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Top Ten questions a bride should ask her photographer part 3

And finally, looking at the last of the top ten questions a bride should have for her photographer plus a bonus one that is very important!

8. Do you use flash or other lighting equipment during the ceremony indoors?
9. Should my event last longer than expected for unforeseen reasons, will you stay? Extra charge?
10 How do your images look?
Bonus: How Do I feel about this photographer?

And onto the answers we have for these questions!

8. Do you use flash or other lighting equipment during the ceremony indoors? 

Distractions on your wedding day can be annoying. A photographer getting kicked out of a ceremony because they are using flash is definitely distracting. We know of examples where this has happened.

So for us, the answer is simple.  We both consider it impolite and distracting to have flashes going off during a ceremony. Before the ceremony we might ask the lighting person to boost the lighting in the church to make it more hospitable for capturing those moments if needed. We also know that if we used flash, then all of your guests will grab their cameras and  starting flashing. You don’t want your ceremony to look like the Superbowl.

Kim and Jason's DJ laughs when the grandfather answers a question during the reception on what it takes to make a marriage last.

Kim and Jason’s DJ laughs when the grandfather answers a question during the reception on what it takes to make a marriage last.

Plus — find out if the photographer actually knows how to shoot indoors! Some photographers will show you all this absolutely beautiful wedding work. All done outdoors.

A photographer needs the right camera equipment to handle it. And that does not mean just an on-camera flash.

That being said, we have used flash during ceremonies when it was impossible to do else. And this is after discussing it with the folks at the venue and with the bride and groom beforehand. It is rare, once every three or four years. And usually has to do with a hall being rented that was never meant to hold a ceremony.

9. Should my event last longer than scheduled, will you stay? Extra charge?

Yes, we will stay longer if it is just plain taking longer. And we do charge extra. Have to say, though, it’s been a long while since we had to do this. Why? It’s all the in planning we do before the wedding. Remember, we plan for things to go wrong (so they don’t actually go wrong. . .)

10. How do your images look? 

Your images should be timeless — having a quality that lasts forever.

How “busy” are the images? Are there lots of distractions? We tend to use a very shallow focus on many images that directs your attention on where it should be.  A beautiful bride image does not need to have a guy mowing the lawn in the distance. 

When photographing outdoors, we make sure the bride and grooms have eyes even in bright sunlight. I saw one photographer recently, advertising herself as a pro, with a poor bride and groom that had their eyes so deeply buried in shadow they might as well have been wearing masks! The photo “looked” good as a small Facebook photo.

But, if they made an actual print it would look bad. Blown up to a 5 x 7, it looks worse. Because many of our brides and grooms have images that end up as 20 by 30 inch prints on canvas on their walls,  the  blurriness of the photo would become a problem.

Just a little kiss during an engagement session!

Just a little kiss during an engagement session!

So, when looking at a photographer’s images, also look at what else is in the photos. A professional photographer will make sure there are no flower pots that seem to grow out of your head, mowers in the background, and you are the focus of the portrait you select.

Your photographer needs to be a master of their craft. And, factually, many aren’t.  An easy way to see this is to ask for access to a full wedding, or two,  that is similar to what you are planning.  If it is to be a church wedding, the photographer should provide you with pictures that they have shot inside a church, mega-church, old-style, or a small chapel, depending on your venue.  If its an outdoor wedding, you should see pictures in full sun, overcast, or under a tent. Ask to see what images they have given the bride, not just their top 20 images. You should be able to see a few hundred images and that gives you a better expectation of a wedding coverage.

Ask to see their albums. Our albums (and our day) are designed to tell a story of your wedding day. Again, a professional photographer will have example albums. Or ask to see a full wedding gallery online. No photographer should be wary of showing their work.

Bonus: How do I feel about this photographer? 

Okay, I’ll admit easily that this is not the question to ask of the photographer. But, ask it of yourself.

We like what we do . . . we’ve chosen to photograph weddings despite all the crazy challenges they present. The insane work hours, the pressure and the stress of capturing your event, the continuous demand on ourselves to get that unique shot. There are many photographers — some who have been shooting for many, many years — who will NOT shoot weddings. Hate them.

We work and play well with our brides and grooms. And yes! Play! Your event is a beautiful, fun and special day and should be enjoyed by all. This means you have to be comfortable with your photographer.  Maybe even like them!

What does this mean? A photographer you are comfortable with will make your smile more beautiful. Your day more relaxed. Your wedding more enjoyable.

This is the hardest of all the questions because you have to throw your logic to the wind and go with your gut feeling.  If they look like they will get irritated with you easily, that will lessen the quality. I don’t care if they are pros who should behave a certain way. Photographers are also humans.

Nothing serious about engagement sessions!

Nothing serious about engagement sessions!


That was a huge amount of data. And I don’t really want a bride or groom to go into overwhelm on it.

I created this so you have a written list of things to look at with us and compare to others. It’s hard to remember this when interviewing. And there is no Wedding 101 to help.

But, I long since learned that when something is written it is far more likely to be remembered.

And far more likely to be held as true information.

If you are reading this — we do sincerely hope you have chosen us to be your photographers for your special day. Or have at least used the information to allow you to make a more informed choice on your very special event.

We have brides who ask why we don’t just post our prices online — or the packages in full detail. Simple. We want to meet then and speak with them and find out their dreams and desires . . . and then look at what it will take to actually achieve that. Plus, each photographer really does have different things in their packages. We might use the same words but this does not equal the same quality of products.

Even if you end up going with someone other than us, we believe we set a very high bar that now the next photographer must meet. Your wedding deserves it and so do you.

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