Colorado wedding photographers offer many services beyond capturing the moments at your ceremony and reception. They also provide creative solutions for everything from engagement sessions to family portraits, to all of the candid moments spontaneously unfolding throughout your day. Choosing the right wedding photographer for you can be quite the overwhelming task with so many different options to choose from. Here are 7 questions to ask your Colorado wedding photographer before you hire them for your wedding.
Do You Have Insurance?
Every single legitimate photographer will have business insurance and will be able to answer this question quickly. These photographers are running legal businesses that pay taxes, have insurance, and are true professionals. While you may be okay with hiring a hobbyist photographer who doesn't have insurance for your family photos you can retake in a year to save some money, hiring a hobbyist wedding photographer is asking for a potential legal issue to arise if an accident were to occur. Even if the photographer takes beautiful photos, if they're not willing to protect their business and pay for insurance, they're not going to be willing to invest in you and your experience with them either.
What is Your Travel Radius?
Let's face it, Colorado is huge and regardless of where you're getting married, you're likely going to want your engagement photos done in or near the mountains. This means your photographer will either be travelling to your engagement session or your wedding venue, or both. Find out what travel radius your potential wedding photographer is willing to work in, if they charge travel fees, and if they make you choose from a pre-selected list of locations for your engagement session. The last thing you want is to hire a wedding photographer in Denver, only to find out they don't travel more than 30 miles away for engagement sessions when you had your heart set on RMNP.
Is an Engagement Session Included?
Speaking of engagement sessions, asking your potential wedding photographer if they include an engagement session in their wedding packages is a must. More often than not, most Colorado wedding photographers don't include a complimentary engagement session, however they often do offer discounted engagement sessions to their wedding clients. Whether or not an engagement session is included will have a big impact on your wedding budget and isn't something you should skip as it affects your ability to connect with your wedding photographer prior to your big day. Wedding photographers who include engagement sessions complimentary in their wedding packages are thinking of you and how to help you have the complete wedding experience, while those who don't may be thinking of their own profit margins over your experience.
How Long Will it Take for my Wedding Photos to be Delivered?
Asking logistical questions isn't always fun when it comes to searching for your dream wedding photographer, but it will save you the headache and potential heartache later on. One such question to ask is how long it will take you to get your wedding gallery delivered. Your potential wedding photographer will have an exact timeframe to give you on the maximum amount of weeks it will take (i.e., within x weeks). If they don't, run. Not knowing how long it will take to get your gallery back to you is a major red flag when hiring your wedding photographer as this is a pretty big indicator that they're not as professional as they want you to believe they are, and that there is nothing in their contract holding them to deliver your fully edited gallery by a set date. Ever heard those horror stories of couples waiting a year to see their wedding photos and are still waiting? Don't let this be you. Every photographer will have a different answer for how long it takes them to deliver edited galleries, but on average you should expect a turnaround time of 4-12 weeks.
Do You Help with Timeline Planning?
This probably isn't a question you thought to as your Colorado wedding photographer, but let me tell you, it's insanely important. Unless you have an awesome wedding planner who truly understands how long photos take, you're likely not going to know how to put together an effective wedding day timeline. The good news is your wedding photographer does know, and if they don't, they're likely too inexperienced or they don't care enough about you to give you the best experience possible. This may sound harsh, but when it comes to picking the perfect wedding photographer, client experience is just as important as beautiful photos. After all, you are investing thousands of dollars. You deserve to work with someone who wants to put in the extra effort to craft the perfect timeline for you so your wedding day is a breeze.
Do You Charge Extra for RMNP?
If you're a Colorado local, you're well aware how gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park is, and there's a pretty strong chance you might be considering it for your engagement session. The good news is that Colorado wedding photographers absolutely love taking their couples to RMNP and will likely always jump at the chance to take you and boo's engagement photos in the breath taking park. The downside? Most Colorado wedding photographers charge an extra fee to take your photos in the park.
Besides potentially being outside a photographer's standard radius, RMNP charges photographers a permit fee just to take photos in the park. Vast majority of photographers will pass this permit fee on to you, the client, as it is not something they cover. The permit fee is only $50, so fortunately even if your photographer doesn't cover it themselves, it won't break the bank. Do still double check with your photographer any and all additional fees they might be adding for RMNP, as there are still plenty of photographers in the area who charge $100's extra for this "destination" location.
Pro tip: Not planning on getting your engagement photos done in RMNP? Still check with your photographer if your desired engagement location requires a permit or other additional fees! Colorado is a gorgeous state, and many places require permits. You don't want to have your heart set on a location only to find out your photographer will charge you an unexpected fee to shoot there.
How do You Backup our Wedding Photos?
Technology is great, until it isn't. We've all heard and made this joke before, but nobody wants this joke to be due to something happening to their wedding photos. Any wedding photographer worth their salt will have backup systems in place to ensure a memory card corruption doesn't spell doom for your wedding photos. Absolutely, no matter what, make sure you ask your wedding photographer how they back up your wedding photos to avoid any worst-case scenarios happening, and to weed out the not so professional photographers in the process.
A pro wedding photographer won't hesitate to answer this question, and the first thing they tell you should be that their camera saves your photos immediately to two separate memories cards (they may say their camera has dual slots - this means the same thing) that way the literal second your precious memories are captured, they're already backed up in more than one place. After that, they should have an at home process, typically one that involves backing up your photos a third time to another external storage device. This keeps your priceless, irreplaceable wedding memories triple protected, even when technology fails.
Interview Silver Mountain Photography
Click through to interview me, Silver Mountain Photography, on all 7 of the questions asked in this blog post!
Not sure where to start?
Yes, I absolutely do! Keeping both myself and my clients protected is hugely important to me.
Does your venue require vendors list them as an additional insured? Not a problem! I've got it covered.
Do You Have Insurance?
I travel across the entire US for weddings! I only charge additional travel fees for engagement sessions beyond roughly a two hour drive of Longmont, CO.
What is Your Travel Radius?
Hell yeah, absolutely! Engagement sessions are 1000% part of your wedding story and so, so important to create the best wedding photos, too. These aren't something you should ever have to pay more for and are included in all 6+ hour wedding packages.
Engagement Session Included?
Your fully edited wedding photos will always be delivered within 4 weeks of your wedding day. You don't deserve to be forced to wait 6+ months to see your wedding photos. I make sure you get them as soon as possible, fully edited with my absolute love and attention.
How Long Will it Take?
Yes, I do help with planning your wedding day timeline! Two months prior to your best day we'll start going over all the important details and photo wants, and from there I'll help build a seamless day of timeline so you can rest easy knowing your wedding day photo schedule is fully taken care of.
Help with Timeline Planning?
Nope, never! I love RMNP and am more than happy to cover the cost of the permit so that we can capture your gorgeous engagement photos in this stunning park.
For all other locations in Colorado that require a photo permit, I cover any permits $50 or under. Any other permits above that will be billed to you (though this is quite rare in Colorado).
Extra Charge for RMNP?
I have dual slot cameras, meaning every time I take a photo, it is automatically saved to two separate memory cards inside my camera. Once I get home from your wedding, I immediately backup your photos a third time to an external device. From there I keep your RAW photos on their memory cards until I've finished your gallery and delivered it to you.
Once you've received your entire gallery, only then will RAW files be removed from my memory cards.