Every Bride or Groom has seen TheKnot’s suggestions of questions to ask your photographer before booking their services. Just a couple years ago, the list of questions was absurd. They were telling couples to ask questions that they didn’t even understand what the question was genuinely asking. TheKnot’s list has improved throughout the years, however, there are at least six other questions couples need to ask photographers when they are sitting down at their consult. Here are my top six questions that couples should ask first.
Seven Questions Every Couple Needs To Ask
Wedding Photographers Before Committing
How long have you been in business?
This question will tell you a lot about your photographer. The general rule of thumb is the longer they’ve been in business they more their technique has been perfected, and the better experience you will receive. Generally. But keep in mind, the longer they’ve been in business, the more you are going to pay. You’re paying for experience with your photographer, and the experience they have behind the camera. Be prepared to see a various range of prices and know the lower the price, the less experience they have. And the less experience means the less quality you’re going to receive from your images and the customer service they are able to provide.
How many photos, on average, do you deliver for weddings?
This question you need to ask photographers before you book, and you as a Bride need to know what number works for you. Are you okay with receiving less than 350 photos per 8 hours of wedding coverage? Or are you a Bride like I was that said “more the merrier” On average, my Brides can expect to receive 75-100 photos for each hour that I’m shooting. So for an eight-hour wedding, I’m delivering 600-800 photos. I have the mentality that I’m not going to keep your memories from you. Many photographers will discard the photos that are out of focus, eyes closed, or you’re making a less than a flattering face, and then deliver the best of the best to their couples.
How long will it take to receive my photos?
Many photographers will take the allotted contract time of 6-8 weeks, some photographers even tell their brides to expect up to 12-16 weeks!!! There are, however, photographers who have a shorter turnaround time. Be sure to ask up front, so you know what to expect. The photographer will probably quote you what the contract says. You need to ask them what their average turnaround time is without unforeseen circumstances. We’re talking about memories that will be cherished for a lifetime, and you and I both know you’re so excited to share those memories with friends and family.
Here’s a little hint for you. We’re in the day of digital. With proper workflows and time management skills, photographers can have turn around times for photos in less than 10 days.
How will I receive my photos?
DVDs are 2018’s equivalent to floppy discs. Computers today aren’t even being made with a DVD drive, so the last option you want is the DVD. And if I’m completely honest here, while custom and a lot of the times pretty, USBs are small and can easily be misplaced and lost. The best, most efficient way to have your memories delivered in via an online gallery. There are many different options out there, but they all serve the same purpose. With the online galleries, you are able to view your wedding photos anywhere you have internet access. So that not only means your computer but also your phone and tablets. Don’t you just love the technology of 2018?!
How long will my photos be available if delivered via an online gallery?
This is an important question to ask your photographer because some online galleries allow photographers a short time frame to keep photos on the cloud, while others allow a longer one. You will need to know if you have 30 days to download your photos from the gallery or if you have ten years. Currently, my Brides wedding photos are on the Cloud for up to ten years thanks to the program that I use called PASS. I would hate being that bride who receives an email from their photographer that they’re gallery is expiring before they even have a chance to legally change their last name. No thanks!
How will you continue your education?
Many professionals need continuing education hours to renew their license – teachers, medical professionals, hair and makeup artists. Why shouldn’t your wedding photographer need continuing education, as well? You’re trusting this person to capture your wedding day memories. Shouldn’t they attend at least some kind of professional growth each year? Whether it’s perfecting their techniques or learning ways to better the client experience, education is important to grow as a professional!
Bonus question – ask them if their legal and pay their taxes
I recently saw an anonymous post on Facebook from a photographer who considered herself to be a hobbyist. She was collecting payments through PayPal and thought she had more overhead than profit. She operated her business like this for several years. Well, Big Brother caught on and came after her income and business. She wasn’t allowed to continue working because she did so illegally. The IRS doesn’t play around. The last headache any Bride wants to deal with is finding a photographer last minute for their wedding because the one they hired doesn’t have a legal business!
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