Wedding photography is an unique style of photography with its very own set of requirements and factors to consider. Even if you do not select Beyond Ordinary Life Photography to photograph your occasion, we suggest you take the time to learn the following about your photographer.
1. What is the photographer’s style?
Style should be your very first question. Do you want a trendy bright and airy style, a deep and moody look, or do you want a true record of the day – more of a photojournalistic style that helps you to look back on the day and instantly recall the fun you had? At Beyond Ordinary Life Photography we strive to record each vibrant detail just as it is in a photojournalistic style. Sure we do some dramatic artsy photos too but we want to capture the authentic spirit of the day. If your relationship is fun and silly or deeply caring we want to show those emotional ties.
2. How long have you been photographing professionally? How have you been educated?
Experience is a huge factor! This is a once in a lifetime moment. You do not want to risk these memories on a “friend with a good camera”. Wedding venues typically have their own set of challenges (low lights, dark shadows and more), so you need to have a photographer that is comfortable working in these challenging environments and thinking on their feet! As with any skill, staying sharp and continuing to expand a skill set helps to provide more tools in the tool box! Laurie here at Beyond Ordinary Life Photography attended OSU-Okmulgee and studied Photography. She started photographing weddings in 2000 and is constantly taking continuing education classes with Professional Photographers of Oklahoma, Indian Nations Professional Photographers and Professional Photographers of America.
3. How many how many sessions or events will you accept the weekend of my wedding?
Larger studios with multiple photographers may double and even triple book dates. However, smaller studios may only accept one per weekend. At Beyond Ordinary Life Photography we want our full focus to be on you! That means we block out the day before your wedding for gathering our equipment, charging of batteries and prepping our travel kit. The day of the wedding we have a full ritual that helps us to not forget a thing and arrive for your wedding fully prepared! This is why we only accept 6 weddings a year! We want to spoil our couples!
4. Will a contract of the services be provided? If so, can I get a copy?
Some studios don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. As a client, you should require a contract from your photographer that details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc. Contracts are for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. If a photographer tells you that they do not create contracts for clients be wary.
5. What happens if the photographer is ill?
Illness is not a common thing but it can still arise at the most inopportune time. Particularly with small studios this is a question you must ask. For Beyond Ordinary Life Photography we have this contingency built in! Because we are members of INPPA, PPOK, and PPA, we have several professional peers we can call on in a time of crisis!
6. Are you have insured?
Professional photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects against equipment theft, but more importantly it provides liability protection in case Great Aunt Sophie trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.
7. Does the package I am interested in include an assistant?
If your wedding has 50 or more guests, make sure to select a package that includes an assistant or second photographer! This allows for the time alone with the groomsmen and the bride and for this time to not be rushed. It makes coordinating the day so much more seamless. This is the only way you will get the beautiful shot of you coming down the aisle and the look in the groom’s eye at the same time.
8. Can I select an instagram type filter for my images?
Part of a studio’s style is the post production. This is why you selected the professional studio! Most images straight out of the camera are ‘nice’ but they lack the “wow factor” that post production brings. If a studio provides you just digital copies buyer beware; these are not finished professional portraits! At Beyond Ordinary Life Photography we specialize in authentic, timeless and vibrant portraits. This means our editing style is clean and polished. We encourage encourage each of our couples to put the print credit (that comes with your package) toward a professionally bound album on archival paper to be passed down for generations to come.
9. Will you color correct my images?
Not all studios do this but every digital file will be color corrected before it leaves Beyond Ordinary Life Photography. This includes all photos, including that awesome one of your Great Uncle Willard dancing the funky chicken. Photos like these more often than not will not make it into the album and that is ok! While the photos that are not selected for printed products are not held to the same level of scrutiny as the printed images we want you to have beautiful memories! After all, this could be the last photo you have of this loved one!
10. Do you have a backup camera?
Lets face it: the best laid plans can go awry. Technology can fail. For every wedding, we bring a backup and sometimes even a backup to my backup! At a minimum I always have 2 camera bodies, 2 lenses, 3 flashes, 24 AA batteries, 18 AAA batteries, 3 memory cards and 4 camera batteries. This is before we even look into my emergency kit!
11. If my wedding runs long will you stay?
Be clear on the policy for overages on any wedding photography contract. Overages can become quite costly and you need to know this ahead of time! Weddings have so many factors that can alter a timeline. You need to know if things run late you will still have photos of the first dance and cake cutting.
12. What will my photographer be wearing?
Even though the photographer is not a visible part of the celebration it is important that they not be a distraction. Depending on the culture, religion or family circumstances there may be attire that is considered inappropriate. Be certain to communicate these factors with your photographer. Typically Laurie will be dressed in dark slacks or capris (depending on the season), black flats (with rubber soles – so that footsteps are not distracting) and a nice blouse. This allows for any climbing or crouching for photos with a minimum of fussing with wardrobe. The goal is to blend in!
13. How long until I get to see the images?
Every studio has a different policy on this and it is in your best interest to know the timelines up front. It takes time to color correct the images and remove the images where you might have blinked. Some studios that do not do any post production or color correction may convince you that you should see your images the same day or even the same weekend. However, most professional studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. Beyond Ordinary Life Photography has developed a proven production schedule that helps clients have their image reveal and products in hand in a timely fashion.
- 2 weeks after the wedding celebration we will have our image reveal and ordering session! This is where we select an album and your wall portraits!
- The following day your visitor gallery will go live so that all your guests can have a chance to see your beautiful memories!
- Wall portraits typically take 2 weeks from the date of ordering to delivery
- Albums typically are delivered 4 weeks after ordering.
14. How does their personality fit with yours?
You will spend more time with your photographer than you do any other vendor you hire. Your photographer will be the one who helps keep the day moving, handles the little emergencies that come up, and is by your side more than even your future spouse. You need to be comfortable with them. At the end of the day there is no tried and true question to determine this. It is a matter of a gut feeling. Only you will know this.