Interviewing photographers is a little different than interviewing your cake designer or caterer. We are a more intimate acquisition. Couples need to trust their wedding photographer with the most important day of their life. The way a photographer documents a wedding has a lasting impact. Here are some questions you might have and should ask when you’re searching for a wedding photographer.
Where do we look for a photographer?
Many couples reach out to a handful of photographers and compare packages and style. It can become overwhelming when interviewing more than 3 photographers, amongst all your other vendors. My advice is to go with your gut and choose the one who connects best with you, has stunning full wedding galleries, and comes highly recommended by others. Your venue will have a list of favorite photographers they love to work with. Your wedding team should work seamlessly together so make sure to take recommendations as it will narrow down your choices. We have the great pleasure of being a highly recommended photo and video team at almost every winery in Temecula Wine Country. We are also available to San Diego, Orange County, and most of Southern California.
What is your approach on the wedding day?
As a photographer’s style can be evident by their galleries, their wedding day workflow might need some clarification. A photographer should be as unobtrusive as possible. Yes there are moments when I direct you and have a close proximity, but when you are interacting with your guests or sharing and intimate moments with loved ones, we transition to zoom lenses and document on the peripherals. I’m sure you have noticed at weddings how close some of the cameramen get. It hinders the guest experience. We can still capture candid moments while having no one even notice we were there.
What are your packages?
If we are being honest, pricing is a large factor when booking a photographer. I realize how important it is to consider your personal budget for all your vendors. Be honest with your photographer and let them know what you have budgeted for photography. I build custom collections when a certain budget needs to be met. Every vendor has a base rate they have to make to stay in business and pay out contractors or employees. Be upfront and save yourself the sticker shock.
When should we book you?
Dates fill up quickly in the wedding industry. All of your vendors depend on you booking them months in advance so they can plan their calendar and fill in dates as they approach. Booking your photographer 10-12 months before your event is ideal. That way we can spread out the payments, plan an engagement shoot and plan your wedding day timeline. A 50% retainer holds your date when you book with me. The remaining is due one month prior to your event.
How many photographers will be at my wedding?
What makes your wedding gallery stand out is having more than one photographer cover your wedding. This ensures we cover both the bride with her bridesmaids and groom with his groomsmen without running back and forth. Wedding day schedules can be hectic. Having two cameras allows us to be in two places at once. Ex: while one photographer is taking family photos, the other can be photographing the reception area decor. Or during your first look, you’ll have two angles and both facial expressions captured. More cameras, more angles, less chances of an important moment being missed. I would consider one photographer if your wedding is under 60 guests, small bridal party, and minimal festivities.
Is this your full time job?
Time and time again I hear of couples hiring rookie wedding photographers and are not happy with the outcome. I’ll be the first to admit that many couples took a chance on me when I was starting out, but it was a risk they were willing to make. I’ve been photographing weddings for 6 years and have over 100 weddings archived. It takes years of experience to not only photograph weddings but to navigate different scenarios that may arise on your wedding day. A full time wedding photographer/videographer will have systems in place to handle their clients and deliver their images in a timely manner, as well as wedding day etiquette. My photo studio delivers images as quick as 2 weeks from your wedding date. Since we have a dedicated editor, we are able to handle an influx of weddings during high-season. So yes, this is my full time job.
Do you recommend any wedding videographers?
It is very important that both your wedding photographer and videographer recognize their place when documenting your wedding. Some moments are better left to photo, while others are captured better on video. Teamwork is essential between both camera crews. Fortunately, I offer both photo and video.
Some venues are tricky to navigate when you have two photographers, two videographers, and a room full of guests, tables, etc. Both teams need to work together and communicate, or else each one will get in the others shot. Some photographers feel like they run the show and totally leave the video guy out of the loop while some videographers plant themselves right in the middle of everything instead of using a zoom lens to capture from afar. My studio offers both photo and video coverage to ensure those special moments are captured on both sets of cameras in their own unique way.
Is editing included?
Knowing what type of finished photos you receive matters. Ask your photographer what is included and what is extra. Color correction and cropping is included in all my collections. Our editing style is tailored to each event. Most if not all of my couples are happy with those edits. However some may request “retouching.” Retouching is different than color correction: *we remove objects, blemishes and perform nip/tuck techniques at your request, and is an extra fee per photo.* I recommend retouching if you are printing large scale or using that image for your wedding album. This helps narrow down your favorites to be retouched.
Will you be the main photographer at my wedding?
There are two answers to this question. I shoot 100% of my weddings that have specified me as their exclusive photographer. For my double booked and discounted events, my associate photographers will be present. In my 6 years of business, I’ve had to scale my business and expand my presence in the industry. Working with other wedding photographers is essential to my growth as a business. Other lead wedding photographers always have dates that need to be filled so I bring them on to shoot alongside me. I regularly shoot weddings for other photographers in my area as well. I work with about 5 other professional photographers that are trusted 100% to photograph a wedding in my place. You’re in good hands as I handle the quality control of your final images.
How do you create your best work?
Every wedding I’ve photographed is tattooed in my brain. There are so many factors that play into how your wedding photos come out. The first factor is YOU. Be calm, collected and focus on your significant other. Get lost in each other and go with your gut when you interact with each other. I’ll always give gentle direction but waiting to see what romantic way you interact with each other. The second factor is having a second photographer. Having my second cameraman allows me to direct and spot out details I might have missed if I were looking through my camera lens. My most successful weddings happened when I had my right hand cameraman/woman with me. The third factor is letting me know what angles you find more flattering than others. Having an engagement session will really increase your comfort in front of the camera. The final factor is time. I work very fast and know when to move on to the next pose if one isn’t working or we need to change up the scenery. However, some shots require a few minutes of wiggle room in your timeline.
How do we inquire about booking with you?
Visit my website and take a look around:
Once you’ve seen my work and starting rate, fill out the contact form and I’ll have a proposal sent your way. Please make sure to fill in as many details when submitting the form. Knowing about you allows me to better customize a collection for your wedding coverage. During this process, your date will have a soft hold on it until a contract is signed and retainer received.