12 Questions to ask your wedding photographer
Here at Picture Perfect Dallas, we understand how confusing it may get when hiring someone to create and capture the most important day in your life. We want to help you find the RIGHT TEAM that fits with you like a puzzle even if it means it isn’t us.
There are many imperative questions that should be addressed before hiring your photographer. Here are some we feel are the most important.
1. What experience do you have?
Experience is imperative! There are many specific genres in the world of photography. Wedding photography is very unique to other genres. For example: a fashion or commercial photographer gets hours and sometimes days to be able to create or capture a moment. However a wedding photographer needs the previous experience to anticipate when that moment is about to happen and be prepared for the shot in question.
At Picture Perfect Dallas, the Director of Photography Harout Yerganian, has photographed over 400 weddings worldwide. In the past 14 years of being a professional photographer he has photographed weddings of several different beliefs and cultures.
2. Is equipment important?
Professional photography equipment is also imperative. Not only that, but back up cameras and lenses are also very important. We are all human and “life” happens. How would you react if your photographer accidentally dropped their camera and it broke, or maybe he set it down to set up a certain shot and one of the children from the wedding gets a hold of it? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a backup camera? Besides, cameras are technology and we all know that sometimes things just break down on their own. At Picture Perfect Dallas we have multiple professional camera bodies, lenses, batteries, and light units.
3. Aside from having equipment, how do I know if they have “professional” equipment?
As far as cameras are concerned, stick to a photographer that owns and uses FX or FULL FRAME cameras. FX cameras are much more complex and expensive. Typically, someone who is just starting out or doesn’t really know what they are doing will not buy an FX camera. It is equally important that they own these cameras and are not renting them. Settings on a camera are very sensitive and one must know their gear in order to operate it successfully.
When it comes to lenses, ask your photographer if they own “fixed aperture” or "variable aperture” lenses. (Fixed is what you want them to say).
At Picture Perfect Dallas, we have all full frame cameras and fixed aperture lenses. (See “What’s in our bag” below for complete list)
4. What happens if the photographer is ill?
Illness as well as many other unfortunate acts of God are always a possibility. In our contract, we will provide a professional photographer, with similar experience and equipment to be able to cover for this unfortunate incident. With that said, Harout has never missed a wedding but it’s always good to have a backup plan in case something happens.
5. Will there be a contract?
Yes. We will send you a contract at the time of invoice. Everything must be signed by all parties in order to book you for your date. We at Picture Perfect Dallas, do all of our contracts via Echosign and you can download and print it if you wish to do so.
6. Do you have insurance?
Insurance for your photographer is just as important as your vehicle insurance. Heaven forbid someone tripping over a tripod and hurting themselves or catching fire to the venue. If that were to happen, who is responsible?
It is always good to be more safe than sorry, therefore we carry 2 separate types of insurance. One specifically for our equipment and the other detailing the following items:
· Up to $1 million per occurrence
· Liability arising out of bodily injury on or off premises as a result of your business activities
· Damage to the property of others
· Real or alleged faults in work completed by or for our business, resulting in bodily injury
· Personal or "advertising" injury (libel, slander, invasion of privacy)
7. Now that you are my wedding photographer, what are the next steps?
Once the contract and deposit have been confirmed, we need to set the dates for your pre-wedding shoots. Your engagement and bridal portrait sessions need to be scheduled as far in advance as possible. Please check your contract for specific details on booking these pre wedding portrait sessions.
Second, we can provide you with a template to manage your family formal photos that typically happen right after your wedding. With this template, it will immensely reduce the time it takes for these wonderful photos . Please don’t forget to send this to us at least two weeks prior to your wedding.
8. How many other events will you photograph on my wedding day?
This is an interesting question because there can be so many variables. However, when you are hiring your wedding photographer and you know that you will need them all day (or at least a majority of the day) they should not have other obligations. Your wedding needs to be their priority. With that said, since every wedding is unique to the next, if you only need your photographer for 2 hours late in the evening or early in the day, it is quite possible that they will have other portrait sessions scheduled. At Picture Perfect Dallas we assign a specific team of photographers to each client alone and will not have other obligations. Our only obligation is to create and capture for you on your wedding day.
9. What is “post-production” and do I need it?
Post production is the process in which a photographer or editor will finalize your imagery. It is called “post-production” because there are multiple levels of editing, color correction as well as how to deliver the images to you; it’s not just a one step process. Simply put, do you have your pizza delivered to you already cooked and ready to eat, or do you have all of the ingredients separated and raw? At Picture Perfect Dallas, we handle all of the post production for you and apply our own style to complete the art work. Post-production is a key element in photography and we do not offer our clients any images that have not been through any post-production. It can also be implemented into print production. Print production takes a little longer than digital post-production.
10. How long does post-production take?
In the film photography days, post-production took so much longer than it does now with the digital age. A major part of post-production is the computer. Most digital post production should not take longer than 2 weeks for a wedding. However there can be other variables such as destination weddings, multiple weddings and other sessions back to back. Since it is impossible to be in multiple places at the same time, if your photographer has other sessions booked right after your wedding, it may take a little longer than expected. With that said, at Picture Perfect Dallas, our average turnaround time is about a week, but we do offer a 72 hour turnaround time as well.
11. What will the photographer wear to my wedding?
Presentation of images (prints, albums, etc.) is important but so is how one presents themselves at work. At Picture Perfect Dallas, we dress as if we were going to a wedding. In other words, men wear a tie and slacks, sometimes a suit if it is more of a “Black tie” or formal wedding, and women dress professionally as well.
12. What if my wedding goes longer than anticipated? Is there an extra fee involved?
One thing you should know is, most weddings don’t start on time. If you have hired your photographer for 6 hours, and need them for an additional hour, then discuss it with them. Some contracts read “____ hours” and some do not. If the package you bought from Picture Perfect Dallas includes “full day coverage” it includes up to 10 hours from when they arrive. Each additional hour is an additional fee of $350/hr.