A collection of questions to ask a wedding photographer

Chester wedding photographer

Whether you know exactly what you want for your wedding or not sure what questions to ask a wedding photographer, some of the questions and answers below will give you an insight into how I work. I hope you will find it useful! Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions which are not answered here. I look forward to hearing from you!

 

My goal is to provide you with documentary based illustration of your wedding day. With no prompting or posing, I aim to create images which will speak volumes about you and the special bond you have with your family and friends.

 

  • Which parts of the UK do you cover and do you shoot abroad?

I am based in Cheshire and happy to travel anywhere in the North West, Wales, Midlands, London or Durham in the UK.  I’ll be happy to travel to new places for the right wedding though, so do get in touch. I’m also shooting weddings in Europe from my base in the South of France. For more details about my Destination Weddings services, please follow THIS link.

  • We are not very photogenic and feel awkward when need to smile for the camera. Help!

Believe you me, this is such a common concern for many brides and grooms! So many couples who’ve booked me over the years initially felt that they will hate their photos being taken and were worried that they will need to “perform” for the camera. In reality, everyone always had fun no matter how shy they initially felt.

The excitement of the day and the whirlwind of events will keep you so busy, that you will not have time to worry about being photographed. Plus, I never ask you to do any cheese posing. Even during your wedding portraits, it’s all about who you are. If suddenly you will find your inner Linda, Naomi or Christy (I am showing my age here!) – that’s fine! We’ll do some more dramatic stuff. Otherwise, we’ll keep it relaxed and super informal.

  • Do you offer Engagement Sessions?

Absolutely! I love shooting engagement sessions. Not only you will receive a great collection of images, which you can use for your wedding invitations, birthday and Christmas gifts, but you also will have a chance to play a bit. Engagement and wedding planning is supposed to be fun, right? With so many things to plan and organise, it really is lovely to take a pause and spend some time together with one another. Engagement sessions are all about you – whatever makes you happy. A walk on the beach? A hike up the mountain? A stroll through the forest with your dog? A visit to your favourite 400 cows? A James Bond inspired shoot with your precious cars? I’ve done all of those before. What would your engagement session be like?

Please note that most engagement session have to be done Monday to Friday within the one hour driving distance from Chester. Occasionally, engagement session can be arranged on a weekend and further afield. Certain travel rates might apply. Standard Engagement session last 1-2 hours and are charged at standard £350 rate. You will receive 40-50 fully edited images ready for printing and a large mounted print of your choice.Do you shoot family group photos?

  • Can we provide you with a “shot list” for our wedding?

I’d love to know everything that is important for you on your wedding day. I ask a lot of questions myself and encourage you to ask as many questions as possible before your wedding day. It’s important that I have your trust in me, so you can enjoy every minute of your day. I like nothing more than a happy bride on the wedding day! Looks great in the pictures!

Other than family groups list, which I encourage you to prepare a couple of weeks before your wedding, I’d rather not have any “must have” requests. I’ll explain why. Weddings are incredibly busy events and I am sure yours will be just as busy. The vast majority of images you see on my website are taken in a documentary style – something I observed and captured for you. Having a “shot list” will mean that I will be ticking pictures off, rather than observing and capturing unique moments. You can imagine that the resulting set of images will be very different from what you see on my website. My couples book me for my style of images and I hope this is the reason you are considering booking me too.

“Shot lists” provided by the bridal magazines can be really helpful for photographers who are just starting out. My many years of experience mean that I will take many of the photos on those lists anyway, so rest assured that I will be paying attention to every detail of your wedding.

Combermere Abbey wedding photos

  • Do you shoot family group photos?

Yes, I do. I recommend 6-8 groups which normally shouldn’t take any more than 20 minutes. I encourage you to prepare a list of groups a couple of weeks before your wedding. This will allow us to discuss the best locations for the number of people in your groups. I appreciate that some weddings are like a rare family reunions and a larger number of groups need to be accommodated. I am happy to discuss it with you before the wedding, so we can come up with the best plan and how we can fit them in so your day runs smoothly. If you think you are likely to have a larger number of groups than recommended, please do get in touch as early as you can… before you set the timings with the venue and the caterers.

More details on family formal/informal group portraits HERE.

  • Do you have a second photographer?

From experience, unless you have over 200 guests at your wedding, I am capable of capturing the day for you on my own. If you would like to have groom’s preparation captured and you are in two completely different location, the second photographer could be arranged. Just let me know and we’ll come up with a plan.

It’s good to have a second photographer if you have a really large party or need to cover a number of various locations during the day. I have a list of trusted pro photographers who could be called to assist.

  • What if your camera breaks on the day?

This is such an important questions to ask a wedding photographer!With me you don’t have to worry about that! I use top of the range camera equipment and bring  extensive back-ups. On the day I shoot with two cameras with two very different lenses to enrich the visual effect of my storytelling. It also means that majority of your day is captured on two different cameras.

In my back-up bag I have more than enough spare batteries, extra lenses and a lighting kit. When I leave you to party into the early hours I go back to my office to back up your wedding and never go to sleep until that’s completed.

  • What do you do when it rains on the day?

You know, in over 12 years of shooting weddings I never had a wedding when it would rain the whole day. May be I just was lucky! Like this past November 2017, I was shooting a wedding on Anglesey. We had blue sky most of the day until the bright, but cold sun sat behind the horizon at around 4 pm. On the same day another photographer shooting a wedding on Anglesey complained that it rained for them all day!! You wouldn’t have thought that Anglesey was big enough to have such different weather fronts at the same time.

Anyway, I think rain or shine, there weather is not what will make your wedding. Plus we have no control over weather.  It’s the people, the love, the laughter, the happiness of the occasion that will make your day. As long as you are having fun, I will have plenty to photograph. There will be some breaks between the showers and we can pop out for the outdoor pictures. If not, we will find some beautiful window light or use other indoor space which your wedding venue can offer. We will have some beautiful pictures for you! May be just get some brollies 🙂

Winter wedding photos

 

  • When do we receive our photographs?

I completely understand that once the big day is over you’d like to re-live it again and again. And the sooner the better. Your professional photographs are the perfect way to bring the memories back and I work hard to deliver the images to you as quickly as possible.

I create a first preview of your pictures while I am uploading and backing up your wedding while you are still dancing into the night. It’s normally only a handful of images, but they are the first to come out from the darkroom and usually are uploaded on to my Facebook page.

The full set of images takes a bit longer to produce. I pride myself on the fact that I take full control over shooting and processing your wedding images. I don’t outsource any work to India or Russia. Each image gets my personal attention and a huge amount of care from me. The full set can be produced within just 3 weeks of your wedding! In high season it can take a little longer. However, if you require images within three weeks – just let me know before the wedding and I will get it sorted for you.

  • How many pictures will we receive?

I don’t restrict the number of images I take on the day. The more events, locations, guests you will have the larger number of photos you will have in the final set. I normally say, from the full day coverage you will receive  minimum of 450 pictures, often more.

  • How we will received our images?

Some years ago I used to burn personalised Lightscribe DVD’s. Later came the fashion to prepare USB sticks. More recently I found that many of my wedding and portrait clients prefer to have their images as a digital download. The images are uploaded into a password protected personalised on-line gallery. The gallery can be shared with your family and friends and the images can be downloaded onto your computer’s hard drive.

Those method allows you to make sure that you keep your photographs in the safe place and have no chance to misplace the DVD or the USB stick. If you would still like me to prepare a copy of a DVD or a USB for you, please let me know and I will arrange that for you.

  • Can we have the negatives?

I shoot with digital cameras in a RAW format (which allows the best possible image capture). RAW files are my digital negatives and are not available for viewing or purchasing. Asking for RAW files is like asking your caterer for peelings off your vegetables. Rest assured that all the images which don’t make the final cut are really the kind which no one would want to have – closed eyes, black frames where flash didn’t fire and such like are the kind of images which will not be delivered.

Every viable image is carefully selected and edited to the kind of high standard you see on my website.

  • Do we get the copyrights to our wedding pictures?

The copyright remains with the person who took the pictures – the photographer. As a client, you will have the right to keep the images for your personal use and print as many pictures as you like. Owning the copyright means that the photographers can enter their images into competitions and use them for marketing purposes. So even if you won’t have the copyright to the images, you still will be be able to print and enjoy them.

  • Can we put our wedding pictures on Facebook and Instagram?

Yes, of course! Together with your high resolution images for printing, you will receive a folder of all your images resized for a quick upload on the web. All I ask is that you don’t alter them in any way. I put a lot of time into editing your pictures and consistently maintain my own style of processing. As a small business, I rely on referrals and word of mouth, so if you love your photos, please tell everyone!

  • Do you offer albums?

Yes, I offer a beautiful selection of albums. A separate page with more information about my albums is coming up shortly.

  • Are you ensured?

This is another very important questions to ask a wedding photographer. My answer is Yes, of course. I’ve got public liability and a personal indemnity insurance. If you venue requires to see the certificate, please let me know as soon as its requested, so I can prepare it for you in good time.

  • What if you have not photographed at our venue before?

It’s great photographing in new venues! I am always thrilled and honoured to be invited to photograph someone’s biggest day of their life and I take that responsibility very seriously. I use each venue, new or familiar, as the perfect backdrop for your unique celebration.

With a fresh pair of eyes, it’s often easier to use the full potential of your wedding venue. Where possible, I will make sure that I do a recce.

Provence wedding photographer Yana

this was a completely new wedding venue for me – a beautiful vineyard chateau with an al-fresco dining area

 

  • If we are running late on the day, will you stay later than planned?

Yes, of course. If you require me to stay later than expected by more than half hour, my “extra hours” rates will be applied. The payment will be required after you return from your honeymoon, so no rush there.

  • How much are your services?

The most popular full day wedding digital collection is £2000. A short midweek local wedding start at £1250. I only  take a relatively small number of weddings each year. This way I can give you all the time and attention before and after the wedding.

Please get in touch to find out if I am available for your date. I’d love to hear your plans!

  • If we need to postpone or cancel our wedding, will we get our deposit refunded?

Booking deposits are non-refundable. I am sure you understand that once I committed to shooting your wedding, I had to turn down all other enquiries for your date.

The deposit can be transferred if I am available on your new date.

I know you wouldn’t cancel, postpone or bring forward your  wedding unless you absolutely had to. So I will do my best to accommodate your new plans. Please, don’t hesitate; this is the kind of questions to ask a wedding photographer.

  • Can you hold a date for us?

The dates are booked on first come first serve basis. Once you set your heart on your wedding photographer, make sure you complete the booking procedure as soon as you can.

  • Our wedding is not in the summer. Do you offer discounts for off-season weddings?

Occasional discounts are available for weddings depending on time of the year, your venue, my schedule for that week and and my travel plans. Please don’t hesitate to ask and let me know as many details as you can. I’ll do my best to come up with a plan to accommodate you budget.

  • Would you like to have a meal on the day?

Well, that would be very kind of you. It’s a long day and quite often we are in the middle of nowhere, so it’s hard to get a hot meal to keep me going. Please don’t feel that you have to seat me with your guests or feed me the full three course meal.

Please note though, if I will be in the same room as you, I will have a better chance at capturing the atmosphere of the place with pictures of your guests between the courses. I don’t take pictures while you eat and this would be my preferred time to have my own meal. So when you are done, I am done too and I can continue the coverage.

If you can’t feed me, please don’t worry, just let me know before the day. That way I can bring my own food or sneak off somewhere if possible while you are having your wedding breakfast.

  • We love your work. How do we book you?

Once you are both happy to go ahead and I confirmed my availability, I’ll send you t&c’s and a booking form to fill in. A booking fee of 1/3 of your chosen Collection will be due at the same time. Once I received the signed papers and the deposit, you are booked in!

It’s as easy as that!

Cheshire wedding photographer

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