30 great questions to ask before booking your wedding photography & videography team

Booking a videographer or photographer for a destination wedding can be daunting.

You will both have a strong preference regarding the way your photography and videography team works­­­ with you on the day, and the artistic style of their work.

We speak with countless couples, tied into packages, that don’t even know who their photographer and videographer is, let alone have seen their work.

Your photography and videography team is usually with you for the whole wedding day, and are the only vendors that are still working on your wedding for a good while afterwards, too. You are placing great trust in them.

30 great questions to ask before booking your wedding photography & videography team

Before booking a wedding photographer or videographer, consider the following questions

1. Who will shoot my wedding?

This is an important question to ask. Many companies use different shooters to cover each part of a wedding day. None of those shooters will be told what wedding they are working on until the day, and will cover lots of different partial weddings in a day. It’s a logistic mess, and impersonal. 

When you book us, Richard will meet you before your wedding. Richard King will be your primary photographer and lead the team on the day.

2. Are you insured?

Yes, we are insured. Before your book, ask to see the suppliers certificate of insurance.

3. Will I get proper paperwork?

Another important question. We give full contracts, sales orders, receipts, invoices, etc. A lot of suppliers take a tiny deposit, and don’t give paperwork.

We shoot too many last-minute weddings where suppliers have dropped a couple for a better wedding. It’s a horrible practice. They show the lack of commitment right at the beginning with a lack of contract, and then expecting to take cash for the balance on the day.

With us, you get a proper contract, detailing when payments are due. In the lead up to your wedding, we want to be dealing with your wedding details, not the financials. We don’t ask for cash on the day, it’s a stress you don’t need.

4. How long will it take to get my photography and videography back?

Fast is not a sign of good here. We take pride in what we do, hand editing every single delivered photograph. We aim to get sneaky peeks at you within a week or two, and the full wedding delivered within 12 weeks. To edit a full wedding takes a lot of time. A much faster turnaround often means it’s the beginning of the season, the photographer isn’t busy, or they are cutting corners.

5. How will you back up my wedding?

Backing up your wedding is an important part of your photography / videography team’s workflow.

Professionals should have robust backup systems, and they should be able to tell you the how, why, where. We have both on and off-site backups.

6. What is your backup plan?

Be sure to discuss backup plans, illness, or what happens if something changes on the day.

For example, we shot a recent wedding where, because of a member of the bridal party being suddenly ill, the wedding was shifted from the morning to the evening on the day of the wedding. This wasn’t an issue for us, as our team only shoots one wedding a day, and is used to shooting during the night-time. Some teams couldn’t cope with a timeline change like this.

7. What backup equipment will you bring on the day?

With us, each team member shoots with two professional cameras. We bring at least one redundant full set of professional cameras, lenses, and lighting with us at every wedding, too.

We shoot with the very best camera and lighting gear but even these can fail, or get broken. When this happens (it does, it has), we just swap cameras and continue shooting.

Be careful, as some photographers shoot with no backups, or cheap backups.

8. Do you use lighting?

Yes, we do. Lots of it, we specialise in shooting at night, but we use lighting in the day too. If your back is to the sun, your face is in the shade! There are photographers who don’t use lighting, and it shows in the work. You need to decide if this is a style you like.

9. What are you providing for me?

It must detail this in the contract. We have lots of information about this in our brochure and packages. Be sure you are comparing like with like. The really hard work is editing, and that takes time, and that’s where some photographers & videographers really limit what you receive.

Comparing wedding albums, prints and wall art is like comparing cars. There are some outstanding products out there, and there are some shoddy low-quality ones too. We only use GraphStudio (in Italy) for our albums.

10. Can you shoot when it’s dark?

Most wedding photographers seem to avoid shooting at night, which is a shame, because that’s when some of the best photographs are taken. We are experts at using lighting and shooting at night.

11. How experienced are you?

Ask the question, but then have a dig around on social media and websites too. We have been shooting weddings for over 20 years.

There are plenty of photographers who do other jobs, or picked up a camera recently. In photography terms wedding photography is about as difficult as it gets, and the photographer only has one opportunity to get it right too, so don’t take the risk.

12. Can we see full galleries of work?

On this website, you can see lots of full weddings, each showing large images. If you can’t see the same on other photographer’s websites, you need to ask yourself why.

Ask to see at least 5 full weddings. Showing you a couple of headline shots is easy, delivering a full wedding days’ worth of great images in sequence, all of which are perfect, is much harder.

13. Do you provide albums / wall art / folio boxes?

This really shows where your photographer thinks the job ends. Good photographers provide excellent products. They want you to get the photographs on the wall and printed. It’s the whole point of photography. They manage the quality from shoot to product. They will support you when you get the photography printed too.

14. What is special about your albums?

We could discuss this all day. Our albums are bespoke, designed and handcrafted to last a lifetime and beyond. We searched worldwide to find the best of the best.

We take pride in designing your albums in house, we involve you with the choices, we then use GraphiStudio, in Italy as our album makers, and once quality checked, deliver the album to your home.

So many other photographers “package albums” are done to a cheap budget, made quickly from poor materials. They rush and give you the album to take home on the plane, in your already full suitcase. This is a stress you don’t need.

You need to know what you are getting!

15. How do you work on the day?

The questions you need to be asking are: Will you be telling me what to do? Will you be still, or moving about? Will you take over or go with the flow?

Yes, we will prompt you where needed, but in general we are very hands off. We won’t boss you about. Our style is to anticipate things and shoot in real time, the real thing. Others set up everything, pose everything and take over.

16. What is your style?

There is marketing and style! Lots of words are thrown around when photographers talk about style, but many of them have nothing to do with style at all. Plenty of photographers say they are candid, but then only show posed shots – so check out the portfolio first, and full weddings too.

You must love the work!

Consider carefully what style you want. This year’s fad is next year’s cliché. Our style is observational, authentic, and candid. We shoot the real thing in real time. In a strong realistic way, we shoot, light and edit. We are aiming for a timeless look that won’t look dated.

17. Do you do lots of posing?

This is a great question; even observational photographers need to pose some things. Remember, posing takes time, and breaks the flow of the day. Some couples love to be posed; others prefer the natural look.

18. How long will my images / video be stored online for?

Some photographers and videographers only put things online for a short amount of time, so it is worth double checking this. You wouldn’t want to go back 6 months later to find out your wedding has been removed.

19. How do you dress on the day?

We are respectful, and dress accordingly. Smart, functional, and blending in.

20. How will we get to photoshoots?

We provide a luxury Mercedes limousine. With us, you arrive in style.

21. Will we have a pre-wedding meeting?

Some photographers don’t do meetings as it takes up valuable time. With us, we always come to meet you, face to face, before your wedding. This is an essential part of our service to you. We find out what you do and don’t want. You can ask lots of questions, and we get to know each other before the day.

22. Are you paying a commission?

Lots of hotels, resorts and wedding planners create packages that are not transparent. Large commissions are changing hands. This can mean your photography and videography team isn’t being paid what you thought they were. This has the knock-on effect that they are working harder, shooting more weddings, needing to cut corners, just to make a living. This affects what you receive in terms of quality and service.

We think you deserve more. We are totally independent, which is why we are not in any of these cut down packages, and never pay commission to shoot. It’s your wedding and money. You deserve to know where it is going.

23. How many weddings do you shoot in a day?

This is an important question. Some teams send different people to cover different parts of the day, with shooters covering multiple weddings a day.

We are 100% focused on your wedding. We only shoot one wedding a day.

24. Will there be recorded sound on my video?

Recording, syncing, and editing sound is complex. This question is an indication of how much work the videography team is doing. We provide audio for all of the important parts of the day (speeches, ceremony, etc.)

25. Will you Photoshop me?

Editing takes a long time to do properly, so do ask how many images get edited? What does fully edited mean? And how many images are finished in Photoshop?

26. Who edits my wedding video and photography?

The increasing trend is for photographers and videographers to outsource editing, usually to cheap companies in Thailand. The quality of outsourced editing ranges from poor to good. Often there is a complete disconnection with the intention of the photographer on the day, and the editor.

We are artists, totally in control of the whole process. We edit everything in-house. For us, the artistic process starts on the day, and is finished in the edit.

27. Can you shoot a small/large wedding like mine?

Some teams can’t cope with very large or micro weddings. We have shot everything from just the couple to weddings with 1000’s of guests spanning several days.

28. How do I book?

How do I book? How and when do I pay? These are all important questions to ask right at the beginning.

We have a fully interactive booking form that works out pricing, explains payment dates and lets you choose your perfect package without pressure. We explicitly make a point of never pressuring couples, pushing them into something they don’t want, demanding to call you before sending pricing, or make up a price as we go.

Our policy is to be fair, open, and transparent. If you need help, we can guide you with timings to choose the right package, but the choice is yours, you just have to ask, we are here to help.

29. When is your office open?

This is a big question. Many wedding companies, even large ones, close their office for half the year in the off season, then don’t have the staff to cope in the busy season either. This means that it’s often hard to get answers.

Our office is open all year round, full time, to answer your questions. You can contact us in regular Cyprus and UK office hours too. You can email us, speak to us on live chat, call our phone line, or write to us.

30. Do you give me copyright?

Another common question. For technical legal reasons, the answer ought to be no, but they should give you a licence to use the photography how you want.

In our case, this means you get the images, in full size, ready to print, with a full non-commercial licence for image usage, how you see fit.

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