There is a spectrum of wedding photography styles ranging from photojournalistic/documentary to the more traditional/formal style. It is important to view the photographer’s portfolio and recent work to make sure you like his or her style.
Sara Touchet Photography is modernly classic in style. During the event, most of the day is spent photographing what is happening without imposing (like photojournalism). I spend a good bit of time on the details you so carefully chose as well as creating portraits you will love (like fine art photography).
2. How long have you been a photographer, and how many weddings have you shot?
There is no hard and fast rule of how long a photographer has to be in business or how many weddings he or she has shot to be good. However, you do want to make sure that your photographer has shot enough events to handle potential problems that arise on any given wedding day. There are many skills developed only through time and experience, so that is what you want to look for in a photographer. Many inexperienced photographers are incredibly talented at their craft, but struggle with the business/customer service side. If you hire an inexperienced photographer you need to make sure that you are satisfied with his or her answers to the other questions in this post.
The first wedding I ever shot was in 2009 when I was in college. I shot multiple weddings a year for the next few years as I worked as a teacher, but in 2015 I quit to work full-time as a wedding photographer. I have now shot close to 50 weddings!
3. Do you have back up equipment? If yes, what do you do to ensure photographs are secure?
While it is not necessary to have the best equipment, it is important to have good reliable equipment and backup. You would be so sad if your photographer missed half your wedding because his or her camera broke and did not have a back up.
I use a Canon 5D Mark III as my main camera body and a Canon 7D as my back up currently. I also have a variety of lenses for capturing different types of images. I love the Canon 5D Mark III because it holds two memory cards which means if one card fails or becomes corrupted, I have a second copy. I also back up wedding images to two hard drives when I get home from a wedding to make sure all images are safe.
4. What happens if the photographer becomes dealthly ill?
While it is rare that your photographer becomes ill and is unable to shoot your wedding, you want to know your photographer has a plan B just in case.
I have an agreement in place with a photographer who has similar style as mine to take care of my clients in case of an emergency.
5. Is your business insured?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer from theft and damage. If a photographer doesn’t have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry and do not have much experience.
Sara Touchet Photography carries general business, equipment and liability insurance.
6. Do you edit the same way all the time or does your postproduction process vary?
Some photographers will change the presets and tones of their photos depending on their mood or artistic whim. Some change it because they are trying to find their style. Be sure to look at a variety of the photographer’s work to see if there is consistency across their work and that you like it.
The way I edit is the same after every wedding. I use the same process/presets on all my images because I know and love my style. You can have confidence that the style shown on my website and social media will be the kind of style you will receive if you book with me.
7. How long will it take to edit and return our photos? What happens if you take longer than the agreed amount of time?
Be sure to discuss the time frame in which the photographer will return your photos. This information should also be specified in the contract. Photographers vary in their speed, but 4-8 weeks is a normal return for photos. It is important to know when and how you will receive your images. I have heard horror stories of brides not getting their images back for weeks after the agreed amount of time, and it is awkward at best and scary at worst. Even if the images are beautiful, it leaves a bad taste in the bride’s mouth if they are delivered late.
I have never given images back later than 6 weeks. I try to deliver images sooner rather than later as just another way to love and serve my couples.
8. How do you present yourself on a wedding day?
This is really just another way of asking if he or she is a professional. It is important that your photographer is dressed appropriately for the occasion and is not wearing provocative or distracting clothing. You also want to be confident that the photographer knows how to behave in a professional way, such as not having a territorial spat with your videographer or flirting with the bridal party.
On the wedding day, I am dressed nicely as if I were a guest. I strive to help calm nerves whenever possible. Normally, I would have become friends with my couples by their wedding day and I photograph their day like I would my best friend’s.
9. What exactly is included in your packages?
The service details should be clearly stated in the contract. This should include information about the hours of coverage, coverage of second shooter if required, number of images expected, prints or photo credits if any, that the images are professionally edited, and the means by which your images will be delivered to you.
Most of my clients choose the Classic Collection which includes: 8 hours of coverage by me, 8 hours of coverage by second shooter, average of 100 images per hour, professionally edited high-resolution images, online gallery delivery that is backed up for 10 years, and an engagement session.
10. Will you follow a firm shot list? Or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities as you see fit?
Most photographers will welcome a short shot list to make sure you get the specific pictures you want. We all have images in our heads that we have always wanted or some item that is special we want documented. Be sure to communicate to your photographer those unique shots you have your heart set on. However, if you hire a good pro, you’re hiring them for their eye as well as their experience at creating amazing images. Trust them to shoot your day well.
A month before the wedding I encourage my brides to provide me with information regarding any surprises, details, or specific shots that needs to be captured. In addition, I ask for the formal family shot list. This way I ensure that I cover weddings with great care.
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