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TFB – Questions to ask when interviewing a photographer

Tips for Brides

Finding the right photographer for your wedding is one of the most important decisions you will have to make–you will have to spend the entire day with the person you hire, so you should like them and get to know their personality before the big day. We recognize that we are not the perfect photographer for every couple, but we want everybody to have great memories and fabulous photos.

Here are a few questions you should ask your photographer:

Q. Will you be taking the photos on my wedding day?

A. Some studios hire other photographers to cover weddings when they book more than one per day. At BH Photography, we only book one wedding per day and Brian shoots every one.

Q. What camera equipment do you have?

A. Photographers should have at minimum two cameras, and this is for one simple reason–equipment can break. We carry a main camera and a backup camera, four lenses, and multiple flashes. Everything in our camera bag has a backup. You can also get a feeling for how knowledgeable a photographer is by how much s/he knows about their equipment. Also it is good to know if they will be using film or digital. We primarily shoot all weddings in digital but are capable of adding images captured by film.

Q. Do you use an assistant? Is there an extra charge for an assistant?

A. Photographers who use an assistant are more efficient. Assistants are essential to organizing people for each shot and keeping the photography flow moving. All of our packages include Photographer and Assistant, and there is no extra charge for the assistant.

Q. What happens if you become sick?

A. We have created a strong network with local and international wedding photographers who we communicate with on a regular basis. In the case of extreme illness, there are multiple photographers that we can call on to capture your day, and of course, we would notify our bride and groom of the change. Thankfully, we have never had to find a replacement.

Q. Are other people allowed to take photos at the same time?

A. The answer to this question depends on your preferences. Most photographers, including ourselves do not allow other photographers when capturing the formal photos. The main reason for this is that other cameras create a distraction, and when there is more than one camera present, some members of the group will be looking at our camera and some will be looking at the other cameras.

Q. Are you full time or part time? Why did you choose to be a wedding photographer?

A. Most wedding photographers also have day jobs and choose to shoot weddings because they enjoy it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this–it’s not a job to them, it’s a passion. When we started our company,  I was also working full time and shooting weddings on the weekends. I now have to opportunity to mainly work as a professional photographer and it’s what I enjoy the most. It’s not a job, it’s my career and yes, it truly is my passion.

Q. If my event runs longer than expected, will you stay? Do you charge for this?

A. Every photographer should be willing to stay if your event lasts longer than expected. We are more than happy to stay longer, and do not expect to be paid for the extra hours before we stay; this is your special day and we strive to help you make it the best possible.

Q. Do you take photos in colour or black and white?

A. We capture all of our digital images in colour and offer to convert to black and white, or other effects after the fact. If the images are captured in black and white, they cannot be converted to colour. When using film, our preference is to use true black and white film as it will create a different effect for the images–this is the main reason we will use a film camera for a portion of the day.

Q. Can I provide you with a list of must have photos?

A. We provide all of our brides with a “shoot list” to be checked off and added to our files so that we can attempt to capture every photo you would like. Although my assistant uses the list to organize the time you have set aside for your portraits, a list can’t guarantee all the photos will be taken simply due to time delays and other events out of our control.

Q. What do you wear on the day of our wedding?

A. On the day of your wedding, we will dress to the theme of the occasion.  Brian usually wears a black suit with a black / dark shirt, and tie if required. Ivanette wears dark dress clothes. We dress in black / dark so that it is easier for us to blend in if you have a videographer or other photographers. We always wear proper dress clothes and never show up in jeans (unless that’s your dress code, of course!).

Q. How long will it take you to have our proofs ready?

A. We guarantee your proofs will be online within 3 weeks but it usually only takes 2 weeks.

Q. What products are offered?

A. We offer a wide range of products for albums and prints. Ask to see examples.

Q. Can I see a complete wedding?

A. This is one key question to ask to make sure that the photographer will create the images you deserve. For a full day wedding, a photographer can capture over 1000 images, so it’s not hard to have a couple “keepers” per wedding. Anybody can capture a great photo or two out of thousands. Always ask your photographer to show you a complete wedding. We have no problem showing a complete wedding to anybody who requests it.

Q. Will my photos be all over the Internet after our wedding?

A. It’s good to know what your photographer is going to do with your photos. Most of our brides and grooms have given us permission to use their photos as part of our portfolio and blog. Some however, for personal reasons prefer not to have their photos posted, and of course we have no problem respecting that.

Q. Do you have liability insurance?

A. Yet another important question. Every professional photographer should have insurance to protect themselves if they get injured or damage equipment during a wedding. Insurance is also required by any photographer who attends trade shows or workshops. We carry complete liability and damage insurance.

Q. Have you handled an event our size before?

A. Weddings are a joyous occasion, regardless of the size. That being said, your photographer should be able to capture all of those special moments, whether you have 20 guests or 250.  To date, we have worked at weddings with over 300 guests and have provided continuous coverage from 8am until 2am the following day.

Q. Do you charge for travel? What hidden costs are involved?

A. We do not charge for travel within 200kms of Ottawa. For regions outside of that area our travel charges are very reasonable and up front. There are no hidden costs with us; your investment is outlined completely, with taxes of course being added. When providing our package investment information, we provide all of our a la carte pricing as well. This way you know ahead of time what any extra prints or products will cost.

Q. What are your refund / cancellation terms?

A. Most photographers charge a deposit to reserve your date–ours is 25% of the package total. We have never been asked for a refund, however we would look at each request on a case by case basis  ie: If the groom is suddenly deployed out of country for the military, we would have no problem offering a refund or putting the funds towards a new date.

Q. Who do you use to print our photographs? Do you do it yourself?

A. There are a wide array of options available today to have photographs, especially digital processed, from 19 cent grocery store prints to professional labs. Home printers are also available. We only use a professional lab located in Ottawa who has been serving professional photographers for over 40 years. We pay a premium for our prints to ensure top quality. The prints are created using archival quality inks and papers and are guaranteed not to fade for 100 years, making it possible for your photos to become treasured family heirlooms.