Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding

May 31, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding | Photos by Cheryl Photos by Cheryl - Questions I’d Love to Hear Before You Hire Me for Your Wedding

As someone who’s worked with wedding couples for the past 20 years, I get asked a lot of questions about taking their photos on their big day. Some of them I get so often, in fact, that I figured why not answer them all here?

If you know someone who’s getting married or was recently proposed to, it’s well worth passing along this information to the newly engaged couple! That way they can make the best, well-informed decision on who is doing what when their wedding day arrives.

Now, here are those questions!

What are your rates/prices on wedding photo sessions?

I offer four special wedding photography sessions: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum. Naturally the more coverage of your wedding you want, the shinier the metal is that describes the package! You can view my rates for weddings in greater detail on my Weddings Rates page on my website.

How do I get kids to calm down for picture time?

Don’t worry, I’m great with kids! If the wedding party has children in it, I try to get a full wedding party photo as soon as possible, and then let the little ones go. For family photos, it is usually super quick.

When is the best time of the day for wedding photos?

It depends on a lot of things. The weather, for one. The date your wedding is going to take place is another factor. Sometimes the hour right before sunset (this is referred to as the ‘golden hour’) makes for awesome photos!

Generally, I have to shoot around the day’s schedule. I go through a very well-organized timeline to make sure we maximize the day. Sometimes, I will suggest to take photos before the wedding (first look--more on that below). If it is a winter wedding, we probably won’t have enough daylight to do photos after the ceremony. I am flexible and adept in shooting throughout the day.

How many weddings have you photographed?

I’ve been a photographer for over 20 years. During that time I’ve photographed over 120+ weddings.

Do I need to feed you at my wedding?

If you have hired me to cover the reception, then yes, I need to be fed. You have me for the day; I don’t have the option to leave to get food.

I usually suggest to the wedding couple that I be placed at a table with their guests, where I have a siteline to the head table. I also ask if our table can eat right after the family tables go to the buffet. That way I am eating while the bride and groom are eating, but I also have the camera on my lap in case of any great photo ops that pop up.

This gives me a few minutes to recharge and then after the wedding couple has eaten, be ready to take photos of their guests while they visit the tables.

How long after the wedding do I get to see the photos?

As per the contract, my turnaround time is usually 3-4 weeks. The photobooks take additional time as we collaborate together on that.

Why do first looks (photos before the wedding)?

Great question. I personally experienced it at my own wedding and HIGHLY recommend it. It isn't for everyone, but first looks are very effective in the right scenario. Whenever I photograph a bride and groom before the ceremony, I always ask them later what they thought. Everyone has been so happy that they did it!

Do you offer a free consultation to see if we are a good fit?

A free consultation is a must. As a wedding photographer I spend the day with you. It is an intimate relationship and I want to make sure that you and I are a good fit.

Do you have backup equipment?

Yes. My backup gear consists of multiple lenses, 2 camera bodies, 2 flashes, a camera that records to 2 different SD cards, tons of batteries, and chargers.

Will you help with the timeline of the day?

I do really prefer to be the one to help plan the timeline. I have the experience of seeing many weddings from start to finish; there are things that the bride and groom may not even think of.

Should the bride have the photographer come to her home while getting ready, or not?

Coming to the bride’s house is a very personal decision. If she is the type that will be stressed by having an additional person in the house, then maybe not. It also is a matter of budget. Being at the bride’s house does add hours to the wedding photo package. If they are looking to cut back on coverage, this is one option.

Do you have a list of preferred vendors?

Yes, I have preferred vendors. The ones on my list are exceptional and value priced. I used each of them for my daughter’s wedding and was incredibly happy.

Are there ways to reduce the number of hours to conform to my budget?

There are ways to keep within your budget for the wedding. We can talk about the timeline; perhaps there are parts at the beginning or end of the day that we can take out. Or you could have me for the beginning of the reception to capture the details, and then ask a friend to take the first dance photos.

Do you shoot with a second photographer?

No, I don’t shoot with a second photographer. I have been doing weddings for so long that I can pretty much be in two places at the same time! I know what to look for and what to anticipate, and I generally don’t miss a moment. This also saves you money.

Do you have a backup plan if it rains?

Once your venues have been chosen, we’ll come up with a plan based on the locations in the event rain decides to show up.

My family is complicated—how do you deal with family photos for the wedding?

Before the wedding, we list all the family members (the ones attending). I draw a flowchart and find out if there are any people who should or shouldn’t be in the photos together. The couple is then responsible for giving me a list before the wedding day of the people that we don’t want to forget about.   I have seen it all and have a very charming way of making everyone feel good and not awkward when photos are being taken.

How does the deposit/payment work?

In order to secure the date, 25% must be put down. 60 days before the wedding, another 25% is due. The week of the wedding the final 50% is due.

Do you have a backup system in place for the images?

My camera has 2 SD cards, so one of them is a backup for sure. When I get home from a wedding, no matter how late it is, I download the photos onto my computer. These are also on an external hard drive and they are backed up to the Cloud.

I hope this article answers a lot of your questions! If I’ve missed one that you’d love to know the answer to, feel free to send me a message.

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Photos by Cheryl and a clickable link back to this page.


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