How to find the right company
Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing your photographer & Videographer
What to Look for in a Wedding Photographer
Photography is so much more than just having a nice camera or taking a lot of pictures to cover your bases. The first thing we hear from all of our assistants trying to become professionals is, “Wedding photography is harder than I thought it would be.” Our answer is, “Of course it is!” The goal of this information is to help you choose the right photographer for your wedding.
Expertise – Being Technical and Creative
A professional wedding photographer should not only be versed in the technical side of the trade, but they must also be artistic and creative. Those are two opposite personality traits. How many people do you know who are very technologically savvy and artistically creative at the same time?
Having a great camera and technical skills will allow the wedding photographer to capture exposed, well-lit images regardless of the lighting situation and time constraints. On the other hand, having great creative skills will allow the wedding photographer to approach each shot with a unique viewpoint and artistic vision ensuring that the shots are not just photos, but they are beautiful images.
Personality – Being Personable and Charismatic
Just as important than their technical knowledge and creativity are the wedding photographers interpersonal skills. How well do they get along their clients and guests at the wedding? Are they outgoing, personable, charismatic, professional, and honest?
Not including engagement shoots, bridal shoots, etc. You are going to be spending a full day with your photographer on the most important day of your life. A wedding photographer with a personality that matches your own is essential to the overall experience of your wedding.
Experience – Professionals or Part Time
Once you get past technique, creativity, and personality, the next thing you should be looking for is experience. Is the wedding photographer actually a professional photographer, or is this their “weekend gig”? How many weddings has this photographer shot?
While experience is important, some of the best and most hardworking wedding photographers we have are experienced photographers, that shoot weddings on the weekends but do it as a there full-time gig such as teaching in a school, doing studio work , commercial work so yes doing photography is great but the art of doing a wedding is just as important, and you should make sure that you hire someone that is both.
Quality over Quantity
When seeking a photographer, don’t get caught up with a number of products each photographer is promising. Stay focused on the actual quality of the work provided. We realize that some people are working within a budget. Think to yourself that you can always purchase an album or additional prints later (even 5-10 years later), but you can’t change the quality of the photographs taken at the wedding after the wedding day.
We strive to tell clients if there is something you need to cut from your package to make it more affordable, start with the products. Cut the prints from the package, remove the album, but don’t go with a cheaper photographer because they are willing to give you all the products you want up front. If you can, always keep at least two photographers in your package.
Having More than One Photographer
We often are asked the question, “Why do I need more than one wedding photographer?”
Well, if you were to look at a wedding written up as a movie script, you would see a primary storyline surrounded by smaller side stories that are happening at the same moment. For example, during a wedding ceremony, the main story is, of course, the bride and groom. However, there may be multiple side stories occurring at the same moment. For instance, mom or dad wiping the tear from their eyes or the flower girl sitting in the corner picking petals from a rose in her hands.
No matter how good a photographer is, he/she cannot be at all places at the same time; and so, to compensate, we use multiple wedding photographers, each with a different focus. For example, our lead photographer focuses strictly on the bride and groom. Our second wedding photographer would focus on reaction shots from the family, guests, etc. Our third (when needed) would focus on creative imagery by constantly surveying and moving around the scene to find unique angles and compositions of our subjects.
Having multiple photographers enables our team to broaden the coverage and creative eyes at the event. While we recommend two photographers regardless of the size of your wedding, we tell clients that it is almost required if you have 250 plus people at the wedding, and when shooting video we do 2 cameras no matter what.
General– What You Need to Know
Wedding Photography is no easy subject and interviewing potential wedding photographers can be a daunting task. Regardless of if you are hiring the JKN Productions or another studio, we have created a list of questions and this entire page to help you find the perfect photographer for your wedding day.
What is your primary style?
This should be your first and foremost question as this is the style of photography that interests you. JKN Studios are primarily photojournalists and traditional style with hints of fashion and fine-art influenced wedding photography techniques. For more about our wedding photography style and philosophy, check out our gallery and images on our site.
Does the package I am interested in include an assistant?
If your wedding has 125 or more guests, you should make sure you step up to a package that has an assistant photographer. Aside from the wedding site, there are many moments in which one single photographer cannot cover completely alone. There is no way to capture the first kiss, and at the same time, turn around and get the tear in mother’s eye.
How many times have you worked specifically as a wedding photographer?
This question is designed to find out if the photographers are specialized in wedding photography or they are “one-stop-shop-photographers.” More specifically, you would be better off looking for a photographer that specializes, not only in wedding photography but the style of wedding photography.
How many other events will you photograph that weekend?
Larger studios with multiple Lead photographers (such as JKN Studios ) will often double and even triple book dates since we have the resources. However, smaller studios may plan multiple weddings on a weekend without having the resources. Imagine a studio with a single wedding photographer shooting 2-3 weddings on a weekend, the attention to the detail, and to the client, the service could suffer in these circumstances.
Will a contract of the services be provided? If so, can I get a copy?
There are a lot of studios that don’t create contracts for their wedding photography clients. You should require a contract from your photographer that details what services they will be providing, pricing, termination resolution terms, etc. A contract is created for your protection, and for the wedding photographer’s protection. It is best to hire a photographer that will build a contract with you, and be wary of photographers that “don’t typically create contracts for clients.”
What happens if the photographer is ill?
While it is unlikely that the photographer happens to get ill on your wedding day, there is still a chance. It is crucial that the photography studio does something to take care of the situation in case of illness. JKN has four equally skilled Lead photographers (Jeff, Kerry, John, and Tom) that can take over in case someone is sick. We also schedule one backup shooter per 3 weddings we have on any given day to ensure that we will always be ready.
Do you have insurance?
Professional wedding photographers should have the proper insurance for their business. Insurance protects the photographer against equipment theft, but more importantly, it provides liability protection in case Great Grandmother Sady trips over the photographer’s bag and breaks her leg. If a wedding photographer does not have insurance, chances are they are new to the industry or are not taking their business seriously.
JKN Studios carries general business, equipment and liability insurance.
Will you edit my images?
Since editing and color correction is the basic post-production, it should be used on every single image. Many photographers will not color correct any, or will only color correct “select” images from your wedding. This means that you may have a lot of pictures where your skin tones are orange, yellow, red or even blue.
JKN Studios color corrects every single image from your wedding to make sure each and every image is a professional quality product.
What kind of equipment do you use? Do you have backups?
Our studio uses top quality camera bodies Canon, Nikon, Sony along with the finest quality lenses on the market.
While wedding photographers don’t necessarily need the best of the best, it is important to have a good set of equipment. Make sure your photographer has at least the following items along with backups. Nothing would be worse than for the photographer to miss half of your weddings because his camera or lens broke, and he didn’t have a spare.
Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Is there an extra charge?
Knowing up front the photographer’s policy on overages is critical. You don’t want to be surprised when your wedding photographer asks for an additional $1,000 before they release your pictures to you. Even worse, you don’t want your wedding photographer to just pack up and leave when their time is up.
What attire will the photographer and their assistants wear?
Even though the wedding photographers are a big part of the wedding day, it’s important that they are not distractions. As such, it’s important for the photographer to blend in as much as possible. Furthermore, for religious or cultural ceremonies, there may be certain colors that are considered taboo. Make sure your photographers will be dressed appropriately for the occasion. Typical our JKN photographers attire is black suit pants with a black polo or dress shirt. We dress completely in black because we want to go unnoticed by the clients and guests so that we can capture the event as photojournalists, and when we do our posed traditional images we look clean and professional.
How long after the event will the proofs, album, digital files etc be ready?
Each wedding photography studio varies in the time it takes to produce and deliver your pictures. Studios that do not do any post production or color correction may try to entice you by saying your photos will be ready within the week, or even the next day. However, most studios that develop and produce their images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.
JKN Productions has developed a consistent production schedule in order to deliver an amazing product in an exceptionally quick manner. This schedule can be seen below:
2-3 Weeks for Engagement, Family, Newborn, Anniversary Photography Sessions.
2-4 Weeks for Weddings and Receptions/ Digital files color corrected and or proofs, and for the final albums and enlarged images if your packages calls for those items then it can take
3-6 weeks after the order and the ok from the customer after it leaves our album designers.
REASONS TO HIRE THE SAME COMPANY
It’s not a foreign concept in the wedding industry. Wedding Photographers and Videographers can sometimes butt heads, with both sets of professionals jockeying for similar angles, sharing limited time on the busy wedding day.
“The photographer used up all the couples session time!”
“The videographer ruined my shot of the grand entrance!”
“The photographer keeps using flash!”
“The videographer keeps interrupting my posing!”
As a studio with both photography and cinematography, we can understand both sides. The solution is simple and starts with the realization that client happiness is the only thing that matters that day.
Both sides need to swallow their pride, compromise, and share the limited time and space. With strong communication and the right attitude, true professionals should be able to work together to get a complete product for the sake of the client.
To avoid the risk, it’s best to book a single combined package with the same company for both photography and videography. Here are 5 reasons why:
1) The Shared Incentives and Accountability
This much is obvious: a photographer wants to get the best possible images from a wedding and the videographer wants to capture the best possible cinema from the wedding. Their business reputations are on the line.
By hiring the same company you align priorities, and both teams are incentivized to create the best possible COMBINED product. This leads to both teams being more willing to share time, communicate, and coordinate.
Hiring the same company also makes one company 100% accountable for the final results, so your separate creative teams can’t blame each other for missed shots, ruined shots, bad communication and other potential issues.
We read this below on Facebook and feel this would be very helpful, As you read it, ask yourself this: would the cinematographer posting this comment have let this happen if he and the photographers were part of the same company?
If they were part of the same company, I’m sure they would have had a strong relationship rather than expressing happiness at the other’s failures. Furthermore, they would have supported each other and ensured that everyone was in position for the major events of the wedding.
2) Better Communication, Workflow & Positioning
Shared teams have experience working with one another, so they can anticipate each other’s positioning, style, and needs. This results in fewer shots “ruined” by one team obstructing the angle of the other.
Think of it like this: you wouldn’t hire a band who is performing together for the first time at your wedding. You probably wouldn’t bet on a basketball team who doesn’t play together regularly. The synergies between photo and video teams who work together all the time will translate into a better overall product.
Here are a few real-world situations that we have experienced:
First Dance: Our cinema teams know that our photo teams want a few wide-angle shots of the first dance before moving on to close-up and medium crops. So cinema stays off of the dance floor for the first 10 seconds, allowing our photo team to get what they need before moving in for cinematic actions shots closer to the couple.
Couples Session (Drone Shots): Our photo teams know when our cinema teams need drone shots during a couples session, so they find a covered area (or dark shaded area) in order to stay out of the video.
Couples Session Action and Walking Shots: There are certain shots during couples session that we know both photo and video need. One example is a fun and casual walking shot that introduces movement into the posing set. When this happens, both teams shoot the same thing at the same time, side by side. Teamwork like this allows us to be more efficient with limited time.
Heartfelt Messages: During prep, our cinema team needs audio recordings of brief messages from the bride to the groom and vice versa. These are emotional, heartfelt moments that require silence in the room. Being aware of cinema’s needs, our photo team turns their cameras to a mode with quiet clicks (known as “silent shutter”) and they turn off their flash. This teamwork allows both teams to capture what they need from these beautiful moments.
These are just a few examples of many that happen throughout the wedding day, leading to an overall better-combined product.
3) The Common Shared Vision and Style
Booking a combined photography and videography package ensures a consistent style and quality. Additionally, you’ll experience a shared vision among you (the client), the photo team, and the video team. So if you happen to hate a specific pose, the entire team will share that vision and knowledge. If you want to avoid silly or cheesy poses, everyone is on the same page. If you want a moody, dramatic, or editorial look and feel to your wedding, everyone can work to ensure your vision comes to life in both your photography collection and your wedding cinematography.
4) Fewer Contracts & Admin for a combined Photography and Videography Package
Using the same company for both photography and videography will save you time in the booking process. You can set up a single meeting for both leads, communicate with one set of studio management, sign a single set of contracts, and have a single wedding photography and videography meeting prior to the wedding. Booking with multiple companies can potentially double the administration in terms of your photo and cinema.
5) Wedding Photography and Videography Package Discounts
While price probably isn’t your determining factor when shopping for your photography and videography, it doesn’t hurt that most companies, including ours, have potential pricing discounts when you book both photography and cinematography together and entertainment, To get a custom quote, contact our studio! Thanks for reading, and this info is helpful , we hope to be a part of your big day!