1. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Wedding planning can be a very stressful task over the course of months. Along with the other planning, finding a wedding photographer can be a huge stressful task because these images will capture the memories of your special day. Whether you are hiring Geoff Bernstein Photography or another studio, we have put together a list of 15 questions to guide you in finding that perfect photographer for your special day.
2. WHAT IS YOUR SHOOTING STYLE?
The style of photography should be the first and foremost question to ask yourself. What type of look do you want? Geoff Bernstein Photography specializes in images that reflect their clients personalities which make them unique to them, the imagery emits a fine-art style through new fashion trends. For more about our wedding photography style and shooting philosophy, check out our About Us page.
3. HOW MANY WEDDINGS HAVE YOU SHOT, AND HAVE YOU SHOT ONES SIMILAR TO MINE?
Many people look at how many years you have been in the business to how many weddings you have shot. Some photographers will shoot only one wedding a year for a friend which does not make them a true wedding photographer. As the photographer, how many weddings they have shot and how many they have photographed in the past year. Knowing the past year will give you a good idea of how they know the industry has changed in the past year, believe me...it changes all the time!
4. HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU WORKED SPECIFICALLY AS A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER?
Some photographers are solely wedding photographers and some are photographers who have other areas of interest as well. Neither of these are a bad thing, but find something that fits you and your needs as a couple. If you are a sporty couple, finding a photographer who enjoys photographing sports just as much as weddings will show through in the imagery. Remember this is someone who will capture your special day, find a style that fits you.
5. HOW MANY OTHER EVENTS WILL YOU PHOTOGRAPH THAT WEEKEND?
Larger studios book multiple events because they have multiple head photographers while some smaller studios book multiple events in the same weekend without having multiple head photographers. Geoff Bernstein Photography is a smaller studio which only books one main event per day which allows us to focus on your special day. We do not all our attention to detail and client services compromised due to over booking.
6. WHO WILL BE THE PHOTOGRAPHER AT OUR WEDDING? WILL WE MEET THEM BEFORE?
Some studios have many head photographers who photograph their weddings. In some cases, the bride and groom will never meet their photographer until their wedding day, some do not use the same photographer for their engagement sessions! Geoff Bernstein Photography uses one main photographer which means you will work with Geoff throughout the months leading up to your special day so you know who you are getting.
7. WILL THERE BE A CONTRACT OF THE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED. IF SO, CAN I GET A COPY?
Many studios do not create contracts for their wedding photography clients. Any service you have completed should have a contract of services you require to be performed. This will provide pricing, services agreed, payment schedule, etc. A contract is created for your protection and the studios protection as well. It should be a requirement for you to have a studio with a contract and stay away from photographer that do not use them. Geoff Bernstein Photography using contracts for all photography portrait/wedding sessions. This allow both parties to agree (in writing) on what they want and what they expect.
8. DO YOU HAVE INSURANCE?
Wedding photography studios should have proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment malfunctions/theft. More importantly it provides liability protection in case of injury. Geoff Bernstein Photography carries business, equipment and liability insurance.
9. DOES THE PACKAGE I AM INTERESTED IN INCLUDE A SECOND PHOTOGRAPHER?
A wedding of 50 or more guest can become a large event for one photographer to cover. Having a second photographer allows them to cover two major moments at the same time. A single photographer can not capture the first kiss and mom/dads expression during that moment.
10. ARE YOUR PRODUCTS OF THE HIGH END QUALITY AND STANDARD?
Another factor in how your pictures will look is the quality of the products that the studio employs. Be extremely careful, some studios use consumer labs which you could use but charge you large markups. All professional high end production labs require the studio to verify their business using a website and now submitting their Tax ID numbers. They only use the highest quality paper, inks, leathers and other materials. This will guarantee that your images last a lifetime!
Unique to Geoff Bernstein Photography, our large mount images 11x14 or larger are always mounted on a styrene backing board and come with a LIFETIME guarantee. We also use the highest quality album manufactures which provide our clients with beautiful life lasting albums.
11. WILL YOU COLOR CORRECT MY IMAGES?
Some studios will not provide full color correction to your digital files, they will only correct “select” images from your wedding. Color correction is the basic post production that corrects any color tones that are not “true.” Geoff Bernstein Photography color corrects all final images on your digital files.
12. WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU USE? DO YOU HAVE BACKUPS?
Our studio uses top quality camera bodies (Nikon D3s) in conjuntion with the finest quality Nikkor (Nikon) lenses. Some photographer do not need the “best” of the best but it is important to have a great set of equipment. Making sure your photographer is using good equipment is the first step to you finding a good photographer. Along with primary equipment, wedding photographer should have backups incase of equipment failure. Make sure you photographer is using at least the equipment listed below along with backups. Nothing is worse than a photographer that can not get the shot due to equipment failure or cheap equipment. We have prepared a list of must have equipment that we believe a professional wedding photographer should have. This is a bare minimum list, so be wary of any wedding photographer that doesn’t have these items.
Primary camera body
- Lowest Level Professional Body – Nikon D300 or Canon 40D
- Highest Level Professional Body – Nikon D3s or Canon 5D Mark II
Secondary camera body
- At least a Nikon D300 or Canon 40D
Lenses (these are must have lenses)
- Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8 (or Canon equivalent)
- Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 (or Canon equivalent)
On camera lighting
- Nikon SB900 (or Canon equivalent)
Off-camera lighting (for large dance floor type scenes)
- Nikon SB900 (or Canon equivalent) w/ Pocket Wizard Trigger
- Full studio flash w/ Pocket Wizard Trigger (or equivalent)
13. SHOULD MY EVENT LAST LONGER THAN SCHEDULED, WILL YOU STAY? IS THERE AN EXTRA CHARGE?
Knowing the studios policy on overages is critical. You do not want to be surprised when your photographer asks for an additional $1,000 before they release your images to you or even worse them packing up when you didn’t know their time was up. Working with your photographer to setup a perfect package for your special day is the main way to make sure they will be there when you need them there.
14. WHAT ATTIRE WILL THE PHOTOGRAPHER AND THEIR ASSISTANTS WEAR?
Even though the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, it’s important that they are not distractions. As such, it’s important for the photographer to blend in as much as possible. Furthermore, for religious or cultural ceremonies, there may be certain colors that are considered taboo. Make sure your photographers will be dressed appropriately for the occasion. Typical Geoff Bernstein wedding photography attire is black suit pants with a black polo, dress shirt or vest. We dress in subtle colors because we want to go unnoticed by the clients and guests, so that we can capture the event as photojournalists.
15. HOW LONG AFTER THE EVENT WILL THE PROOFS, ALBUM, ETC BE READY?
Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that do not do any post production or color correction may try to entice you by saying your photos will be ready the next day, or even within a week. However, some studios can take up to 6 - 12 months!
Geoff Bernstein Wedding Photography has developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. This schedule can be seen below:
- 1-2 Weeks after event – Album design ready, blog teaser posted
- 2-3 Weeks after event – Schedule preview meeting
- 3-5 Weeks after event – Album is delivered (this depends on how much revision is required from the original album)