Time for the honest truth! I have a lot of couples asking me why it's important to have a consultation with me. I always recommend that my clients and I should have at least ONE (or more) consultation, whether it is in person or skype (cause lets be fair, we all get nervous during the days leading up to that big day). So here it is! The uncut and raw questions that every wedding photographer wants to ask their brides, and questions every brides should be asking their potential wedding photographer. By doing this, you are giving us photographers more insight into your life that will ultimately lead to you getting the images that you want on your big day. So let’s do this! I've I’ve split the questions into two sections: questions I asked the bride, and then the questions she asked me and remember these are 100% honest questions/answers from a future bride!
Here are my questions to the bride:
SMP: How did you and your fiancé meet?
BRIDE: I have worked at a motocross track for years so many people come through my gates. After working there for years you get to know most of the regulars. Last summer I had this very good looking guy come in my booth to sign up his son. I had seen him at other tracks and had small talk with him here and there, but today after he signed up and chatted for a minute I couldn't get him off my mind. I caught myself wondering if he was taken or not. I sent him a friend request on Facebook that day and sent a simple message "Not to step on anyone's toes but you are very good looking". Kinda creepy I know. Haha but totally honest. He messaged back and we talked a bit. He thought his buddy had put me up to the message and he replied " why would the hot track girl want to talk to me". From them on we couldn't stop talking. Ending up in sending 3,000 text messages in just one week. I knew from then on he was the one I wanted to share my life with
SMP: How did he pop the question to you?
BRIDE: We are huge coffee drinkers and always have little coffee dates at home. One night we were talking over coffee and I was joking with him about how he should just do it already and ask me. That is just what he did. I was laying on the couch and he was propped up against the side of it, pulled the most beautiful ring out and said "Fine here you go, will you marry me". I was shocked. I couldn't say a word because my heart was pounding so fast and couldn't wrap my head around it for a minute. Then of course I said YES!!!!
SMP: How is the wedding planning going?
BRIDE: Wedding planning is going I guess. A lot of stress but enjoying it as well. I already have my dress, looking at a few locations. We are possibly thinking smaller and sooner, but that's all still up in the air.
SMP: Who controls the remote at home?
BRIDE: We both are pretty equal with the remote. We share a huge interest in the same stuff so honestly we have never fought over what to watch.
SMP: What is your favorite thing to do together?
BRIDE: We love having coffee dates. Just sitting on the couch talking over a nice hot cup of coffee. But our main thing we love to do together is honestly anything motocross related.
SMP: Is photography an important aspect at your wedding?
BRIDE: Photography is a huge aspect in my wedding. I come from a family that owns a photography business and has owned it since before I was born. I grew up loving to take photos and capturing the moment. So having lots of photos of my special day is huge for me.
SMP: Would you rather have more candid photos than posed, more posed than candid or a good mixture of both?
BRIDE: I love a good posed shot but I'm all about the moment. Capturing someone laughing, crying happy tears, embracing someone they love, now that's the moments I want to remember. A still shot is great but when you capture a moment so perfect without them knowing is wonderful.
SMP: Does your budget hold you back on what you really want for your wedding?
BRIDE: Our budget is just a number. Honestly if it was just my fiancé and I alone in a field and that how we got married is just as special as having 1000 people there to watch. It would be great not having to budget but as long as I have the love of my life and kids I'm totally happy with anything. So our budget doesn't really hold us back.
SMP: What do you hope to get out of the whole experience of your wedding day?
BRIDE: I hope to get a lot of memories made out of the big day. Sharing it with my family and friends is amazing. I'm just so excited to take his name and start our new journey as a family together.
SMP: Do you think finding a wedding photographer that fits your style is important?
BRIDE: Finding a photographer that fits my style is huge. I love a photographer that can joke and make it fun while taking photos. I don't want someone that isn't upbeat taking photos, it just doesn't make people want to get moments captured.
SMP: How big of a wedding party are you looking at?
Our plan right now for a wedding party is about 125-150 people. But like I said before we may end up doing something smaller and sooner.
BRIDE: Are you going the traditional route with the bouquet & garter toss, or are you looking for something different/skipping them all together?
I'm totally doing the garter toss and flower toss. They are just fun little things to do and I did catch the flowers at my step sister’s wedding and looks who is getting married now. Haha
SMP: Is having an album included with your wedding package important to you? And would you rather order prints through your photographer, or have the ability to print them off yourself? or both?
BRIDE: I'm all about having a wedding album made from the photos. I want as many photos that captured love, happiness, joy, a new life starting, and just plain having fun. I want to be able to look back on it all. I would love to be able to order prints from the photographer but also have the rights to them incase years later I want to blow up a photo or do a project with them.
SMP: When would you like to see a sneak peak from your wedding photographer on social media (facebook)? Do you want your images posted on social media, or would you rather your photographer keep them off the internet?
BRIDE: It would be very cute to have a sneak peak on Facebook or another social media site of the wedding. I'm more than willing to share my special day with the world.
Here are the questions from the bride:
BRIDE: How many weddings have you photographed?
SMP: Between being the main and second photographer it’s right around 50. I started photographing weddings in 2012, but have been photographing portraits since 2010.
BRIDE: How early do I have to book you for my wedding day? Also is my wedding day available?
SMP: I prefer at least six months to a year ahead of time, especially if you really love that particular photographers work. You’d be amazed how many brides I have inquiring about the same day, it’s crazy.
I keep a calendar of the days that I am booked for weddings on my website, so if it’s not listed there I have it open.
BRIDE: Do you have any references I can speak to that have had you shoot their wedding?
SMP: I do, I can contact you with any of my couples. All you have to do is ask!
BRIDE: Would you be able to do photos of myself and my bridal party as we get ready?
SMP: I LOVE when brides want getting ready photos, I always have the most fun because it’s all candid and everyone is so excited! Plus it gets everyone use to the camera being around.
BRIDE: Do you have an assistant that comes with you?
SMP: Most of my wedding collections do include a second photographer. I normally don’t bring an assistant with me to weddings with less than 50 guests, but if you feel like I should have one we can do work that out!
BRIDE: What was your favorite photo session you have ever done and why was it your favorite?
SMP: Oh geez, there are so many, and I love all my clients the same. But, the most memorable is last year’s engagement session with Kassandra and Robert. It was the last time I saw her, and it was beautiful seeing her so in love and happy. I remember her telling me about all the neon that she was planning to have at the wedding, and I just laughed and told her that she would. She was the girl that dyed her hair BRIGHT red when we were in Europe together back in 2010, and she was wearing multicolored converse at her engagement session!
BRIDE: Do you have backup equipment in case something may happen?
SMP: YES. I try to back up everything as much as I can, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
BRIDE: How many hours will you be at the event?
SMP: It depends on how many you book. My collections range from six hours to ten or more. But I also have hourly prices for anything less than six.
BRIDE: Have you ever shot a barn wedding before? Do you have an album that I can look through from start to finish to get an idea of how my photos may come out?
SMP: I have shot multiple barn weddings, if you want to see those particular weddings I can show you them.
I also try to keep at least one sample of every print product I offer so you can see how they will look. I have multiple albums as well with different designs to them.
BRIDE: What brought you into photography?
SMP: I always dislike answering this question. I just have such a strange story with photography, it’s not the dream job I wanted since I was a little girl, and not the dream job my family wanted for me either! It was just one of those things that just happened, and it really kicked off my senior year of high school when I took a photography class. I went from wanting to either be an epidemiologist or a psychologist to a photographer! Not even remotely close to the same field, but I’ve always been more on the creative side.
BRIDE: Is photography your main work? How long will it take to edit and get the proofs back to review them and order them?
SMP: I also have a second job, but I don’t let either job affect the other. It usually takes about six to eight weeks for weddings to be delivered in my main wedding season (June-October) but I try to get them to you as soon as I can. I try to post at least one sneak peek on facebook within twelve hours of the wedding, and then a few when I am editing the rest of the wedding.
BRIDE: Do you mind if non professional photographers are also taking photos?
SMP: I honestly prefer weddings to be unplugged. I understand everyone wants pictures on their phone to upload to instagram or facebook, but for the important parts of the day their attention should be only on the bride and groom. I’ve had weddings where family members completely missed watching the first dance or missed the cute, funny moments in the ceremony because their faces were stuck in their phones trying to get a picture. It’s YOUR big day, and everyone should be celebrating your lives coming together as one, when you’re behind your phone, you’re taking yourself away from the emotional connection to the day.
However, my contract does state that I will not be held responsible for missed or ruined shots due to guest interference, and that the formal photography time is exclusive to me to capture the formal wedding portraits. And with most weddings, there are HUGE time constraints where I really need the wedding parties full attention, and you two need a few moments to be together alone after the ceremony so I requested those to be done at a separate time.
BRIDE: What will be your and your assistants (if you have one) attire for the wedding day?
SMP: I always dress formally, even at the most informal weddings. (Ask my brother and sister in law, everyone else but me and my assistant were in jeans, besides my sister in law of course!) Usually in darker formal wear, I either wear a darker colored dress in summer and black dress pants the rest of the year.
BRIDE: What is your favorite thing to capture on a wedding day? (the grooms face when he sees the bride, the dad giving away his daughter, the mother seeing her daughter in her gown, the couple locking eyes for the first time, etc)
SMP: I love details, so the ring pictures, pictures of the dress, and decorations are my favorite. But, my absolute favorite part is the father daughter dance. I’m really close to my dad, and when I see a dad cry during the dance I start crying too!
I hope that gave you a little insight into what a consultation with me entails, and what types of questions you should be asking your photographer/bride. Thank you Katie for answering my questions, and giving me some amazing ones back!