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7 Questions You Should Ask Your Photographer

One of the most common things I hear in the wedding industry are horror stories about peoples past wedding photography experiences, it just breaks my heart....please don't make a mistake by choosing a photographer based on their "inexpensive" price, please........I beg you!  

When it's all said and done, the only thing you have left are your cherished memories. 

 

7 Questions You Should Ask Your Photographer...........
(By: Still Life Studios) 

1.) What's your photographic style on a typical wedding day and can I see a complete wedding?
This question is a bit tricky. Remember the photographer wants your business and may want to sell you the style they know you're after.  There are lots of buzz words and confusing ideas about photographic style. Traditional is typically considered a bad thing, with photo journalist perhaps being the most sought after "style".  What is most important is that the photographer's style makes the most sense to you and connects with your emotional center.  If you see samples on their website and love the work then ask to see a complete wedding from the photographer. If you can see the same style in a full wedding then this gives you a pretty good sense of the photographer's eye. Asking to see a wedding should be a piece of cake for the photographer since they should have plenty of recent weddings online for you to look at and review by asking for the password.  You might als make sure they are actually shoot a few weddings as this may tell you how successful they are currently.  As for us (Still Life Studios) ...we shoot in a Documentary Style which means we capture the majority of your wedding day by being there but not directing you.  We are there to answer questions and help if needed but wae love the natural moments that happen without our direction.  We also capture in a Fashion Style for a small portion of time...during the Bridal Party photos we help your party to be at ease and relax, have a little fun. This requires some direction for us but it turns out to be good time.   During the Bride and Groom session we also jump in and give you direction since moments like walking down a busy street in your wedding dress don't just happen...we send a little prompting your way and let your personalites take over.  We like to assist in bringing out the model within you. Work it baby! What's your style?

2.)  Is this your career and full-time business?
This gets to the heart of several things and that is, "Is this just a hobby? Something for side cash? Are you adequately trained?"  Don't ask these though...they might be considered offensive but we think it makes a difference to know that your teams knows what they're doing, and that they do this for love AND survival! That way you know that your photographer(s) are going to make sure they are constantly on their toes to ensure your needs are met and that you are super happy with the results.  Would you trust your spleen to someone who just dabbles in surgery?

3.)  Are you running a legitimate business?
Or are you just some random person with a camera? Because anyone can become a "photographer" by buying a camera and selling their services, this is just one way you know that they play by the rules of the state by carrying actual business liability insurance, paying taxes and also that they have common sense.  Bad apple photographers can go to jail for selling photography and not paying taxes.  You also want to know that they treat customers and clients and won't rip you off.

4.) Do you have adequate back up equipment?
Each of our photographers come with mulitple camera bodies and an assortment of lenses, flashes, and various other equipment.  It's electronic and equipment fails on occasion, even when you buy the best (like we do).  You want to make sure your photographer has a back up plan, because Murphy's Law exists and sometimes things go wrong.  For example, if something of ours does fail, you will never know it because we reach for other equipment we have eagerly awaiting use in the bag.  If you aren't careful, you photographer may have to wipe the dust off that film camera (if they brought a back up along) which has its own set of risks, or they might have to use the disposables you bought for the tables, unless of course you're prepared to bring the expensive backup equipment for your lesser priced photographer....

5.) Who's got your back?
This is a serious question.  You are going to embark on one of the most dreamed about events of your life.  The last thing you want is someone not making it to your big day.  Accidents, sickness, and emergencies can and do happen.  No one can guarantee your day will be void of any problem, but the answer to this question can certainly put you at ease concerning your photographer.  Our studio has a dedicated team of photographers who have all had extensive training in the Still Life Studios style.  You can rest knowing that if there were a problem, we have backup photographers who are prepped to step in. 

6.)  Do you sell/include the disc in your packages?
This can be a double-edged sword for an answer.  Most brides think this is the most important thing they can ask.  Sometimes I wonder if it's because the bridal magazines say so.  Can this be important? Yes, but maybe not for the reasons you think.  Many brides want a disc so they can go and get cheap prints make at a corner store.  This cracks us up! Since you are hiring a photographer to take professional pictures, you might also consider letting them make sure it's professionally printed.  (yes printing on professional paper at a professional lab has big advantages) and has all the final treatments to best fit the size and circumstance of the pictures you want to display so proudly.  Ask what the photographer charges for reprints.  You may find that all the extra work they put into the print may cost quite a bit more than the drug store photo lab but they worked up the image to perfection and will stand behind it if anything was to be amiss. 

7.)  What measures do you take to protect my photographic memories?
Many of our clients don't buy a disc and yet, they still want to make sure their images are safe-that they can come back and get copies at some point in the future.  You want to make sure that your photography studio has routine methods of safely protecting your images. Besides having routine storing methods of protecting your images on your wedding day, we backup your images to multiple hard drives as soon as we reach the office.  In addition to that, we make a third copy of your images once they are posted online (within a week!) and then they are placed in your client file.  In an effort to also avoid the dangers of fire or other disaster we take your images to an offise location for storage.  No that you know we are serious about protecting your memories, this might be a good time to think about how you are protecting your own personal photographs...

For more information contact: Still Life Studios at
(480) 985-3959/www.stilllifestudios.com