Twenty Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer
Firstly we must say these are not questions we advocate asking your wedding photographer.
But so many of us have come across prospective brides who have read THAT Blog by the wedding magazine … Questions to ask your wedding photographer.
Many of these questions are already in our contract and our wedding leaflets, but here are our answers for anyone who may also come across the same blog.
Your Wedding Photography is going to be a decent sized purchase and you probably want to ensure you are asking the right things. Some of these questions will definately help on your quest to finding the right photographer, and some of them will not, here are our answers to these questions.
#1 What Does Your Package Include
If you met us at a wedding show and have one of our leaflets, this is on the leaflet.
A number of digital images (depending on which package you have), 2 photographers, albums are priced separately. We do not compete on price, but not the quality of our work, if price is a main factor in your consideration there will definitely be cheaper wedding photographers you can commission. If your choice is based on style, someone you can gel with, quality and professionalism, you are int he right place!
#2 How much does it cost?
A basic package starts from £1600, all the various options are shown on our wedding leaflets. These include pre wedding shoots, albums of different sizes, Wedding Magazines, extra photographers, monograms, programme designs and a whole host of things.
#3 When will we receive the images
This is a useful question int he twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer. All of this is listed in your contract with us. We have a turn around of 3 months which also depends on you the clients okaying albums and changes as quickly as possible, or this may delay the timeline. However we also deliver 10 – 15 of our favourite moments from your day within 24 hours (48 if we are shooting the next day). This way, the first images you upload to social media or share with friends via WhatsApp, will be professional ones, not phone ones.
#4 How will we receive the images
On a USB pen OR digital download
#5 Are there videographers you prefer to work with
In some cases yes. The main thing is that everyone is respectful of each other, giving each other the space needed to do the best for the couple. This may include shooting on longer lenses so that both photographers and videographers can get the best images for the couple on the day.
#6 How would you consider your photography style
We would say amazing! But that is for you to judge, your wedding will be a mixture of natural documentary moments, styled shots, groups shots, details. We used natural light, flash and constant light. A full recipe of what is needed to get the job done and we feels makes and amazing set of wedding day images. Unless you understand photography all of that will probably not mean much. So again let our work speak for itself. The link shows a preview of our 24 hour preview.
Another way we would describe our style is ‘clean’, no matter what chaos is going on around the images, your day (through your images) will look calm, serene and full of joy. We are the photographers that will move that bag from beside the chair, tell you that your necklace is not straight or a curl is out of place. We will also produce probably your favourite portrait of yourself … ever!
#7 How many photographers shoot the wedding
All our weddings are shot by two photographers. This was both the bride and groom get full cover from their preparations to ceremony.
There is also no having to sprint down the aisle to get two different shots for the photographer, and as a wedding is generally something people have planned for years , in the event of a photographer say … spraining an ankle on the day, which is unlikely, but not impossible … the wedding will still be covered. It works like an insurance policy.
#8 Would you need a place to keep your equipment
The most expensive equipment will be on me (my cameras) there is usually somewhere safe or within eyesight that it can be kept during the wedding
#9 Who will be shooting my wedding?
We do not give jobs out to other photography companies or farm them out to other photographers. If you hire us your wedding will be shot by us. The only reason the main photographer would not be at your wedding would be the same reason you would have to miss a wedding.
A burst appendix, an accident, a serious illness etc. If this were to happen, just like with any other vendor, we would give you the option of allowing us to find a replacement, or a full refund. This has not happened to date, it is very rare. Just like the bride we know who had to leave her own wedding immediately after the vows due to illness. Its rare, but not impossible.
#10 When will I receive a written contract? What is the cancellation policy
Once you confirm that you would like us to shoot your wedding a contract will be drawn up and sent out, once this is signed and returned along with paying the deposit, your wedding is booked!
The cancellation policy is outlined in the contract, the initial deposit is non refundable.
#11 Have you ever been to our venue?
Do not worry. A lot of brides ask this, but it is not necessary for us to shoot your wedding.
Think about this, does the DJ need to be familiar with that venue before to play well? Does the make up artist need to be familiar with all the faces they make up to make up a good face? The image below was our first wedding at this venue, to a creative photographer it is clear that this area would mae a beautiful photo.
As photographers we have shot all over the world. Venue visits can be arranged if you feel really strongly about this, there is a fee for doing this as it is another day out from shooting.
#12 What camera do you use?
Unless you understand DSLR cameras this is not such a useful question in the twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer.
Most photographers change their cameras at different times, as they do lenses. The cameras have no bearing on how good or not your photos will be. Some photographers have the best equipment but are still learning, and some do not have the latest equipment but are masters of their art.
Examples of the work are a much better way to judge the professionalism of your photographer. That said we do use digital cameras and not film.
#13 Will you work to a list of photos we want
If there is one MUST HAVE photo of the day for you. Such as a photo or your nan, mom and you together, a best friend from your childhood, your new numberplate, let us know.
Other than that, as seasoned wedding photographers we know what we are doing. Look at our previous cover, it is enough o show you that with two photographers, we do not miss anything. As a recent bride, I understand the importance of wanted to see EVERYTHING afterwards, the food, the guests mingling while you were not around , the emotions from family and friends that you were not privy to while you were at the alter … trust us we know what we are doing.
There is no specific timetable as such we work to. It will depend on what package you have booked, along with what time your wedding day/ start and end. When we are close to your wedding date we will go through your timetable with you to ensure enough time has been allowed for your photos and that we start at the right time.
#15 If the Wedding Breakfast goes over time, will we pay extra?
This depends on the package you have. With an unlimited package no, with a 10 hour package yes, this is all outlined in your contract.
#16 Are images retouched?
Most images you see online are retouched in some way. All of our images are edited, which usually includes conversion from RAW to JPEG and may include minor whinges in exposure or white balances, cropping etc. Extensive retouching may be charged as an extra.
For example the bride who wanted the scaffolding taking out of the church because they were having rennovations on the outside. This is specialist work and will be sent to an editor at a cost of £50 per hour. We also will not take out something that you have permanently, so for example if you have a tattoo that you would prefer not to be in the photos, it cannot be taken out of all 500 images for example. We will also not change the shape of your face or body for example. You are beautiful as you are!
#17 What are your payment terms
This is a useful question in the twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer, as everyone knows where they stand. We accept 50% deposit secures your booking, once we have this, we then take that date out of our diaries and we belong to you! (for that day).
The other 50% is due 4 weeks before your date. Similar to most wedding services, the venue, caterer, florists, venue dressers etc all payments are completed before the wedding, this is one less thing for you for worry about.
#18 Do we pay travel costs
This is all outlined in our contract. For weddings within a 50 mile radius no. For weddings outside of this, travel and accommodation may apply. We do not take risks of working for possibly 16 hours then having a 2 hour drive home, or even getting stuck in traffic on our way to you in the morning, this is why in some circumstances accommodation will apply. Again do not worry, although the Ritz is amazing, Premier Inn will do!
#19 Are engagement / pre wedding shoots included in the package?
These are extra. Some couples have them, others do not. Some couples have a whole day shoot abroad, others have a half day shoot, for this reason they are not included as standard.
Our couples can have as much or as little as they would like.
#20 Could you recommend any new trends?
Our style is not to shoot the latest trends, so we do not shoot a dinosaur chasing you, or your husband standing far away as though he is being held in the palm of your hand. You will get a mixture of emotions, natural documentary photography, styled photography, posed group shots and detail shots of your shot.
Now that you have had all of these twenty questions to ask your wedding photographer answered … go ahead and give us a call or email to book us. It will be one the the best decisions you make for your wedding!
Ten Things not to spend on for your Wedding
Ten Things You Do Not Need to Spend Money on for your Wedding
Save Money on Your Wedding
Firstly this advice is not for those who can afford to have everything they want at their wedding. If money is not a worry have a huge cake, designer shoes, ballet dancers while you are walking down the aisle.
You can have your names personalised on everything in sight, a whole room of fresh flowers, everything that weddings now have to offer as the event of a lifetime.
But that IF this is not you; if you do need to save money on your wedding, if you have a budget that cannot stretch to the most lavish of everything, these are a few things we have come across from our experience of covering weddings. Five things you do not need to spend money on for your wedding.
- Wedding Favours
- Weekend Weddings
- Specialist Wedding Shops
- Paper Invites
- Designer shoes
- Fresh Flowers
- Stuff that is only used one for an hour or so
- Wedding Cars
Save Money on Your Wedding #1
1# Leave the Wedding Favours
As much as you may love the idea of the crystal heart with your names and wedding date etched on that your guests can treasure forever. The honest truth is … very few will.
Your wedding date is the most important date to you naturally. Your wedding date however is not the most important date to your guests, no matter how much they love you. The truth is as much as your toil and stress over your favours, in many weddings we shoot; they end up as children’s play things within minutes of your guests sitting at the table.
Save Money on Your Wedding #2
2# Getting Married on a weekday
Saturday is the most expensive day to get married. Yes, the same venues cost different amounts on different days! Sundays and week days cost a lot less. So you may be thinking “but will my guests turn up?”.
No matter what day you hold your wedding on their will be some people who are not able to attend.
Saturdays and Sundays are now working days for many people, so weekends are no longer the free days they used to be.
Lots of couple also get married abroad who do not seem to have problems with their friends and families taking off 2,3 or more days to attend their wedding. Try not to over think it. The people who need to and want to be there will be.
Save Money on Your Wedding #3
3# Shop in Non Specialist Wedding Shops
Wedding Hair Jewellery
Is a wedding tiara massively different to any other tiara? Compare the difference for yourselves. Buy one from a high street shop and compare them to others in bridal shops. The most expensive ones are no doubt of a a superior quality. It is up to you if the difference is enough to warrant the price difference. The average priced bridal ones however are not hugely different.
Everyones favourite High street accessories shop Claire’s has some amazing finds in their ‘Hair Swag’ range. These range from £5 to £20. You would expect to pay £100 – 200 for a tiara or similar accessory in a bridal shop.
Another option is to use other accessories such as necklaces and pendants.
This bride did exactly that with Claire’s Accessories Jewellery. The head piece came to a total of just under £20. If you are a savvy online shopper, stores such as Etsy also have a great range.
Save Money on Your Wedding #4
4# Cut the Paper and Save The World!
Think of the last wedding you attended when if you invite and Save the Date You were given? If you still have this, that is fabulous! If it is in a treasured box of similar items from various years, even better!
However, if you cannot remember when it was left a month after putting the date in your phone diary. Then you have just discovered how quickly your hard earns money that was spent on invites or save the dates, so quickly ends up in the bin.
Consider a digital invite / save the dates instead. Create a private FB group and send out an event, make a video that you WhatsApp to everyone, create a design that to WhatsApp to everyone.
Many people do most things on their phones now, so this is not unusual.
You will also be helping to save the planet as the rate of deforestation is alarming!
Save Money on Your Wedding #5
5# Ditch the designer shoes
Sometimes we are socialised into thinking you have to spend more on everything for your wedding. After all it is a special once in a lifetime day!
Bridal groups and blogs are awash with brides blogging about their dream wedding shoes. You will no doubt have seen quite a few Laboutins in these groups. These designer shoes start from £700. But bridal shoes are often hidden under a long dress … where no one will ever see them.
Brides often ending changing into comfy shoes or flip flops as soon as they get to their reception, if not for their walk around the wedding venue for their couples photos.
Shops like TK Maxx stock a great range of FC UK and Blue By Betsey Johnson Shoes from January of each year leading up to the wedding season. ASOS also stocks Blue by Betsey Johnson at different times of the year. The great thing about these shoes is that if you are superstitious, the bottoms are painted blue, so it covers your “Something Blue”.
These beauties were £29.99.
Save Money on Your Wedding #6
6# Fresh Flowers
There is no doubt real flowers are amazing.
But if you are looking to cut on your budget fake ones will be a fraction of the price, and will have a very similar look. Greenery table runners for these two tables were prices at £1700 for this wedding. These ones came in at £300 for these the head table flowers, top table and aisle / pew end flowers.
The amazing Home Bargains and The Range have a great range of flowers that look a lot more expensive that they are. If you are having a red / autumn theme look to buy their valentines range at Home Bargains at the start of each year.
Save Money on Your Wedding #7
What happens to the flowers used in your ceremony, as aisle ends or to decorate the alter etc?
After the ceremony they are not needed again. But you still need flowers for the reception tables, top table etc. Why not just reuse the same flowers? Yes you will need a trusted friend or coordinator to move these for you, but it makes complete sense.
This top table arrangement started the day as aisle / pew ends for the wedding ceremony, and ended the day here. They too were fake / faux from Home Bargains. Approximately £55 for the top table and pew / aisle ends. Rather than watch them wilt away a few days later after spending thousands, they can be re- gifted or sold on.
Save Money on Your Wedding #8
We can all get influenced by social media, things that look great, sound like a great idea, seem to make sense but are actually quite costly, possibly gimmicky and not have any real value.
Disposable cameras is one of these.
The idea of disposable cameras on each table for guests to capture what is happening on their table.
Amazon sells packs of 5 cameras for around £50.
Say you have 100 people at your wedding thats already a cost of £100. Then their is the cost of developing them approximately £5 each. The quality of these is not great.
Many people struggle with getting great digital images even when they can see the outcome immediately. Imagine images from from a camera where your guests can not see the final photo!
You may end up paying to develop a lot of unusable images.
In actual fact most people carry around a much more powerful and sophicated camera in their hands, that you can get table pictures from for free!
Ask your guests to take photos on their phones and send them you after or sign up to to a wedding sharing app.
Save Money on Your Wedding #9
A wedding car may cost £3 – 500 for 2- 3 hours hire.
A prestige car from your average car hire company can cost you this much for 3 or 4 days hire. This may not work if you want a vintage car; but if you are happy to travel to your wedding in a prestige Jaguar, Mercedes or Range Rover, this could be a huge saving.
It would also mean not having to worry about car is going back before you finish doing your couples photos or if anything runs late.
For example Europa Car is showing a Mercedes C Class at £400 for three days hire. Granted, of course you will not get a driver with that. You may have to rope in that friend or uncle who owes you a favour, but you will also have a prestige car to get home in the next day or drive around in a a couple days after your big day.
Save Money on Your Wedding #10
If you can afford a cake, of course there are some amazing designs. We have shot so many beautiful cakes. But if you are looking at cutting another corner, the famous wedding cake is another way you can save.
The thing most couple want from this is a photo of them cutting the cake, after all its tradition.
We have however shot many a wedding where after this shot was taken, the cake was not cut. The worst cased scenario was a couple who took a 2k cake to the kitchen to be cut, it was never cut and shared out because of running late, it was forgotten about in the venue kitchen, then thrown away the next day.
Some couples are opting to save on their cake with alterntives such as Jelly Towers, Cake Pyramids and Pizza Towers!
In contrast to all these savings. There are also many things we would say are important to spend money on or that you definitely need for a wedding.
See our blog post on Ten Things You DO need to spend money on for your wedding.
Lensi have been full time photographers for 10 years. This blog was written from that experience and also from a personal point of view as a recent bride.
If you want to preserve your quest for bargain hunting during your wedding planning. Consider your very own personalised Wedding Magazine. More than an album, it will document the stories behind the beautiful images, on your wedding planning journey.
To Have and to Hold, To Post or Not To Post …
You are making plans to get married
So you are finally getting married! Yayyyy and all that great stuff!
Your plans are underway, venue check, invites – check, dress – check, seating plans – check, wedding photographer -check, car -check … there are so many things you will need to think about, but here is one you may not have… a policy on social media for your wedding.
At this point you may be a little puzzled, wondering exactly what this is, well let me share a few scenarios to fill in the gaps.
We post everything on social media
So many people share EVERYTHING on social media now, we share photos of our food, new purchases, nights out, nights in, birthdays, funerals, parties, and weddings. Literally there is nothing that is immune for a snap, instagram, tweet or Facebook nowadays.
But …what if you don’t want your private wedding put all over the net for everyone to see? If you are fine with this happening, then thats get not a problem, don’t say anything to your guests and you can be sure there will be photos and videos of your wedding before the day is done online somewhere.
However, if you fall into the category of people who do not want this, then you need to explicitly state this somewhere before the wedding and on the day. Leaving it to “my guests would have more respect than that” is a huge chance, because for many people its not a disrespectful thing to do!
For some of you who are fine with everything being on social media and no limits placed on your guests, you may be thinking, why would any wedding couple do this? What is wrong with sharing photos and videos of someones big day? Here are a few reasons why people may not want their wedding day on social media.
Some people are private. For some people you won’t see photos of their food online, you won’t see photos of all their family members, every holiday, their daily walks abouts, what they watch on tv and so on. For some people you may see a post every few months, they may even post every day, but it will be nothing about their personal lives of family. For some people like this, they won’t want their most intimate day online for the world to see. And before someone thinks, “but my profile is private”; yours may be, but what about all of your guests? And even if their’s are too, that is say 70-200 profiles with your intimate moments on, shared with the 500-2000 friends on their profiles too, so potentially your private moments are shared with how many people (head to your phone to do some quick calculations).
If you have had a small private wedding of say 50 people, and purposefully kept it that way because you did not want random family and acquaintances present on your day, some people would say that posting it all over social media defeats that object. What do you think?
A Few Examples
For those people unconvinced, here are a few examples of guests posting on social media where the couple were not best pleased.
1 – A bridesmaid snap chatting the bride in the background before she got to the church on the day of the wedding.
2 – Guests Facebook living at a wedding
3 – Guests face timing a wedding to someone who was not invited, to show how much of a good time THEY were having!
4 – Guests posting unflattering photos where one of the couple had their eyes closed, or strange facial expressions
5 – Guests posting albums of 100’s of photos from every aspect of the wedding, as though they were the wedding photographer
6 – Guests posting videos on paid platforms such as YouTube
7 – Guests posting something to ridicule the couple, such as posting something that went wrong, someone tripping etc.
8 – Guests posting unflattering angles, such as a hall that looked empty, a dancefloor that looked dead, people looking bored etc
Ask yourself if you would be happy for any of these to be posted at your wedding? And keep in mind, that not everyone is aware of this when they are posting, so its not always purposeful! I have seen people post some terrible photos of themselves on social media and be completely unaware, so there is no reason why they would have more awareness when posting photos of others.
What Photographers think
From a photography point of view too, guests can make your job really difficult! I advise couples that IF they are allowing photos to ask guests to stay in seats, because you can never underestimate how much a guest will be unaware of getting in the official photos, in order to get their iPhone (other brands are available too) photo.
There is also now the emergence of iPads and super sized iPads i call them, which are basically like guests holding up tv screens in the way of the photographer and in your pictures on the day. It quite frankly looks stupid.
I have even had a guest ask me to move out of their way, in my capacity as the official photographer, in order to get the photos THEY need!
What Other Brides and Brides to be Think
We asked for some further views from other brides, these were some of the mixed responses we received.
Emma Cumiskey said “I have said to guests you can post pics after the night guests arrive as otherwise they have seen the happy couple before they get there”.
Alexandra Daisy said “I would hate if the live streamed our ceremony and speeches. I’m happy for our guests to take pictures throughout the day but ask them not to post them until after the wedding was over. I would hate to see my guests constantly on their phones during my wedding. Id want them to actually experience and enjoy the day”.
Becci Faulkner said “I had no phones at church rule and asked people not to post anything until the day after the wedding. After that anything was game”
Molly Freeman said “We’re hoping for an unplugged ceremony (we want to see people’s faces in pictures not iPads and phones). But other than that pretty ok with pictures and videos after that and at the reception as long as I don’t look too bad in them”
Faye Rose Charrington said “We have a sign that says no social media until we have posted! And we probs won’t post for a few days! Just wanna keep it private for a bit! Everything is online now. Doesn’t hurt to keep things to yourself for a wee bit 😃”
Arelene Wheeler was not concerned by any posts “I didn’t mention anything before hand but we had people do both; Snapchat our ceremony and put me on Facebook before the evening guests had even arrived. I was too busy to care st the time but I wouldn’t do it personally. Speeches were also recorded”.
Not to Post
Ellis Willis had a bad experience with social media wedding posts saying “Someone put about 100 photos and the speeches on Facebook the day after my wedding without asking and I was devastated we didn’t want loads on Facebook and we didn’t get to see them before they were put up either. Gutting really… some of them were terrible and edited so badly by a guest, broke my heart”
Sarah Tugwell works in the industry as a wedding planner “I am a wedding planner and no matter how many times a celebrant or registrar say unplugged ceremony there are always people doing it and I have even had a venue and a venue dresser post pictures of the ceremony room Before the ceremony (so basically as they had finished setting up) which I don’t agree with. Alot of my couples say no to social media until the evening. Now, our own personal wedding next year is a tricky one as my fiance doesn’t do social media and hates it so he doesn’t want any pics going to without our approval… how do I manage that one? Personally we happy for some to go up but only when we have seen them and not to be plastered all over social media. We want to keep it private really. Happy for guests to take pics though.xx”
Naomi Lunn said “We aren’t your average young couple. We didn’t post when we got engaged. I haven’t ever posted a picture of my ring, even though it’s spectacular lol. And I’m certainly not doing countdowns or announcing that I’ve bought a house. We are inviting 20 of our closest to see us tie the knot in the most beautiful place in Cumbria. Luckily for us there is no WiFi or signal there so people will have to wait until 2 days after the wedding to post. I’d rather there weren’t any photos on Facebook to be honest but I guess it’s a bit extreme to say no posts at all… I don’t think people will respect that, so I guess there is no point saying it”
Josie Shereston said “I banned social media at my wedding and to be fair my guests respected my wishes…. it was our day… not everyman and his dogs lol”
Laura Kane said “We don’t want anything putting up, we are a very private couple, we don’t put anything up, for example… we didn’t put a post up when we got engaged, we changed our relationship status that’s it. If we don’t tell them personally or are invited then why should they know?
So we are going to ask that guests don’t put anything up, pics of themselves yes but not of the bridal party or any part of the day”.
This is obviously something that couples now have to think about it, whether you agree with it or not. Here is another recent article from news site I Am Birmingham on the same issue
So, as advice from someone in the industry, if you are fine with guests posting everything, or a limited bits, that is fine, or if you prefer them not to post anything, or put on time limit of when they can post, that is fine too … but whatever you choose, please make your guests clearly aware of your wishes. Please add it as another “to do” on your wedding lists!
This post was also recently included in The Wedding Magazine. A personalised luxury magazine all about YOUR wedding. It is an amazing new concept, couples can have their wedding in glorious print from a magazine created about your wedding story. It is going to be a huge hit!