If you want to skip over all the stuff below and go straight to the FAQ page, click here.
Wedding planning is hard. I always though, I know everything it will be easy. Well, I know nothing, except that I hate wedding planning. I now have a lot more empathy for all of the couples I talk to about the whole planning process. Everything from all the questions, and concerns that wouldn’t be there if you didn’t google, but you have questions so that’s what you do, and trying to stay on budget, which is likely put together before you even had the slightest clue what things cost.
Every time I meet or skype with couples they have this list of questions, its almost always the same list, give or take a few questions. You can find it on any website or blog dedicated to helping you plan your wedding. The most popular ones being the Knot or Brides. Now I used to laugh (in my head of course) when this list of questions came out and people started asking them, because to me this stuff seems either basic or irrelevant. However, when I started planning, I realized I had no idea what to ask, or how much anything other than photography costs. So naturally, I googled, and I’m sure my questions seemed ridiculous to all these vendors that I know and work with regularly. Now I know how it feels to be on the other side. During this whole process what I’ve found to be very frustrating is website with little to no information on them. I’m busy I don’t have time to e-mail every single vendor for more information, and I’m not going to phone them, I like to see it written down to reference back to!
So to try to alleviate some of these frustrations for others, at least when it comes to photography, I made a FAQ page, with answers to all of these questions that blogs put out there telling you to ask. Well not all of them, some of them are really silly in my opinion. And I’ve added some of my own that I think are more important to ask!
A few of the ones I am not adding to my FAQ page and my honest opinions on them. (I should warn you before you read this, I am a brutally honest person, and its never meant to be mean, more really dry not that funny humor/common sense.) So my official list the answers are much nicer than the questions below.
What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Look at my website, look at their website, see a difference.
Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours, and is the work recent?
This is actually a good question to ask most photographers, because I know some that show work from years ago, and while it might be good, its also good to see recent work. However, if you made it to emailing them to ask this, I would have hoped you had seen their work on their website. I am a very naive and trusting person so I like to think that everyone is honest and only displays his or her own work.
Do you shoot in color and black & white? Infrared?
Part 1 legit question, but look at my website. Part 2, what the heck is infared?
Can you put together a slideshow of the engagement session (along with other photos the couple provides) and show it during the cocktail hour? What about an "instant" slideshow of the ceremony?
No but a friend of yours can. And if you would rather I spend time quickly editing and making a slideshow than taking photos during the rest of the day I can have one ready for you at the reception.
This is a stupid question. No one needs things that instantly. Personally I would rather my photographer focus on capturing moments, and people and memories than fussing with slideshows. I would also rather wait longer to have my photos back and know that my photographer took their time to carefully edit them rather than rushing through it.
Have you ever worked with my florist? DJ? Coordinator, etc.?
Probably not, most of the time it’s a no. But I don’t think it matters AT ALL. None of those things affect my ability to do my job. Most of the time I work with new vendors and that’s how we learn and grow and how we are able to handle just about any situation we find ourselves in. If we shot the same weddings with the same vendors in the same venues over and over again, it would get very tiring and uninspiring. And I personally love to find inspiration in my surroundings, so new settings and people really excite me and push me to do my best.
May I have a list of references?
No. You don’t want people emailing you while your on your honeymoon to ask about your photos, or while you are busy with your family etc. I wont give out your contact info, just as I wont give out other brides. Also, google me, there are reviews there and on wedding wire.
Are you photographing other events on the same day as mine?
Seriously? Do you work like 20 hours in one day? When we shoot weddings its usually for 8, 10 or 12 hours, I would only shoot another one after that if I was paid many millions and given caffeine in an IV.
Although there was one exception where we shot 2, 4 hour weddings in one day, but they knew each other and referred each other and I checked with both of the first that they were sure it was okay.
Have you done any that were similar to mine in size and style?
I don’t know why this matters, if you have 1000 guests or 4 guests, usually the only part that changes for us is the length of the family photo list. And style, your décor doesn’t affect me doing my job so that doesn’t matter either.
And this is a VERY good question that I’ve only seen on one list, but its my favorite question: Do you cope well under pressure and what about any emergencies on the day?
I feel that I shine best in this category. My whole life has been a series of “what can go wrong will go wrong” (don’t worry that’s for me personally, not for my clients!) So I have always had an attitude of you cant change the past but you can move forward. Also I call it “the curse of the creative brain” I am the least organized human being around. I know every Saturday for the next 2 years. For each couple I have booked, I know what date it is, and the city its in. But ask me if I have any shoots or meetings in the next two days and I will have no idea until I check where I wrote it down. However, this also means I do really well under pressure, if I could I would have my university profs vouch for me on this one. Start at the last minute, everyone else thinks its crazy and wont work and it ends up being a huge success. I’ve also seen a LOT of things, being at as many weddings as I have I feel like I’ve seen it all, or almost all and so far there hasn’t been a situation I haven’t been able to handle! From unexpected weather, misbehaving animals, children, adults etc, buttons falling off jackets, there was once a brides zipper on her dress broke in the morning, just as she got into it. I spent about 35 minutes sewing her into her dress! And that’s only because I know safety pins wont hold that weight and there is no other option, but I know that because a bridesmaid once had that happen at a wedding and I just stored that info in the back of my mind!
Anyways, here is my official FAQ page for perspective clients to help ease any queries or check off boxes on a questionnaire!
I have a separate FAQ page for clients that have booked with me, that has a bunch of questions I get asked in the months leading up to the wedding!