After months of researching Instagram. Pinterest, and wedding planning websites, you’ve finally chosen a wedding photographer. But the work doesn’t stop there. With so many variables coming into play, maintaining clear and open communication with the person or company shooting your wedding is paramount. Nothing is worse than experiencing a newlywed buzz kill because of unforeseen additional costs or your photos were actually taken by a ‘photographer-in-training.’
We couldn’t think of a better person to give advice on the subject than photographer Kim Mancuso. Below, Kim discusses the five questions every couple should ask their wedding photographer.
When I think about my clients, my first thought is always … What would I want? What would I expect? When Bride & Blossom asked me to come up with the top questions a couple should ask a wedding photographer, the following topics immediately came to mind. Here is what I would want to discuss… especially in 2019!
1.Will the photographer be using my images for any marketing/social media? I would want to be sure I sign a release, so there are no surprises. Conversely, I would want to be sure the photographer gives me permission to use their images (with credit of course, as a courtesy).
2. If the photographer offers packages that may not suit your specific needs, see if you can substitute a service or feature for something else. Most photographers want to make you happy. And I would imagine most couples are going through a referral/recommendation, so they should be happy to oblige!
For example … maybe they include a rehearsal dinner or engagement shoot, but you are more interested in extra images for your album or retouched prints to give to your parents … ask them if they will accommodate.
3. My biggest question always would be… Do they include the Hi-Res images on a drive or downloadable link, or is there an additional fee for the files? If so, are the files edited, untouched, or final retouched images? Understandably most offer the Low-Res on a digital gallery with their logo on it for viewing and sharing – ask if those are color corrected and/or retouched as well. Assume nothing! If they don’t release their Hi-Res files (untouched or retouched), ask what is the additional fee?
You will want to also ask if the digital gallery has an expiration date! The worst feeling would be to go to the link in a year and it is no longer up! And Whatever they send you, make sure you download the images asap!
4. Another concern for me is to ensure their assistants are actual photographers and not someone who has little experience shooting and is really just there as an extra set of hands. You want to know exactly who is shooting the day of your wedding and make sure they align with the dress code.
5. How long do you have to wait to receive all the images? Most may say a few months … if that is true, ask if they could send at least five sneak peeks in a week to hold you over!
The Bottom line is that by the time you met with the photographer, you already know their style and their price point as well. Your biggest takeaway (especially after you ask the questions above!) should be if they were flexible with catering to my specific needs. Did they make me feel comfortable and were amenable to these requests? You MUST have a good feeling and rapport with your photographer. If they seem agitated or bothered by you thinking outside the box, it is likely they will not be adaptable if something does not go according to plan the day of your wedding. For example, what if the event planner is difficult? What if the flowers arrive late and consequently, hold up the photographer from shooting the bride with her bouquet? What if your future mother-in-law is a nervous person, will the photographer know how to read her or will they make her even more edgy? Go with your gut, it will only fail you if you choose not to listen to it! Good Luck!!
A big thank you to Kim for taking the time from her busy schedule to talk with us! These are words of wisdom every couple in the midst of wedding planning needs to hear! Keep Kim’s points in mind when talking with your photographer and you’ll be guaranteed wedding photos to last a lifetime.
Be sure to check out our full interview with Kim HERE.