All of the following are of 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 25 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 nearly 1500 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
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. We only ask for the rest of the fee up to 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 1400 wedding couples before you!
I would personally never pay for such an important service up front (sometimes up to 3 months) before seeing the results 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 advice 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.2
When you see a price, always check the add-ons and extras further down the list. I recently saw a photographers “extras” prices that literally doubled the initial cost of the package. There was even extras on the extras! A service that looks like great value can often end up costing as much and more. You may not even realise they are extras until after the day and you are in their sales/showing room.
Our all inclusive package includes a highest quality album, staying until at least 10pm (not just to the first dance!), 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!
When first inquiring, ask how much a bigger album than the one offered in the package will be and/or how much extra images in it will be. If they are evasive, I would insist on straight answers before arranging a visit!
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 choose.
You should not have to wait weeks. We aim to have your edited images on our simple to use, on line ordering system within our website within 7 days (sometimes sooner) and if required, can have a selection on facebook the same day! This is mainly due to having Julie our in-house designer working solely for myself and with being full time, we do not have to fit every thing around another job. Also, by getting the images pretty much correct in camera, there isn’t too much editing to do!
Having to view and choose your album images at the photographers studio/salesroom can be pressured and stressful (to your health and pocket!) We allow you to choose your images in your own time by yourselves in the comfort of your own home on your computer or TV, with no need to sit for hours at a photographers salesroom with the photographer/salesperson trying to sell you more images in bigger albums, (more add ons!) Be careful of photographers bumping up the cost at your viewing by pushing to buy a bigger album than you booked and poss charging for extra images in your album.
We will ask you to choose around 80/100 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 photographer questions and advice No. 4
Pre wedding shoots
Some photographers charge for your pre wedding shoot (another add on!).
I believe a pre wedding shoot is essential to getting to know you and showing you some simple, relaxed posing for your big day. I therefore offer a FREE PRE WEDDING SHOOT to be taken anytime before the day. If you have children, please bring them as its good to let them get to know me too. You can even bring the pet dog!
We also offer a FREE POST WEDDING SHOOT that can be taken any time after the wedding. Some people use this for their first born or even getting back in their wedding kit and going somewhere really special we couldn’t cover on the day!
Wedding photography questions and advice No.5
Wedding photography albums
When looking at your prospective wedding photographers work, ask if the package includes an album in the price of the album size and type you are being shown. Some photographers will give a smaller album in the price, then try to sell much more expensive albums and more pages at the viewing. If the price starts with “FROM”, ask how much it can go “TO”. Some upgrades they offer can be over £1000 so some photographers will refuse to give a price for larger albums and pages when inquiring, insisting you have to visit the studio where the hard sell will begin! I would always insist on a price before visiting.
A highest quality album is included in all but out digital only services, and will be of the size chosen by you with no attempt to upsell afterwards. We only use the very best quality wedding albums as I would not even think to put our beautiful images into anything cheap and cheerful. Remember, with ourselves the amount of images in your album is unlimited and free!
Wedding photographer questions and advice No. 6
Website and portfolio images
Some photographers use images set up by the tutors and taken on training courses with models as part of their portfolios and galleries on their websites and social media. Sometimes this because they don’t have enough good shots from real weddings they have covered! It always pays to ask if they use any as these set ups may give a false impression of the snappers ability at a real wedding.
Its quite easy to spot them as sometimes they are the only decent images in the set!
Wedding photographer questions and advice N0.7
Although I feel drones have place in many fields of images creation, I do feel they are another fad in the wedding photography sector. In the weddings I have covered involving a drone, they didn’t get off the ground due to slightly inclement weather or restrictions at locations (which I feel will increase)! I would also feel for the amount of time playing with their latest toy, the photographer could be capturing a lot more of the wedding images on the ground rather than leaving it to their assistant. Its also a good idea to make sure they are qualified already and not just talking about it!
However if you do feel the need for one, I know a fully qualified operator I can recommend.
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 cake cutting. Most of the evening fun usually takes place after the first dance as everybody gets on the dance floor and relaxes as the drink starts to flow! Some photographers will even try to charge for extra hours on top of their packages, more add ons! (can you see where this is going…..)
As I specialize 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
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 than eating!)
Wedding photographer questions and advice No.10
Photographic style and groups
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!
We take many real reportage, documentary and artistic images as part and parcel of our weddings and having studied art, I know the difference between great imagery and poor quality grab and snap shots. Most fantastic wedding images are created or well observed and not left to chance. A photographer hoping a couple will create a great shot for the camera , or capture a required group that just happened to form itself is likely to disappoint.
Wedding photography questions and advice N0.11
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 1400 weddings from Hull and East Yorkshire to Barbados and Tobago. The photographs are usually the one thing you will remember your wedding by, so try not scrimp!
Wedding Photography questions and advice No.12
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.