January 31, 2021 /
What to Expect from your Wedding Photographer
You guys. This year marks year 13 for us in business photographing weddings in Kansas City. 13 years. And in those 13 years of photographing Kansas City weddings? We’ve seen and heard A LOT. Like, could write a book about it, a lot. And while we won’t (you know, because we’re too busy photographing weddings), we DO want to share some tips and tricks with you for hiring your own wedding photographer. Or heck – any wedding vendor for that matter. Because in all of these 13 years? The one thing that consistently breaks our hearts?
It’s when couples, or family and friends of our couples mention the horrible experiences they had with their own wedding photographer.
It really, truly just tears us up inside. We’re big believers that the experience of having your photo taken is just as important as the actual photos that you have take. And when a wedding photographer gives you or someone that’s important to you a really shitty photography experience? We take it personally. We’ve heard some absolute HORROR stories about other wedding photographers over the years, and we always feel so bad for the people that have those experiences.
So, today, we want to do our part to make sure that you have a phenomenal wedding photography experience, no matter who your photographer is in Kansas City. Part of having a good experience is knowing what you should expect from your wedding photographer, which is exactly what we’re chatting about today.
What to Expect from your Wedding Photographer
Clear & Consistent Communication
This is a biggie, that shouldn’t have to be a biggie. From the time you inquire with a wedding photographer, until your album and photos are delivered after wedding day, you should expect clear and consistent communication from your photographer about your wedding day, their process, what comes next, so on and so forth. Not just last minute confirmation that they will indeed be at your wedding 8 hours before it starts.
And if you start not hearing back from your photographer? That’s not cool or normal either. Now, we’re not saying that if you send them a text at 3 am and they don’t get back with you until 9 am that you should be worried. (Although wedding photographers are often superhuman, we do still have to sleep). But. If you inquire and just don’t hear back? Or get a confusing email?Even stop hearing from them all together? Be on the lookout, because it’s likely that they don’t have a plan either.
A Plan (and back-up plans a, b, c, and d)
That’s right. You want to make sure they have a plan for their whole process with you, and especially for wedding day. How do you do this? Honestly? Just ask what their plan is. Ours is clearly and concisely laid out for all of our clients in email, their Client Lounge, during our initial meeting, and time and time again via emails and our wedding photography process. But if they’re not sure when you should do engagement photos, or how to deliver them? How to arrange family photos or how much time you need to get dressed on wedding day? Maybe start to look at other options. A really good wedding photographer that you can trust will have an answer for all of these things and then some, even being able to anticipate needs you didn’t know you have. 🙂
This one is simple, friends. You should expect your wedding photographer to be a professional and to treat you and your VIPS with human decency and respect. That’s just what being a good human is about. If you’re talking with a wedding photographer and something they say to you seems off or rubs you the wrong way? There will likely be other things, down the road that do the same thing. Do you really want to be on pins and needs during your whole wedding planning and photography process? Didn’t think so.
Friends. The number of horror stories we’ve heard from people about their photographer not having a back-up for their wedding day or images is terrifying. Like, TERRIFYING. Heck – I’ve even been in a wedding where the photographer ran out of camera batteries and did not have a charger on hand to recharge, so she left before the bride even danced with her dad. I was HORRIFIED. The number of times we’ve heard of photographers losing cards, or accidentally deleting images, or their camera breaking during a wedding and not having a back-up is just absurd.
Don’t be afraid to ask your photographer if they have a back-up. In fact, here are just a few things we’ve got back-ups for:
- Each other
- Cameras – we have double what we need, just in case (fun fact: we shoot Sony mirrorless gear)
- Lenses – we have a bag full of lenses that we can switch to if we need to. Also – fun fact – we’ve completely snapped a camera lens off a camera on a wedding day before, but had a back-up, so our bride didn’t even know until her image reveal.
- Batteries – We carry probably 8 fully charged camera and flash batteries with us on a wedding day, and bring our chargers for both with us too to recharge during your ceremony and reception.
- Flashes – again, we’ve got double what we need.
- Cards – We each shoot on two cards in our camera in case one corrupts, and have a pouch full of extras for when we fill a card and need to switch or if does wind up going corrupt.
- Hard Drives & Back-ups. Yep. We have a back-up system for our back-up system. As soon as we fill a card on a wedding day, we separate it from the back-up card and keep it on our body until we get home. Then we immediately load images (even if it’s 2 am) to a hard drive, make a duplicate of it, and back- those hard-drives up to the cloud in two different places before we’ll even go to sleep after a wedding. Yes, it’s a long day, but we only get one shot at our job, and want to make sure we never lose anything.
Has your photographer actually photographed a wedding? Make sure they have. And second shooting for someone else totally doesn’t count, you guys. A second shooter doesn’t even come close to having the same job as a primary wedding photographer. Even if they’ve only shot two or three weddings on their own they’ll have an idea of what to expect from the day so they’re not constantly asking questions or second guessing.
You guys. One of the things we’ve heard from SO MANY of our friendors, friends of our clients, and smattering of other people that we come into contact with is that they wish they would have spent a little bit more to get a wedding album. Even if they thought it wasn’t important when they originally booked their photographer, down the road they still wished they would have gotten one. And, because all of our couples get a wedding album? It breaks our hearts when we hear that someone didn’t get one. Especially when someone invested in their photographer and only walked away with digital files. If you’re not getting a wedding album included in your wedding collection, ask if you can add it on. Or, find a photographer that DOES include a wedding album in their collections. Trust us, you’ll save yourselves so much heartache.
Well, friends, there you have it. If you’ve got questions or think we left anything out, don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know! Until next time, enjoy!