Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event. So how do you go about picking a photographer for something that is so new to you? These six questions should help.
- Am I hiring a specific photographer, or can you send out anyone from the studio?
There are some advantages to hiring a big studio. For example, if the photographer is sick, they can probably find someone else to cover the wedding. However, be careful of bait and switch tactics. Some very large studios may show you the portfolios of their best photographers and then send newer, less experienced people to actually photograph your wedding. Also, you should be able to meet with the actual photographer and not just an assistant or secretary before putting down a deposit. (see the next question)
- What is the photographer’s personality like?
Most professional photographers have excellent skills with a camera, and most will do a fine job of photographing your wedding. What you should really look for is personality. Do you want a photographer who is a real go getter and will round up friends and relatives for portraits without having to be asked, or do you want one that is quite and unobtrusive who will get great candids without making people feel uncomfortable? You really need to sit down with your photographer and let him or her know what style you prefer.
- What is in the photographer’s portfolio?
Every photographer has a portfolio that features their work. Although portfolios usually are limited to the best work the photographer has, it is an excellent way to see what he or she likes the most about their work. They will also show off their most stylish and creative work. Think of portfolios as a way to see the photographer’s potential.
- Will the photographer be involved every step of the way, from pre-wedding planning all the way through album design?
Many photographers consider themselves done after the proofs are delivered. Unfortunately this is one of the times you need his or her guidance most. Having never designed an album before, you’re stuck with three or four hundred pictures to chose from. A photographer should be willing to sit down with you and help to make sure your album tells a story of your wedding, and doesn’t just become a jumble of pictures.
- What kind of value do I get?
Unfortunately one of the first questions I typically hear is, “How expensive are you?” Finances are certainly an issue these days, but rather than simply consider the dollar amount, take time to consider the value. How much are you really getting for your money? Also, are you being asked to chose between packages that have more things than you really want? Almost all photographers will be willing to work with you if you are on a budget, so price should be one of the last things you worry about.
- How do you archive my photos?
Now that digital photography is the new standard, I’ve gotten this question a lot. People who have experienced a computer crash know the dangers of storing all of your computer files in one location. Rest assured that your images are as safe as they can possibly be at Timothy Faust Photography. Five complete copies of your photos are kept. Three on-site, and another copy is kept off location (in case of fire or flood.)
- Two copies are kept on a pair of duplicate hard drives (for you technofiles this system is called a RAID 1 mirrored reduntant array.)
- A third copy is kept on a third hard disk in my computer.
- A fourth copy is kept on an archival DVD stored in a separate part of the studio.
- The fifth copy is kept on a portable hard drive that is kept in a secure offsite location, so in case of a catostrophic event at the studio your photos are still safe.
- Also, a DVD will all of your images is availbe to purchase and keep. This DVD also included a license to make prints of the images yourself.