Everything You Should Know About Your Photographers
So, earlier this year I got my wisdom teeth taken out and that made me spend hours upon hours upon hours on Pinterest so while pinning. I found a post about 'questions to ask your photographer' and thought that would make a really great blog (yes, I do realize it's literally months later but better late than never?!). It turns out I have just what I need to write this blog…Hello! I was a bride looking for a photographer last year and I work for THAT SAME company I fell in love with now! So, lucky for you I know all the secrets and I am willing to share. Now, photography is an important part of your wedding day because honestly your photographer(s) are they only vendor with you all day. We are your ninja paparazzi! So if you’ve ever wanted to be famous -pick an awesome photographer!
Now, where do we begin? First look/No look, first look/Videographer or no videographer/# of bridesmaids... oh my! Many of you may not even know what a first look is let alone a no look first look and THAT IS OKAY! I’ll explain it all so you will be well educated in the world of photography.
o How do you find the right photographer(s)?
What a great question and honestly there are so many different ways:
- Wedding Expos (Bridal Shows) may seem a little much but really you get to see so many vendors (especially photographers) right in front of you. If you find you like to talk with people, expos are great!
- Check out local wedding businesses. If you are from Columbus, an awesome business is The Columbus Bride and Groom! Check them out by going online or stopping by their Columbus location.
- Using websites are an easy way to find vendors as well. Websites like The Knot or Wedding Wire help you find photographers near you (websites are helpful even if you don't live in the area you plan to be married in) all you have to do is search your city and state and a list of vendors pop up. Head to their websites and here is when it is totally acceptable to be a bit of a creeper ;)
o Create a list of your favorites!
Don’t make your list too large because you will get overwhelmed very quickly and you will get stressed out. A list of about three or four should do.
o Get in contact with your favorites
Normally you can correspond via email but anyway you do it get ahold of your favorites and ask to see if their dates are available. If they are…
o Make a time to meet!!!!
You may not have thought to meet with your photographer but this is a fantastic idea especially if you noticed/found them online. Now if you meet them at a bridal show or at another wedding and already spoke with them, it’s still sometimes a good idea to sit down and talk with them one on one. Lucky for you I can also help you with what to ask, things you should know, and everything else so stay calm. Meeting your photographer also helps you get an idea as to whether or not you actually like and get along with them as well. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT *remember they are the only vendor with you all day and they follow you around
Now that you have done the work to find some great photographers and meet up with them you also want to be prepared as to what to say and ask. Coming to a meeting with a list of questions is not a crazy thing to do. I’ve met with a few brides who have a notebook to take notes or a wedding binder and I think that is genius. Remember you want their business but they want yours as well and they love taking photos so don’t be nervous.
Here are some things to know about your photographer(s):
1. What is their style of photography?
There’s traditional, formal, documentary, creative, or photojournalistic. A tip: Brett Loves Elle is proficient in all styles (since weddings have so many different elements to them), but photojournalistic, which is basically us telling your story in photos would be their main, overall style. But if you need more help ask them to go through their work and explain their style.
2. Have they shot at your venue before?
Now if they haven’t, that’s not to say they won’t be good at it. It’s just helpful to be able to see an album of someone else’s wedding at your venue to get a good idea. With Brett Loves Elle -if we haven’t shot at your venue we can schedule a 30 min. walk through with you so we can scope out all the great photo spots or see what we could bring to help get the perfect shots!
3. How many photographers will be at my wedding the day of?
Sometimes companies are small and only have one photographer but others have two the day of: one for the bride and one for the groom. Some even bring assistants so it’s a great question to know. With Brett Loves Elle, sometimes you get all four of us!
4. What do your packages include?
This is really important! You should know what you are getting written out so you aren’t confused. Brett Loves Elle has a handy dandy pricing sheet that our brides can take them home with them. So make sure your photographer has one or can write it down so you have it on hand for when you need it. It’s good to know that sometimes the packages are including engagement sessions and sometimes they are more build your own so you aren’t paying for something you don’t need.
5. How do you get your photos?
Being that there a tons of photographers out there, of course there a millions of ways to receive your photos. With Brett loves Elle, our clients receive the print release for their photos when they sign their contract and are sent a link to their online album. This is the greatest idea EVER! We all have that family member who wants you to print them photos of your wedding and send those photos to them. Well with an online album you can share your link and people can print right from the site or save the photo and print it at a third party printer.
6. Do you have a rainy day promise?
Brett loves Elle photography has a rainy day promise, so I’m just going off what I know. But this is a great question especially since outdoor weddings are all the rage. You never can know for sure if you’ll have sun (and natural light really is the best light) so knowing they will let you take more photos another day is so helpful.
7. Can I hire another photographer the day of the wedding?
Maybe this company you want to hire only has one photographer and you really want two. Normally photographers are all about exclusivity. It’s hard to have two chiefs in the kitchen so the same goes for photography.
8. Do you travel?
Have you thought about a destination wedding? Check to make sure right off the bat if the photographers you love actually travel. And what their rates are for traveling.
9. How many photos do we receive?
You want to know what you are getting. Ask them right out. With Brett loves Elle we say a minimum of 200 photos but for an 8-hour wedding between 600-800 photos.
10. Do you do previews?
You just got married and you want to see photos!!! Hello who doesn’t? Brett loves Elle promises 72-hour previews via Facebook.
11. How long until I get my pictures?
This is a great question so you don’t have to feel like you are waiting and waiting and never getting your photos. With Brett loves Elle we have a 6-week turnaround. Sometimes in the off-season even faster.
12. How long have you been taking photos?
What if your photographers just started and you had no idea? You should definitely feel like you can trust your photographers. This is your big day.
13. Can I see some of your work?
Definitely check out their work!!! If you are meeting with them they should bring it with but if not ask to see it. It’s great to see a few different options not just photos from one wedding as well. So if possible ask to see a few different weddings so you can see outside, inside, and all the different styles of wedding.
*now these are just some of the questions I’ve thought of off the top of my head! Feel free to come up with your own and don’t be afraid to ask them. We don't get scared if you are the type of bride to have a binder :)
o Go home and think about it: (talk to your fiancé)
Now there are times where you are 100% sure when you meet them and talk with them, but other times you just want to go home and calmly think it through. There is no wrong way to do this here but make sure you are sure you love them. Your photographer shouldn’t guilt you or make you sign without the option of thinking about it. That’s so scary.
o MAKE A DECISION!! Sign the contract
Before you sign, make sure your photographers went through the fine print so nothing surprises you (this is also why it’s great to go home and read it over with your fiancé). Here at Brett Loves Elle, we do everything digitally for your convenience -you will receive your proposal, wedding agreement, and invoice online.
Then you get to have awesome photographers for your wedding day!!!! Woohoo! Congratulations on booking a photographer!!!!