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  • Nina Bashaw

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

Helpful tips written by a wedding photographer

As a wedding photographer I answer lots of questions from my bride and grooms wanting clarification on a few concerns they have. I actually I love when my clients ask questions, because it means they want to be educated on my photography philosophy and it cuts out miscommunication. I often see questioners to ask your photographer on wedding planning sites or Pinterest, and to be perfectly honestly I found that the majority of the questions that are on that list are not usually questions I get asked from clients and they are usually not huge concerns of bride and grooms. So I wanted to write helpful blog post about what questions you should ask your wedding photographer, and I wrote an answer as if you were asking me these questions. Other photographers answers will vairy depending on their business policy, but you will find that a lot of these answers are industry standard when comparing professional wedding photographers. Always ask for clarification if you have any questions about your wedding day photography. I hope you find this helpful and happy wedding planning!

Questions to ask your wedding photographer

1 : What all is included in your wedding packages?

It depends on which package you choose, but here are your three options. And you can always add A La Carte items to your package for an additional charge. (ask to see a price list of their wedding packages and a la carte items)

Basic Wedding Package $2,795.00 (+ tax)

- 6 hours of Wedding Day Coverage with two photographers

- High resolution Edited digital files

- Print Release

Exclusive Wedding Package $3,595.00 (+ tax)

- Engagement Session with edited high resolution digital files

- 8 hours of wedding day coverage with two photographers

- High resolution Edited digital files

- Print release

Premium Wedding Package $4,595.00 (+ tax)

- Engagement Session with edited high resolution digital files

- Bridal Portrait Session with edited high resolution digital files

- 10 hours of wedding day coverage with two photographers

- High resolution Edited digital files

- Print release

- One custom designed 20 page 10x10 wedding album

2: How much is your deposit?

My deposit is 50% of the total package and your deposit is non refundable.

3: When is the balance due?

Your final payment and balance is due 30 days before the wedding.

4: What is your cancellation policy?

Your 50% deposit is non refundable. If in the case of the wedding was cancelled, and you have paid your balance in full. I must be notified 90 days before the wedding day; if not, then I will keep everything that has been paid for up until that point. I also have 90 days to refund the money upon receiving notification that the wedding was cancelled.

5: How many photos will we receive?

Depending on how many hours of coverage you have chosen, you can expect anywhere from 75- 100 per hour of coverage. For example, if you chose my most popular package, The Exclusive Package which includes 8 hours of wedding day coverage, you could expect to receive anywhere from 600 - 800 high resolution, carefully edited digital files from your wedding day.

6: How will I receive my digital images?

You will have a password protected online gallery that you can download your entire wedding album onto your home computer. Once you have a downloaded your images, you can share the link with your friends and family to view the photos.

7: Are you insured? And do you have a business license?

Yes I have a business license and I am insured through State Farm.

8: Will you have assistants / second shooters at the wedding?

Yes, I always have experienced second shooters with me at every wedding I shoot. All of my wedding packages include two photographers. Having two photographers is key to capturing all accepts of your wedding day from several different views.

9: What is your turnaround time, when can I expect to receive my photos?

The wedding images will be displayed in a password-protected online gallery within 6 weeks of your wedding day. The online gallery will be available for 6 weeks. If you wish to order prints then ordering should be completed in that time frame.

10: Can I request certain shots?

Absolutely! Especially if you have some very important detail shots, heirloom items, and important people you want photographed be sure to let me know. With Pinterest making such a huge impact on the photography world there is an endless supply of gorgeous photos to drool over. With that said, I discourage people to get too stuck on any certain pose. Yes, there are some really gorgeous photos on Pinterest, but nine times out of ten, most of the photos that people show me are candid, “in the moment“ shots. Trying to recreate that exact photo can often come off looking awkward or stiff. And from a photographers stand point, I would never want to copy another artists work. So yes, we can use photos as a reference point and figure out what your couples style is. But my goal as your photographer is to produce classic photos, that reflect your personalities. I will “pose“ you, but then I take a step back and let you create the magic, as I photograph you at your best angles and most genuine smiles.

11: Are you comfortable with shooting me “getting ready”?

Yes! The getting ready shots are some of favorite of the day. It really helps tell the story of your wedding day.

12: Whats your policy if something unforeseen happens, such as illness or natural disaster?

I have photographed close to 100 weddings and have never missed one. I would have to be in the hospital, not able to move in order for me to miss a wedding. However, if in the case this would happen, my 2nd photographer would take over my duties, and then I would have an assistant for her as well. If in the case of a natural disaster, more than likely you would have had time to come up with a plan B if you had enough notice that a storm was coming. And in that case we could sit down, and reschedule for a later date. Again, your deposit is non refundable, and if you were to cancel the wedding all together, you would forfeit all money’s already paid.

13: How much time do you a lot for different shots?

It depends on a few things; how many are in your bridal party? how large your families are? and how big of a wedding you are having in general? But on average, I allow about 30 minutes for getting ready shots 1 hour for “first look” and bride and groom shots, 30 minutes for bridal party, and about 45 minutes for family. However, each and every wedding is different, so the timeline is going vary. Here is a sample timeline if you are doing a “first look.”

1:00pm - I arrive for getting ready shots and detail shots

2:00pm - First look

2:45pm - Bridal Party Photos

3:15pm - Be tucked away at ceremony site from arriving guests

4:00pm - Ceremony Begins

5:00pm - Immediate family photos

5:30pm - Extended family photos (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc)

5:45pm - Cocktail hour

6:30pm - Dinner is started

7:00pm - Bride and Groom "golden hour" shots

7:45pm - Bride and groom first dance

- Father and daughter dance

- Mother and son dance

8:00pm - Cake Cutting

11:00pm - Reception is over

14: Will you help me with a timeline for my wedding day?

Yes, I would be happy to help you with your wedding day timeline. Your timeline will revolve around two things; if your doing a "first look" and what time your ceremony begins. Once those two things are decided the rest of the timeline is easy to plan out. About two weeks before the wedding we will go over the timeline and make adjustments where needed.

15: Do you give copyrights to your clients?

The short and simple answer is no, but here is why. Under the Federal Copyright Act of 1976, photographs are protected by copyright from the moment of creation. Photographers have the exclusive right to reproduce their photographs right to control the making of copies. Copyright in photography means that I as the photographer own an image I created. The law says that the photographer created that image as soon as the shutter is released. The photographer who pushed the button owns the copyright. A photographer will own that copyright throughout their life and 25 years afterwards. Whether it’s photography on my hard drive, website, or a social media post, with this ownership, I have exclusive rights to your image according to the law. This includes: reproducing your photography, preparing derivative works based on your photography, distributing copies of your photography to the public (by sale, rental, lease, or lending), publicly displaying my photography. However, I do give my clients print rights. What does this mean? Print rights/release means that you can print for your own use, but you don’t own the images and can’t resell, edit or alter them. I do provide my clients with a print release. To ensure that you see your photos the way it was professionally edited I do highly recommend that order your prints through me. If you choose to print them through an online lab, I can not guarantee they quality.

16: Do you give me RAW files?

A RAW file is the unfinished product. I do not give my clients raw / unedited images simply because its not a true representation of my work. I spend a great deal of time during the editing process to ensure you receive the highest quality images which includes high resolution carefully edited photos. Editing is a huge part of my entire process and job as a wedding photographer, which is why you as the client hired me. You specifically chose me as your wedding photographer because you like my work. Therefore it only makes sense that you receive carefully edited images because that is what you see on my website and what you are expecting to receive. Something that is truly indicative of my editing style, hence, the entire reason you hired me.

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