Wedding Photography FAQs
Hello world! This is my very first blog post and I thought it would be great to start with frequently asked questions as this will be very useful for anyone planning their wedding, including my own lovely clients. So let’s start the wedding photography faqs!
The first and most important question to many people:
Why is wedding photography so expensive?
For many people, wedding photography looks like easy money but most wedding photographers carry anything between 10k-20k worth of equipment in a wedding. Good photographers will also have backups in case something happens. So a second camera, several lenses, batteries, extra SD cards, expo discs, flashes, portable softbox etc. A typical wedding will keep us busy not only on the day of the shoot but for at least one full week of post processing. If clients ordered an album, it may take a few good hours to create and proof the design, make any amendments requested by clients and discuss their preferences on colours, textures etc. Photographers also have to pay for editing software, computer with good processing power and graphics card, advertising, hardware calibration or repairs, insurance, website hosting, etc. On tops of this constant training to continually perfect their skills and learn new techniques.
How long should my photographer stay for?
How many hours you require your wedding photographer depends on your day and also what photos you would like. So first you need to consider the day. What time will you be getting ready? What time will you be leaving to go to the ceremony? Wat time shall it start? How long will it last? What time will you get to the reception? What time will you be eating? When will you cut the cake and will will you take to the dance floor?
This is a long list but it will give you a timescale for the day and allow you to work out how many hours you require. Most photographers will have packages for the whole day. I advice to chose the photographer with a flat daily rate rather than hourly rate. You won’t need to worry about any delays and incurring extra charge for any additional hours. There will be no clock watching either. However if you just want photos of the ceremony, then do get in touch for a quote for this.
Getting ready photos
Remember, photos of you getting ready may not sound very interesting, however the emotion, fun and happiness of you and your bridesmaids getting ready makes for some beautiful photos. It is also part of the story of your day and how the day began.. The same can also be said for the groom and groomsmen too.
Your wedding photos are a story of the day, so capture the day from the beginning, from getting ready right through to the first dance. This is just a one day moment and you only get one chance to capture it all.
Do photographers deliver every shot they take?
No, we do not. We take many shots from different angles to take the best possible photos and present you only with the high quality images that have good composition, sharpness, exposure and expression. Some of the shots are also taken just for testing the lighting and correct exposure and they are always deleted.
How far in advance should I book?
Most people book a venue first and then other suppliers. Most couples book around 10 -12 months in advance. Sometimes bookings happen as early as 2 years in advance or — at the other extreme — with few weeks’ notice. Just bear in mind that a lot of couples get engaged around Christmas/ New Year or Valentines Day so you can expect a lot of venue/ wedding suppliers booking shortly after that.
Do photographers expect to eat with the wedding guests?
Not really, just a quiet place where we can have a mealy quickly, review the photos on the back of the camera and then get back to action is perfect. If your photographer does require a meal on the day, ensure that your venue is aware of this in advance. You may need to pay an additional fee on your catering bill for the extra plate.
What if a potential client decides not to use your services?
I don’t like to pester people, so if I haven’t heard from a potential client, I follow up via email. I’m not offended if they go with someone else. It’s important to be the right fit for each other. Feedback is always helpful — and it’s nice to let a photographer know either way, particularly if they are reserving a date for you, so they don’t turn away work.
Should I sign a contract with my photographer?
A contract has all the details about what you’re getting in your photography package so there are no nasty surprises. Contracts should contain contact information and act as a receipt for your deposit. I’m sure you’ve all heard stories of photographers who disappear before the wedding or decide that they can’t do the wedding. A contract makes it all official.
Should my wedding photographer be insured?
Yes, they should have liability insurance of which many venues will insist your photographer has. Liability insurance covers the photographer if they trip and fall, or if they knock into a guest with their camera for example. Ask your photographer about this but don’t worry too much about it. Some wedding venues may require a copy of public liability insurance from your photographer.
When do you pay for wedding photography services?
A deposit lets your photographer know you’re serious and then they can book your wedding day in their diaries. Most photographers ask couples to pay the balance two weeks before the wedding. Others are flexible and accept the payment on the day or just after the wedding.
What is shot and burn photography?
Shoot & burn is slang in photography. It means shooting the wedding and burning it to the disc/ USB without any post production. Basically no editing. It is usually very cheap as bad lighting or colours are not corrected, no distractions are removed and generally there is no enhancement to the photos. I edit each one of my images fully not only to correct any lighting but to create a piece of art.
How do I get pictures with blurry background?
Blurry background is called bokeh and it is achieved only with high quality professional lenses working at a very shallow depth of field. This means that the zone of acceptable sharpness in photo that appear in focus is very shallow. Anything before and after this zone appears blurry/ out of focus. You can also add blur with software (like Photoshop) but it has never got the same quality and it always looks fake. The most beautiful bokeh is achieved in camera rather than editing.
Should photographers get told what to wear on a wedding day?
No one has ever asked me what I’m wearing to their wedding. Brides and grooms just expect you to dress to the occasion. If it was my wedding, I would want all the staff looking smart and professional. However if you have a particular colour scheme that every one of your guests is expected to stick to and you don’t want your photographer to stand out, just tell them. They won’t mind.
Can I design and order the wedding album myself?
I’m not entirely sure if the likes of Tesco or SnapFish produce wedding albums. The wedding album suppliers will only work with professional registered photographers. They check each person logging in to their website. Once they are confirmed as registered photography business with publicly viewed portfolio, they get access to design and ordering tools. Normally all wedding albums are handmade with premium materials and produced on high quality printers in the UK or Europe. They are not cheap but are designed to last for many years. It’s definitely something worth investing into. I am yet to meet a person who saw and touched a premium wedding album and said they didn’t want one. Ask your photographer to show you their sample art work to check the quality and available design / finish options.
What is an ‘Unplugged Wedding’?
A wedding without phones, cameras, iPads, a wedding without technology for you and your guests.
Why? In the age we live in everyone has a smart phone, everyone can instantly take a photo and upload to a social network for friends to see. However you have hired a professional for your wedding photography to take pictures and to capture the day for you. There is no need for friend to take photos, you have invited them to be there at your wedding, because you want them there. Not because you want them to take photos of you walking down the aisle and instantly uploading to Facebook for everyone to see before you have even tied the knot.
More and more wedding venues these days prohibit using any photography equipment by your guests during the ceremony. Usually only hired professionals are allowed to take photos.
More about unplugged wedding here.
What cameras and lenses do you use?
Good equipment doesn’t make one a good photographer never the less having a high quality camera and lenses will produce high quality images. These will look great on your computer as well as printed out in your album or large canvas.
I use my favorite Nikon D850 as my main camera body. Nikon D610 is my additional/ backup camera. They both have been intended for professional use with the D850 being my absolute awesome favorite bit of equipment. I only use high quality Nikon and sigma prime lenses which are sharper and faster than zoom lenses. They range from 20mm to 105 mm. The 105mm macro is excellent for the close up shots (wedding rings, accessories, decorations, shoes etc) as well as for portraits.
And I finally bought my only zoom lens Tamron 70mm-200mm. It seems to be a “go to” lens for every wedding photographer. I chose Tamron over Nikon due to its incredible camera shake reduction. It allows shooting at much slower shutter speeds whilst maintaining sharp image. This is very useful in low lighting conditions. I also carry various accessories such as portable flash, incident light meter, white/ silver reflectors. Let’s not forget the expo disc, extra batteries and fast performing SD cards.
What is a second shooter, and should I have one?
A second shooter is an additional photographer hired to do your wedding photography. Simply putting, a second person there on your day capturing photos from a different angle. The benefits of this is you can have one photographer at the hotel with the bride capturing shots of you getting ready, and then the other getting shots of the groom. The is perfect if you want shots of both getting ready but are staying in different locations where you shall get ready. On your day your photographer cannot be in two places at once. Therefore a second shooter allows capturing different angles. You can get shots of guests entering the church, inside the church, different angles as you walk down the aisle, while also focusing in on your guests faces and capturing their emotions.
A second photographer is great for getting a more comprehensive array of shots that help to tell the story. It’s also great for photos of the bride and groom getting ready. Of course with a second shooter there is an additional cost. Speak to your photographer. They will have other professionals they can call upon that will be able to help.
That’s all I can think of now in my wedding photography faqs. I will be definitely adding more to this post once I come across more interesting (or intriguing) questions. I hope my article helps you with preparation to your Big Day.
Have a great day