Top 10 Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer and why
Your wedding day is going to be the best day of your life so far. And like all good things in life, that comes with a bit of a price. I am talking about the stress of planning your wedding.
Even if you are fortunate enough to have a wedding planner to do the brunt of the work for you, there will still be decisions that only you can make, and many of them.
You see, planning a wedding is just that….. Decisions. Lilly or tulips, turquoise or navy, beach or country club, suit or tux, sweetheart or mermaid, sequence or lace, d.j. or band etc…..
All of those decisions are important. All of those decisions matter to you. All of those decisions are yours to make. All of those decisions in total will make your wedding….well, YOUR Wedding.
However when the day is over, only one thing besides your love will remain: Your wedding photos!
Yes,of course as a wedding photographer I am a little bias. But that does not change the fact that your wedding photos will be all that you have left after the wedding is over. This fact puts choosing your wedding photographer to the top of the list.
So, we are here to help you out. We have the top 10 questions to ask your wedding photographer…. and why!
1:) Are you Experienced in Wedding Photography?
Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone has a “First Wedding”. Wedding photographers study and train. They 2nd shoot for other photographers and start off with free courtroom weddings and slowly work their way up.
We at Doodle Fly Photography are experienced Wedding Photographers. Although we do cover engagement, boudoir and portraits, Wedding Photography is the majority of our business. We cover an average of 25 weddings per year.
2:) Will You be Photographing my wedding?
3-) Are you from the area?
4-) How many of the portfolio images have YOU captured?
Unfortunately, there are many wedding “Photography firms” advertising in SW Florida and many other destinations that offer great discounted prices for Photography, Wedding Clergy and even Videography…. then simply go on Craigslist and hire hobbyist for $100 for the day and they keep the profit. They are usually based in a different city, do not work in the area and look for couples that are having destination weddings so there is no meeting in person. There have been many guides created for brides to “look out” for this. One red flag is the “Get everything here” line. Very Very Very Few Photographers are also videographers. It is simply a different art. Just like many Florists are not D.J.’s. If a Photographer also offers Videography, chances are they are subcontracting the work, and could be hiring a hobbyist and charging you the difference.
Here at Doodle Fly Photography, We are based in SW Florida and cover weddings all over the sunshine state. Every Single Image taken in our portfolio has been captured by myself or my partner. Every one. We do not subcontract our work, we never double book and we do not work for these fly by night “Get Everything Here” firms. We know that these firms exist because we have actually received calls from these firms asking if we would cover a wedding for $150 and give them the files.
5:) Do you have Insurance?
Any reputable Wedding photographer will provide insurance. Many large chains like Hilton, Westin, Marriott, and even smaller 5 star resorts such as Casa Ybel in Sanibel Florida will insist that the Wedding Photographer as well as the D.J., and other wedding vendors have insurance. This is to protect the venue as well as the guests. If your wedding photographer does not have insurance, will not get insurance, or can not obtain insurance, than it may be time to look for another wedding photographer.
6-) Do you have a Back Up Plan?
Every good Wedding Photographer has a back up plan. They also have back ups, for their Back Ups! This includes equipment. Yes, Professional gear is used… But what happens if your wedding day is the day that the photographers gear decides not to work? Wedding photographers should always have a 2nd Camera Body, extra lenses, batteries, Flashes and more. But they should also have a Back Up Photographer! What happens if there is a family tragedy? Or a vehicle accident? Your wedding photographer should have another wedding photographer as a back up just in case of an emergency.
7-) How will I get my Images / How many images are included?
In the digital age, Most wedding photographers have an online gallery. You will receive a Link, Password for your gallery and the ability to share your images with family and friends. However some wedding photographers frown upon digital sharing. And some wedding photographers have a specific number of images that are included with your package. Either way, you need to ask how you will receive your images and what images are included.
Here at Doodle Fly Photography, we have many package options that start with basic proofs and others that include high-resolution images, wedding albums, Custom USB Flash, Prints, Canvas and more.
8-)Do you have a retainer? / How do I a make Payment?
Most wedding professionals, including Wedding Photographers, D.J., Wedding Cakes and more require full payment of their services before their wedding day. The reason is that once you are booked, they are turning away all other weddings for that day. If payment is not made in full, there is a risk of the wedding being cancelled or postponed and then the professional is at a loss not only for the moneys not received, but for the potential work they missed from clients they turned away for that date. Most professional wedding photographers ask for a 40% Retainer up front and the balance to be paid 8 weeks before the wedding. Because most vendors work this way, that means that there is a lot of balances to be paid 2 months before your wedding.
We do things a bit differently here at Doodle Fly Photography. We understand that weddings are expensive. We have designed our wedding contracts to include a payment installment plan that includes 3 payments for all weddings.
1st payment is the retainer and secures your date
2nd payment is due 4 weeks before your wedding
3rd payment is not due until AFTER your wedding, when your images are ready. There are no Installment Charges, No Interest and no extra fee’s.
9-)Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
On your wedding day, You will be stressed out. Good Stress, and Bad Stress is still stress. You will most likely shed a tear or have a full waterworks. Mascara will run. You may have a pimple or 2. Your make up will not look as fresh during sunset portraits than it did when your stylish finished at 1pm. Solution: Hand Edits.
Photography is an art all it own. Not all photographers are also digital designers. Not all photographesr have the magic Photoshop wand. Ask your photographer about their ability and cost for hand editing the images. Of course you would not need nor should not want to have all of your images touched up.
The Editing rule of thumb is this:
Ask for Edits only on images:
If you will hang it on a wall (canvas, large print)
If you will put it in a book (Album, Photo book)
If you will have it distributed in print (thank you cards etc…)
At Doodle Fly Photography, Our hand edits are called Boutique Edits and they can be added to any package. We do not stop with a blemish or 2. Our Boutique Edits include Eye Brightening, Teeth Whitening, Body Line Contour, Skin touch ups, digital cosmetic enhancements, and full color workflow. This means if your wedding day is a cloudy, rainy or gloomy day: We will try to bring in a bit of sunshine!
10-) Do you use a Professional Photo Lab?
Most clients are not ware of the difference between a 29 cent print from a drug store chain and a high quality print from a professional photo lab. Customers are not able to order from Professional labs but instead have access to the widely used 3 ink jet system that most Department Store Chains, Drug Stores and discount photo labs use. There is a reason why the prints are cheap… they are cheap prints.
At Doodle Fly Photography, all of our equipment is calibrated specifically for our lab. Which means our prints are delivered exactly how we intended them to appear. Our labs us a 13 color system as well as visible light laser printers. These devices print on light-sensitive materials by exposing individual pixels to varying quantities of light., where as most Cheap Pharmacy or box store labs use 3 inkjet color system and are not calibrated. This can lead to “bleeding” colors, green tinted skin and other unsightly issues. Drugstore labs are intended for Jpeg Images, small pixels and tiny files. They are not intended to Professional images.
It really doesn’t make sense to use a discount lab for Professional Photos. You have spent time, money and energy to find a professional photographer to cover your wedding. Professional gear is used, technical lighting, edited with the best software…..so to then have it displayed on 29 cent paper & ink defeats the entire purpose.
We usually tell our clients that printing at a discount lab for professional images, is like buying a $10,000 wedding dress, and washing it in your washing machine. When it comes out, it wont resemble what you paid for….. just like hiring a professional wedding photographer and ordering discount prints.
One last thing that we want to mention this is not a question to ask but a feeling to be aware of. You should be completely comfortable with your wedding photographer. If your photographer is arrogant, or irritated at the questions you are asking.. then they may not be the right fit for you. Personality is a huge factor when it comes to wedding photographer. This is because you will spend more time with your wedding photographer on your wedding day than even your new spouse! Doesn’t it make sense to hire someone who is genuinely happy for you, takes your photos with a smile, and is patient with your family and friends? Weddings are stressful for everyone involved and that includes your creative team. Your wedding photographer should keep their cool if things do not go as planned. Your wedding photographer should make you feel comfortable and be comfortable around you.
**There is a MUST have book for anyone planning a wedding: The Big White Book of Weddings: A How-to Guide for the Savvy, Stylish Bride
“It is extremely important that you like your photographer. A lot. You are going to be spending the most of your wedding with your photographer (so while you think you need to like people like your wedding planner, even more than that, you need to love your photographer) “It’s a must for you to feel comfortable with your photographer and have him or her become your best friend for the day…. because on that day, your photographer is going to be with you every moment: while you’re getting dressed, hugging your mom, crying (tears of joy and hopefully not anything else), having a bridezilla moment (did I say that?)…. Your photographer will see every emotion of yours in those twenty-four hours. The last thing you want to add to all that is any sense of discomfort with the person behind the camera capturing it all. The only way to find out who the right person is to fill that role is by spending time meeting with various photographers: Get to know them and allow them to get to know you in your meetings, and never simply rely on the quality of their work in their portfolios or what you’ve seen online.”
So there it is. Top ten questions to ask your wedding photographer. We hope you enjoyed our take and go to your wedding consultation well-informed and prepared.
Doodle Fly Photography is a Family owned and operated Florida Wedding Photography Firm covering Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Sanibel, Captiva, Naples, Estero, Bonita Springs, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Pete’s Beach, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Marco Island, Miami, Keys, Key West, Boca Raton, Coco Beach and more locations around South West and South Florida. Doodle Fly Photography Specializes in Wedding Photography, Engagement Sessions, Boudoir, Bridal Boudoir, Editorial, Styled Wedding Shoots, Portraits and more. Doodle Fly Photography offers affordable wedding packages including Payment Options and installment plans for most wedding packages.
Call, Text or email for more information. Phone: 239-677-1428, Email: DoodleFlyPhotogrpahy@Gmail.com,