Top 10 Questions to ask your Wedding Photographer
(before you book)
Wedding Photography, in our opinion, is the most important vendor to hire for your wedding day. Regardless if you hire a photographer from our team or another studio, we advise you to ask the right questions in helping to make this decision easier.
1. Style: How would you describe your photography style?
Traditional, Contemporary, Photojournalistic, Posed, Candids, Natural Light, Film shooter, B&W shooter, Artistic, Creative….there just seems to be so many adjectives nowadays to describe the “style” that your photographer may specialize in. So how do you choose or how do you know what’s right for you? The easy answer to this is to look at your photographers portfolio online or better yet in person, and if you love what you see, then that’s a great place to start. Most photographers offer a mix of styles because honestly it’s nearly impossible to just stick one style. Click here to learn about today’s popular styles of wedding photography.
We offer a blend of styles that include photojournalism (capturing candids of friends and family having a great time), modern portraiture with family and wedding party that doesn’t feel overly posed and stiff, and then we specialize in creating images on a wedding day with our bride and groom that has that extra ‘wow’ factor. This our secret recipe. 🙂
2. Experience: How long have you been in business and How many weddings have you shot?
I think this is one of the most important questions to ask. What differentiates an amateur wedding photographer from a professional wedding photographer? The gear they shoot with or the experience they have? It’s the experience. And just because someone has been in business for 5 years doesn’t mean they’ve photographed a large amount of weddings. Most wedding photographers average just 10 weddings per year. Make sure your photographer has the experience necessary and that you feel confident in their abilities. We started our wedding photography business in 2001 and have photographed over 525 weddings. We are super proud to hold a 5 star rating with our clients.
3. What do you think distinguishes your work from your competition?
I love when I’m asked this question because it really put’s us on the spot. There are a lot of talented photographers in a big city like Los Angeles and the competition is strong. I feel that a combination of experience, creativity, passion and customer service all contribute to the success of our studio.
4. Will I receive a written contract?
There are many studios that don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. This is a red flag to watch out for and usually means the photographer does not own and operate a legal business. You should require a contract from your wedding photographer that explains what services they will be providing, the price of the package you choose and the terms of the agreement. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection.
5. Do you have Insurance?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly it provides liability protection in case Great Aunt Sophie trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously. Most venues in Los Angeles actually require their vendors to show proof of insurance.
Chris Schmitt Photography carries general business, equipment and liability insurance.
6. What happens if you are sick for our wedding?
While it is unlikely that the photographer happens to get ill on your wedding day, there is still a chance. It is crucial that the photography studio you choose has a back up plan in case the primary photographer is ill on your wedding day. Knock on wood, this has never happened to us, but we are well prepared if it ever does. Chris Schmitt Photography has two equally skilled master photographers Chris and Andrea Schmitt and a crew of 4 super talented lead Studio Photographers that will take over in case someone is sick.
7. Wedding Post Production: Will you edit my photos? How many photos will we get?
This is where the real magic begins. The photos have been professionally captured and now they have to be edited, processed and delivered to the clients after the wedding. There are several terms you should know when it comes to post production which is the look and feel of the photos.
- Culling/Editing- Most studios that include post production will cull their images. This means they will discard the obvious bad ones. Some studios known as “shoot and burn photographers” will simply take all the photos and deliver them all..the good ones along with all the bad ones with eyes closed and unflattering expressions. They let their clients edit the photos. We feel that this is a huge disservice and instead, we take great pride in making sure ever image we deliver is processed to look it’s very best. We average 100 images per hour that we are in attendance.
- Color Correction- Since color correction is the foundation of post production, it should be used on every single image. Many photographers will not color correct any, or will only color correct a few “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have a lot of pictures where your skin tones are discolored and can appear too orange, yellow, red and even blue.
- Retouching- Retouching is often confused with color correction or the processing of images. Retouching for us refers to a client asking for a very specific change or request on a particular image. Anything from a simple blemish removal to changing the color of something in the photo to digital cosmetic surgery! Want to drop 20 pounds in a certain photo..we can do that. Hey, this is LA, and we’ve had every request under the sun! Retouching can be expensive depending on the request and is generally an additional charge with our studio.
Chris Schmitt Photography color corrects every single image from your wedding to make sure each and every image is a professional quality product.
8. What types of cameras do you use and do you carry backups?
Our studio uses top quality Canon camera bodies (5D Mark III) along with the finest quality L lenses from Canon. Having professional reliable gear is so important especially for a wedding. Nothing would be worse than for the photographer to miss half of your wedding because his camera or lens broke, and they didn’t have a spare. And trust us when we say this can happen at anytime.
9. Will you be my actual photographer or will it be one of your associates?
We have two great ways to book our studio. You can book either Chris or Andrea Schmitt as your primary photographer or choose from one of our talented Associate Photographers. There are packages to fit any budget.
10. How long will it take to see our images?
The turn around time for photo studios varies greatly and largely depends on both the volume of weddings a studio produces and how much post production they include. Our average turn around time is 3 weeks. We provide a website to easily share with friends and family and you can download all the images instantly to your computer’s hard drive directly from the website. It’s never been faster or easier.