Frequently Asked Questions - Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer
With so many photographers out there ranging from those who have just taken their first camera out of the box to the seasoned professionals who have been around for decades, with prices starting at £100 all the way up to £5000 and beyond - how do you choose who should be YOUR wedding photographer? Below are some of the CRITICAL questions we recommend you ask every photographer you visit or speak to if you are considering using them for your wedding photography. Below the questions are our answers. If you have any questions not answered below, please contact us.
Q. Do you have any dates left for 2013?
As we are one of the most sought after, affordable wedding photographers in Yorkshire we now only have very limited availability for 2013. Please contact us to see if your date is still free. Dates are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Q. I am getting married in 2014 - can I book now?
Yes. We recommend that as soon as you have booked your wedding venue and received confirmation you then book all other services required for your wedding day as soon as possible to ensure you receive your preferred supplier. Due to the high quality of the work we produce and our affordable prices, we do get booked many years in advance.
Q. What areas do you cover?
Based on the Leeds / Bradford border in Yorkshire we cover the whole of the UK subject to availability in particular the Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire regions including Leeds, Sheffield, Barnsley, Manchester, York, Harrogate, Bradford, Blackburn, Sheffield, Wakefield, and Rotherham
Q. Do you offer free consultations for us to discuss our day with you?
Yes. As each wedding day is totally unique, we invite you into our Studio in Bradford for a free, no obligation chat about your day with one of our photographers. We do NOT have a sales team who will give you the hard sell and pressure you into booking. Convenient evening appointments are available up to 9pm each evening to fit in with your work schedule. During this meeting we will run through your plans for the day, show you our demo albums, and answer any questions you may have.
Q. We are on a budget and know we can get a trainee / amateur photographer / family friend for less than you charge. We would though rather have a professional photographer - Can you help us?
We know that just about everyone these days has a digital camera of some description.
A simple search on any of the search engines will very quickly show up masses of Bride and Grooms who regretted taking chances with their wedding photography so why not make an appointment and pop in and see us? We know that not every budget is the same, not everyone has £20,000 to spend on their wedding. With a team of wedding photographers we can offer a totally flexible service unrivalled by any other wedding photographer in the North of England. If your wedding is mid week, out of season or even in the middle of peak season and we have the date free, you may just be very surprised at what we might be able to do to help. Our passion is for photography and photographing weddings, not about becoming millionaires. We know just how important your wedding day is so if we can help - we will. Our wedding photography packages start as low as £500. At that price, you don't have to take ANY chances!
Q. Are you a qualified photographer and if so who through?
All of our photographers have undergone extensive training both internal and external. This training is an ongoing process which allows us to keep at the forefront of technology and techniques. This training allows us to provide YOU with the best photographs and service we can. We never rest on our laurels thinking we know everything there is to know. Styles change, technology changes, albums change and our training allows us to make sure we are totally up to date with the latest trends.
Q. Are you experienced and how many weddings have you photographed?
Mark Pearson Photography was established in 1991 and we have collectively photographed over 1000 weddings across the UK and Europe covering many venues.
Q. Do you provide a written contract?
Yes. Unlike many wedding photographers we feel that a written contract is vital. It lays down in writing our exact obligations, agreed prices etc and gives you peace of mind knowing you have a written document. Please be very wary of any photographer who only sends you a booking confirmation by email and no written document.
Q. Is your wedding service insured?
Yes. We have Professional Indemnity insurance and also carry full public liability insurance.
Q. What backup equipment do you bring to the wedding?
We always bring a full range of backup equipment to every wedding. For example, we bring backup digital cameras, extra storage cards, a laptop, blank discs, spare batteries and a portable studio if the weather is wet and we have to shoot indoors.
Q. What happens if our photographer falls down dead / has a car accident / is seriously ill / is abducted by aliens a week before the wedding? Do you contract out your wedding photography service?
Picture this scene...... the photographer you have chosen to cover your day is a sole trader working on his own. A week before your wedding day he or she falls down dead / has a car accident / is seriously ill / is abducted by aliens. What is going to happen? Are you going to get ANY wedding photographs and more importantly, if the photographer is not insured, are you going to get any of your money back? Scary thought isn't it? Here at Mark Pearson Photography we have a team of wedding photographers and we always have members of the team on standby for each and every wedding we photograph. In addition, your photographer will only be allocated one wedding a day - yours! Regardless of whether it is a short 2 hour wedding or a full 16 hour day, your photographer will only EVER be allocated one wedding a day.
Q. You are recommended by many venues, what does this mean?
Mark Pearson Photography is recommended by many venues across the North of England and we are very proud of these associations. These venues know the high quality and the affordability of our wedding photography packages and the venues know that we will provide second to none customer service seamlessly integrating into the venues plans for the day ensuring your day runs as smoothly as possible and you have the day of your dreams. We don't just simply turn up on the day and shoot a few pictures. Our wedding photography service has been designed to totally blend with your wedding venue and is a critical component of our service. Many photographers pay money to advertise in venue wedding brochures alongside other photographers. These photographers may not necessarily be recommended by the venue itself, the photographer has simply paid an advertising fee to appear in the brochure or magazine. Ask the venue direct what suppliers they recommend. If you have just got engaged and have yet to book your venue, let us know. You are more than welcome to pop into the studio and view photographs from venues we have worked at over the years and we will happily answer any questions you may have.
Q. Can we see a full wedding?
This is one of the most important things we recommend Bride and Grooms ask and our answer is not just "Yes" but "Yes, how many would you like to see?". ALWAYS ask to see more than one wedding, and also ask the photographer "Is this from a REAL live wedding or a training day? If from a wedding were you the Lead Photographer on the day or an assistant?". Unfortunately some photographers may show you images taken from a training day where the shot was set up by a trainer. Can the photographer reproduce that image on a real wedding day whilst under all the pressure that a wedding day brings?. It is a simple fact of life that any photographer will only ever want to have his or her best work on show on their website. It is, after all, their virtual shopfront. Ask to see examples of work taken at real weddings that does not appear on the website.
Q. Do you have a printed brochure?
To keep our prices, and more importantly your wedding photography costs down, we do not have a printed brochure as all of the information is available via our website. At the end of the day glossy posh brochures have to be paid for by someone. Who? You the Bride and Groom! Please do not hesitate to contact us though if you have any questions or require any further information or a quotation.
Q. Do you do a pre-wedding shoot?
If you would like us to, then yes. Every Bride and Groom is different, some prefer to have a pre-wedding shoot, others don't. You tell us! If you would like a pre-wedding shoot then we will make arrangments with you to either have a lifestyle shoot on location or a studio session at our Studio in Rawdon. There is no charge for pre-wedding shoots.
Q. Can I customize my wedding photography package?
Yes. Every wedding day is totally unique and so will have its own budget. Whether you are having a small intimate day or a big grand extravaganza - we will custom design you a totally bespoke wedding photography package. Simply tell us what you want and we will create you a package that is unique to you. More importantly, the price we quote is the price you pay. We do not have ANY hidden extras unlike some photographers who may charge you extra after the wedding for image editing etc.
Q. Do we get to choose the images that go in our wedding album?
YES, YES, YES, YES, YES! We get quite angry that some photographers choose the wedding album pictures and Bride and Grooms do not get a say. We firmly believe that it is YOUR wedding album - it is YOUR choice of what goes in it - it is YOUR choice how the final album looks. Photographers do NOT have a right to tell YOU what YOUR wedding album should look like.
Q. Can I choose who photographs my wedding and do I get to meet them before the wedding day?
Most definately yes. Simply let us know who you would like to photograph your wedding day and subject to availability, we'll make it happen. You will be in contact with your photographer from the date of booking and all the way up to the day itself. Your photographer will be available to answer any questions you have and will hold a pre-wedding meeting with you about a month before the big day.
Q. Can we decide on what group shots are taken?
Yes. It is after all YOUR wedding day and we treat it as a totally unique day. We hold a pre-wedding meeting with each Bride and Groom about a month before the wedding day where you tell us what shots you would like taking. We then work with you to create a plan for the day. We do NOT have a standard list of shots like many photographers do.
Q. Can we speak direct to the people who have left testimonials on your Testimonials page?
Yes. If you would like to speak directly to any Bride and Groom who have previously used us for their wedding photography, let us know and we will put you in touch with them. The Testimonials on our website are from REAL Bride and Grooms or their family and friends and we truly value their kind words.
Q. As our photographer, what will you do if it rains? Snows? Blows a force 10 hurricane? Or a herd of giraffes invade our day?
With over 20 years experience, we have seen just about it all (ok we have yet to see the giraffes!). We always have a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan Z which we discuss with you at your pre-wedding meeting. It is the main reason why we do site visits before the wedding day.
Q. Do you do a pre-wedding site visit?
Yes. We generally make two trips to your chosen wedding location. The first, approximately one month before is to take a walk around the location to look for suitable shooting areas and to introduce ourselves to the Minister, Vicar, Registrar, Wedding Planner etc. The second, generally done on the day itself, is to have a final check to make sure the location hasn't changed since our last visit.
Q. What albums do you supply?
We use all the main manufacturers of wedding albums. Our selection is extensive.
Q. What is the difference between a Slideshow Disc and an Image Disc?
A Slideshow disc contains images from your wedding day set to music. In the majority of cases you can NOT print from this disc. An Image Disc (if you use us for your wedding photography) contains one copy of EVERY photograph from your wedding day that is in your online album in high resolution, ready to print format. With this disc we give you an Image Licence allowing you to make unlimited reprints, create your own photographic products, give the images to friends and display them on social networking websites such as Facebook etc. Please be VERY careful in understanding which type of disc you are receiving. Some photographers will say you can have a "disc of images" and all you receive is a slideshow disc.
Q. Why do you supply two photographers at a wedding?
The answer to this is very simple. One photographer cannot be in two places at the same time, no matter how good he or she is. By using two photographers at weddings we capture more of your big day resulting in a wider range of images to choose from for your album. Sometimes the best moments are those which happen away from the main hub of things. A second photographer unobtrusively captures the tears, smiles, hugs and joy that a lone photographer will often miss.
Q. Do you allow our guests to take their own photographs?
Most definitely yes. We work together with your guests and always allow a little extra time for your guests to take their own photographs. We make a point of involving them and working with us.
Q. What is the pre-wedding meeting for?
The pre-wedding meeting is a critical part of our wedding service. We get together with the Bride and Groom, generally a month before the big day, and discuss what photographs are required. Too many photographers have a set list of shots that they take. We are different because we find out what shots YOU want taken. We know that each and every wedding is different and unique; you simply cannot have a standard list of shots that are taken on the day.
Q. What is the Online Viewing Service?
After the photographs have been taken, we upload them to an online password protected album. Once the Bride and Groom have viewed the photographs, we then open the album for all the guests to view. This is ideal for those who have travelled a long distance to attend the wedding or for those who couldn't make it at all. The Online Viewing service also allows Guests to make their own purchases of the photographs thus saving the Bride and Groom from a hefty reprint bill.
Q. Can I see some of your work / view the demo albums?
Yes. Simply telephone our studio on 0113 2295408 and make an appointment to pop in. The meeting is very informal and you are under no obligation.
Q. Why don't you do just one wedding package?
Each wedding is unique and different and by breaking our packages down into segments, we allow you to choose what you do, and more importantly, don't want. Paying for something that you do not want or need is a waste of your money. Our packages offer total flexibility and are very cost effective.
Q. Can I add something to the package - for example a canvas print?
Yes. If what you would like is not in our additions section, simply let us know and we will give you a quote.
Q. What is the Guests Order Of Photograph sheet?
Pop in for a chat and we will show you one. It is one of those "little things" that we do.
Q. How far in advance do we need to book you?
We are now accepting bookings for 2013 and 2014. We recommend that as soon as you have confirmed your wedding date, you then book all the other services needed on your day. Whilst two years, or more, in advance may seem like a long time, Mark Pearson Photography does get booked up very early. Booking early will give you more chance that we can cover your big day and you get your preferred choice of photographers. Leaving it to the last minute may result in you having to settle for a photographer who may not be your first choice. This in itself may have an impact on the quality of the work and service you receive. Whether photographer, wedding car, cake, wedding dress, flowers or wedding venue - book early to avoid disappointment.
Q. What about retainers and balances?
The Retainer Booking fee required to secure a date is £200.00. This amount, which is non-refundable should you cancel your booking, is then deducted from your final price. Once your retainer booking fee is paid, that booking slot is allocated to you. The remaining balance is due 1 month before the wedding, usually when we hold the pre-wedding meeting.
Q. WOW, ok, that took some reading, my head hurts and I now need a coffee. What's next?
Give the studio a call on 0113 2295408 and see if we are available for your date. If we are, then you will be invited into the Studio for a chat about your day. Pop in, tell us about your day, tell us what you do want and what you don't want. Tell us your budget and we will then custom design you a wedding photography package. You are under absolutely no obligation to book us. Oh, and the coffee or tea is on us. We'll even provide the biscuits!
Q. OK, we have had our appointment, we weren't allowed to book there and then because you asked us to go away and look at other photographers and compare like for like (it was refreshing to have our appointment with you and not feel pressured into booking). We've done that and we want to book you - how do we do it?
First it is important to give us a call on 0113 2295408 to ensure your date is still free. If your date has not been booked you may then make an appointment to pop in and see us and we'll have all the paperwork ready to go (It only takes 10 minutes to do). Retainer Fees may be paid by cheque, cash or if you want to make sure that no one else books the date before you come in (for example if you are going on holiday for two weeks and don't want to take the chance your date is booked whilst you are away) we offer an online banking service for your convenience. As soon as we receive EITHER your completed booking paperwork OR your retainer, we then take the date out of the diary and allocate it to you. The paperwork can then be completed upon your return. Unfortunately, like any other photographer, we have to work on a first come first served basis. We often have 3 or 4 Bride and Grooms looking to book the same date and we can often book dates out many times over. To be fair to ALL Bride and Grooms, we can only confirm a booking upon receipt of either the completed paperwork or the retainer.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 2295408.