5 Important Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer

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Let's be real. Asking questions about marriage and weddings is tough, especially when you've probably never gotten married before and don't know really know what to ask.

Here are a few questions you probably aren't asking wedding photographers before hiring them, but should be.
 

What photography style(s) do you specialize in?

This question is so important and often gets overlooked. While it is important to hire a photographer who possesses skills of taking great photos, it's important to know what type of photos you can expect to get in return.

Does your photographer have more of a dark and moody editing style, or light and airy? Do they like to utilize natural light or do they shoot a majority of their photos with flash? Do they pose their couples or just capture them naturally? Do they find themselves photographing in a documentary style? Being creative and artistic in their photos? These are all important to truly understand your photographer's overall style!

For example, my editing style is bright, light and colorful. I like my photos to be a close representation of how they are seen in real life with an added "wow" factor.

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I will absolutely pose you, but not in an uncomfortable "we're going to our senior prom and mom made us take a photo like this on the stairs" type of way! I will get you into a "pose" that flatters your body and makes you look awesome on camera, then I will give you a prompt or something to do. Trust me, you'll be giggling and laughing real laughs and giggles! I will take artistic and creative photos as well as documentary style photos so you can re-live moments of your day that you may not have seen or been apart of.

What exactly is included in your packages?

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to this question, but it's important to ask so that you are aware of what your budget is getting you and what you need to be thinking about as far as purchasing it later on down the road. Some photographers offer prints or albums in their packages, some just offer the digital photos.

It's also wise to ask your photographer what happens if you would like to book them for more time or if an engagement session is included in their packages.

Don't forget to also ask if you are able to purchase prints and albums through your photographer, even if they don't list them in their packages. This is an easy way to get great quality prints through the expertise of your photographer!

As for me, I have various hourly packages, all with the option to purchase prints, albums or canvases once you get your photos back. In my top two packages, I offer complimentary engagement sessions to my couples. If a couple would like to book me for additional time after signing a contract, no biggie I have an additional hourly rate that I charge them.

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Want to inquire about my wedding photography pricing? Click here!

What is the deposit and total fee?

Not only is this important to know so you can anticipate how much you will be spending, but it is also important to know when it is due. This way you can line up your budget calendar and see when the big bucks are all going to be due for all of your other wedding vendors like the florist or venue.

Who photographs my wedding if you aren’t able to?

This is a question I think a lot of photographers don't like answering because let's face it, we don't like thinking about the slight possibility of not being able to capture your big day! When asking this question, it is important to realize that even though we would like to have on a big coat of armor and be indestructible, we are humans too.

When do I get to see my wedding photos?

Some photographers will send out next-day sneak peeks, while some won't send out any photos until you get your final gallery. It's also important to ask how long the process typically is.

There is nothing wrong with a photographer having a turn around time of 2 weeks and there is nothing wrong with a photographer having a turnaround time of 2 months. Typically, a photographer's turnaround time is determined by how many sessions or weddings they are currently working on, if they are able to outsource their editing and have someone else do some of it, or how many photos are promised in delivery.

Many more factors go into a photographer's turnaround time, but it's just sort of nice to know when you can expect that "Your Gallery is Complete!" email and do a happy dance like Marie!

Guest Blog Feature: Why You Should Hire a Month-of Coordinator as told by Your Day by MK

I met MK because she slid into my DMs on Instagram and no, I am not kidding you. It was my birthday and she said "Hey! We so need to be friends!" followed by a happy birthday message and a note on how great it is to meet younger wedding professionals in the area.

This was my first lesson on MK. She pays attention to detail. She only would've known it was my birthday by ACTUALLY reading my Instagram post's caption. Brides, I know you value attention to detail and this was her not even trying to be detail oriented! So a few short weeks later we met for coffee and we've been pals ever since!

I asked MK to be my first guest writer on my blog and she has chosen to write about a topic I strongly value, but don't know much about. Grab a LaCroix, bust out a few dance moves and check out her reasoning as to why you should hire a month-of coordinator.

Why You Should Hire a Month-of Coordinator
As told by Your Day By MK

I like to think of weddings as a moving train.  Metaphor goes as such:

You get engaged! You’ve passed your conductor test and you and your partner are now the conductors of the wedding train! WOO full speed ahead!

Along the way, you take on new passengers such as your family and friends, vendors and all the sorts of DIY things you want to do at all the different stops.

Some of those passengers have also driven trains and as you get closer to your final destination, they come rushing to the front trying to give advice. Maybe the train stops extra long at one stop when it should have already been on its way, but all and all, the train keeps moving.

Now we are only one stop away from the final destination and you both as the conductor have decided to sit in the passenger cars. WAIT WHAT!? The train has now been left unattended! You would have some family members who have driven trains before take shifts but that’s not what they’re here for. What if we have to take a quick detour before the destination because something came up?

Overall the train gets there, for stopping a moving train is a lot harder than you think, the train stays on it’s tracks overall. Maybe just maybe a back up conductor would have been nice.

I like to think of Month-of Coordinators/wedding planners as the Conductor’s apprentice. A couple stops before the final destination, they hop on the train and learn about the train and its occupants. They then talk to the conductors and learn how they would like to get to the final destination, so that when they sit down and enjoy themselves, the train is in good hands.

Simply put, your wedding day will arrive and everything will happen, but how smoothly it goes is a matter of who is in charge.  When I am hired as the month-of coordinator, I start chatting with you and your vendors 2-3 months before your big day so I can learn all about it.  Then the month beforehand, I create a final timeline, do final confirmations with your vendors and make sure everything happens just as you planned. If anything is to go wrong, I got it covered because you’ve prepped me and talked to me about what you like and don’t like.  You should get to enjoy the last couple weeks filled with family and friends and get excited to marry your best friend!


And there you have it, folks! Check out a few photos from some of the amazing weddings that MK has planned! Don't forget to visit her website

xoxo,

Ash

Kevin and Sarah's Milton Lee Olive Park Engagement Session

Sarah and Kevin were one of the very first couples I booked that I didn’t personally know and I am so grateful that they landed upon my Instagram and website! Their wedding is in October of 2019, but let me tell ya, the year is already going by FAST. Their wedding will be here before they (or I) know it!

During my initial phone conversation with Sarah, I felt a connection to her because she talked about their wedding day and there were pieces of it that I could relate to my own. She’s a cat person AND a dog person, and they are even having their dog be apart of their wedding day!

It was a must for Sarah and Kevin to have their engagement session somewhere with city views, so we opted for the beautiful Milton Lee Olive Park. I’ve always wanted to photograph here so I was pumped I finally got the opportunity to take in the amazing skyline views at this lake-side park.

We met at a restaurant at Navy Pier for drinks before the session, then walked over to the park. Of course we picked one of the nicest days of the week to have the session so both Navy Pier and Milton Lee Olive Park were packed...go figures! But it ended up being TONS of fun working with these two and I’m so glad we stuck with our original plans!

Cheers to Sarah and Kevin and the autumn of 2019 can’t come soon enough!

Sarah and Kevin - Thank you so much for allowing me to be apart of your love story. I cannot wait for your wedding next year!!

xoxo,

Ash

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4 Benefits of Having a Branding Session

4 Benefits of Having a Branding Session

4 ways your business can benefit from having a branding session with a photographer.

Autum Love | Downtown Chicago Blogger Session

I've been fortunate enough to be a photographer at Speed Blogging, a monthly photoshoot where bloggers, models or basically anyone wanting to get some portrait photos done, work with some local photographers to shoot some looks. That's where I met Autum. 

We clicked almost instantly when she told me that her style goes hand-in-hand with street photography. Um hello, nice to meet ya! I love taking photos outside, especially with some Chicago streets, sidewalks, even with the zooming L going by. Needless to say, our 10-20 minutes together was a total blast, even if we froze our butts off!

If you haven't gotten the chance, check out Autum's fashion blog. She's got some great tips on fashion, shopping and even life in general.

Blogger: Autum Love | www.autumlove.com

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Megan & Rob's Oak Street Beach Engagement Session

Megan & Rob's Oak Street Beach Engagement Session

 

I was thrilled when Megan reached out to me wanting to do her engagement session at Oak Street Beach in Chicago! Sometimes I forget that we have such beautiful beaches here in the city because it's so easy to just think of Chicago as skylines, pigeons and public transportation.