Recently, a couple came to us in search of a wedding photographer. Along with curiosity about our work they brought a list of questions given to them by another corporate photo studio (we won’t mention the name). Below you will find this list, along with the answers we have given. This couple signed the contract last month, we’re shooting their wedding in October of this year.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER:
What is their professional background and experience? If photojournalism is important to you do they have professional experience in catching those “once in a lifetime moments?” Also how long has your studio been in business?
Our studio has been in business for more than 20 year. We do coverage for weddings, bar-mitzvahs, corporate events, private parties, product shoot, model shoots, and everything in between. We are also a full service photo laboratory and make our own albums.
The studio consists of two lead photographers – Slav Zinger and Vadim Molochnikov.
Slav comes from an extensive background in photography. Before LEUXO, he was a lead photographer at Fran Kapp Studio, the premier photo studio of Chicago’s North Shore. Prior to that, Slav was a staff photographer at one of Chicago’s top banquet halls. He has photographed events and weddings since he was 17 years old.
Vadim comes from a background in advertising and marketing. He has been a photographer for over five years. He has an excellent eye for detail and a natural ability to spot one-of-a-kind moments as they happen.
Looking at their work, have the photos been enhanced? Are you able to view the “un-edited” images so that you can see, realistically, what your photos will look like? Viewing an entire wedding from start to finish is crucial to understanding the consistent quality and talent of a photographer.
The entire wedding is shot in RAW – an image format that allows you to edit and manipulate photos without the risk of losing quality. We enhance every photograph before it goes in your album or shown in your online gallery.
We would be happy to give you access codes to see full client galleries from previously shot weddings.
Do they have a back-up plan and who is the back-up photographer that will shoot in their place in the unfortunate event that they have an emergency or are sick on the date of your wedding? Is their back up photographer as experienced as they are?
Your wedding will be covered by two photographers – Slav and Vadim. In the rare event that one photographer is unable to attend, an alternative photographer will be substituted. Our studio has 2 reserve photographers, both are just as qualified.
Does your photographer have multiple, professional-grade camera bodies/equipment? Do they bring back up equipment to your event? (a back-up of all pieces of equipment?)
We use professional-grade photography equipment which includes the following list of items. All equipment is brought to and used at every event we cover. We use digital cameras and 4GB brand name memory cards.
Customer Service: Will they be available during the course of your planning process to pay close attention to your needs? Who will be your constant point of contact to help you plan your coverage before and after the wedding?
Both, Vadim and Slav will be with you throughout the entire wedding. During the wedding, we will help plan, arrange and direct your guests and situations to maximize quality photo coverage. Slav is your main point of contact before, during and after the wedding.
Are you expected to tip the photographer above the price of the package? If so, have you planned for this added expense?
Tipping the photographer is NOT required.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS:
Do they offer you the high resolutiondigital negatives? (Different than digital proofs and low-res “photo CDs”, this refers to having copyright usage of your original photo images, giving you the freedom to print as many copies of your photos as you want, anywhere you wish, even at your home computer.)
On average, 2000 photographs are derived from each wedding. All of them will be provided in a high-resolution image format. We also provide a full release allowing you to reprint any and all the images as you please.
Up to what size reprint can I create from this file with exceptional quality?
Using the high-resolution images we provide, you are able to print up to 30×40 inch photos.
Is there a watermark on the image?
The high-resolution images are NOT watermarked.
If ownership of your negatives does not come included/standard in the package, how much extra will they cost? Is a qualifying order required to obtain your negatives? If so, how much?
They are included in your package.
How long is the waiting period for receiving your digital negatives?
Total delivery time on negatives after your wedding is approximately 1-2 weeks.
How soon will you see your photos after your wedding? Is online viewing available for guests and out of town family to view and order prints? Can guests upload photos to the hosting site?
All images from your wedding will be available for online viewing with 1 week. During the wedding, we will distribute printed cards that will contain the web address and password for your wedding photo gallery. Guests can view and purchase all images online.
How much do enlargements and loose prints cost?
A separate sheet will be provided to show print costs. Keep in mind that we operate our own photo laboratory and thus able to offer the best price and quality on printed images.
ABOUT THE ALBUMS:
How much of your album customization is included in the album/package price, and what is their definition of customization? (This can mean different things to different companies.)
All albums are handmade in our studio in Skokie, IL. Because of this, unlimited customization options are available. The extent of customization is based upon the package you choose. In all cases, we offer full design services and expert suggestions throughout the entire process.
Does the cost include designing expertise of a professional graphic designer?
All album costs include design services. We also guide your throughout the design, print and bind process.
Does the company allow you to be involved in the designing aspect of the album? Can you select the photos to be included and give feedback on revisions?
Since this is your wedding and your photos, you get to control what goes inside your album. If necessary, studio time can be allocated for you to come in and discuss the design of your album.
Are revisions allowed/included in the price? If so, how many revision rounds? How much per additional revision?
Up to 3 revisions are included in the price of an album. Cost for additional revisions varies according to complexity. Average price per additional revision is $30.
In regards to photo editing in the album, are touch-ups, colorization, and special effects included on a per-item charge?
Image enhancements, touch-ups, colorization and layout editing is included the price of an album.
Are panoramic spreads included in your album? How much per spread?
We have two types of albums – Panoramic and Center Gap. Panoramic albums have photos mounted edge to edge with no gap in the middle. Center Gap albums have a thin gap in the middle of each spread. Depending on the type of package you choose, one or the other are included.
Do they have a 50 year warranty on their album products? Who manufactures the album? All albums are definitely not created equal!
We have a lifetime warranty on all albums. As mentioned previously, all albums are handcrafted in our studio. Since we are the ones who take your photos, there no one more qualified to make your album. Because we do both, we are able to effectively tell your wedding story from start to finish.
When can you expect to receive your wedding album?
Production time for a wedding album is 14 business days after the approval of final design. Design time is based on number of revisions.
ABOUT THE LOGISTICS:
What is the required first deposit? Is it refundable?
Initial deposit is due at the time of signing the contract. Deposit amount is 30% of total package price. Because we take this date off the calendar, it is non-refundable.
Are their prices locked in, or would you be subject to price increases, with or without notification?
Once contract is signed, prices are locked, even if your wedding is more than a year away.
Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee if you are not completely satisfied with the end product? How will they handle your situation if, for some reason, you were not happy with the outcome of their services?
In all the years of covering weddings and other events, we have never had a dissatisfied customer. All photographs are taken by digital equipment so we are able to examine quality of lighting and composition the moment they are shot.
If necessary, we can provide references and testimonials.
Is there an Emergency Plan/Helpline/Point of Contact available for the day of your wedding? (In the event that your photographer cannot be reached.)
Contact phone numbers for both photographers will be provided. Both photographers will be available to you before, after and during the wedding.