I’ve come up with the top 5 questions to ask your photographer that will give you a better understanding of how we work! Spoiler alert: they have nothing to do with gear.

[ezcol_1half]top 5 questions to ask your photographer[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]So… you’re planning a wedding and have a mountain of work ahead. You’ve got a few ideas about what you want for photos, but you have no idea how to find the photographer that best suits you. These top 5 questions to ask your photographer (and their prospective answers) will hopefully get you set up in the right direction.[/ezcol_1half_end]

 1. How much do you charge?

This question is a legit, super valid, very popular question and rightfully so. Money is the driver of our economy and the second most expensive piece of the total wedding pie, next to the cost of the venue. Wedding photographers are famous for skirting around this question by not wanting to tell people up front what their costs will be, but rather telling them that their investment is priceless and it shouldn’t hinge on money. I respectfully disagree with this. (Not the priceless part) I know exactly what it’s like to have no money, and scrape for months at a time to make ends meet. We are up front with our pricing and hope you understand why we charge what we do. We feel that it’s a fair price for what you are receiving. If you don’t know, here is our pricing page. 

2. Are you available on my date?

This may sound like a trivial question to add at this point, but there are certain ways that this can “go down”. Generally speaking, photographers only like to be “so” busy. For us at JPP, this translates to only shooting one full-day wedding per weekend. This prevents us from being too exhausted and worked for your day. Eight hours of shooting on your feet is very tiring. When you get in touch with us, either by phone or by our contact page, we put your name on the calendar in “pencil”, until we get a deposit and a contract from you to hold your day. We then will add your date to our calendar “for realz” and start the conversation about your engagement photos and your wedding day. Some photogs will even have an online calendar for prospective clients to look over and select what days work for them.

3. Do you have a “second shooter?”

A second shooter is present at almost every wedding these days, sometimes even a third or fourth depending on the scale of wedding. We have at least two of us at every eight hour wedding we shoot. The reasoning behind having multiple photographers is this: when I’m shooting from the back of the venue and something happens up front, like the groom placing the ring on the bride’s finger, someone else is close to catch it. These moments are once in a lifetime and they need to be captured.

4. How do we receive our images?

I wrote a post on this a long time ago and my thoughts have basically stayed true. We give the images to you on a USB after I have edited them and worked them over. There are many (many) people who will shoot your wedding, burn all the images to a disc and give it to you the same day, without editing them at all. I think this is crazy! The editing process is like the darkroom of the film days and it’s a crucial step in digital photo creation. “Snapping the picture” is only about 10% of the effort that goes into a picture.

5. Can we hire you for a 2 hour ceremony?

We get asked this question a lot, and it’s a very hard one to answer. The short answer is yes. We love people and we love to be present at weddings. That being said, we also need to treat this as a business so that we can make ends meet. We will definitely shoot a 2 hour wedding. The catch is when it’s in prime wedding season and we could possibly shoot an eight hour wedding on the same day. Our policy has been that, if we don’t have a wedding booked a month from your day and you get in touch with us, we can shoot our “elopement” package. I realize that in many ways this sounds crass and that we’re taking the “highest bidder”, but when this is your income and you rely on it, you have to make hard decisions. We try to make it easy by only requiring a 50% deposit to hold your day. 

 So what do you think? Did I miss any? Are there some questions that you think are missing here that are relevant? Let me know in the comments! I am planning a “5 MORE questions to ask your photographer” and I’d love to hear some feedback.