Thank you so much to Ebony for asking me to be part of her amazing blog. I’m Marirosa Anderson….I believe real life is worth documenting and celebrating. Time moves faster than ever, few things ever slow us down allowing us to relive a moment like the power of a photograph.
I am a wedding photographer, located in Northern Virginia. Weddings are my love and my passion and I adore to capture them for couples. I’ll be dropping in on Ebony’s blog to chat with you on all topics associated with wedding photography……….
You are now engaged and the planning begins. Most couples agree that photography is one of the most important parts of their wedding day. Once all the dust has settled, the presents are opened, thank you notes written, your photos are what you have to look back on and relive your wedding day, the joy, love and all emotions captured to be enjoyed for years to come. As a professional photographer we have artistic and unique skill and the knowledge of the latest technology to provide beautiful wedding images. A wedding photographer is more than just the ‘day of’ coverage, but also the full experience from beginning to end, providing you a total package of what you want. Feeling a connection with your photographer is important, they will spend the majority of the day with you and you want to be happy with the choice you’ve made to document your day.
As you search for a photographer there are some questions that should be asked during your consultation, these will provide you with a lot of information regarding the photographer and how they work. You should feel comfortable to ask anything you feel would help you get the best photographer for your wedding.
1. Do you have samples of a full wedding from beginning to end that I could see? Any photographer should be willing and happy to show you an entire wedding they have done recently to show their full coverage. I provide clients access to a full gallery that they can view.
2. What steps do you take to protect wedding photographs and how long do you archive them? Most photographers have a workflow for after the wedding to protect your images. Knowing the process of the photographer is important, from previous experience many photographers archive images for one year or more.
3. What kind of equipment do you use and how do you protect your equipment in case of an emergency? This is very important, with so many cameras available in the marketplace it’s crucial that your photographer has professional equipment, lenses etc., and also has back up equipment in case of an emergency.
4. Will you be the person who photographs my wedding? Do you have additional people on your team? You want to be sure that the person you are discussing your wants and hopes is the person that will be the lead photographer at your wedding. Also, knowing who would likely be on the team that day is also helpful. Do they have a second photographer, an assistant etc? When I cover weddings, I bring a second professional photographer and at times an assistant.
5. What is the maximum amount of time I will wait to see proofs? You should go in with your eyes open on knowing how long it will be before you see your images. Some photographers provide them quicker than others, I advise that the amount of time you should be happy with and make sure it’s listed in the agreement.
6. What is your artistic style? Do you shoot traditional poses, or have a more photojournalistic approach, or is it mixed? You want to be sure that your photographer provides the style you feel comfortable with and that you can ‘see yourself’ with for your photos. That’s why seeing a ‘full wedding’ is helpful – this allows you to see the style throughout the event and in different lighting situations.
7. How long have you been photographing weddings? How long have you been in business? Can you provide references? Do you carry liability insurance? Any photographer should be more than willing to provide you with these details without any questions. References are a must, if a photographer refuses to provide any, this should be a raised flag of concern. As business owner, insurance is very important; you want to be sure that you and the photographer be covered.
8. Will I own my images and how are they delivered to me? Every photographer has their own answer to this, but the main one to remember is that if you want your final images so that you can print and use as you wish, this is something that you want to be sure of prior to signing an agreement. Are there limitations etc. For example, I provide all presented images to my clients on USB drive and online in a cloud storage/sharing system. They are full resolution and can be used for printing and anything personal. However, I do ask that images not be re-edited or changed in any way (except for cropping). Also, no profit gain from images I’ve taken by a client without a written release. Make sure you know if they are included or not so that there are no other financial surprises later.
9. Can guests and other people take photos during my wedding? Again, this is going to vary for each photographer. Some do not allow it at all, others don’t mind. With my clients, they are welcome to photograph as long as it doesn’t get in the way of me fulfilling my commitment to the couple or have an impact where my job cannot be preformed. Other than that – families are there because they love the couple, they just want to share in the day.
10. What are your refunds/cancellation terms? Each one will vary but you want to be sure that in an unforeseen situation both you and the photographer be covered. Photographers only have a certain amount of dates they can book – when a wedding is secured that date is ‘no longer available’ and very likely would be re-booked if something occurs. Most photographers do not refund a retainer fee and their terms may vary the closer you get to the wedding day.
I hope this provides you with some guidance from a photographer’s point of view on those important questions I want and expect my clients to ask me! I wish you all the best in your search for a photographer and Happy Wedding Planning!
Feel free to drop me a line if I can help or answer any individual wedding questions.
Photography by Marirosa