Looking around for a wedding photographer is a daunting experience for anyone. If you are a potential bride or groom, your wedding is a once in a lifetime occasion. What you are looking for is someone you can trust, someone who is passionate and also has the technical ability to do the job well. There are many to choose from in London and in the South East. Knowing what to ask wedding photographers can be difficult if you have no experience of this.
Finding someone who understands the traditions and ceremonies involved in Muslim, Hindu and Sikh weddings is key for you to book the right photographer. If your wedding is bringing people together who are from different cultural or even religious backgrounds, it’s important that you hire someone who understands the sensitivities.
Instinctive Images have photographed Muslim, Sikh and Hindu weddings, as well as weddings with a fusion of guests from different ethnicities. The photo below captures a Caribbean Indian groom with his German wife. Guests came from Trinadad and Tobago as well as Germany.
I have put together 10 key questions you can ask the photographer when you are looking around. Feel free to put these in an Email, Facebook Messenger or text so that you have a record of what you have asked.
Ask the photographer about how much experience they have in photographing weddings. Depending on what faith you are, establish whether they have photographed weddings in religious settings – a Gurdwara which is a Sikh temple, Mosque which is a Muslim venue or a registration office. Find out if they understand the etiquettes in photographing weddings where females may be uncomfortable with a male photographer. At Instinctive Images, I ensure a female assistant accompanies me at Muslim wedding shoots.
Public liabilty insurance is a must for photographers, which protects the clients from any damage they cause when working. Professional indemnity insurance is equally as important if the photographer is a professional. If photographers haven’t got this then it demonstrates that they are not taking the responsibilty to provide a professional service. You’ll also need to check if the photographer is certified to work with vulnerable adults and children. They will need an enhanced certificate to do this, which is issued by the Disclosure and Barring Service. I have all of these in place at Instinctive Images.
Having an online presence on the internet gives you the opportunity to find out more about their work and what past clients say about them. Also check if they have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram account etc. based around their photography. Social media tools allow you to check out their work and will distinguish whether the photographer’s images are the kind of style you want your photographs to look like. Websites should feature many of their styles and tecniques. A testimonial page on their website will tell you more about their work. Instinctive Images provides many social media sites as well as a testimonial page on the website. As well as this, there are external reviews page on the Poptop profile page, who is a wedding supplier partner I work with to promote our work.
A photographer should issue a contract or agreement as well as an invoice for anything you have paid for. A contract or agreement should include the terms and conditions and explain what you will recieve. It should also state when you will get the photos. It should serve as a legal document which can be used as evidence in case you have any disputes or need to refer back to. It should also include what happens in case of a cancellation or if the photographer cannot make it. The photographer should issue you the agreement or contract at the point of booking. When there is money involved, protect yourselves as clients and don’t provide any money unless you see exactly what you will get from the booking.
Editing photographs is crucial to enhance the quality of the image taken. Photographers will use different editing software and professionals tend to shoot in RAW rather than JPEG format. This is basically a bigger file to change settings. “Retouching” may mean removing blemishes, brightening teeth, smoothing skin etc. Some photographers will spend time on retouching only a small selection of agreed photos however others will edit all. Be clear and ask about this before you book.
Ask how many photographers are provided in the wedding package. You can ask for more photographers if you would like to be better covered but this will come at a cost to you. Discuss this with the photographer so you can make a deal that meets your budget. You may feel one photographer is perfectly adequate.
It makes sense to book videography or cinematography from the same service under one agreement or contract. Photographers will work with trusted videographers and cinematographers. They usually work better together if hired under the same service. Some photographers will provide additional services like a wedding album so ask what else they have to offer.
There are a number of ways the final edited photos will be provided. CD, memory sticks and data transfer sites like Dropbox are ways that you can recieve your photos. You can ask if you can have some photos in low resolution files so you can upload these to your social media sites like instagram and facebook and share with your friends. Discuss this with your photographer and see if there is an extra charge.
If a photographer is local to you and not willing to meet face to face, that is a bad sign. You need to trust your photographer and meeting someone in person can help. You are trusting in them to provide you with treasured memories. If distance is an issue, understandable. However nowadays, there are a number of ways to video call- for example, Facebook Messenger. In fact, there is no excuse for the photographer and these formats are easily available.
Full frame cameras are a must for photographers and having 2-3 per photographer is not unusual. Having quality lenses with prime and zoom range, diffusers of various types, monopods and tripods are some of the equipment a photographer will take to a wedding shoot. Ask them what camera equipment and accessories they will be using.
To find out more about Instinctive Images, our contact details are below.