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February 20, 2018

CHOOSING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER & MANAGING EXPECTATIONS

Managing expectations is something that is an important part of any wedding planning process. One of the most important things about a wedding day is making sure that everyone is on the same page. Before a couple even officially hires me as the photographer for their wedding experience, I try to answer as many of their questions as possible! A lot of FAQs end up turning into blog posts for me, because if one client has a question, there are bound to be several other wedding planning couples who are facing the same questions! Research is a key part in choosing any vendor and I’m an open book when it comes to answering client questions. At the same time, I ask some questions about my clients’ wedding day so I can make sure we are a good match for each other and to know more of what they’re looking for! The more details, the better!

As you search for your wedding photographer, consider asking these questions! You would HATE to get to the wedding day and be surprised! Here are 5 examples of FAQs that my clients ask that are great questions to have answers to!

  1. Who is your second shooter? This is probably one of my most frequently asked questions! I do not have the same second shooter at every wedding. I do hire photographers to work with me who have experience in shooting weddings, own their own businesses, and people I trust to treat my clients how I’d treat them. For that day, they’re there to be another set of eyes for me! I also choose photographers whose natural styled fits well with how I photograph so the wedding gallery is cohesive!
  2. How will I get my images? A few years ago I started delivering my galleries through an online platform. It helps me deliver hundreds of images quickly and instantly to my clients as soon as they’re finished! It’s also nice because my clients can share the link with family and friends and order prints directly through their online gallery.
  3. What’s the turnaround time on the wedding gallery? Sure, a normal question to ask! Every photographer is different buy I say my turnaround time is 4-6 weeks. Sometimes I’m able to deliver my galleries sooner, it just depends on the workload I have for that month!
  4. Can I see a full gallery? YES! I always send over full gallery examples of REAL weddings to inquiring brides and grooms. I understand that all photographers showcase their best of the best work on their website and it’s important to see a wedding day from all sides! I often go a step further and show galleries that are a similar type of environment to the couple inquiring.the woodlands texas romantic fairytale wedding
  5. Is there a payment schedule? Of course! I collect wedding payments in 3 parts. Upfront there’s a non-refundable retainer due with the signed wedding agreement. The rest of the balance is split in two and due 60 & 30 days before the wedding date. 
  6. Do I need to provide a shot list? No AND yes. No, I do not need a meticulous shot list of things like “make sure you get a photo of the first kiss and the cake and the bride and groom.” Those are what I call standard images… I’m obviously not going to miss any of those things. However, at the same time, if there is a special or unique detail that you have that I might not know about, tell me! The shot list that I DO NEED is the family formals and groups list. You know way better than me the group of people who you want photos of! Before the wedding day I send over a questionnaire with some final wedding day questions/reminders including a family formals outline where I’ll list out the “top 12” typical family groupings that most clients end up wanting. I encourage my couples to edit that list if something doesn’t apply or add their own! If we run out of time during the allotted time period, I’ll take the rest of the group shots during the reception!john marshall ballrooms richmond weddingI believe managing expectations is the best way to avoid heartache after the wedding day is over. So, ASK away! Don’t leave anything up to interpretation! If you found this blog post helpful, you might also enjoy these other educational posts! Click here!

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