Every year, we get a few brides who contacts our studio, inquiring of options to "REDO" their wedding portraits. It breaks my heart each and every time as I hear their story of why their initial photographer failed them. When you hire a photographer, you invest in their business, time, and talent. What you expect to receive for such investment, is a finished product. With this said, I feel many don't know, or may not be educated on how to pick a photographer that suits you!
A good photographer will work for their clients. A GREAT photographer will spend tireless hours staying up to date on the latest equipment, continually learning and expanding to curate their skill. We each have our own niche we are experts at, but there is never a photographer who is perfect at it all. It takes time, learning, careful practice, and lots and lots of paitence. Photography for our studio is much more than a "hobby". We run a full service business. Meaning, on any given session, I spend anywhere from 4-6 hours from start to finish...Even if I was only with the client for 45 minutes!
With this said, Wedding photography is particularly tricky business to be in. There are trends, enormous amount of equipment, hours upon hours of editing, ordering, designing albums, etc. Wedding photographers shouldn't just show up on your wedding day, take pictures, and then deliver them to you! Every business operates differently - and if this is the experience you're looking for, we may possibly not be the right shoe for you! We edit all our images. We take time to meticulously take care of all the details. We polish our skill often, and take endless amounts of extended learning opportunities to better our expertise. When you hire our studio for your wedding, we want you 100% confident you don't have to worry about your wedding photography!
It kills me when brides have to have a re do! You cannot simply re do all those memories. Why did it not get done right the first time? As I have come to know these couples, the most common reason their originally hired photographer failed them, is because the client didn't ask the right questions. 9 time out of 10, bridal parties are ill-informed on what experience they want to have from their wedding photographer, and more importantly, how to ask what experience they will receive for the investment they spent! It is truly disheartening to have Brides having to spend even MORE money in their first couple years of marriage, trying to capture these precious memories to stand the test of time, long after they said I do.
One of these Brides who has reached out to our studio, allowed us to document her story. Meet our friend Kacie!
"Last year I got married to the love of my life, but unfortunately my wedding photos didn’t turn out. Phoenix Photography made all of my anger, sadness, and anxiety about that beautiful day and those photos go away! She was so much fun to work with, and was amazing at placing us to get the perfect picture. She was open to ideas I had and certain photos I wanted, but had plenty of beautiful and exciting ideas of her own! I am so thankful for her and everything she did for us! Thank you Deanna! I am beyond in love with the photos!" - Kacie
Kacie struggled for an entire year, not wanting to share her images with family and friends to display, not proud of the outcome of hiring the photographer she selected. Once she received her wedding portraits, she realized she missed out on a great opportunity to have wonderful, beautiful portraits of her day. That's when she found us! She contacted us a year after being married, to dress up once again in their wedding attire, and take some portraits of her, and her now husband! This would not replace any memories she has of her day. Instead, create additional to make light of an unfortunate scenario. You invest money into all the details of your wedding day, a wedding photographer will have a trained eye to look for these details, and special moments.
So, by sharing Kacie's story, we'd like to remind that not every photographer, is a WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER. Below we've compiled a list of questions you should ask any photographer you meet for your wedding, and if they don't come back with an answer you like, DON'T HIRE THEM! Save yourself the time, and money, and invest once! Most professional studios allow payment plans, etc to assist the budget-friendly brides! If you have any questions on hiring a photographer, or how to get the answers you need, consult us! We have no qualms about referring professional photographers that will fit you just right! Even if it isn't our studio, we would rather you end up with someone who is your going to be a perfect match for you on your big day!
QUESTIONS TO ASK!!!!!
Do you have my date available?
How far in advance do I need to book with you?
How long have you been in business?
How many weddings have you shot? Have you done many that were similar to mine in size and style?
How would you describe your photography style (e.g. traditional, photojournalistic, creative)?
How would you describe your working style?
What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
What is your policy for equipment failure, do you have a backup?
Do you edit my images?
Do you shoot in color and black & white?
Are you willing to communicate with me about specific shots we would like?
Can you put together a slideshow of the images for us to download? Do you have video capturing capabilities?
What information do you need from me before the wedding day?
Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.?
May I see samples of your wedding photography both indoors and outdoors?
Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? If so, will you have any assistants with you on that day? If not, who will be taking the pictures and can I meet them before my wedding?
Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you (or my scheduled photographer) are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
If my wedding site is out of your area, do you charge a travel fee and what does that cover?
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
How will you (and your assistants) be dressed?
Is it okay if other people take photos while you're taking photos?
Have you ever worked at my wedding site before?
If my event lasts longer than expected, will you stay? Is there an additional charge?
What packages do you offer?
Can I customize a package based on my needs?
Do you include engagement photos in your packages?
What type of album designs do you offer? Do you provide any assistance in creating an album?
Do you provide retouching, color adjustment or other corrective services?
How long after the wedding will I get the proofs? Will they be viewable online? Download?
What is the ordering process?
How long after I order my photos/album will I get them?
When will I receive a written contract? TIP: Don't book a photographer—or any vendor—who won't provide a written contract.
How much of a deposit do you require and when is it due? Do you offer a payment plan?
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
Do you carry liability insurance?
These should help you find the perfect photographer. Although some of these questions may seem tideous to some, these very questions are answered in each and every one of our bridal consultations, so that you can rest assured you're making the right decision for you!
*Disclaimer* our studio has no issues referring to other professionals. If during a consultation we feel we are not the best suited for your event, we will be happy to discuss other options with you! Hiring us is very much us hiring our clients as well. We have to have a good relationship, and communication in order to have a successful event. Therefore, if there is a style difference, we can make references to a photographer who might better suit your style!