Photography
Article thanks to Sue Featherstone Bride Online Columnist

Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask Your Photographer


It comes down to personality – either you’re quite comfortable firing queries at your photographer, or you’re more on the shy side, and you blush at the thought of putting them on the spot. But you don’t have to worry, we’ve asked the awkward questions so you don’t have to.


(Courtesy dpnak.com)

Why is Wedding Photography So Expensive?

This is usually the first thought in most brides’ minds when they’re looking for a wedding photographer. Here are 5 reasons why:
- Equipment – it’s expensive to buy cameras, lenses, lighting gear, filters, post-processing software and digital storage devices.
- Expenses – full time professionals are running a business and this comes with costs like tax, insurance, marketing, sales, art direction and studio outlays.
- Time – your photographer will spend 8-10 hours at your wedding, and then somewhere between 45-70 hours on selecting, editing and processing all the pictures. It’s also seasonal work and jobs dry up in winter.
- Experience – weddings are stressful (Is that lipstick on the bride’s dress?) and unpredictable (I think that storm is headed this way!) and you want a skilled photographer to solve problems and still capture all the important moments on your big day. There’s only one chance to get it right and this is huge pressure on the photographer.
- Talent – everyone can point a camera and shoot, but there’s considerable skill in getting the composition, framing and lighting absolutely perfect for such a monumental event.

Should I Tip The Photographer?

When you’re a waiter gratuity is expected, but there are no such rules in the world of photography. Tips are not standard practise but they’re certainly appreciated. Wedding photography is expensive, and if you want to show you gratitude you can give a small gift or a letter of thanks – it doesn’t have to be financial. What you’re doing is acknowledging a job that’s been extremely well done.

How Much Do You Rely On Photoshop?

Post-processing is essential to get the right effects for your photographs, but there’s a fine line between removing an unsightly spot and making you lose 5kg. All photographers want to give their clients the best photos possible, and this means retouching images. Heavily processed images will take time and this increases costs, but this tends to also make them appear unnatural. Professionals should aim to get it right in the real photo, and not rely on technology to fix their mistakes.

Why Can't I Get Every Photo You Take?

Even though you’ve used a professional photographer, they will often make some mistakes. If they hand over all their images, they run the risk of some mediocre prints being associated with their name. You’ve also paid them to pick out the best ones, so let them do their job and you’re still likely to get hundreds of brilliant wedding photographs.

Do The Photographer and Videographer Need to Get Along?

You can’t force anyone to be mates, but it will definitely help you get the best results on your wedding day. It’s top prize if they’ve worked together before, so use a studio that offers both services, or ask your photographer for a recommendation.

What is a 'First Look' and Should I Do It?

The first time you see you partner is traditionally when they walk down the aisle, but there’s a new trend that’s shaking the foundations of convention. A “first look” is where the bride reveals herself to her partner, before the ceremony. It’s generally done away from the crowds, and the moment is caught on camera.

- In the pro corner, the “first look” gives the couple a private moment before the craziness of their wedding day, and it gets rid of pre-wedding jitters. You’re also using the time to take photos and this means you can join guests for drinks after the ceremony, rather than disappearing for an hour or two of photographs.

- On the con side is that it’s a staged, rather than candid experience. When the big reveal happens the photographer is poised, waiting to capture the look on the partner’s face, so you’re expected to show an appropriate expression (tears are encouraged!). Your wedding is also about your friends and family, and they want to share this special moment with you. Additionally, if you’re late getting dressed, you may have to rush the photographs so you don’t delay the ceremony.

What Will The Photographer Wear On The Day? 

It might feel a little Bridezilla to dictate how your photographer should dress, but you want them to blend in – not stick out. This is especially pertinent if you have a formal wedding, because you don’t want your photographer wearing shorts and thongs. If they’re professional they should arrive dressed appropriately. If you’re not confident that your photographer will turn up appropriately dressed, give them a polite message informing of your wedding’s dress code, like you include for your guests.

Do I Have to Use a Wedding Photographer Specifically?

You can ask your uncle Jim if you really want to, but remember that this day only happens once and the photos you get will be the only ones you’ll ever have. An experienced wedding photographer is familiar with the entire process, and will be more adept at handling unexpected conditions and problems that are specific to weddings. They’ll also be adept at directing and organising large crowds of excited wedding guests. As the saying goes, doctors are all doctors, but you wouldn’t go to a podiatrist if you had a problem with your teeth.

What is 'Shoot and Burn' Photography?

Many professional wedding photographers will shoot RAW images, which contain huge amounts of data, and this allows them to edit the images to their particular style, before you see anything.
A shoot and burn photographer will usually take photos in JPEG mode, which saves less data, and these images are then burned onto a CD or DVD and given to the client without post-processing. As there is no editing that happens, the costs are significantly reduced, but the client is then responsible for all the editing and the printing and framing expenses.

The reduction in price and the access to all the images is what draws wedding clients to shoot and burn photography, but many professionals believe that it compromises their reputation. Photographers can’t dictate how their pictures are edited, cropped or printed, which means they lose control of the final product and prospective clients potentially won’t see their best work.

What if I Don't Like The Photos?

Of course you want your photos to be as magnificent as your wedding day, but there is that possibility that you won’t like what you see. This might be because – as the months pass – you’re building up expectations that aren’t met when your photos finally arrive. Perhaps there aren’t enough close-ups or black and white images, or you don’t like the post-processing effects. Whatever you feel, it’s important to communicate honestly and be specific about your disappointments. This way they have the opportunity to rework the images and produce something that you love.

Do I Really Need a Second Photographer? 

Professional photographers have an assistant to help carry equipment and hold lights, but a second shutterbug works alongside your main photographer, taking their own photos. It often comes down to cost, and this is why many couples opt no. It’s also unnecessary for very small weddings. There are, however, perks to using a second shooter:
- Provides a different perspective.
- Ensures you catch every moment (have a photo of you throwing the bouquet and the ladies catching it).
- They’re your backup in case there are any problems.
- It speeds up the photo-taking experience.
- Essential if important events are happening simultaneously but in different places.

What Should the First Kiss Look Like?

Your first lip-locking experience as newlyweds doesn’t have to be a regal (restrained!) peck, but it shouldn’t leave your guests feeling uncomfortable, watching a groping session that’s best left to the wedding night. You should really do what comes naturally, even if it’s a dip kiss that’s reminiscent of your favourite movie. If you’re still worried about what to do: practise makes perfect.

What is Boudoir Photography?

There’s a steamy trend on the rise in the wedding industry: provocative photo shoots. Think bustiers, garters, heels and sultry poses at the camera. A growing number of brides are stripping off their wedding dress to take suggestive but tasteful photographs, to send to their partner as a wedding day gift.

What If I Hate Having My Photo Taken?

Many people dread being photographed and at the sight of a camera, they run for the hills. When it comes to your wedding day you can’t hide, and ultimately you’ll want great photos of your special day. People think they look bad in photos because they haven’t been photographed by a competent professional, and this makes all the difference.

Your photographer’s job is to put you at ease and make you feel completely comfortable. This is why it’s so important to pick someone that you connect with, and why it’s essential to get to know them a little better before W day. You need to relax, smile and trust that they’ll make you look like you, just a little bit better.
We’re pretty sure you have a whole checklist of questions to ask your photographer, but we hope that these 14 responses will answer some of the queries you were a bit more reluctant to ask. Happy snapping!

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