Planning a wedding can be a lot of work! There are so many options to choose from when it comes to photography, venue, decor etc. As photographers, we know a thing or two about choosing the perfect photography match to capture your wedding day memories. Although working within your budget is important, even more important is working with someone whose work you love and has some of these professional qualities that we get into below! In the quest to find the perfect photography fit for your day, here are 5 Important Questions to ask your photographer!
1. Do You Like Their STYLE of Photography?
The most important question to ask yourself before you book your photographer, is Do I Like Their STYLE? There are many different looks out there. From Vintage/Rustic to Bright/Colourful, from Natural Light to Flash, Posed to more photojournalistic! It can be overwhelming! Don't be shy in deciding you like a certain style & look, just go for what you love! If you choose to book a photographer based on your budget, but they don't work within the "style" you like...the chances are nearly 100% that you will NOT be happy with your photos, and they won't be happy with not being able to deliver what you're looking for in the finished product.
It is important to to see a variety photos inside, outside, on a bright day, and overcast. see if their style is consistent and that you like it. A blog, or instagram account are great places to see their recent work! You can often see full day weddings on blogs. If the photos are not to your liking, don't book them. They will not change their style, the look they have curated over the years because you don't like what they do. If their recent work is not to your liking, then keep looking!
Here is a look at our blog, which will give you a sense of how we do a day, as well as our portfolio with some of our favourite work:
Consistency & Experience are key when you're looking for the right fit. This will give you great confidence in your photographers abilities, and build trust which is the most important thing!
We've heard stories from couples whose wedding photos were lost...just days after the wedding. And they never saw them, and couldn't get back the day. Again, that is often a hallmark of new photographers, or lower budget photographers. It's heartbreaking, and it happens when a photographer doesn't have the back-up system in place.
Redundancy is paramount, your wedding day is of the utmost importance. That means your photographer should have your images backed up in a minimum 2 different places. "Does your photographer have multiple back-up systems in place?" As an example, our cameras have dual memory card slots for double back-up on the day of shooting, we then store the digital files on our computer hard drive, an additional external hard drive, the cloud and the final step to back-up is placing the SD memory cards into a fire safe. Sounds like a lot...and it is, but loosing your photos is not happening!
"Does your photographer have a back-up camera in place?" You never know what will go wrong with technology on a day...it can seem as unpredictable as the weather! Does your photographer have a back-up camera in the event that something fails? Sometimes things go wrong, even with weather sealed equipment! So, does your photographer have a back-up camera ready to roll or insurance? Your wedding day doesn't stop because a camera breaks down. Even if your photographer has a second shooter's camera on hand in the event their camera glitches, its great! We know a lot of couples book us because they are getting the two professional photographers = INSTANT BACKUP!!
4. Can You Shoot in Bright, Hot Sunlight or Very Dark Locations & How Do You Handle It?
Often times we are working during the brightest time of the day, in some of the harshest conditions! And later on in the day, we might be inside in a darker, more low light setting. It's incredibly important that your photographer have training in off camera flash for at least the reception. It's always nice to find shade to shoot in outside - but sometimes it's just not there. Trusting your photographer to be able to capture your images regardless of mother natures lighting is so important! That means external flash system lights to fill in the harsh shadows that the sun creates, or to help capture the beautiful blue of the sky and clouds while allowing you to be just as bright! While we don't always need or use flash, we are well versed in it to create gorgeous scenes no matter the light! Once they head inside for reception, they'll need to be able to photograph the various elements of decor, speeches, candids, first dances to cake cut in practically complete darkness. Without training or use of an off camera flash and the low, mood light at all reception venues - your photos are going to be lower quality and grainy. Simply said without lights, you will likely get back blurry, out of focus images and/or grainy images that look like they've been photographed with nothing more than a disposable camera - and no one wants those images. Your photographer should have some training in professional flash & off camera lighting or articulate some solution for working in darkness!
Wherever you live, rain plans are non-negotiable! We've said it already, but here on Vancouver Island, the weather can be especially unpredictable! Photos can't stop because of a little rain or a torrential downpour! But it's best if your hair remains mostly dry. In a "drought" summer, four weddings we photographed - poured rain. Thank goodness for weather sealed equipment. "If it's raining, does your photographer have umbrellas for cover, and perhaps a location to bring you that won't get you both soaked?" It's always a great idea to work with your photographer and brainstorm couple ideas prior to your wedding in the event of rain. Ask to see some examples of photos they have taken in the rain and see if you like their rain photography skills! Also you may ask is your equipment weather sealed? Only the higher end camera models and lenses are weather sealed and typically makes for a good sign that they are prepared!
5. Does Your Photographer Have Business Insurance and/or a Business Licence?
You don't want to stress over your photography on your wedding day. You want to know all business aspects have been taken care of on the photographers end so you can enjoy your day. Being an "Insured Photographer" means that if our cameras break down, or get soaked we can have all new equipment the SAME day, with our full PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) insurance. If your photographer lost 10-20k of equipment in a break in or fire the day before your wedding - what solution would they have to photograph wedding? It also means that should something happen to us on the way to your wedding or prior that renders one or both of us unable to shoot your wedding, we can find you a "replacement" photographer with amazing talent to make sure your day is covered! With an insured photographer you are protected! Insurance offers security.
Being listed & recognized as a reputable business in your own city, who wouldn't want that? Check to see if your photographer even has a business license in their city here's a link to the city of Nanaimo's list
We hope you've found these tips helpful! If you have any other questions about wedding photography, or just want to chat about your booking your wedding with us, we'd love to hear from you! Click the link below to get in touch today...