What questions should you ask a wedding photographer? (part 2)
Continued from previous post: http://christopherpaulphotography.com/what-questions-should-you-ask-a-wedding-photographer-part-1/
6. How can I make sure I look good in my photos? -Don't want to hate your wedding photos? Here are a few things you need to know... The truth is, sometimes people do wind up hating their wedding photos. While there's nothing you can do about it after the job is done, during the moment you should RELAX and trust your wedding photographer. Of course you will have some anxiety about the wedding day but, if you're relaxed, it will come through in your photos. Your photographer should also have some tips for you to look your best with easy posing techniques. Leave some breathing room in your schedule so you don't feel rushed. I recommend a minimum 30-60 minutes for family and wedding party photos, and a minimum of an hour for the creative couple portraits. Eat something the morning of the wedding to give you enough energy for the day ahead. Oh, and get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water the night before. Take it easy at the rehearsal dinner. Wedding-day hangovers are not fun or conducive for great photographs of you.
We like to have 2 hours with you and your wedding party for creative photos to create artwork for our clients. Artistic photography does not happen on the run. The entire scene needs to be set up by the photographer to ensure the image looks amazing. We actually scout the exact location for your creative photos so we are not surprised by anything on the big day...and, speeds up the process on the wedding day.
7. Should we do a "first look"? And, um, what exactly is a "first look"? -The first look is a chance for wedding couples to see each other privately before the ceremony. This is usually set up by your photographer and is completely hidden from any attendees. There are two schools of thought about this. 1. This allows the couple to share this private moment and not have to share it with anyone. It also allows the couple to get most of the photography done before the wedding so they can enjoy the cocktail hour and reception with their guests and not with the photographer. 2. The more traditional way is to see each other at the ceremony for the first time. That is fine. However, you may be rushed for time after the ceremony for photography...especially if the wedding and reception are close together in time or at the same venue.
Two-thirds of our clients currently opt to do a first look. It's a great chance for us to create something special for you and, a way to get the wedding jitters out. I find that first look photos tend to be some of my favorites. It's a real moment with real emotions. Honestly, it's also a great way to avoid undo stress on your wedding day. After a first look, 99% of our couples are virtually stress free when the ceremony begins.
8. Do I really need a second photographer? -Truthfully, no. However, a second photographer can help provide you with more images and another perspective. Wedding photography should tell a story. The more images/perspectives you have, the easier the story is to tell. As the bride is walking down the aisle, Christopher can capture the emotion on the her face while his associate photographer is capturing her groom smiling ear to ear at the exact same moment. We can’t be in all places at once so a second photographer makes us more saturated at your event. Many of the top photographers only work with assistants who carry gear and help with professional lighting. The best thing is to ask your wedding photographer to see how they prefer to work.
9. How far in advance should I book you...(the wedding photographer)? -If you find someone you love, don't wait! Book them then. Many in-demand wedding photographers book weddings a year to two away. As it gets closer to your wedding date, it will be harder to book your first-choice photographer. If your favorite photographer is unavailable on your date, don't panic. Ask them for recommendations — they may know someone with a similar style and a lighter schedule.
We tend to book most of our wedding well over a year in advance.
10. You can Photoshop that, right? -It depends. As a photographer, we want to get everything as perfect as possible in camera. Posing, location scouting, and camera settings can "fix" most things before we even click the shutter. If your uncle photobombs you, I'm going to retake the photo — it's much easier to get the photo right than to fix it with Photoshop. Many people assume every little thing can be removed or added simply by running photos through photoshop. The term "photoshop" has become a generic term for photo editing. There are multiple photo editing programs to choose from. Not every photographer uses photoshop. The truth is, you almost need a masters degree to use photoshop to it's fullest capabilities. Another truth is, photo editing in photoshop is primarily for advanced photographers. Beginners and amateurs are easily scared away from using this program.
We do use photoshop on select images. Anything that goes in your album or prints you buy will be fully edited in photoshop to look amazing!
11. How many hours of photography do we need? -Tough question to answer. Every wedding is different. Generally speaking, a full days wedding coverage will be about 8 hours. Some really large weddings may need more time and smaller ones might need less. A good photographer will help you decide what is right for you.
We have packages with 8 or 10 hours. We also educate our clients about things like... you don't need a photographer first thing in the morning or until the end of the reception. Typically, we find that within an hour after open dance starts, the photography is done. After that, you will wind up with hundreds of dance photos of the 15-20 people who stay on the dance floor all night. However, if you have something huge planned for the end of the night, you may need us to stay.
12. I have my venue, my dress and now my photographer...Now what? -Now, you need to find the remaining vendors for your big day. There is no rhyme or reason as to what vendors come next. Whether it's flowers or a dj/band are next on your list, ask for recommendations from the vendors you do have.
We keep a list of preferred vendors that we have worked with in the past. These are vendors that we trust to take care of our clients and provide exceptional services. This list is something we are happy to give to all of our clients when they book us. The more continuity between all of you vendors makes for an extremely smooth flow leading up to the wedding and they day of the wedding.
These are some things we thought would be helpful when searching for wedding photography. I hope I cleared up some things for you and will help you make an educated decision. Remember, when all is said and done, photography is the only thing left to remember your amazing day forever.