All of the following are in my opinion
Wedding photography FAQs
My advice and questions to ask your potential photographer
Wedding photography FAQs and advice with Stephen Armishaw Photography of Beverley, Hull and East Yorkshire.
wedding photography faqs. I have been photographing professionally all over the planet for over 20 years (and by professionally I mean full time, not a part time snapper!) and have constantly been at the forefront of cutting edge and original imagery. With over 1400 weddings to my name, I can safely say I am very experienced in that field, whilst also running a successful modern portrait and commercial studio in Beverley nr Hull in East Yorkshire. Please have a look at my facebook page Stephen Armishaw Photography and Pinterest Stephen Armishaw Photography for daily updates and portfolios for the major venues in the Beverley, Hull and East Yorkshire area. The following FAQ and advice is from my vast experience as a top professional and I hope it helps you choose your ideal wedding and portraiture photographer (and avoid the pitfalls!)
Wedding photography questions and advice No. 1
If you think its expensive to hire an experienced, full time professional photographer, wait until you hire one that isn’t!
Remember, as in life, you will generally get what you pay for but unfortunately the old advice of “buy cheap, buy twice” doesn’t apply here as you will only get one chance of getting your wedding photographs right. All photographers and their work is most definitely not the same. You will usually be paying more for the photographers experience so check how many weddings they have actually done (not as a second camera, assistant or a guest shooting over the pros shoulder!) but the first photographer. Ask how many times, if any, they have worked at your wedding venue. Knowing those special places to work on a rainy day and knowing the staff can be invaluable for an easy going, flowing day.
I have actually photographed over 1300 weddings from Hull to Barbados. The photographs are usually the one thing you will remember your wedding by, so try not scrimp!!
Wedding photography questions and advice No. 2
When to pay
After paying your deposit for your wedding photography (in my case only £250), ask when you have to pay the remaining balance. In my case, we only ask for the rest of the fee two weeks AFTER your wedding day when you have have had the time to love them and my service provided. I have the confidence to know that you will be completely happy with my work and service as with over 1300 wedding couple before you!
What other service or product ask for the full money up front (sometimes up to 3 months before!) before seeing your work with them? Getting you money back if you are not happy with the service of your wedding (or portrait) photographer can be an expensive and heart breaking process. My advise would be do not pay your photographer the balance until you have seen, and are happy with your images and their services
Wedding photography questions and advice No.3
Viewing your images
After your big day, ask how long it will be before you see your edited images and how will you and your guests will choose.
You should not have to wait weeks! We aim to have your images on our simple to use, on line ordering system within our website within 5 days (sometimes sooner) and if required, can have a selection on facebook the same day! This is mainly due to getting the images right on the camera and therefore cutting down on post processing (that’s messing on the computer afterwards!) Also with being full time, we do not have to fit every thing around another job.
Because of her experience, my inhouse graphic designer will take care of fine tuning your images ( such as clever cropping, spot and mark removal, laughter line softening! etc) and creating some wonderful special effects if required, within day not weeks. If you require further work or you would like to change your album design proof, that is no problem at all, just let us know.
Choosing your images is done by yourselves in the comfort of your own home with no need to sit through a showing at our studio with the photographer/salesperson trying to sell you more. Be careful of photographers bumping up the cost after the wedding by charging for extra images in your album. Ask how many images will be in your album and how much more it will cost to put extra ones in, then do the maths!!
We will ask you to choose around 100 as from our vast experience, that number makes for a well designed album but if you require extra images included in the album it will cost you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Wedding photography questions and advice No.4
Wedding photography albums
When looking at your prospective wedding photographers work, check out the quality and design of the albums used, (if they supply albums at all!). Ask if the package includes an album in the price (and if its the album type your looking at). If not, get an inclusive price, you may be shocked. If the price starts with “FROM”, ask how much it can go “TO”!
We only use the very best wedding albums as I would not even think to put our beautiful images into anything cheap and cheerful. There is a huge difference in quality between album brands even if they go under the same type description. Some of our wedding albums cost us more than some photographers full services. Food for thought!
My wedding and portraiture albums are designed by my in house graphic designer and you can tell! Not the one or two on a page with a black background (unless you request it!) for us, but individually designed pages using varied backdrops from your day, colour matched text of your choice, multi size layering and options for you to change to your specific wants before printing. Please book an appointment to come down to my portrait studio in Beverley nr Hull in East Yorkshire to see our many albums and portfolios.
Wedding photography questions and advice No.5
Images at Wedding Fayres, Portfolios and Websites
When looking at wedding photographers websites and work do check if the work being shown is from real weddings and not taken at photography courses or organised shoots with models and not real couples. Photographing in a non pressured situation with instructors and pro poseurs is good for learning but not to supply images to be passed off as the photographers real wedding work. Don’t be afraid to ask if all the work on their site and albums is from real weddings and if not sure, ask to see the group shots from the “wedding!”
Wedding photography questions and advice No.6
Meals and drinks
As you will know, meals and drinks at weddings are not cheap! With that in mind, I never ask for a meal or drinks to be provided for Myself as I feel you are paying me enough to beautifully capture your day without paying out more. (and I’d rather be capturing more stunning images!)
Wedding photography questions and advice N0.7
If your prospective photographer claims to be “all inclusive”, ask what that entails. Sometimes, it may not be as all inclusive as it may suggest. Check there isn’t more add-ons and extras further down the list. A service that looks like great value can often end up costing as much as a real top pro!
Our all inclusive package includes a highest quality album, staying until at least 10pm, a dvd/stick with ALL images printable, Brides home coverage (with an option of covering the grooms preps as well), an enlargement and free pre (and post) wedding shoot. In other words, REALLY all inclusive!
Wedding photography questions and advice No.8
If your prospective photographer says they are staying “late”, make sure it is late and not just to the first dance or until dark. Most of the evening action usually takes place after the first dance as everybody gets on the dance floor and relaxes as the drink starts to flow!
As I specialise in beautiful night time photography (please see my portfolios!) and capturing the excitement of the later evening, my platinum service allows me to stay until at least 10PM.
Wedding Photography questions and advice No.9
Equipment and Lighting
I obviously use only the very best Pro equipment and lens with usually 3 cameras at every wedding. With modern camera’s, if there is a problem, it is usually the storage cards failing. With that in mind, my cameras have 2 top pro cards in each camera for double security in the rare event of a failure. It pays to ask if your snapper has the same!
I prefer working with natural and available light as I feel it gives a more realistic feel to my images and find my wedding couples feel more comfortable when their wedding is not turned into a film set with off camera flash heads, softboxes and brolleys. I can of course use that style of lighting but usually save it for my commercial and modelling portfolio work, when time and relaxing my bride and groom is not as much a priority. Using natural light also helps my relaxed images and my reportage shots as no set up is required, helping the spontaneity of the day. Also, if working with a partner or assistant, I prefer them to be capturing beautiful images rather than lugging around mobile lighting and getting in the way!
Wedding photography questions and advice No. 10
Ask if they are a FULL TIME, PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer, then check that they really are! Not somebody taking wedding or portrait photography “on the side”, as their full time job will invariably come first and they may not be as committed to your wedding day as yourselves!
I have been a professional photographer for over 20 years and I am a QUALIFIED member of the Masters of Photographers Association . Being a qualified member of such an organization shows higher levels of photographic skill have been achieved and give the client a professional photographic body to approach in case of issues.
Wedding photographer questions and advice No. 11
Real wedding experience
When booking your wedding (or portrait) photographer you are paying for someone who can not only capture great images on a beautiful wedding day, with a couple who love posing, fantastic location, loads of time and a bride who arrives on time, but someone who can still produce the same quality on a wet, cold day with a bride running 25 minutes late, an angry vicar, awful location and a groom who really doesn’t want to be in any photos anyway! (I know, I’ve photographed that wedding!). Experience doesn’t mean a few weddings for mainly friends and family but hundreds, in all places and all conditions.
Ask your wedding photographer how much experience they REALLY have. Ask how many images in their portfolio were shot at real weddings and not at a course they attended. Ask to see weddings taken on a rainy, cold day. Ask to see real weddings, not set ups with their friends/models in dresses borrowed for the local bridal shop or photo shoots with the wedding dress designer. They have their place but not in portfolios or adverts for real wedding photography. Ask to see lots of wedding images from from your chosen location and ask how well they really know the staff (invaluable!).
Wedding photographer questions and advice No. 12
If your photographer claims to blend into the background and you wont know they are there, it will be interesting to see how the groups you require and stunning wedding portraits will somehow come together. Getting the required groups together in a quick, organised and relaxed style is part of my art and can usually be done in around 15 painless minutes!
Some photographers claimed wedding style maybe reportage, photo journalistic or artistic. Check that’s not just an excuse to take snaps. If their images look like badly composed, poorly exposed snapshots, thats probably what they are!
We take many real reportage, candid and artistic images as part and parcel of our weddings and having studied art, I know the difference between great imagery and artistic/snappers bluff. Most fantastic wedding images are created or well observed and not left to chance. A photographer hoping something will happen or capture a required group that just happened to form itself is likely to disappoint.
Wedding photographer questions and advice N0.13
Make sure they photographer also has the personality and skill to create relaxed groups, and beautiful images with minimum fuss and effort as they don’t just happen.
Capturing wedding photography is about being a people person and being able to shoot a pair of shoes, dress and your special memorabilia is nice and is part and parcel of my weddings, but getting a bride and groom (and their guests) to relax and enjoy themseves whilst having beautiful and memorable images captured is the real skill.
I have been blessed with a great sense of well placed humour and the ability to relax the most nervous of wedding couples and guests and combine this with a vast knowledge of most photographic styles, drawn from over 1400 weddings.
Wedding photography questions and advice No.14
Looking after your images
Most of all, make sure your photographer doesn’t lose their memory cards!