Q. How far in advance should I book my photographer?
A. Most people book a ceremony and reception venue first and then other suppliers, though the Photographer is usually one of the first as like the venues, they can only take the one booking on your day. I have been booked as far in advance as two years and at the other extreme with four weeks notice. It’s normally around the year mark. I’ve known couples arrange their wedding date around the availability of their photographer, but most photographers will not hold a date without a deposit and signed contract.
Q. How do I book?
A. Firstly please get in touch with me to see if your date is free, and I will send you some more specific info about my services and what's included. Please include the date, venue, city, and time of ceremony if known, and let me have your email address.
Once you comfirm you wish to book I will send you booking fee details and a link for you to fill out some of your details that then use to generate your contract/ agreement - you then recieve this digitally by email for you both to sign using your finger on your phone.
Once you have paid the booking fee and signed the digital contract you’re all booked in. I will then sign it and you can download your digital copy with payment and other detail included.
Q. Why should I sign a contract with my photographer?
A. A contract has all the details about what you’re getting in your photography package so there are no nasty surprises. Contracts should contain contact information and act as a receipt for your deposit. I hear horror stories of photographers who disappear before the wedding or decide that they can’t do the wedding. A contract makes it all official.
Q. When should I pay the balance of your fee?
A. The remaining fee, less your deposit, should be paid no less that 4 weeks prior to your wedding day. It is not uncommon though for some to contact me sooner to settle the balance so they know earlier that they are all paid up and can relax during the build up without worrying that they haven’t paid someone. If this is best for you then this is fine.
Q. Do all photographers have a portfolio?
A. All good photographers should... how else would you know what you’re getting? The portfolio is a photographer’s selling point, their way of communicating. Even if a photographer has been recommended, if you don’t like the portfolio on first glance this isn’t the photographer for you. Also ask to see at least one or two full real weddings to get a true sense of the photographer’s work, in different locations and lighting conditions. Styled shoots don’t count as they don’t come with the restrictions of a real wedding. Look for those ‘real’ moments where the picture really does say a thousand words!
Q. How many photos can I expect to get back?
A. For my standard full day wedding package you can easily expect in excess of 300 different photos - while I set no upper limit, I am mindful that too many photos often lead to indecisions about what photos to print, which ones to put into an album etc. I try to keep a good balance so you get the full story of the day without being overwhelmed with options. I should add that in my full day standard and luxury packages this number would double the total amount as you would get every photo in colour and black and white.
Q. If I want albums and printed photos should I pay for this before the wedding?
A. Planning a wedding is a big outlay, so the short answer to this is no. I am happy to arrange this later. I believe that deciding which photo goes where can only be done once you have them in front of you. So once you have seen your final photos I am more than happy to resize and format your selected images to suit the frame, canvas or other wall arts size ratio that you would like. This way you are paying for what you actually want, and not guessing - if I am sent through any deals from my printer, I would let you know as well to pass a saving onto you as well.
Q. Can I edit and re-crop the wedding photos myself?
A. Whilst you are free to re-crop and print your photos yourself as per your copyright agreement, some photos will have a vignette around (the dark or light effect around the edge of a photo.) This can only be reset in a differently re-sized photo before it is exported to your USB. Allowing me to do this for you will ensure that your wall art looks as it should. The copyright agreement of every photographer does not allow for any other party to ‘re-edit’ their photographs as they do not have full copyright permission to do this - only the photographer may do this the same as only an artist would change their own painting.
Q. Why might a photographer ask to see the venue in advance?
A. For me personally, I believe this is not always required as the weather and light at almost every venue changes daily and by the minute, so decisions about the best place to shoot are often best made on the day - this way I can use my own artistic judgement for each unique scenario and place.
If I haven’t shot at a venue before I might make an appointment for a look round to get a feel for the layout of the place, plan where some good photo opportunities are to be had, and make wet weather contingencies. I chat with staff so I’m aware of any restrictions. With the internet being so good these days though, most research can be done online.
Whichever option I go with, I will arrange this all myself so you don’t need to worry about this, we will have fun on the day and get some great shots.
Q. Do photographers expect to eat with the wedding guests?
A. I prefer not to - I want to eat as quickly as I can, have a quick look through my photos so far, then back to work. When I do eat, I find a spot out of the way, maybe at the bar or in my car.
Q. Should I provide food and drink for you?
A. While this is certainly not expected, if you would like to that would be very kind. If you do, please ensure that your venue is aware of this in advance - you may need to pay an additional fee on your catering bill for the extra plate or organise a spend amount at the bar.
Q. Do photographers always bring an assistant to weddings?
A. For me not always, but sometimes an assistant might be there. This can be beneficial to set up lighting and other equipment when time is limited. If my assistant is a photographer then this does also allow for different angles to be captured and more of your day.
If you would like a 2nd or 3rd photographer to accompany me, this can be booked for an additional fee depending on availability. This is also good for capturing the morning activities for the both of you as well as guests arriving.
Q. Do you prefer to meet the bridal party beforehand?
A. I always meet the bride and groom in advance but not usually the whole party and not always face to face if time or distance is an issue. I will also provide you with a ‘wedding questions’ document where you will let me know key information like the names of your bridal party like the ushers, parents etc. This helps me remember their names before hand, and so I can introduce myself when I do meet them.
Q. Can brides and grooms ask to see the photographer’s digital shots on the day?
A. Usually not unless there is a specific reason. Not all photos taken on the day are delivered, some will have additional editing that may radically change what you see on the back of the camera, some will be deleted. When you get your photos back you will have a nice surprise and lots of wonderful moments to reminisce about. If you think you will be nervous about having your photo taken, make sure you take advantage of the pre-wedding/engagement shoot that I include with all full day packages to make you feel more at ease. It is a great way for us to to get to know one another a little better, and so you can see how I work.
Q. Do you mind wedding guests taking photos at the same time as you?
A. I have no problem with guests taking photos - they want to capture their own memories. But paparazzi wedding guests can have a negative impact, particularly during the ceremony if they step into the aisle and film with iPads (blocking the view of the photographer and guests). Taking shots over the photographer’s shoulder during group shots can also cause confusion and make the subjects look in different directions.
Q. Should I tell you if we plan to have the wedding filmed as well?
A. Yes, this is of course fine, but this is important I know so both the videographer and I are able to plan our movements and places to stand so that we impact each others work as little as possible. As part of my agreement it is understood that I am the only official photographer taking photos on the day. My aim is to be unobtrusive and yet as proactive as possible to capture your day with grace, without being a centerpiece.
Q. How long will I have to wait for my photos?
A. I usually say approximately up to 12 weeks until you get them back fully edited and print ready - often it is quicker than that, but at key times of the year such as the back end off peak wedding season and Christmas, when I may be doing portraits ready for Christmas, this just allows a little more breathing space. I always process weddings in the order that they were taken and stick to this so it is fair.
Q. In what ways will I be able to share my photos with friends and family?
A. After your photos are delivered and you have seen them I will send you a link to a password protected online gallery. You are free then to share this link with whomever you wish.
Q. Can I upload the photos myself and share via social media?
A. All wedding photographers generally give you personal copyright permission - this means you can print, display and show people freely, but you cannot give others (for example your wedding venue) permission to use them (for example as part of their brochure). If other parties wanted to use them they would need to contact the photographer who took them to seek more suitable copyright permissions for business use. I always offer to extend my clients personal copyright to include them sharing their photos online for personal use, in return for them allowing me to also share them via my social media platforms. As photographers rely heavily on this to advertise ourselves. Please ask if you need more clarification on this.
Q. Do people usually stay in touch with their Photographer after the wedding?
A. This is entirely up to you. I love to stay in touch and encourage my couples to follow me on social media. I always like to look after repeat clients and ensure they always get the best product I can offer - by following me you will be able to see any offers as they come up. A rewarding part of the job is going on to photograph their babies or even christenings and birthday parties. It would be amazing to eventually be photographing the wedding of children whose parents wedding I also photographed!
Q. Why is there such a difference in what photographers charge?
When my wife an I were getting married, we decided that none of our friends were going to be working on our day - so knowing quite a few photographers I set at searching for one I liked and didn't know personally.
Knowing the amount of effort I put into the editing afterwards, and knowing how many hours go into it, I knew that I was not going to be getting what I wanted by paying lets say under £750 for a photographer. Under that price bracket for a weekend/peak day photographer they will not be doing something, after all, nobody works for free!
You will find that most full time photographers will be somewhere in the region of £900 - £1300 depending on a few factors. Are you getting 1 or 2 photographers for that? How many weddings a year do they work? If they limit themselves to let's say only 20 per year, their time will be at a premium so you can expect to pay more than this. Experience, travel, length of coverage, how you recieve you images afterwards - all contributing factors.
At the end of the day, when all of this has been considered, you are paying for a standard. Do you like their work? Ask about their experience and what they will do for you on the day and after. If someone offered you diamond ring for £350, you are either getting a small diamond, a low grade band and/or stone, or it isn't what you think it is! Quality does cost and your wedding photography should be seen as an investment.
You might want to ask if the photographer has more than one camera as well, I know I have - what would they do if the one and only camera they have stops working? They stop working!
Q. What happens if we need to change our wedding date, and what if you are booked?
Sometimes these things do happen for a variety of reasons and we do understand this - while I will change to date if I can, I would have to charge a £300 transfer fee like most others do. One reason for this fee is because when you book your date, everytime we get an enquiry for it, we say a flat no, as we are booked for you. Charging a transfer fee goes only a small way towards recouping losses from another potential booking.
In the instance that I am not available for the date change - I will recommend a few other reliable photographers, but your booking fee would not be refundable.