Hiring an elopement photographer is on every essential elopement checklist. If you’re looking for a great match, it may involve more than booking the first photographer you come across. When you do find the right photography company, the conversation may feel less like an interview, and more like a great chat. In order for this to happen, it helps to know the best questions to ask! This way, you will recognize when you find the photographer that best fits your needs.
Start Off on the Right Foot
The first step is typically having a call with your potential elopement photography company. Before going too deep into the details, it is helpful to exchange brief introductions, along with general information about your upcoming elopement. From there, an experienced elopement photographer should know which questions to ask you! In fact, the conversation should feel relaxed and comfortable.
Throughout the talk, it is beneficial to be honest and upfront about what you’re looking for in a photographer. This way, you can see whether you are on the same page as your potential photographer, and set expectations together. It also provides the photographer the opportunity to explain their style and approach, to see if it resonates with you.
To find the perfect fit for your special day, consider these 11 questions to ask your elopement photographer.
1) What would you like to know about our elopement plans before the wedding?
Elopement photographers already have experience with small wedding ceremonies. However, your particular elopement may involve unique challenges or requests. Because of this, it is important to establish a collaborative relationship from the beginning. It will make communication much easier! Your photographer’s response to this question alone will likely dictate how detailed they are, and how professional they will be throughout your elopement experience.
2) Are you available on our date?
This questions should be mentioned during introductions. The last thing you want to do is find the perfect elopement photographer only to realize that they aren’t available the day of your ceremony! This is why booking with an elopement photography company is so beneficial. With more than one or two photographers at hand, it greatly increases the chances of availability.
3) Will we have a backup elopement photographer if ours can’t attend our elopement day?
So much can happen, even after plans are set in stone. That’s why it’s important to ask about back-up plans for the unexpected. Bring up the possibility of last-minute cancellations or no-shows. What happens in the unlikely event that your photographer has a family emergency, for example? This is an important and valid question to ask. With a proper plan in place, you will have reassurance, and your photographer will be held accountable.
4) Can I see full galleries from recent weddings also captured by our elopement photographer?
What’s the best way to ask for an elopement photographer’s experience in shooting your type of ceremony? Ask to see recent work from similar elopement photoshoots. This way, you’ll have a better sense of their style. You’ll be able to pinpoint whether their photographic style matches your taste and aesthetic. For instance, look at the editing, filters, and colors they used to produce the final pictures. Do they look dated, or timeless and classic?
5) Have you photographed at our wedding location / venue before?
If your elopement photographer has never captured your chosen venue before, it’s worthwhile to ask if they would be willing to do a site visit. This will be especially useful if your wedding will be held at a park, beach or private home, for example. By exploring the location ahead of time, your photographer will have a better idea of areas for photographing, especially in terms of space and lighting.
6) How well do you know the area as an elopement photographer?
An elopement photographer who already knows the lay of the land will have a great sense of local venues, locations for photos, and how to deal with the weather. As a result, they’ll be more prepared for your upcoming wedding elopement photography. You’ll also eliminate any out-of-town costs associated with hiring photographers who need to travel to your wedding destination. Because of this, staying local is perfect for pulling off a last minute wedding elopement.
7) Do you have packages that include engagement or first-look photoshoots?
If you’re interested in working with your elopement photographer before the wedding day, this is the perfect opportunity to do so. A pre-ceremony photo shoot provides a chance to connect with your photographer, and learn how they direct the two of you. Additionally, you’ll have lovely photos to use on invitations or save-the-dates. Elopement ceremony traditions like a first-look photoshoot is also a popular request. So if budget can support it, why not arrange a photo shoot before the elopement itself? At the end of the day, you’l have more peace of mind knowing exactly what to expect on your elopement day.
8) How long will the elopement photos take to be ready?
To eliminate confusion, ask upfront around when your pictures will arrive and when to expect them. Your photographer should have a straightforward answer to this. Most reputable photographers offer some form of post-production service, such as enhancement or retouching. Just keep in mind that this can impact the turnaround time, and it is an artistry all to itself. So make sure your elopement photographer knows what you’re expecting in terms of detailed editing and touch-ups, and that you discuss this together.
9) Will we receive physical/digital copies of all images?
Are you anticipating albums, printing services, or digital copies? Since uploading photos into an online portal is becoming the norm, printed copies may not be necessary. If you are looking for prints, ask about packages that have digital and physical copies available, along with keepsakes like wedding albums.
10) Do I have the ability to reproduce my photos?
A reputable elopement photographer will assign you permission to reproduce your photos. for example, to have them printed at the photo lab of your choice, if you desire to do so. This is something you can request in writing. It is also a very good question to ask your elopement photographer if you want unlimited access to your wedding photos.
11) What is your backup plan if equipment fails?
Don’t be shy to ask your elopement photographer if they have insurance and/or backup equipment. Your photographer should be prepared to continue the shoot when the unexpected happens. Spare memory cards and cameras are great, so ask your photographer if they have those options available to them.
12) Can we extend our shoot with our elopement photographer on the day itself?
Be mindful that most photographers have a set start and end time which is used to determine pricing. Unless arranged beforehand, your photographer may not expect to stay beyond the scheduled time. If you’re expecting your photographer to document the entire day, it is important to understand the policy for extra hours. Chances are, there is a pre-set rate that will enable you to continue your elopement shoot well past the set end point. But ask beforehand, so you know what to expect 🙂
Hiring a Local Elopement Team
Choosing the right elopement photographer can be overwhelming at times. This is especially true if you’re working through engagement plans all by yourself. That’s why it is extremely beneficial to book all of your essential vendors in one elopement package. When you book with our company, San Diego Elopements, this includes the photographer!
Whether you’re looking to tie the knot as soon as possible or planning it further out, our team of wedding experts will streamlines the entire process. Our dedicated professionals handle every detail so you can enjoy an easy, stress-free wedding elopement ceremony. For questions, arrangements, and recommendations, reach out to our professional elopement team. Let’s plan your perfect-fit wedding ceremony!
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