What is your style? Why you want to know: Many photographers use a blend of styles. You'll want to be sure they are able to do portraits if portraits are important to you. Going with the style a photographer likes will give you good results, as long as that style fits you.
Our answer: Our style IS a mix that has developed over the years that Lauren and I have worked together. We’ll include portraits, some formal some more creative. Candid photos, journalistic photos, and more.
Will the photos be retouched and color balanced? Is that done before I see the proofs? Why you want to know: These are the techniques photographers use to make your photos look perfect. Some photographers will polish all your photos, while others will show you untouched proofs and work their magic only on the images you order.
Our answer: All of our photos are edited. We will go above that editing when we design your album or print to be sure you get the best.
How many weddings have you photographed? Also, what's your favorite part of a wedding day, and time of year to shoot? Why you want to know: You have one chance to get amazing photos. You'll want someone who knows how to get those photos under pressure.
Our answer: Lauren and I have photographed over 1000 weddings. Favorite time of year? we’d say fall. We love the colors, followed closely by the beginning of spring when everything starts to bloom. Favorite part of the day? That’s a little tougher to pick one part of the day. We love what we do. If we had to pick, we’d say working with our bride and her photos and working with our wedding couple on their photos. That’s two parts of the day can’t pick just one.
What exactly is included in your packages? Why you want to know: When comparing, check whether prints, albums, and proofs, as well as extra coverage such as engagement shoots, are covered. They can all alter the costs significantly. It's not necessarily a bad thing if, say, your album isn't included—you can always make this on your own or buy it à la carte—but you want to be sure you're comparing apples to apples to get the best value.
Our answer: You can see all this in our info packet, which is available on our website. We can personalize a collection to fit your needs.
How many hours of coverage do we get? What is the charge for overtime? Why you want to know: If overtime is going to cost you a ton, you'll be able to plan accordingly. If you have six hours of coverage but your photographer charges a huge hourly rate for overtime, you might have them leave after you cut the cake instead of after the last dance. Or, you may opt for a longer package to pay a little more upfront (and avoid the larger hourly overtime rate later).
Our answer: We offer “Full day” coverage. Meaning we leave at the end of your 5-hour reception and typically start with getting ready photos. Our days are 10 to 12 hours long.
What is the deposit and total fee? Why you want to know: In addition to the bottom line number, you'll want to ask when it's due.
Our answer: This depends on your chosen collection. Most couples will leave 1/3 or 1/4 or we can do a payment plan.
Will you be my actual photographer, will it be one of your associates? Why you want to know: Don't assume Bruce of Bruce Photography will be your photographer. That doesn't mean Bruce's partner Frank is subpar, but you'll want to meet with him (and see his photos) to make that decision.
Our answer: You book us you get US. We are not a one-stop-shop. We do not have a “staff”. We do one thing and we do it well.
Do you have backup photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick? Why you want to know: If you're going with a company that employs a team of photographers, you'll have a built-in backup, maybe. If you're going with a solo shooter, ask if they have colleagues on call in case of an emergency.
Our answer: Absolutely we have backup. We have many friends in the area and many through our professional associations. Rest assured we would never bail out on you. I’ll also tell you, in all the years I have missed three weddings. Two were the week and week after my daughter was born. The third was after surgery for an Achilles injury many years ago. Pretty good track record, I’d say.
Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for each (if applicable)? Why you want to know: Second shooters can cover more ground and can give you two perspectives on major moments
Our answer: We have been and always will be a two-photographer team. No additional fee.
How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos? Why you want to know: You'll want to see photos ASAP, and the wait can be pretty agonizing. But if you know in advance, you can manage your expectations.
Our answer: Typically, by the time you’re back from your honeymoon, we’ll have your previews ready.
How do you coordinate with my videographer? How do you envision working together? Why you want to know: This pair will need to coordinate and stay out of each other's way— easier to do if they have a good rapport. If you haven't hired a videographer yet, ask them for a suggestion.
Our answer: We can recommend our videographer. We work well together. We can work with anyone. We both have a job to do and will do what need to be done to be sure we both get what we need. We have your best interest in mind.
How many weddings do you do a weekend? Why you want to know: If your photographer is doing an afternoon wedding before yours, you'll need to work out a plan if the first event runs over.
Our answer: Never more than one a day. Occasionally 2 per weekend. Hardly ever 3 per weekend.
Have you ever shot at my venue(s) before? Why you want to know: Your photographer should be aware of any lighting needs or issues specific to the space. If they haven't ever worked in your venue, they should be willing to check it out beforehand.
Our answer: There aren’t many places in the are we haven’t visited. If by chance your venue is new for us, we’ll check it out in advance.
Will you follow a shot list? Or do you prefer to have free reign to capture the festivities how you see fit? Why you want to know: Most photographers will welcome a shot list to make sure you get the specific pics you want. But don't overwhelm them with hundreds of requests—if you hire a good pro, you're hiring them for their eye as well as their experience creating amazing albums, so let them do their job.
Our answer: We’ll ask for a “Shot list”. We don’t know your family or friends. If there are special groups you would like photographed, give us a list. We’ll still be able to capture you day as we see it. We want to get those photos of your friends and family. Those will fit in as the day progresses.
What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication? Do you own the copyright to the photos? Why you want to know: If you're a Facebook and Instagram addict, not being allowed to share some of your wedding photos online may be torture. Better to know about this ahead of time.
Our answer: Yes, we own the copyright. However, you receive a Print Release, which allows you to use your photos personally. Meaning social media, prints for personal use. You can not sell you photos or give them you other vendors. Should one of your vendors ask for photos, refer them to us. We’ll gladly provide photos.
Do you bring your own lighting? Why you want to know: Not only will you want to determine if you'll need to supply additional lighting (either hiring a lighting designer or having the venue supply it), but you'll want to be sure the equipment they bring won't be too bulky or obtrusive.
Our answer: Oh, yes. We are experts at lighting. There isn’t any lighting condition we can’t handle.
We hope this helps in your search for your photographer. If you choose us or another photographer, we want you to make an informed decision that best fits your needs.
John and Lauren
South Street Photography