Over the last 7 or so years of doing this I’ve been asked every imaginable question by prospective clients. And just like your high school maths teacher told you – “there’s no such thing as a stupid question!” So how ever unusual, embarrassing or even downright crazy your question might seem, let it out, ask away. In all probability you’ve never done this whole wedding thing before, so nobody expects you to know everything, and remember if there is something that doesn’t quite make sense to you, or that has you a little confused, then there’s a pretty decent chance that someone else has felt the exact same way! Below is just a smattering of some of the questions I’m more frequently asked.
How long have you been shooting weddings?
I’ve been shooting weddings since 2009. This upcoming season (2017/18) will be my 9th season as a wedding photographer. In that time I’ve shot somewhere in the realm of 180 weddings (yep, that’s alot of best man speeches to sit through…)
How many weddings do you shoot each year?
Currently I shoot a maximum of 35 weddings each season. If I take a lot of Full Day bookings early on, then I probably shoot closer to 30. It’s vitally important to remain fresh as a wedding photographer, and I’d hate for my job to begin feeling like a routine.
How would you describe your style?
My style is loosely described as “wedding photojournalism”. I guess this essentially means that it is largely documentary in nature rather than “constructed”. I’m interested in capturing the story and spirit of the celebration, those transient moments that seem to slip away into the ether throughout the course of the day. While I give some loose direction during the bridal portraits session, I’m not interested in directing action or inventing situations. The most important skill a photographer can have when creating strong portraits, is an ability to put the subjects at complete ease. I find the simplest way to do this is by allowing you to be yourselves, playing to the strengths of your unique personalities, and ensuring above all other things, that you are completely in the moment as husband and wife.
What sort of equipment do you shoot with – digital or film?
90% of the time I’ll shoot digitally. I use Nikon D750 bodies with a selection of Nikon and Sigma Art Series prime lenses. Every now and then I’ll also shoot some film. This is really determined by the style and location of the wedding, and whether I think shooting a few roles of film might be conducive to the situation. I love film, it requires so much more consideration and practice than shooting digitally. I’d love to shoot more film at weddings but it is just so prohibitively expensive that it is often unfeasible.
How many images do you typically deliver? Are the images watermaked, do we have to get them printed through you?
Every time I meet a prospective client I make it clear that I don’t shoot to meet a quota. I know there are still photographers who market themselves by promising some ridiculous amount of images. Me, I’ve always been a quality over quantity sort of guy. And while I don’t shoot to a quota, I would typically deliver around 350 fully edited images from a 6hr wedding and around 575 from a 10hr wedding. The images that I deliver are print ready, free of watermarks and are yours to print to your heart’s content. Of course if you do want to have a set of next level fine art prints, then I would recommend coming back through me, however I’ll leave it up to your judgement.
Do you have an assistant/second shooter?
No, I work alone. One of the keys to my style of work is remaining largely unnoticed. I want to capture your guests being themselves, naturally. As soon as people are aware that a camera is pointed in their direction, their behaviour changes, they become more guarded, their body language stiffens, and the laughter that was flowing so freely a moment ago, vanishes. Some clients are concerned that without a second shooter, some element of the day may be missed. I understand this concern. However in all the time I’ve been doing this I’ve never had a client view their wedding photographs and point out a critical moment that they feel has not been documented. Having said all of that, if you still absolutely, positively feel that you need a second shooter, I can provide one.
Are you Insured?
Yes, absolutely. I have Public Liability Insurance of up to five million dollars, and can provide a certificate of currency for your venue if required.
How long does editing of our wedding take – when will we receive our images?
Editing usually takes around 6 – 8 weeks to complete during peak wedding season (November – April) , and a little less time outside of these months. I’m sure alot of people don’t realise that the time spent shooting a wedding may actually only constitute 1/5th of the actual process of producing the wedding. Typically I’d spend somewhere in the vicinity of 20 hrs editing a 6hr wedding.
Do people really book photographers 18 months out from a wedding?
I know it’s hard to believe, but it is true. As soon as you’ve secured your venue, you should be looking at securing your photographer. There are some dates that book out very early every year, most notably the Saturday prior to the Labour Day holiday in March and also both the Saturday and Sunday ahead of the Melbourne Cup holiday in November. Even if you don’t have a venue booked yet, it doesn’t hurt to begin a dialogue with photographers, florists, MUAs that you’re considering. That way once you’ve nailed down a date you will already be someway along the road to deciding who you’d like to hire as vendors.