This is a post I did a while ago for one of the leading wedding planning sites in Kenya, The Kenyan Wedding Planners . This was on some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that most new brides have when seeking out for a photographer to document the most important day of their life…here are some of my answers….
1. In Kenya there are so many photographers – How can I be sure of finding the “perfect” one?
Yes, there are tonnes of photographers. It is important to 1st & foremost see any previous work done by the photographer. Ensure that you see a full wedding not just a favorite selected portfolio. Take a look at his/her style of shooting. Are they able to capture candid moments, are they creative or just copy & paste?
Every photographer has their own style of shooting, it is imperative to ensure that their shooting style matches yours. Also meet the photographer & see whether they are fun & interesting to work with & whether you would love to have them cover the most important day of your life.
2. All photographers are qualified, aren’t they?
No, not at all. Photography is an art, so it is very difficult to quantify one’s qualification. The best judge is their final work output. Most of us including me, have no formal training in photography, but have invested endless hours in online research & tutorials & also with it many many hours of practice for us to hone & perfect our skill.
My best advice would be to judge one’s expertise & qualification from the work of the photographer.
3. Why do I need a professional photographer yet my friend has a great camera & has offered to shoot my wedding?
I get asked this question a whole lot especially by wedding committees. It is important to remember that other than your rings & video DVDs, your wedding photos will be the only other memory of your wedding day.
So, it is of utmost important not to compromise on your wedding photography. Invest your time & resource in getting the best photographer available, it will be a worthwhile investment.
I have seen often that a great photographer can make a simple wedding appear breath-taking through well captured & articulated imagery while a poor photographer can water down the most elegant wedding to make it look lackluster.
4. If i decide to use a professional photographer, how far in advance do you think I need to book?
Well, for me I am well booked about 8 months in advance. Truly, the best suppliers are sometimes booked 1-1.5 years in advance. I would advice you that once you have the date locked down then approach & reserve your desired photographer before it is too late, well….unless you planning on a Monday-Thursday kind of wedding.
Book as early as you can to ensure that you will have the photographer of your dreams to cover your big day.
5. How much should I budget for my wedding photography?
Well, this varies from photographer to photographer, but most professionals I know ( including me ) charge from about 125,000 ~ 200,000 for wedding photography services.
6. Wedding photography seems so expensive. Why is this so?
Yes, it is. In America it is the most expensive item of the wedding budget. Photography to me is one of the most important elements of your wedding, since years down the line you will have an album lying on your coffee table to constantly remind you of your wedding. So, in the long run this will be one of the only memories of your big day.
Good wedding photography is costly but the price is so menial compared to the service it will render many many years down the line. The only memory I have of my late parents’ wedding day is a weather-worn album that I treasure so much. Is it a too high price to pay? I do not think so.
7. Is it cheaper to have an off-season or weekday weddings?
Well, that is relative, when it comes to photography, there is really no saving in price, as compared to convenience. Usually during peak months, photographers are often over-worked & fatigued so their creativity will be a tad low as compared to off-peak seasons e.g. Jan & July. Yes it is better to go for the off-peak months & also weekdays since then we are fresh, easily available & will most likely deliver way above the hectic & busy months.
8. Why should I have to pay up front?
Usually most photographers require that you pay 75% of the total price before the actual wedding day. For us, a lot of resource goes into the preparation before the wedding & also on the actual wedding day about 75% of the task is already done.
I would however advice you not to pay 100% upfront unless you have a previous working experience with the photographer. The rest of the 25% should be paid on delivery of the final work & after ensuring that the all that was agreed upon has been met & delivered.
In my experience I have had a lot of difficulty with the final 25% of the payment since most couples have barely any money when they return from the honeymoon. My advice is that you set aside the full 100% of the photographer’s fee in a separate account & not to touch it so that you will have no push & pull once the wedding is done & you are up to your sleeve in debt.
9. Is signing a contract a good idea?
This is very very essential since a contract will list in detail the requirements for both you & the photographer & most especially the deliverables. Thus in case of any mis-understanding or disagreement then the contract will be the deciding factor. Ensure that before you book a photographer you demand a copy of the contract & read through all the terms & conditions before penning your signature & paying a deposit.
Any photographer tendering to cover your wedding MUST provide you with a written & duly signed contract.
10. How much time should we set aside for photography on our wedding day?
A lot of time….the more the better. I usually do 3 photo sessions in a day in an ordinary wedding.
1. Between the church & Reception. (1 Hr for actual shooting)
2. Sunset photos :: After the reception (6-7pm)
3. Last Look portraits :: In the resort/hotel & honeymoon suite. (7:30-9pm).
Also we cover both the morning bride & groom preparations. Some couples are daring enough to try the ‘Trash the Dress’ session. Which I have explained in more detail here.
The more the time available for taking photos the better the photos you get.
11. What do you think is the best time of day to take photographs?
As listed above our best time is from about 5:30pm. Then we have what photographers refer to as the golden hour (beautiful light) where the sun is setting & pierces through trees. This gives the best mood & environment to take the best kind of images
Hope you loved the post & my random selection of images 🙂 God bless & we really appreciate all the love & wonderful comments you post on the blog…
We are glad you are around to share with Faith & me our wonderful journey…