so you’re ready to book your wedding or elopement photographer – congratulations! that’s a big
step in planning your day and it’s not an easy decision to make. photographers come in all styles
and levels, so narrowing down what you like and who you jive with can be daunting. I’ve put together
this list of the best questions to ask your photographer before you book, so when you start to narrow your list of favorites down you’ll be fully prepared. and I’m giving you my
answers to those questions to help you decide if I’m the right person to capture your wedding!
You’ve done the research, you’ve scrolled through so many Pinterest ideas, and you’ve finally
settled on the one. if it’s me, it’s super easy- I’ll send over a contract for you to sign, as well as an invoice to pay your retainer. the signed contract and paid retainer is what officially locks in your date so that I can mark it on my calendar and no one else can book that date. the amount that you’ll have to put down for your retainer can vary by photographer, some photographers do a percentage of your package total and some do a fixed rate. I’m team fixed rate, my retainer is $1,000 no matter what wedding package you decide on. make sure that you do both of these steps as soon as possible after deciding you’d like to book!
absolutely hell yes to both of these. I’m a legit business and pay the absurd tax rate to prove it, and I am insured! this is one of the most important questions to ask- a lot of venues require vendors to send in proof of insurance. insurance protects any equipment damage, bodily injury on the day of your wedding, etc. and no matter which photographer you choose to shoot your wedding, please make sure they are an insured professional.
I’ve been in the industry for over 9 years now and full time for over 3- photographing weddings is my favorite thing, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. I pour my soul into my clients and the work I create with/for them.
I will color correct every photo that I deliver to you; that’s part of my editing process! I want to
make sure that the photos represent the real you, so the general rule for retouching is this: If it’s
something that isn’t already with you all the time, I’m more than happy to retouch. this includes
blemishes, uneven skin tones, etc. additional or heavier Photoshopping beyond this requires
additional editing time and fees, anywhere between $5-$15 per photo depending on what you’re
requesting to have done.
I know, I know, this is a super morbid thing to think about! but you never know what might
happen when you plan things several months to years in advance, and I want to make sure that I’ve
covered every possibility so that you get what I promised – a beautiful gallery of one of the most
special days of your life so far! I have an amazing network of fellow photographers, so I’ll have
an associate cover your wedding in the event that something happens. If this happens, my associate
shooter won’t just be some random person who happened to be available that day; I have a
wonderful photographer on hand that I trust completely to match my style, my energy, and will
make you feel just as comfortable! plus, I’ll still be the one editing your photos, so they’ll be fully
in line with what you expect me to deliver to you.
in the event of death: I have a “photo will!” It details what will happen in case I leave
this earth sooner than I planned to, and it has details for what will happen with sessions I’m in
the middle of editing, events that I haven’t shot yet, and everything in between. feel free to ask
me if you’d like to know more specifics, but rest assured that your wedding day and your photos
will make their way to you even if I kick the bucket haha.
this is a HUGE yes. my anxiety won’t let me live without all kinds of backups. I always carry extra batteries, memory cards, camera bodies, and more! no matter what happens on your wedding day, I’ll make sure we’re covered. and as soon as I get home, I back up every photo I take of your wedding as soon as possible- so there’s no risk of any photos being lost or corrupted. I have your photographs backed up in three places- two hard drives and one cloud storage!
I require your signed contract and that $1,000 retainer at the time of booking. the retainer holds
your date and is non-refundable; holding the date for you is a service, and I turn down other
requests on that date. after that, you have access to an online portal that contains the remaining
balance of your invoice. as long as your balance is paid off one month before your wedding,
we’re all set!
If I’m flying to your wedding, I’ll schedule my arrival 2-3 days before, so that I have a nice
cushion in case of any travel delays/handle jet lag so I’m at my best. for weddings closer to my home base in Charlotte, I’ll drive. for weddings with any travel involved, I typically roll the travel costs into my package prices so you won’t have to pay any additional fees. I’ll also let you in on a little secret (well, maybe it’s not so secret): there are some locations on my wish list that I’ve been dying to shoot at, so if you’ll be at any of those places, I do discounted travel fees!
fortunately, being a professional means being able to show up and do my best- even if it is in a new space. I’ll always arrive before my shooting time is scheduled to start so I can scope out the best spots for portraits and get a feel for the space. honestly, I’ll always prefer working at a new venue to working at one I’ve shot a million times before- it’s easier to think outside of the box and get creative with a new space.