In most cases, it’s hard to know exactly what to do and when to plan things when it comes to weddings, because you’ve never done it before. Finding and choosing a wedding photographer that is right for you is no exception. No doubt there’ll be questions running through your mind such as, “When should I hire my photographer? How much do I need to save to pay for the service? What do I need to know about the service?”
So, we’ve,‘asked the experts’, because let’s face it, who better to ask than the professionals? Those at Colourstone photography have been in the industry for a total of 22 years, so rest assured they know what they’re talking about!
Lief: How soon should couples plan to book your services before their wedding?
Colourstone: We are normally booked up about 18 months in advance. This does depend on the time of year! We get booked up 18 months in advance for June to Early September weddings. After Christmas till early April we can book 6 to twelve months in advance some years. Christmas weddings are getting more popular too, so book at least 10 months in advance to guarantee a booking from 20th December to early January.
Lief: How much roughly should they budget for services like yours? Does this change with different seasons and days of the week?
Colourstone: No! The quality of the service we offer never changes with the season, neither does our price! We keep things as competitive as possible all year round. A few years ago someone advised couples on a wedding blog that they should wait till, ‘the quiet season for photographers’ and then ring up and ask them to work for half their normal fee. The result was lots of silly photographers going out of business and lots of couples getting sub-standard work. Find a photographer with years of experience and a fair price, within your budget, and you have a very good chance of getting the images you deserve!
Lief: What questions do your couples ask you most? Common concerns, queries etc.
Colourstone: The common question is, “Can we choose what goes into our album or do you decide?” The answer should always be that the couple choose! Many couples ask about paying a deposit to secure the day and ask how much. We are professionals and always require a deposit to secure a given date, normally around 15 to 20%. In return you should receive a legally binding contract that states what you are getting for your money and clearly stating everything you have agreed with your photographer regarding dates, coverage, venue addresses, album pages and quality etc. In addition you should expect some paperwork setting out terms and conditions agreed too. Ask for clarification if you don’t understand anything. Both you and the photographer should sign the contract and you should receive a copy for you to refer to.
Lief: What questions should couples be asking?
Colourstone: Always ask to see a range of work, if your photographer can’t provide at least three albums, ask why? Are they new to the Industry? Ask questions about venues they have worked at; are they similar to your expected venue? Shooting in a hotel can be very different to shooting in a country barn. An experienced photographer will be able to use the sites best features to their advantage. Ask whether they have work that shows the use of additional lighting, especially if your wedding is later in the year or a winter wedding, where you may not be able to rely on, ‘natural’ light.
Lief: What is your busiest time of year? And what is your favourite time of year to work?
Colourstone: Our busiest time of year is June to late September, closely followed by the weeks around Christmas. I love a winter wedding; you really have to work hard to make the light work for you!
Lief: What is your top tip for couples to make sure their wedding day runs smoothly?
Colourstone: Top Tip!! Chat with your photographer. Ask questions about them and see if they ask questions about you! Are they interested in you? Or are they just trying to get your business? Could you imagine spending 8-15 hours with this person? Do you have a similar outlook? Do they share your sense of humour? As your wedding day photographer they will be with you for one of the most emotional days of your life so far, so make sure you are a good fit and the day will go brilliantly! AND! (You knew there had to be an ‘and’, right?) Be honest with your potential photographer! If you want some relaxed group shots but don’t have anybody to organise the group, ask them, “Would you be okay with organising the guests?” Some photographers won’t want to do that, others will be okay. We often end up gently organising the early part of the wedding; it is sometimes the only way things move on!
Lief: Do you have any advice for couples when choosing their wedding venue?
Colourstone: Decide what your Budget is before looking around for a venue. Try to find a venue where the staff and management are friendly, they can be a great help on the day if things go slightly out of time. Respect the venue; especially around food timings. Once again a professional photographer should be aware of the timing for meals etc. and work with the venue staff to ensure you are around when they need you! Most importantly don’t worry if your budget doesn’t stretch to grand venues with magnificent grounds, your photographer should be capable of producing great images wherever your chosen venue is.
We hope this has answered any questions you may have had! And seeing as we’re on the topic, why not check out a recent post by Lief titled, ‘Colourstone Photography’? If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, you have to start somewhere! A link to this blog post can be found below. Thank you for reading, see you soon!