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10 things to ask to a Wedding Photographer

Finding a Wedding Photographer for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you are going to make. The fun that you are going to have on your wedding day will only last for that day. As time progresses, you will be able to relive your big day only through the photographs you have. How many times have you gone through your parents’ albums gushing over each detail of their wedding day? It never gets boring.

If you are one of those who value your pictures & photography, this post is for you. With all the wedding photographers’ portfolios available on instagram, facebook, wedding portals etc. it can get really overwhelming to finalize the best wedding photographer that suits your needs and fits in your budget. This post is just for the purpose of making all the thought process a little easier.

You’ll be spending a very important day in your life with the photographer you choose, so in addition to loving their style, having an in-person or phone interview is a great way to make sure you’ll be happy to have them around.

  1. Style of Photography?

By going through the portfolio of a Wedding Photographer, you will know their style. You can ask them the entire set from a single wedding. Photographers only upload the best of best images online. By going through the entire set, you will know how the whole set looks like and will be able to judge their work. You will also understand if the photos are naturally color corrected or have some filters applied to them. Choose whatever you like.

2. Equipment?

Are you concerned about the brand a photographer uses? Whether it’s Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm etc.? I would say, don’t worry about the brand if you like their work. The photos you are going to get will stay with you for the lifetime. Ultimately, end product matters a lot. Anyway, no photographer would use or hold back his best equipment for the project. If they have it, they would use it! Still if you have to know, just ask. It doesn’t hurt to know. But don’t be obsessive about the brand.

3. Type of Photography (Candid / Traditional/Fine-Art?)

Candid Photography is the new cool. They will give you creative shots and not ask you to pose for the pictures. These photos are natural and taken without the person’s knowledge.

Fine-Art photographer creates aesthetically pleasing pictures. You get, ranging from beautiful portraits to intricate details from a fine-art photographer.

Traditional Photographers will give you posed pictures. Generally, they ask you to look at the camera and get photos. This also includes posed group shots.

4. Pricing and Packages?

Ask the photographer if they have any standard package. Can they provide customized packages tailor made for your wedding? Most photographers do. What ‘à la carte’ services/products can they provide at an additional cost? Also, discuss upfront about working hours. Indian weddings almost never start and end on time and they tend to go into late hours of the night. So the hour-based coverage doesn’t really work well. Make sure that you talk about the coverage they offer and understand extra charges incur if the events do not run as per the schedule so there are no surprises later on.

5. RAW / JPEG shooting?

Many photographers these days shoot in RAW format. It gives them the advantage of recovering the details later in Lightroom / Photoshop. But again, it’s a lot of work to process hundreds / thousands of images. They will charge you more than JPEG shooters. Those who shoot JPEG in camera, get no advantage of recovering the details later as it’s a lossy image format. They can deliver all the photos the next day as no post processing is involved.

Most photographers provide either of these –

  • A full set of edited JPEG files.
  • A full set of unedited JPEG files & selected set of edited JPEG files.
  • Shortlisted and edited set of JPEG files.

At the end of the day, you have to make the choice between 300 highest quality pictures or 1000 mediocre pictures. The number and the type of images is never something that should be compared while deciding a Wedding Photographer. Always focus on the image quality.

6. Budget?

The budget is certainly one of the major factors in deciding on a wedding photographer for your wedding. Any good quality product doesn’t come cheap. And so is the case with good wedding photography. The high-end photographers are definitely on the higher side of money, but the investment is absolutely worth it! I’ve had a lot of couples come back and tell me that spending on wedding photography was the best decision they made for their wedding. I have also had a lot of messages from dear ones that due to the budget constraint they booked a photographer who gave them a cheaper deal but when they got their wedding pictures they didn’t like them at all! Regretting later is of no use. Once the day is gone, it’s gone forever! Just to provide the benchmarks, good Candid Wedding photography will cost you anything between 50,000 – 2,00,000 INR for a day. (or may be more than that!) It totally depends upon the photographer’s skills and experience. It’s not just about the wedding day. It’s an overall experience that you are going to get working with the photographer. Compare the cost vs value equation and decide what fits in your budget.

7. Booking Process

Do not expect a photographer to hold your date just because you gave confirmation over a phone call or replied to an e-mail. They will ask you for a booking fee (It could be anything between 10 to 50 percent of the total cost) The fee is usually non-refundable as they hold the date for you and don’t take any other assignment on the same day. Many photographers would demand 100 percent amount before they click even a single picture on your wedding day. Discuss about the cancellation policy upfront with your photographer.

8. When do we get pictures?

Have patience. Each photographer has their own timeline. It takes about 3-4 weeks to deliver all the color corrected images. Know the timelines upfront and don’t put photographer under pressure to deliver early. It can only bring the quality of edits down.

9. We’re happy with the pictures. What about the usage rights?

You are done with the photography aspect of the wedding. You got your pictures and you sent an appreciation message to the photographer. If you appreciate them, they will be really happy. You just made their day.

The photographer retains the copyright to all your images at all times. Most photographers will give you personal use rights to your images. It means you can print, re-print, make albums & books, calendars, make collages for walls, share on social media (credits are appreciated) email etc. But you cannot SELL or TRANSFER these images for any commercial or promotional usage by yourself or anyone else. If you are going to have such a requirement, speak to the photographer and discuss the usage.

10. Wedding albums / Coffee Table Books

There are so many brands out there in the market for both options. Coffee Table books are hard back, thicker than magazine pages and light. Wedding albums are generally made bigger in size and contain more number of pages. Speak to your photographer about this for more details.

Above mentioned things are put up as per my experience and it’s my personal opinion. If you’d like to ask anything, please write to me in the comments. I would love to answer and help make your wedding day as magical as you dreamt it to be!

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