OK after speaking to many brides and grooms and also to several other wedding photographers,I have concluded that it might be interesting to publish a wee article around questions to ask your photographer.
Now this is not by any means an exhaustive list but might prove useful to some .
How to Choose your wedding photographer is one of the most important items on any couples’ wedding planning list. Your wedding photographs are one of the few tangible things that will remain long after your wedding day so it makes sense to give your photographer a bit of a grilling before making your final decision.
So to help with your decision-making process, I thought I would suggest some sensible questions, and at the same time give you my response.
A sort of question and answer session with only one person (its my split personality of you like)
1. Can you show me complete albums from weddings?
On the galleries of this website I have a selection of (but his is just a small selection)in our wedding portfolio. By far the best way however is when we meet for your (no obligation) consultation when I will show you examples of a number of completed weddings – and various sample albums , so you are seeing what a final finished album would look like from several complete weddings .All my albums feature only my own work .
2. Why should I choose Colin Turtle as our Wedding Photographer
I have been taking photographs for many years and am fairly relaxed in my approach. I never forget that its YOUR day and I want you and your guests to enjoy the whole experience. So from the preparations starting at the brides home until the speeches I try to keep things fun and enjoyable.
3: How would you define your style?
I normally take a mixture of formal and informal images thus capture the story and emotion of the entire day. Often I will try and incorporate a bit of free time for you to relax and spend with your guests. During this time I am still working as I will be around taking candid shots and also many of those small details and images you will never realise are being taken. The style can be as modern or traditional as your wish.
I also try to include some ‘iconic’ type images that will have that little extra ‘wow’ factor. tend In reality however it is your wedding and I will work with you to achieve the images you want. The ultimate aim is to produce a set of images that capture the fun, emotion and tell the story of your day in a fun and relaxed manner. I also love to produce those iconic images that you will be proud to display on the walls of your home. You can find out a bit more here.
4. I have certain pictures I think Iwould like – can you do these?
My views are very much that this is your wedding so fr me nothing is too much trouble. I am happy to have an attempt at most things to achieve what you would like.
5. What about Insurance ?
No problem , I am fully insured with Public Liability and Professional Indemnity and all my equipment is covered . I also make sure that I carry a full range of backup equipment with me to every wedding so that in the (unlikely) event that some kit does fail I can quickly and easily carry on. This culture of ensuring backups also applies to all my processing equipment and computers where I store your images . I have multiple backup systems .
6. What happens if you fall ill on the day?
Unless I happen to be admitted to hospital I would make every effort humanly possible to attend. (I’ve never failed to attend any booking yet). However I am also a member of a group of professional photographers who are all qualified and we have reciprocal relationships to offer standby support if such an event were to occur.
7. What happens if it is bad weather?
Well its just one of those things, I can control a lot of things but the weather is beyond even me. In truth it depends a lot of the locations available. Some venues are stunningly beautiful inside others perhaps less so. But lets be honest for Northern Ireland Weddings there is a fair chance of the odd shower.
We could all just get the brollies out and have a bit of fun in the rain. Normally I would discuss all of this at your consultation and would always have alternatives in mind just in case. Bottom line is that no matter what the conditions are I will work hard to ensure you get beautiful pictures.
8. Do you allow my guests to take pictures?
Why would I not? At the end of the day this is your wedding not mine. I have even been known to be standing there with a row of cameras in front of me as I take shots for those who are in the shot.I always feel that it is important for you and your other guests to enjoy your day and so I will happily do anything in my power to facilitate that.
9. Can you take a special pictures of favourite friends/relations etc?
How long will all the group shots take?
Absolutely its no problem at all to try and take any picture you want. Indeed frequently during the day you will probably hear me asking that very question .We can discuss all of this at your consultation when working out timings. The only thing to be aware of is that lots of group shots can take a bit of ‘rounding up’ time so you may need to allow me a little extra time within your planning schedule.
I normally try to work on the basis of at least 5 minutes per formal family group and up 15 minutes if you would like a big a group shot of all guests. Its also a good idea to factor in 15-20 mins for the leaving of the ceremony and congratulations . Obviously all of these will depend on numbers and everyone being available.
I also love to be able to get away for a little while with just the two of you. This is a chance for some quiet time and to produce those beautiful shots. – the longer you spend the better results, but ideally about 30-40 minutes with a couple on their own. This also depends a bit on the venue and any walking distance between shots.
10. When will I see my pictures and when will I receive my Album,
I always try to have your proof images ready for viewing by the time you return from Honeymoon (around 2-3 weeks). I like to organise a proper ‘viewing session’ in the studio where we can go through the images and make album choices.
I then design a draft layout album design and you can approve the final layout. Once finalised I then allow 6 weeks to get the album back from the printers and into your hands.
11. Can I get digital copies of my images
Of course – its your wedding – in this modern age of electronic communications I think its only right to provide you with these. Note that the copyright remains with us as the photographer, however we grant you a license to use the images for personal use which means that you can get extra prints, share on social media etc. I will also post a small selection of images on social media which you are free to use however you wish(if you prefer for this not to be done I will of course respect that ).However please note that many high street labs would not be able to give the same quality of printing as a professional photography printing lab.
12. How can I be sure that we will get along and that the pics will be good.
In all honesty I can tell you that technically speaking I am qualified and have won awards etc etc but it tall comes down to personality and trust. Do you feel that we will get on and work well together and do you trust that the work I have shown you is consistently good.The only way to really know is to meet up and have a chat about your requirements .
Its not just about the photography itself, (as corny as it sounds) I do feel honoured when someone entrusts their wedding photography to me. You are not only a valued client , but I hope to become your friend, that is very important to me to ensure I don’t miss anything.
One of the ways we both get to know each other better is on the pre-wedding photo shoot where we can spend an hour or so in an informal fun way and you get some great relaxed shots .
13. Wedding photography is very expensive?
Well it really depends on your viewpoint . Apart from the Wedding Dress and the Wedding Rings, your Wedding photographs are most likely going to be the only tangible items you will have left after the big day – memories are precious, so you deserve the best of quality for your wedding day. I therefore want to deliver to you a high quality hand made product that will stand the test of time for generations to come .
Every album I produce is hand made and individually designed to order so is totally unique . So there is something for most budgets. It is also important to consider that the time spent taking pictures on the day is really only a small part of the effort to produce your fully edited pictures, and then to design and produce your album.
14. Who will actually take my photographs?
I personally shoot and process all the weddings myself All bookings undertaken are shot my myself (Colin Turtle) . In some cases if you require a second shooter I have other associates whom I call upon . They will also shoot in a similar style.
All of the images are personally edited and the albums individually designed my me.
15. How far ahead do I need to book?
That really does depend on many factors. I suppose the rule of thumb should be ‘as soon as possible’ but it really is a personal choice. Some couples plan their wedding in a relatively short time period, so we can and do get bookings at relatively short notice others plan 2, 3 or even 4 years in advance. Obviously weekend dates on July and August will tend to book up a bit quicker than a Tuesday in November!.
16. Do you travel ?
I cover the whole of Northern Ireland. However I have also been invited to cover weddings further afield in which case I may ask for a small travel supplement (or accommodation supplement if a trip would require overnight accommodation) . I am more than willing to accept bookings for weddings anywhere in the United Kingdom or indeed Overseas. In such cases I would have to work out the travel and expenses costs involved.
17. Do we have to choose your album package at the time of booking?
No you can choose/change your package right up to within 1 month of the wedding for traditional style albums. This allows you to be aware of the latest album styles and packages available. As storybook albums are bespoke design you can change your decision on them right up until we send off the order.
18. Wonderful. How do we take this forward?
That’s very easy. Contact me to arrange an initial meeting, we can have a chat about your wedding plans and I can show you some more of my work? I have a recently developed viewing area and studio near to Broughshane, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. I will even supply the coffee (or tea) and biscuits. If you are contacting us from a distance or are based overseas we can arrange a telephone conference call and present our work to you over the Internet.
19. Great. How can we get in touch?
Easy. Complete our enquiry form by clicking the Contact me at the top of this page or give us a call on 02825862312 or 07734794799.
So there you have it – if you have any other questions not on this list, please feel free to contact me .
Wedding Photographer Northern Ireland