HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER (OR VIDEOGRAPHER)?
If you are on this page, probably it's because you are looking for a photographer or videographer (aka filmmaker) for your upcoming wedding, but you don't know how to choose among the thousands of proposals you have found on search engines or socials. You may be wondering what characteristics the perfect professional should have and what questions to ask, to avoid future unpleasant surprises
Of course, it is difficult to juggle in a world that is extremely vast and varied; the world is full of good photographers and videographers, each with their own style and approach. Sometimes the differences are minimal (or so it seems), sometimes they're huge. In addition, the spouses are often at their first and only experience of organizing an event as demanding and important as a marriage.
Of course, the priority is getting the best from your budget. The result you have to aim for (both from photos and wedding video) is something that represents you, that talks about you, in line with your style, your personality and your vision of the wedding day.
The first screening of the names should be done just like this: ask yourself if you find yourself in the images you see on socials or on the websites ...if they communicate something to you, if you feel an affinity between your vision and the photographer's storytelling, if you like his/her colors.
Having done this and having identified a range of professionals who stylistically reflect your tastes, let's see below the 9 fundamental questions to ask.
1. CAN I SEE SOME COMPLETE WEDDING GALLERIES?
Seeing the complete galleries of weddings (the ones that the professional delivers to clients) is very important to understand how the photographer usually tells the day.
How does he/she interpret the various phases (preparations, ceremony, reception)? How much importance does he/she give to details? Does his/her approach seem more discreet or intrusive? Is him/her able to capture the authentic and spontaneous emotions of the spouses and guests?
Consider that even the poorest photographer could get at least 4/5 "wow" shots from an 8/10 hour shooting, and use them to build a captivating portfolio.
But only through the vision of the entire services it is possible to evaluate the coherence, the technique, the experience and the concrete skill of a photographer.
2. WHO WILL ACTUALLY ATTEND MY WEDDING?
It may seem obvious, but it is not certain that the professional you interfaced with during the negotiation phase, and whom you may have also met on an appointment, will actually be the one who will take your wedding photos or film your wedding video.
Many studios delegate (or subcontract) the services to other photographers or videomakers, both professional and non, in order to acquire more jobs on the same date.
Or they send the studio assistant or an apprentice in their place.
It may be something that suits you, but there must be clarity on this point from the start.
A different case is the unpredictable impediment of the professional (for example due to illness or accident, etc.) which obviously cannot be predicted. But even in that case it is better to make sure from the beginning that there is the possibility of obtaining a replacement of the same level and under the same conditions.
3 and 4. HOW MANY PHOTOS WILL YOU DELIVER? WILL THEY ALL BE POST-PRODUCED (= EDITED)?
This is a fundamental question. Regardless of the duration of the service, it is important to know how many photos you will receive and therefore make a proportion with the price you are asked for.
But not only! Not all photographers edit all the photos they deliver (i.e. they arrange them in terms of exposure, contrast, lights, shadows, colors, etc.).
In our case, for example, all the photos we deliver are post-produced individually with the utmost care; but there are photographers who edit only those that are part of the preview, or only those that are chosen for the album, etc.
Again, there is no right and wrong system, but it is important to know what we are buying and what we are paying for.
5. WHEN WILL YOU DELIVER THE WORK?
Another fundamental question: the delivery times.
Is there a photo preview or a short video highlights ("coming soon" style)?
How long will it take to deliver the complete photo shoot, or the long version video?
Again, just to give an example, we upload a private online preview (= accessible only with password) with the best 150/200 photos within 90 days from the wedding, while the delivery of the complete photo shooting is within 120 days and the final video is delivered within a maximum of 150 days.
6. HOW ARE PAYMENTS PLANNED?
Here too, there is no right or wrong method, but the payment of the PRICE of the photo shoot or video remains an aspect that must be clarified precisely and immediately.
- is the payment divided into several advances? and with what deadlines?
- the last payment occurs before or after the delivery of the work ( = are you able to see at least part of the result, before proceeding with the balance)?
- are travel expenses included? how are they calculated?
In our case, we split the amount into 3 tranches: the first (the deposit), upon signing the contract; the second by the day of the wedding; the third (the balance), after receiving the online preview and immediately before the delivery of all the complete work.
We always estimate and specify the amount of travel expenses, when there are any.
7. WHAT HAPPENS IF FOR SOME REASON WE ARE FORCED TO POSTPONE OR CANCEL THE MARRIAGE?
This is a question that has arisen with particular relevance since March 2020, when the problem of the Covid19 epidemic and all the consequent restrictions or limitations on the organization of events and, more specifically, of weddings, arose.
It is important that the professional has defined his own strategy, in order to protect his clients and that the latter is specified in the contractual clauses.
What do we do?
Well, we have decided to protect our couples in 2 ways:
1) FLEXIBILITY: we ensure our maximum availability to postpone the event to another available date, under the same conditions and without penalties, if this is made necessary by current legislation;
2) VOUCHER: if it is absolutely not possible to "save" the marriage, we will convert the deposit paid into a voucher of equal value, to be used by 2021 for any type of service (couple, maternity, family, etc.)
8. WHAT DO THE FORMER CUSTOMERS SAY?
Is it possible to see the reviews left by former customers to get feedback on the service received? Reviews are important and usually many professionals post them on the site or on social networks. Reading them you can understand the degree of reliability and professionalism of the studio.
In our case you can find them both here at the bottom of the page, in the banner, and on our Instagram account, in the featured stories "Testimonials".
If you decide to be our customer, we would love to receive yours!
9. IS A FEELING TRIPPED?
More than a question to ask the photographer or videomaker, this is a question you should ask yourself.
Do you feel in tune with him / her? Did you like his approach, his style, the way he talks about the wedding and how he/she interacts with you?
Don't underestimate the "sympathy" element: on your wedding day you will spend many hours with the photographer / videographer, so it is essential that you feel at ease and that a good relationship is established immediately. If you feel "on the skin" that there is something wrong ... well, it could be the premise for a bad day and an unsatisfactory result.
We hope that our Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Photographer (or Videographer) for Your Wedding has been useful to you!
If you are interested in having more information about our services, use the "button" below to contact us.
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