the process of hiring a wedding photographer. How to find them , where to find them and what to do once you have found one or have a list of varios photographers that you like.
While our videos are in Spanish we will bring the same advise and information on to our blog, to better help you on your selection and at the same time get to know us, what we do , what we love and what possible makes your wedding photographer cringe!
Today is very easy to find a wedding photographer, we have more tools to reach out and find that perfect photographer for your wedding. web pages , vendor list , google search and social media bring them even closer than before. Couples can easily find out reviews, feedback from past clients as well as too look for the body of work from that photographer that captures their attention. Even if you have already book a wedding coordinator she will provide you with her / his preferred vendors list and you will find photographers that she / he regularly works with but my advise is always the same. Research ! when we are making a product purchase we always do research on it, we take a look at past reviews, search it on youtube and do a lot of research before making our final decision, for your wedding photographer the process is the same. Even if its recommended by your family or your wedding coordinator , specially if its part of a special wedding bundle package do research.
Look him / her up, see their presence on social media and I dont mean check how many followers they have , that is not the important information, take a look and get familiarize with their style. You can define a photographer's style by look in at their online work . Check their social media to see their most current work and if they are still working. Search on google to see if there are any bad review that you should consider and also read the good ones. Look at their online portfolio and you will understand how they see and document a wedding , how they edit , you will find out if they are documentary , they work with natural light , if they are more pose or old style photographer.
Once you have your selection of a few of your favorites what should you ask them? We have seen a lot of articles on wedding magazines and wedding blogs and even on Pinterest you will find many options with listings on popular questions on what to ask your wedding photographer. Questions like :
* Do you bring your own lighting?
*What style(s) do you specialize in?
When you are dealing with a profesional photographer he / she will know how to appropriately dress for work , he / she will bring his own lighting as part of his / her assignment is to know the wedding venue , as for the style the moment you go trough his / her online portfolio you will get a pretty good idea of the photographer's style when it comes to shooting and editing a wedding. As for sending or following a shoot list well that is whole other blog post !
As you go trough the many publish list you have to keep in mind how those listed questions apply to you as a couple and to your event , are they really questions you should be asking your wedding photographer? Do they represent your doubts ?
Well I went over a few of those famous lists and here is my version of the questions you should be asking your wedding photographers. Here is our take on the list:
* First and most important questions : Availability
Are you available to cover our wedding day ?
Many photographers are booked a year in advance, that is why when you reach your photographer and begin the conversation, you should make sure he / she is available on your date. Many brides reach out without a date and we can provide you with general information but until a specific date is not set a photographer may or may not be available. Take also into consideration than in order for a photographer to book the date for your event a retainer and an agreement need to be done. Photographers cannot hold date or pencil in date. It is a business and many handle on a first come first serve bases.
Once you know for sure that your favorite photographer is available pricing is the next big question.
What are your prices / packages / collections ?
Many photographers have simple packages and others have an array of options making it a bit confusing for the client. So it is important that you go over the pricing, make sure you know and understand what it is included so no surprises will come at the end of the day.
a) what is included in the price? Does it include only coverage ? Does it include the images ? and if so is there a specific number of images ? how many hours of coverage ? Does it include the album ?
b) what can be added to the package ? many photographers provide you with extra experiences and items that you can add on to your package , experiences like a boudoir session , a engagement session or a next day session and items like prints or the wedding album.
c) what is required to book the photographer , how much is the retainer ? and ask them about the cancelation and if they have a refund policy, these are questions that are very important specially if you are planning a destination wedding on the Caribbean , we have a hurricane season and with the pandemic we have learn about these polices. What happens if the wedding has to be cancelled because of a pandemic or a hurricane disaster ? will I get my retainer ? How do I go about re scheduling my event. Know your photographers polices is important on what to expect on situations like we are going trough.
d) What is the cost of extra hours ? what happends if the event is delayed due to weather do you stay and charge an extra hour ?
e) travel fees . Many photographers do charge travel fees when covering events on the other side of the island so you will have to ask your photographer where is he / she based out of and if the location of your wedding venue will incur in any travel fees.
Turn around times. When can I expect my final product?
It is important to know what happens after the wedding , how long will take for you to received your wedding images or album.
Will you be the photographer covering my event ?
Many photographer that have a studio work alongside other photographers, associates photographers and second shooters. Photographers also may book two weddings on a single day. Let me clarify that concept first I do not do that! but there are photographers who do it. They will book your event and send their second shooter or an associate photographer. You need to make sure that the photographer you are talking with and seen the work online and love is the photographer who will be there to document your day, in the case that he / she will send an associate it is best that you become familiar with this particular photographers portfolio as well just to make sure that the style of this photographers is within your taste.
What happened if you are unable to photograph our event ? Back up plan or plan B
It happens we are humans and we can become sick , have a family event or an accident that will not allow us to comply with our responsibilities. You need to ask your photographer what is the procedure in this case? will he be sending a photographer in his place ? OR will he / she just cancelled and leave you to resolve the issue for yourself ?
There you have it , these are the questions I think should be on your priority list to ask your photographer, if you have any other questions by all means never feel afraid to ask them, just be specific about your event, your requirements and your needs. Every couple and every wedding is different, this is why is not recommended to follow a general list.
That it guys ! Our take on the popular list of questions! see you on our next blog!