Many times when I meet with a client to discuss their plans and expectations, the client will have no idea what questions to ask, so we usually have a long rambling visit that while it may establish a sense of rapport, gives the client no clear understanding of my qualifications as their photographer, outside of a website and a couple of sample albums. So, in order to better inform my clients, I have gathered the following questions to help clients develop a plan to their interviews.
1. How long have you been photographing weddings?
I first began to photograph weddings while stationed in Germany in the late 1980’s, providing a professional, economical service to fellow soldiers. The benefit to this longevity is my experience in film photography, with the attention to detail the film medium required.
2. Is this your Full Time Job?
Yes. Since retirement from the army in November 2013, I have been fortunate to be able to pursue professional Photography on a full time basis.
3. Why do you photograph weddings?
It's Fun! As a photographer, I started to photograph weddings because of the excitement of capturing those once in a lifetime images. I enjoy the opportunity to provide a service to my clients and have my work be a part of their lives for generations to come.
4. Do you have a website?
Yes, hosted on Zenfolio at http://stevenfrancisphotography.zenfolio.com/
5. Can I give you a list of the shots I want?
Absolutely! I always push back to the bride and groom for a list of those shots they consider ‘must have’ to incorporate into my shooting plan. Any idea or concept the client has that will help define their day is a welcome addition to my plan.
6. What is your primary style?
I tend toward a photojournalistic style with my wedding photography, but am flexible enough to shift to a more traditional or avant-gard style, depending on the wishes of the client. I work with my clients to develop a clear understanding of their expectations in order to deliver the memories of their day in the way they want.
7. How many weddings have you shot, and have you shot ones similar to mine?
I first started photographing weddings in the 1980s’, while stationed in Germany with the Army, and continued photographing weddings both on my own and with other studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a total of 10 weddings during the film era. In 2014, I have completed 12 weddings, with many more booked for the remainder of this year and 2015. Each wedding is different, from casual, country chic to same sex to large, traditional weddings. I handle each wedding as a unique event unto itself.
8. How many other events will you photograph that weekend?
When I book a wedding on my calendar, I only work that on event per day. So, for example, I may schedule a wedding on a Friday, with a second on a Saturday or Sunday. However, I take care to not over or double book, and will turn down a Wedding rather than over extend myself, in order to maintain the proper attention to detail and client service my customers deserve.
9. Will there be a contract of the services to be provided. If so, can I get a copy?
Absolutely! I provide Photographer Job Agreements to my clients, listing all the particulars of my services to be provided, hours of the event, location and date/time detail, and payment details. In this manner, both parties have an exact listing of what is expected and required.
10. What happens if the photographer is ill?
In the event the photographer is ill and cannot perform, then I will arrange for another photographer to take on the job; a photographer I have experience with and a similar style. This will be at NO additional charge to you, regardless of costs involved.
11. Do you have insurance?
Yes; as a member of the Professional Photographers Association (PPA), I am insured for both my equipment as well as liability.
12. Does the package I am interested in include an assistant?
An Assistant photographer is not normally included; a second photographer may be included at an additional cost.
13. Will you color correct my images?
Absolutely! Color correction is the most basic post production that should be done on every single image. Every proof I post to your online gallery has been color balanced to ensure even skin tones and correct lighting.
14. What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
It is important for your photographer to have the proper equipment needed to capture the images you want. I have worked with Nikon Brand equipment for over 20 years. I currently use a Nikon D800 as my primary camera body, with a Nikon D7000 as my secondary; I never photograph a weddinig with only one camera.
When I arrive at a Wedding, I will bring a full bag of equipment, with multiple Flash units for use both on and off camera as the situation warrants, to include lightstands and radio triggers. I carry a Nikon 28-85 mm, 18-200mm, 50mm prime, 85mm portrait lens, as well as a 14mm fisheye lens.
15. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Is there an extra charge?
I will never leave the event before it is complete. The duration of the event will be determined during our face to face meetings; the Photographers Job Agreement will detail the rates for additional hours over the contracted amount.
16. What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
Your photographer must dress and act as a professional while working your wedding. During cooler months, I will typically wear a dark suit and tie, with clean polished shoes. During summer months, I will typically wear slacks, black or white shirt with tie, in addition to a black vest. My goal is to dress professionally, while not out dressing the Groom; my goal is to go unnoticed by the clients and guests, so that I can capture the event as a photojournalist.
17. 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; most studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months. My goal is to have a first look up on Facebook within 24 hours, with initial images ready for you to view on your online gallery within 7-10 days, final complete images within 2-3 weeks.