Wedding Photography Questions

This is a discussion on Wedding Photography Questions within the Photography Discussion forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; I have just shot my first wedding, and although I think I covered it very well and researched it quite a bit before going there, ...


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Thread: Wedding Photography Questions

  1. #1

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    Aug 2007
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    I have just shot my first wedding, and although I think I covered it very well and researched it quite a bit before going there, I am still looking for advice and suggestions before I go to present my services within the next couple weeks to two other couples getting married next summer.
    I am looking for information in the areas of:
    What formal shots should I list or suggest?
    What types of candids are good and will make the wedding book look complete?
    What are the circumstances in which I should shoot guests that are not interacting with the wedding party?
    Should I take pictures with both the mother and her new husband and the father and his new wife together or should I suggest these pictures separate?
    What is normal turnaround time for proofs to be delivered?
    What is normal pricing on prints (either normal expected cost or general markup rule)?
    Are there any good books anyone can suggest?
    What types of questions should I ask the bride/groom during the initial meeting about their wedding photography needs?
    What types of questions should I ask during the followup meeting after they've hired me and we are talking about their wedding?
    Any advice on presenting my work (should I get a photo book made as an example? should i just bring my portfolio books?)? Should I bring a packet of information with me for them to take home (should I make a presentation folder with all of the information for them or just have a few pages on heavy paper with my card and stapled at the top?)
    Any other help that you all can give, Ive done a bit of research, talked to quite a few wedding photographers from my area and looked at lots of websites, but it is always good to find as much information as possible.
    Im thinking of making a sample wedding book (the kind you send images to a company and they make you a book from them based on your templates and such) to show my wedding work. Do you think is this a worthwhile investment? I think it would create a visual aide of how my work is better than a portfolio of pictures showing my wedding photography. Thoughts?
    Thank you.
    Melissa


  • #2
    Proud Nikon Shooter
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    What formal shots should I list or suggest?

    This really depends on the couple. Some may want formals, some may want journalistic style.

    What types of candids are good and will make the wedding book look complete?

    Bride getting ready, main helpers getting ready (think flower girl/ring bearer) priest/preacher, groom,

    What are the circumstances in which I should shoot guests that are not interacting with the wedding party?

    Again this is discussed with the couple prior to the wedding

    Should I take pictures with both the mother and her new husband and the father and his new wife together or should I suggest these pictures separate?

    Again discuss this prior to wedding

    What is normal turnaround time for proofs to be delivered?

    Depending on the size of the wedding, a few weeks would be perfect. This really needs to be discussed also

    What is normal pricing on prints (either normal expected cost or general markup rule)?

    Depends on your area, and depends on what you are charging for your time. If you have a larger flat fee, you can basically give away the prints and make the couple extra happy.

    Are there any good books anyone can suggest?

    I would suggest starting here

    What types of questions should I ask the bride/groom during the initial meeting about their wedding photography needs?

    Find out what they want, who they want shot, who they don't want shot, what style the shots are, how many shots they want, how formals will be shot, who directs the formals, who gathers the party in the shot, who handles disputes with the party, all the details need to be laid out in the contract

    What types of questions should I ask during the followup meeting after they've hired me and we are talking about their wedding?

    This is one area where the questions should be limited. Open ended questions here may prove to be a can of worms that you don't want opened. If you did the consultation right, and covered the terms of the contract, there is little to discuss at this point.

    Any advice on presenting my work (should I get a photo book made as an example? should i just bring my portfolio books?)?

    Portfolio, example prints, example book, contract. They should see what they are getting or have the option of getting.

    Should I bring a packet of information with me for them to take home (should I make a presentation folder with all of the information for them or just have a few pages on heavy paper with my card and stapled at the top?)

    No. Tire kickers look for information to use in gathering more information, and really helps no one

    You should carry examples of everything that you are offering to the client. Seeing and holding something is far better than any image.
    steveraw likes this.
    Steve

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  • #3

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    "What formal shots should I list or suggest?
    This really depends on the couple. Some may want formals, some may want journalistic style."

    Ya I know I need to ask the couple, but I would like to put together a list of shots that I should attempt to get, a list that they can go through to check off what pictures they would like etc.
    I want to know what some of the good pictures to get would be. Obviously every couple is going to be different, every family has a different setup, but I want to have a general list for them to check off on what pictures they want for formals, plus an additional place for them to write any that I havent listed. The same for candids, for pictures of like... place settings or of the bouquet or whatever.


    "What are the circumstances in which I should shoot guests that are not interacting with the wedding party?
    Again this is discussed with the couple prior to the wedding"

    I know everything will have to be gone over with the couple, especially for specifics, I just want to know some basics and general thoughts on candids and such as well. A lot of couples wont have thought of every picture they want, especially candid, and I had the last couple ask me what the normal was, or what I think. Well, I dont know.


    "This is one area where the questions should be limited. Open ended questions here may prove to be a can of worms that you don't want opened. If you did the consultation right, and covered the terms of the contract, there is little to discuss at this point."

    I pretty much make a presentation at the first meeting. That is the meeting in which they're looking at photographers and interested in learning more about me. I go over the contract, my pricing, what it covers, the difference in what I offer and what other photographers offer, how I work, how my assistant(s) work, show my portfolio books, ask any questions about how big the wedding will be, what kind of services they are interested in etc. I then give them a price list and tell them to call me if they have any questions.
    Now the second meeting is when they come in and tell me which package they are going with, sign the contract, deliver their deposit, and I ask more specific questions like giving them a list of shots that are common or could be something they want, go over time they want to shoot engagement or other shoots. I gain additional information including names of the people who will be assisting me, information about their family and how the wedding party is set up.
    Thats just how I have planned my meetings.


    Pretty much Im looking for information about shooting weddings that could be considered "secrets" but figured since the area I live is a good distance away from pretty much anyone else on this forum that someone may be willing to divulge it. Weddings are not my focus by any stretch but if im going to do it, im going to do it right.

  • #4
    Proud Nikon Shooter
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    There are no secrets in photography. Yes some people believe that there are, and won't share what works for them, but in the real world, they were not the first, and will not be the last to use the technique. Sharing specific shots that work for one photographer rarely works for another. You really should focus on your strengths. You can easily view hundreds of websites to see if there is anything that you would like to try, but in the end, you have to follow what draws you.

    My point in discussing it with the couple instead of offering specific poses, is that you want them to know that their wedding is special and unique, not some cookie cutter event.

    When they look through your portfolio, they may mention a specific idea or pose, and you can work from there. If you begin by saying here are some posing ideas that I like to offer, some people are going to assume that these are the only poses available. It is just human nature to picture what you hear, and you certainly do not want to limit anything when talking with the client.

    You should also leave out what other photographer do and do not offer. That has nothing to do with your services, and could possibly make it look like you are knocking others. Simple make your offer, and don't worry about what others are doing. Your 2nd meeting sounds fine.
    Steve

    Never complain, Never explain. Learn it, live it


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  • #5

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    The way i compare my services to others in the area is this.... many photographers in the area include prints with their packages, which end up being a lot higher cost than mine. When a couple looks at my pricing they get excited about the low cost. I make sure to tell them that the package does NOT include prints and that with prints you're looking at around the same cost, my pricing just allows more customization of your print selections. I dont knock anyone elses work, I dont talk about how my work is better than anyone else. I simply state the differences and let them make their decision.
    I want to have a list of different pictures to get. Not necessarily poses but ok, bride and mother of bride, bride and father, bride and.... you see? and different shots like... dress on hanger, place setting, etc. I dont want them to miss anything that they think back and say, oh, i wish uncle ebajeb could have been in a photo, i want to cover the event. they can pick out the ones they want, add ones i havent listed etc. THATs what I want. Im not asking for specific shots, or a way to pose the flowers to their best advantage, and I will be playing my strengths and downplaying my weaknesses when I do shoot it, I just want general information.
    I have a pretty decent presentation of my services already. Its been well thought out and discussed before, it works for me when i use a similar one for corporate work or for event work other than weddings. Weddings just are something different and a lot more involved than I normally do. I want to make sure that i cover everything, because theres no "do over" or a second chance to get the pictures of the first kiss.
    Im not looking to copy anyones work, just get a list of things that i may not have thought of to shoot, because I have a pretty decent list that ive come up with already, and that I will share to make sure i get what the client wants. Like I said though, ive done plenty of research and asked a few wedding photographers questions, I am just looking for additional advice and thoughts on the matter.
    I know that every wedding is special, every couple is unique and that their pictures can be shot in may different ways and should be shot as the couple want them and fits their personality.
    Thank you for your advice on the book and presenting my materials. I was pretty set on creating a photo book of my work to show at my next presentation, I just wanted more confirmation that it wasnt a waste of time/money.

  • #6

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    Hi

    here you will find some interesting books on photography kenrockwell.com/tech/books.htm


    Thanks

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    portrait photographers

  • #7

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    Well, I think no matter how fancy the location is, how goodlooking the couple are, the photos would be dissapointing if there was no connection between the photographer and the client. I work in a wedding photography studio in Asia and we are very successful in terms of the outcome of the photos. The trick that was taught was that the photographer has to be able to bring out the good side of the couple, the side that would photograph best. Engage them in an informal thing beforehand, a simple dinner, karaoke or anything that would help the couple be at ease when the time comes. Help them to think that the photographer was someone they know personally, never treat them as a client per se, treat them as a friend who is asking a favour. Tell stories of other couples, share experiences, show that you are on their side, not on the side of how much they would pay. Of course angle, fancy lighting and setting are as crucial as ever, but what makes a good photograph is that it is a piece of a beautiful moment, caught forever to be saved, it has to be honest, not clouded with fake poses, thick make up and such! It has to make them look at it and go silent, then smile widely. A sign that they remember the moment exactly as it was with the help of a photograph.

    Well, presentation helps too... Here in Asia we LOOOVE fancy boxes, with many drawers, fancy stuff. But since it is very hard to make, we outsource them to another company. Try looking at http://whitelabelbook.com/, we have been using them for sometime and we are absolutely pleased. They actually provide fancy boxes, the design and bind the book for us and send it where ever we are. We tried other companies, but they have poor quality... Trust me, nothing would please a client as much as a very nice photo album, filled with great photographs and put in a box with many drawers, doors and has a place to put the wedding veil inside. Their own personal treasure box.

  • #8

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    Wedding is a whole philosophy. I take pictures at weddings for years but I find it hard to answer your questions. Each do as he. So I put my questions and discussing with me at first but I answered more professionals each other.

  • #9

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    Some general advise...
    Remain professional & polite in all circumstances. People will remember you for two things - the photos & the customer service experience.
    Get to know the bride & groom as well as possible - all couples are unique.
    Have fun & let everyone know that you are having fun!!



    http://www.gruenphotodesign.com


  • #10

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    In general,Wedding day is one of the favorable occasions in everyone's life.In a wedding day,sharing photos with good and appropriate photographic group makes enchanting and delightful getting photos and which might be advantageous in future occasions.Wedding photography is a art of getting good shots of couple as well as the viewers and educators surround over them in various occasions and situations.



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