Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photography Blog by Trifon Anguelov Photography

1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040 | (650) 930-0743 | http://www.trifonanguelov.com


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26 Questions to Ask Your Wedding Photographer


Bride and Groom Portrait as Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, CA

Bride and Groom Portrait as Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, CA

Selecting a wedding photographer is on every bride’s to do list. Considering the fact that there is no shortage of wedding photographers offering their services, it is not an easy task.

Apart from the technical information that might be overwhelming, there are many other questions that a bride might need to get answered before she decides on hiring a certain wedding photographer. Things like, digital images, wedding albums, poses, coverage duration, what to capture and when.

Wedding photography is a service as the floral and venue decoration, DJ and MC, videography and event planning. it requires face to face interaction to interview and select the right professional. But what to ask a wedding photographer in order to determine if it is a right fit or not?

The following list of 26 questions to ask your wedding photographer could help you be prepared and ask the right question. I also explain why each question is important to get answers to and what a good answer would be for each questions.

Brides could use this while preparing for their interviews with wedding photographers. It is by no means a complete list of all the questions but would give you a pretty good starting point.

So let’s start with the first and foremost important questions of all:

1. Do you have my wedding date available?

This is the most important question. You do not want to totally fall in love with a photographer who in the end is already booked on your wedding day! Nothing else matters unless the answer to this question is: Yes. Unless of course, you can convince the photographer to cancel his other wedding and take yours.

This is the very first question you should ask before inquiring any further.

2. What is the cost?

Cost is usually one of the main factors in choosing a wedding photographer. The average cost of a wedding photographer in the USA is $3,700. But it varies depending on your location. Are they really expensive or are their services cheaper than everyone else’s?

If you have questions like those, do not be afraid to ask your wedding photographer. He or she should be able to justify their cost with quality work and plenty of experience. As well as many other factors that ultimately determine the final wedding photography cost. Things like: Do they own a studio or work from their own home? Do they typically bring along an assistant with them to help capture every photo or do they work on their own? Also, be sure to ask if they add mileage to the cost or if travel expenses are included in the original price.

3. What is your photography style?

Like we discussed before, there are different styles of wedding photography. Would you like more contemporary or traditional? Do you want your photos to be very artistic or in a documentary style?

The key is to find a photographer who can match and deliver the style you have in mind. If you are not sure what the styles are or need to see sample images for each style, consider reading Wedding Photography Styles guide I created for my wedding clients.

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

4. Are you the actual photographer that will shoot my wedding?

Keep in mind that there are wedding photography companies that hire freelance wedding photographers and book them for their client’s weddings. So the person you have been interviewing and signing the contract might not be the person photographing your wedding.

Find out if you are talking to the right photographer and if not, ask to meet the person who will be your actual photographer. You don’t want to be surprised on your wedding day. Do you?

5. How do you typically work?

Does the photographer like to blend into the background and capture photos as they unfold naturally or does this particular photographer enjoy planning out and choreographing different shots. Does he or she likes to take charge and stay in control, directing everyone and “setting the stage” for the shots?

If that is what you need, then great. You have a match. If your guests and bridal party are easy going party people, having someone who constantly interrupts the flow of your wedding and trying to direct everyone might be a disaster.

6. Can I provide a list of specific shots I would like to get?

Many brides have ideas of poses and shots they would like for their weddings. Unfortunately, not all wedding photographers believe in working from a list of images.  Asking this upfront makes the photographer aware and also shows you how easy going they are to work with.

The middle ground where the photographer reviews the poses you like and he accepts to try to do similar or the same with its own touch of creativity is a win-win situation and works for most couples. As with all the questions: Don’s assume anything. Inquire and validate for piece of mind.

7. Can you provide references from other weddings?

This is a very reasonable question to ask and every established wedding photographer would not have problems providing, you with at least 3-5 past clients you can cross reference. Technical skills are as important as ability to get along with the bride and groom, so you are also looking for a great personality apart from a technically savvy and proficient photographer. Your wedding photographer would be around you and your groom the whole day, so people who already have experienced this can be of great help.

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

8. How many hours will you be available on my wedding day?

Ultimately you need the photographer to be available from the start to the end of the coverage hours. If planning getting ready coverage, find out of the photographer is available at that time. Similarly, if planning, cake cutting at 10:00 pm, find out if there is no other appointment the photographer have booked already.

Most wedding photographers would accommodate the entire wedding, but be sure to double check this.

Related: Step By Step Guide For Hiring Wedding Photographer

9. What is your refund or cancellation policy?

Find out what happens if your wedding needs to be rescheduled or canceled. Family emergencies, change of plans. All possible. So how your wedding photographer usually handles this. Most photographers have a clause in their contracts that deals with that, so find out and be clear. It’s like the spare tire in your car. You might never need it, but you would not want not to have one when you get a flat tire on a busy freeway in the middle of the night.

10. Have you photographed at my venue before?

Knowing the venue is a big advantage when it comes to a wedding photographer. Not only one who has photographed before in the same venue as you are considering would be able to navigate the floor plan and would know the best angles, but would also have met and worked with the venue coordinator and staff.

With better knowledge and existing relationships, you can expect less time to be spent figuring things out and more time capturing your wedding day moments.

11. Have you photographed my religious ceremony before?

Every religion (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc)  have specific rituals and meanings. A wedding photographer who is experienced with the religious rituals and ceremonies would be better prepared to anticipate and capture these moments than someone who does it for the very first time.

You can also ask for an example (portfolio images, client’s galleries) to see who these were captured.

12. Do you offer online gallery with my images?

Most wedding photographers require that you purchase a wedding album and charge extra for the digital images from your wedding. So if you decide to purchase the digital images from your wedding and would like to share them with friends and family, imagine all the time you would require to sort through the images, attach to emails and share with everyone.

Some wedding photographers offer online private gallery with their client’s wedding images. This makes it easy to share as simply sharing the web link and password to the gallery. Ask if the wedding photographer you are considering offers this as part of their package.

13. Do you watermark your images?

Many photographers will provide you only with images which have a digital watermark (photographer’s logo) on each image. If you decide to use these images to make yourself a wedding album, this might not be a good option.

So clarify this with your wedding photographer and if there is going to be a watermark, ask how this can be removed. In 99% of the cases, it is a matter of additional fee. As with all other questions: Make sure you are not surprised by an additional fee that you have not planned and cannot afford paying later.

14. Do you release the copyright for the wedding images?

Related: Wedding Photography FAQ by Trifon Anguelov Photography

15. Do you offer a second photographer?

If you plan to have a long wedding (more than 8 hours) or ceremony in a church which doesn’t allow movement during the ceremony whatsoever, or simply would like to have images captured from different angles, having a second wedding photographer working with your primary photographer, it is a very good idea.

Most primary photographers do offer a secondary one, so be sure to clarify this in case you would like to have it.

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

16. Have you worked with the second photographer before?

There are wedding photographers who usually don’t use second photographers for whatever reasons. Bringing one for your wedding for the first time might cause awkward situations, miscommunication or conflicts. Something which you definitely not need on your wedding day.

If the wedding photographer you absolutely love usually works alone, it is a good idea to trust his or her professionalism. Forcing a second photographer without clearly having any benefits could do more damage than good.

17. Do you have backup equipment in case of failures?

Photographers use complicated digital cameras, lenses and flashes with electronic components which can fail from time to time. Because you cannot redo your wedding so it can be photographed, having a backup equipment (second camera body, second lens and flashes) is imperative to ensure not moment of your wedding would be missed.

It will not hurt to ask the type of equipment the wedding photographer use as well. Information as camera model and lens model is very useful in determining the quality of the final images. As one cannot expect to race and win NASCAR with a consumer grade compact car, so the professional wedding photographers invest and use professional grade digital equipment.

18. Do you have a liability insurance?

Many venues would not allow a wedding photographer or any vendor on their premises unless they have a valid liability insurance against any damages or loss that can occur on their premises during the wedding. It is not uncommon for a furniture or fixtures to be knocked down or damaged and an insurance is one way to replace them after the accident.

Don’t waste your valuable time interviewing and hiring a wedding photographer who would not be allowed in your venue because of lack of liability insurance.

19. Can I extend my wedding coverage hours?

Weddings get off schedule. In the majority of cases events take longer as planned and it might be that the cake cutting which is usually at the end might be beyond the time you booked your photographer to. So having the flexibility to add extra hours or time to your contract is a piece of mind.

Any reasonable wedding photographer would accommodate their clients. So keep your options open and find out if the photographer doesn’t have anything else booked right after your wedding.

Related: Wedding Tips For Brides From a Wedding Photographer Point of View

20. Do you offer expedited images processing?

If your parents or relatives are so eager to see your wedding images or you are simply one of the “inpatient” types of brides, it is good to find a photographer who can process and deliver the final images faster than his regular 4-5 weeks timeline. Most likely you would have to pay an extra fee for the priority processing, but keep in mind that not every photographer offers this. So better to clarify before hand rather than to assume it will be possible.

Christian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

Christian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

21. Do you offer slideshows with my wedding images?

Very popular lately is to create slideshow from the very best wedding images and share with the couple. Adding music to the slideshow creates a nice video clip which can be shared with friends and family. Asking your wedding photographer for one, is usually a good idea.

22. Can you share an entire day wedding images set?

Reasonable question to give you an idea how much experience the wedding photographer has. The last thing you want is to have a newbie photographer learning on your wedding. Somewhere between 3-6 years of previous experience should give you confidence, although the years of experience is not a 100% guarantee for amazing images. Unfortunately, there are wedding photographers with many years of experience who produce mediocre results. See more in bullet point #26

23. How many weddings you have photographed so far?

Related: How To Avoid Wedding Photography Scams

24. How many weddings you usually photograph per year?

Wedding photography is not only physically demanding but also an emotional drain which over time can impact the photographer’s creativity. A photographer who photographs 40-50 weddings per year might not give 100% of his creativity and energy due to fatigue and “burn out” especially in mid-summer. On the other hand someone who is very selecting on the weddings he or she takes and prioritizes quality over quantity might produce better results.

Focusing on less weddings and putting 100% energy and dedication is what you need. Believe me, 85% is hardly compared to 100%.

25. What is the most favorite part of the wedding you like to photograph?

The answer to this question would open a conversation to help you gauge how much experience the photographer has. Many primary photographers do also second photograph weddings so they will answer to be their favorite whatever they have been doing the most and feel most confident into. You can also understand if the personal preference matches your style expectations.

For example: If you are looking for a photojournalist wedding photographer and you find out that he or she likes posed photos, which are the complete opposite to the candid images you are looking for, there is the conflict. Same as the photographer likes to photograph details as glasses, shoes, rings, your dress, etc while you are looking for outgoing, people’s person to mingle with your guests and engage them for fun photos.

San Francisco City Hall Wedding

Indian Wedding at Cinnabar Hills in San Jose, CA

26. What do you like about being wedding photographer?

As everything service related, you want to hire a professional who is passionate and love what he or she does. Creativity in photography comes from passion and internal drive to excel. You most likely would like to have someone who will capture your day in the most creative and unique way.

Many “money chasing” wedding photographers do cookie cutter approach and might not go the extra step to meet all your needs. So decide earlier: are you after true professional who is passionate about the art he or she is creating or after the money you are about to pay them.

Conclusion:

To read more real life wedding photography questions and the answers I usually provide to my clients, consider reading Wedding Photography FAQ.

Wedding planning takes time and careful preparation. Being educated if the best preparation you can do before start seriously considering a wedding photographer.

I am sure there might be additional tips you might have, so if you have a tip, any comment or a feedback, feel free to drop me a line or two in the comments section. I would love to hear from you on how you managed find and select your wedding photographer. .

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business  based in Mountain View, CA 94040 and serving clients in San Francisco Bay Area. You can follow him on social media (links in the top right sideblock of this blog) or check his latest photography projects on his Wedding and Portrait Photography Site

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Elegant Asian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford University


Memorial Church in Stanford University is such an amazing location for weddings. Had the privilege to photograph Zhouxiao and Haomiao’s wedding. To see all images and read the entire wedding story, check the latest blog article on my website: Elegant Asian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford University

Both were amazing and I enjoyed very much capturing the moments. There is so much history and legacy related to this location.

Here is a slideshow highlight from their wedding day:

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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How To Start Your Own Wedding Photography Blog


Blogging Made Easy

Blogging Made Easy

Nowadays, many photographers apart from sharing their photos on their websites, social media and online portfolios, at some point decide to start and publish their own blogs. The reason is that although a picture is worth a thousand words, there is nothing more useful for SEO (search engine optimization) than a well written and compelling text.

The search engines as Google, Bing and Yahoo, are constantly crawling and indexing the web for new and fresh content. The more popular the new content is, the higher is ranked in the search results compared to the already existing and indexed content. It’s a constant and never ending competition to stay relevant and rank higher.

And here where a wedding or portrait photography blog can help. So how one starts about setting and maintaining their own photography blog?

As everyone else, I also have started and maintaining my own blog in addition to my Wedding Photography Website and Portfolio. Here are top 8 tips that can help you start your own photography blog.

1. Have a Purpose:

Giving your potential readers a purpose to spend time reading your blog is a must. Without any appealing content or anything that can benefit your readers, your blog will wilt quickly. You would also have to decide on how you are going to engage and grow your users. Are you going to share your images and invite feedback? Or you are going to describe and share your photography techniques and skills? Or share information on particular photography equipment (camera body, lenses, flashes, etc)?

Whatever the purpose of your blog is going to be, be consistent.

2. Target Your Audience:

This is the most important decision you need to make and it is the one that I see many bloggers fail to establish. Decide who is your reader: potential clients, fellow photographers, everyone else, your family and friends?

If you are writing to acquire new clients, then you might want to display your work, post promotions and events they can take advantage of. Posting complicated information about photography jargon (link) or techniques would not appeal to your clients. Neither, discussions about your pricing strategy or articles about how to increase your profit as a photographer.

Writing for fellow photographers would require you to get specific into the technical information, post information that they cannot easily find somewhere else (why otherwise they will come and read your blog, anyway?). And for family and friends, anything they can relate to would be a good start.

Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

3. Pick Blogging Platform:

Blogging is not necessarily a new way to reach a vast audience. And as such there are so many blogging platforms to pick from: WordPress, Blogger, Thumbr, etc . Each blogging software would have their templates, look and feel which you might or might not like, so take your time. Take them for a test drive before you commit to adding content. Once you start blogging, it is usually very hard to move to another platform.

Although all blogging platforms serve the same purpose: to enable you to communicate your ideas and content to everyone, not all are created equal. Look for blogging platform which is SEO optimized or can be SEO optimized. You need to make it easy for Google, Bing and Yahoo to index and display a link to your blog in their search engines. After all, if no one finds and reads your blog, what is the whole purpose of it. Plenty of templates (both free and paid) is also good to have. And lastly, look for modern features as social networking integration, Google Analytics integration, video (YouTube, Vimeo) support, etc.

4. Focus Your Energy:

Many successful blogs that have loyal and sizable user base, are indeed addressing a very specific topic or area of interest. For example, it would be hard for you to come up with unique and interesting content for the entire photography field, but what about destination wedding photography tips for Bora Bora? How many other destination wedding photographers would be blogging about Bora Bora compared to wedding photography in general.

Being unique and focusing your energy would not only draw a loyal and dedicated readers, but would also enable you to write “deeper” and more insightful content. Your readers would come back if they find the content they like and need. Trying to be the “jack of all trades” would not get you far.

5. Be Productive:

After you selected your blogging platform, don’t just stop there. There are many useful and free tools to help you be more productive in publishing your blogs. The most important thing to do after you write your blog article is to proofread it for grammar and spelling errors. There are few great online tools to help you:

If you prefer to have a real person do the proof reading, one option is to head to Fiverr. For $10 or less, there is an army of freelancers who do great job on polishing and getting your article ready for publishing.

And if you care about higher search ranking for your blog, consider writing at least 650 characters blogs. To help you measure this, here is a free online tool for you: Word Counter

Romantic Bridal Portrait from Memorial Church Wedding in Stanford, CA

Romantic Bridal Portrait from Memorial Church Wedding in Stanford, CA

6. Make It Engaging:

One way to keep your readers engaged on your site is to add images to your blogs. This makes your blog easier to read as the reader’s eyes are”resting” on the images instead of getting tired of scrolling through the lines of text. The images also add context to your content and are more likely to invoke reaction by your readers, and therefore make them remember your blog or topic.

You can take and share your own images (why not show the World what amazing photographer you are) for your blog. This is not only adding context to your blog, but would also keep you motivated to go out and capture the images for your next blog article.  Lastly you will have the platform to display and share your images with your readers.

If you don’t have the time to capture and process your own images, there is a plethora of royalty free images online. Here is one library in case you need it: Free Digital Photos

7. Be Consistent:

Many photographers start their own blogs only to give up on the idea within 5-6 months. Actually, stale blog can do more harm than benefit. Visitors and past readers would wonder if you no longer dedicate time and energy to photography. Have you not be keeping with your craft and don’t have anything new to share?

So, if you are serious about starting a blog, then create a blogging schedule and stick with it. Posting regularly not only would keep your readers engaged, but would also help your SEO. Google and the rest of the search engines love fresh content worth adding to their indexes. It is better to post short articles (350 words) frequently (once or twice per week) rather than once a month or week with 600 words or more (guilty on this one).

8. Make It Interesting and Unique:

When it comes to blogs, less is more. Quality wins over quality.

Instead of churning mediocre blog articles four or five times per week, opt for once or twice per week, quality and informative content. You can lose readers if you keep spamming them with low quality, “me too” rehashed content. No body has the time to read the same ideas in different words.

So keep it interesting and original. Come up with topics that others care about and are looking to learn more about it.

Christian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

Christian Wedding at Memorial Church in Stanford, CA

9. Let Others Know:

Lastly, once you have a blog and started to blog regularly, the last step is to let others know about it.

Get the word out. Share it with your friends, post links to your blog online on Twitter, Facebook, forums. What good is a blog if no one knows about it and reads it. And if you know your readers are not online at 10pm, don’t post at that time. You can always save your finished blog and post it when your readers are online and can see it.

Conclusion:

Blogging is a great way for every photographer to share its vision, images and knowledge with others. It is a way to let others know more about you and your passion, something that your images cannot always do. Having a blog would not only make you more visible online, but could also benefit your photography business.

Brides and grooms are looking for wedding photographers online, so giving them a reason to find you and read your useful content, is yet another way to grow your business. I hope these tips would help you to start your own blog. Would love to hear your feedback and comments in the section below.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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My New Wedding Photography Account on Instagram


Instagram Logo

Instagram Logo

I finally did it. After few years of posting photos on my personal Instagram account, I have now created new wedding and portrait related photography account.

Follow me and you will not miss a single photo I will share from my recent weddings, engagement and portrait sessions: Trifon Anguelov Photography on Instagram

I have to admit that this was a big chance for me. I truly believe in the 100% smartphone images being posted on Instagram. And have been following this religiously (still will follow) in my personal Instagram account.

Being constrained by the square photo format and the smartphone lens, forces one to think differently and get creative. What is possible with a DSLR camera and wide variety of lenses with various apertures and field of views, it not available on a smartphone. And I liked it. I think it has helped me to become a better photographer.

Related: 9 Tips For Becoming a Successful Photographer

So what made me start posting DSLR images on Instagram in my wedding photography account? Well, few reasons:

  • the increasing adoption of Instagram and the reach which it provides
  • the decreasing reach of Facebook, especially for business pages and the news feed changes Facebook has been making lately
  • the simplicity of posting and sharing images on Instagram

No question everyone gets tired of even the most loved and used technology after a while, and after being on Facebook for a while I believe this is now the case. Especially, after all the videos of cats or ripped off from YouTube video shares started. But let’s not get grumpy and gloomy. It is simply time to try something new.

The most compelling reason to decrease presence on Facebook and shift more attention to Instagram, has been the changes in the way how Facebook now controls (or shall I say restricts) how the news feeds are distributed and seen by friends. True, Facebook developers made sure that spam if filtered, but soon enough the reach was curtailed (in the name of “user experience , aka: How To Make More Money For Shareholders and advertising profit), which means all the images and posts which previously were getting lots of views now are diminished to few views per day (if one is lucky and times the posts correctly).

If you have missed this and the uproar from fellow photographers on how Facebook news feed algorithm change has affected their business, feel free to read this recent FStoppers Story.

So. The decision has been made. I will be spending more time on Instagram, sharing my photos and work, so be sure to follow me. I will still be on Facebook as my workflow is optimized to share images on multiple social networks, so nothing to worry. If you like Facebook and you already follow Trifon Anguelov Photography on Facebook, you will still get updates on my latest projects.

Conclusion:

For a photographer, there is never enough exposure or limited number of platforms to share its work. And nothing is written in stone or confined into a walled garden. As world around us evolves, so we too.

I am planning to share some tips on how to setup, use and utilize Instagram for Photographers, so subscribe to my blog and follow for updates. I am sure my learnings and failures would help you in one way or another.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Pakistani (Islamic) Wedding at Santa Clara, CA


What a wedding Daniah and Ali’s Pakistani had few weeks ago in Santa Clara, CA. Both were simply amazing in the pre-wedding session as well during the ceremony and reception. Their wedding story and highlights are also posted on my website: Pakistani (Islamic) Wedding at Santa Clara, CA

It was a pleasure to be around these two so much in love souls. Congratulations on their marriage and I wish them many happy years together! Like a wedding photographer, I cannot be happier and honored to be their photographer. Love is awesome!

Here is a slideshow highlight from their wedding day:

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days.

To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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Why Hire a Second Photographer For Your Wedding


Bride and Groom First Dance in Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA

Bride and Groom First Dance in Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, CA

Hiring a wedding photographer to take photos during the ceremony, reception and party afterwards is a no brainer. It’s a must if the bride and groom would like to have the wedding moments captured. And the wedding photographer can guide and pose the couple on How To Look at Their Best on Their Wedding Photos.

The wedding photographer is the person would will use its talent and vision to create stunning and amazing wedding images.

Brides also have an option to hire a second wedding photographer who will team up with the primary photographer for additional coverage. There are numerous reasons for why a bride might want to add a second photographer (also called second shooter) as well there are lots of benefits of doing so.

But first, let’s mention the disclaimer: There will be no extra efforts or meetings required to hire a second shooter.

The responsibility for screening, hiring and processing the images from the second photographer, lays entirely on the primary photographer’s shoulders.

Many primary wedding photographers already have second shooters in mind and have been working with them in the past. This collaboration guarantees styles and equipment matching. So now that we know, there are no extra meetings and efforts required for the bride, let’s see what the benefits are.

1. Getting Different Compositions and Angles:

The primary and secondary photographers would be looking for, capturing the wedding moments from different angles which mean you would get many more differently looking photos. Both photographers would be also used a different perspective and lenses, so you would receive both wide-angle and zoomed into shots.

You will be able to see both the entire scene as well the individual images of key people in your wedding.The different compositions and angles would allow you to have much more interesting images in your wedding album later.

You would also have another benefit of having both primary and secondary photographers complement each other rather than capturing the same scene and moments from the same angle.

2. No Additional Interviews and Paperwork:

The secondary shooters are contracted by the primary photographer under his own contract so there is no need to interview and contract them on your own. This will save you precious time to meet additional vendors and planners. It is one less contract to read and sign and vendor to coordinate it.

DIY Decoration at Romantic Backyard Wedding in Livermore, CA

DIY Decoration at Romantic Backyard Wedding in Livermore, CA

3. Consistent Look and Feel:

Because you will contract the primary photographer, he or she would be primarily responsible for editing all the images (both from the primary and secondary photographers). You can expect a consistent look across all images (brightness, sharpness, colors, etc) which mean all images would be processed with the same effects and workflow.

Style (feel) would be the same as well. The primary photographers usually would pick a secondary photographer who matches their style (candid, photojournalistic, modern, fashion, traditional, etc) so you can be guaranteed your images would have the same style as well.

Related: Wedding Photography Styles Explained

4. Documenting Everything:

While the primary photographer is focusing on the bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen during the wedding, there is a lot more happening: Grandma crying from joy, Mom and Dad gasping in excitement, guests reacting to bride’s and her father walking down the aisle, etc.

There is more than the bride and groom on each wedding, so having a second photographer allows you to have these moments documented as well.

5. You Get Undivided Attention:

A single photographer has to focus on all the moments during the wedding, plus capture the decorations, flowers, details as rings, dress, shoes. This means that he or she has to switch its attention between you (bride and groom) and these other shots that needs to be staged and photographed.

A second photographer usually takes these off the mind and shoulders of the primary thus freeing him to focus its undivided attention to you. You can be assured that no single moment would be missed while you would have wonderful images of your flowers, decorations and bridal artifacts.

6. Capture More Moments:

There is a limited time allocated for a wedding. A single photographer can only capture so many moments of the wedding, but add an additional (second) photographer and you would double the images captured. Which means there will be more to choose for your wedding album and prints later.

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Wedding Reception at Corinthian Event Center in San Jose, CA

Also there are few extra benefits from having your primary photographer bring a second shooter to your wedding:

  • The primary photographer would find and hire a second shooter who matches the style and look consistent of the primary, so the look of the final images set would be consistent
  • Primary and Secondary would most likely be using the same or similar equipment (camera body, lenses, lighting techniques) so there will be no image quality differences between the images taken by both
  • Both photographers would have worked together in the past and know to supplement each other and not stepping on each others toes

Related: How To Prepare For Your Wedding Day

Conclusion:

Hiring a second photographer is a great idea. It allows you, as a bride and groom, to have more moments from your wedding caught. Your wedding photography coverage is limited in duration, but there are so many moments and events happening.

Adding a second shooter to your package will not only allow your primary photographer to focus on you (the bride & groom) coverage but would also allow you to see how your family, relatives and friends have experienced your wedding. These reactions and emotions will happen and you can have them documented as well.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding Photographer in Mountain View, CA. Many clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area have entrusted us with capturing their wedding days. To learn more about the wedding photography services we offer and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site


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12 Questions Photographers Hope Clients Would Never Ask


Elegant Wedding at San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, CA

Elegant Wedding at San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, CA

It takes time and effort to hire the right portrait or wedding photographer. From searching to a portfolio review to getting to more about the personality to getting all questions answered. It is a time-consuming process, many people looking to have their life moments and events photographed.

And while the look and feel of photos can be seen and subjectively evaluated, the rest of the Photographer’s Jargon and technical aspects of the digital photography are the one I have found many clients struggle with.

So no wonder many clients have lots of questions they are trying to get answers to during the portrait appointment booking or pre-wedding consultations. Some easy to answer, some not so. And some, frankly speaking, photographers are hoping their clients would never ask.

Don’t get me wrong. It is not that photographers are an anti-social bunch or tech gigs, but it has more to do with the type of questions being raised. Some of the most difficult questions are open-ended and require lots of time to explain thoroughly while for some there is simply no single answer.

Here are some of these questions which many photographers dread. I have also added my explanation on why that might be.

1. Wouldn’t This Location Be Perfect For My Photos?

Let’s face it. Clients love to have their photos taken at locations they have been before and feel attach to local parks, their backyards, playgrounds, etc. But that not always might be a good idea.

Here are few reasons why:

  • bad light: too bright or too dim light limits the photographer’s ability to capture amazing pictures
  • busy background: the background might be too “busy” with distracting objects or color combinations
  • too boring: the location might not have the desired architectural or natural artifacts the photographer needs to create interesting composition

My advice is: Leave the location selection to your photographer. Feel free to suggest few places you like, but take advantage of the photographer’s creative talent and experience.

You hired a professional photographer because of the images he or she created and because of the vision and talent you felt best matches your needs. It is best if you let the photographer pick the location(s) and guide you on the posing. You will get much better results. Same for the time of the session (with more details below).

2. Why You Cannot Take Our Pictures at Noon?

While some hours of the day are more convenient for some clients, it doesn’t mean that this is the perfect time for a photography session. The light might be way too bright which will make the colors look washed off in the final images. Bright light also means that the people photographed would squint their eyes to protect their eyes from the blinding sunlight. And also the overhead sunlight would cast dark shadows under the eyes and cause what’s known as “raccoon eyes” look.

Many photographers would recommend hours close to sunset as this is the time when the light is more diffused and comes at an angle rather than straight above the subject. If you must have your session at noon, at least let the photographer pick a location where you will not be in “full sun” but more in an open shadow area (see Question #1 above).

3. Can I See The Photos On The Back Of  Your Camera?

Many clients are eager to see their pictures on the back of photographer’s camera during their session. Some even walk away from the location the photographer posed them and lose the pose the photographer spend time and energy to create, only to take a peek at their photo on the back of the camera. This is not only counterproductive as limits the images a photographer can take during the booked time, but also interrupts the flow of creative energy and inspiration the photographer brings to the session.

And to make the matter worst, the images on the back of the camera are so small that one cannot judge easily how they will turn out in the final prints. So my advice is: Hold the temptation to see your images instantly. Be patient and let the photographer capture the images he or she have in mind. The captured images would be enhanced during post-process, so, believe me, you are better off seeing the final images rather than the intermediate results.

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

Bridal shoes at intimate DIY wedding in Benicia, CA

4. Why I Cannot Have All Images From My Session?

Many clients want to have every single image from their session. It is the feeling of missing on the images not included in the final selection. Most photographers provide a selection of the very best images to their clients for few reasons:

  • viewing experience: looking at images with similar poses and composition but slightly different facial expressions is diluting the viewing experience and final satisfaction
  • pricing: processing every single image from a session requires much more time (and yes, time is valuable) than the fee paid by the client

My advice is: Trust your photographer to curate a selection with the very best images from your session. If not satisfied with the results, ask to see few additional images not included in the selection. In most cases, the photographers would show you the very best of the selection and will not withhold any portfolio worthy images from you. And if you are willing to pay for the additional images, they can post-process and provide them for an extra fee, of course.

5. You Can Fix That in Photoshop, Right?

Many clients expect their images to be edited in Photoshop after the session. Which is fine when small corrections are required, and most photographers do that as part of their workflow. Some of these corrections might be:

  • removing hair flyaways across you eyes or face
  • removing distracting branches, leaves or litter from your images
  • patching missing grass
  • removing random bystanders or walkers from the background of your images
  • etc

But what might raise photographer’s eyebrows are changes that might not be easy or appropriate to do. Things like: extreme slimming of you body figure, adding a ferocious T-Rex chasing everyone in your family pictures, arming your kids with fake weapons in their portraits, etc (these by the way if you wonder are real requests I have heard over the years).

Make sure you discuss any post-processing Photoshop changes with your photographer before the session. This way he or she would be able to comment on if this is something that could be done or not. It also makes it easier, to stage the photo shoot and pose you, with these edits in mind.

6. Can You Make Me Look Younger And Less Tired On My Photos?

Well, this is related to the Photoshop question above, and there are few things a photographer can do. But if you are going to ask this questions, please, at least specify how that would look like.

Different people have different ways to describe a younger and less tired look, so think how the photographer would know what edits to make. Edits like removing dark circles under the eyes, removing neck wrinkles, darkening the hair color or whitening the scleras, can be done easily, so explain to your photographer the edits you have in mind.

7. Why Do You Charge So Much?

No photographer would like to answer this question, for few reasons. First, he charges what he or she thinks their time and talent are worth, and very few are open to negotiations. Second, quantifying “so much” is very hard to do as the photography session prices vary widely. For more experience and more creative images, one should expect to pay more.

So instead of asking the photographer to justify its rates, try to find out what is included into your session price. Things like: duration, digital images, prints, edits, retouches, etc. are useful to know. At least you, as a client, would know what your payment would get you. Which is a very valid question to ask anyway.

Related: Detailed Pricing for Trifon Anguelov Photography Wedding Services

8. Can You Shot Half The Time, Give Me Fewer Pictures And Charge Half The Price?

Well, this sounds like plain bargaining and while it is customary for some cultures to bargain over price in the USA this is considered offensive. Keep in mind that photography is a luxury and discretionary service, so it is hard to put a price tag based on the time and number of images one receives.

The look from photo to photo varies with the photographer’s experience, so the emotions and feelings a photograph triggers. Not all photographers are created equal in regards to their skills, talent, vision, and experience.

So my best advice is: Skip the bargaining part. Inquire about the price and service details and hire someone who can deliver the results you are looking for the price you are willing to pay. The changes are that your bargaining efforts would be in vain.

Related: Wedding Tips for Brides From Wedding Photographer’s Point of View

 9. Can You Give Us The RAW Files So We Can Edit Them Ourselves?

Most photographers would not like this question because they feel it undermines their brand and insults them as artists. The RAW files are simply SOOC (straight out of the camera) images with no edits or enhancements and many photographers consider them just the building block for creating their final images. Later in post-processing edits of brightness, sharpness, color, and contrast are made to give the final image the look and feel, the photographer had in their mind during the session.

So if RAW files are shared, and the client does not as great post-processing edits, and later shares the image with a note that was taken by so and so the photographer, guess how the photographer would feel. His reputation would be tarnished for something he or she has not done.

So pass on this question and hire the best photographer you can afford. This way you don’t have to edit your photos and if you are itching to use Photoshop, ask the photographer for what is his policy for editing and sharing his or her photos.

Wedding Floral Decoration at Wedding in San Mateo, CA

Wedding Floral Decoration at Wedding in San Mateo, CA

10. Should I buy Nikon or Canon Camera?

This question just makes sense, right. The photographer should know which one is best.

Maybe, but how can one recommend something if he or she doesn’t know how the person intends to use it. It is like, one recommending someone to buy a sports car without knowing if the person is driving it like to drive fast or slow. The question is simply way too open for someone to give a single answer.

If you are buying the camera to snap occasionally pictures on your family vacations, either brand will do.

11. What Camera Should I Buy?

Again. Way too open-ended question without knowing the intended purpose. The right model would be the one that meets your needs, so talk to your photographer first what you plan to photograph and maybe he or she can give you advice.

My guess is that camera in the medium price range would do fine. Read the online reviews and you would get a pretty good idea.

12. Can We Do Pose Like This One?

While this is a very common question photographers are getting nowadays, there lays the problem. Using Pinterest to copy poses and setups also means that your images would look like exactly as everyone else. You are asking the photographer to copy the look, so this is what he or she would do, right.

Photographers think of themselves as creative artists and like to add their creative input to the images. They like to experiment and invent, rather than to follow. Plus the poses you might be considering might not be a good fit for your body structure, location or look the photographer usually produces. So, let the photographer’s creativity take place. If you liked his or her previous work, the chances are that you would get similar results from your session as well.

Conclusion:

Save yourself time and energy by asking the right questions when speaking with photographers. It is a good idea to avoid open-ended and hard to answer in few sentences questions. Instead, focus on understanding the logistics for your session (what time to meet your photographer, how long before you see the final images, what is included in your package, etc.).

Look for a photographer with a style and look you like, rather than price tag you wish to pay. Then talk about what results you wish to have but leave the details on how, when and where to the photographer. It is their job to arrange and conduct the photo session in the best possible way so you can have the amazing images you hired them for.

About the Author:

Trifon Anguelov Photography is a Premiere Bay Area Wedding and Events Photography business based in Mountain View, CA. We currently offer engagement, wedding, events and portraiture photography services to clients in the entire San Francisco Bay Area. For updated portfolio, to learn more about us and book a wedding or portrait appointment, visit our Wedding and Portrait Photography Site