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More About Wedding Photography:
Frequently Asked Questions

It's a complicated business and you're bound to have lots of questions.

Moreover since you've probably never been married before, you're not even sure exactly what it is you need to be asking. But you know you need to ask questions. So here are a few that I think you should be asking and my brief answers.

I prefer to meet couples as early in the process as possible and go through everything with them in person. So if you want to know more please contact me for an appointment.

How do I choose a Wedding Photographer?
Hardest question first right? Not really, just book me!

I think it's very hard to choose someone. Most photographers show you lovely big albums full of great pictures of beautiful people. However what inevitably makes the big difference between one photographer and the next is the level of service they provide.

Yes, they do need to be able to take photographs, they need enough skills, experience and equipment to ensure that they always get it right. But 95% of the feedback I get about Wedding Photographers related to their customer service (good and bad).

Just remember that this person is with you all day: from Bride's hair and make-up through the ceremony and the reception. To a certain extent they are in charge of the schedule too (when and where to take photos, how much time to take up shooting etc).

A wedding day is a roller-coaster of emotions: joy, relief, stress and often even a little sadness. Your photographer is going to be there through all this. Even when you're 'alone' with your new spouse, the photographer will probably be there.

So it's important that you get on with your photographer personally and that they understand you and your partner enough to know how to get what they need without adding additional pressure or stress to your wedding day. In fact the best photographers make the day run smoother: they know it's all about you.

In reality most successful couples rely on testimonials from people they know. A lot of photographers don't survive long doing weddings and those that do get most of their work from personal referrals from happy customers. This gets over the 'never been married before' problem somewhat but have a good talk to whoever is recommending a photographer and suss them out.

Obviously you need to make sure your photographer will take beautiful photographs and that you have the budget to pay them. Make sure you review the full proofs of a real wedding (not just the 'best of' album).

How much should wedding photography cost?
Another hard one. But in reality the answer is 'enough'. It's a full day taking pictures and there's as much time again selecting, correcting and editing the images so you can review them at their best. Good albums are expensive and there's a lot of time involved in custom-designing an album to perfectly set-off your chosen images.

If someone is a full-time professional then you should expect to pay for their time. You shouldn't have to pay a premium because they are popular / busy / trendy / chic / rock-star. But if you're getting a deal or paying significantly below the market rate then make sure you understand why.

You'll find lots of wedding photographer web sites answering this question by whinging about the cost of doing business, owning the right gear, insurance etc. They all have valid points but I find wedding photographers do moan an awful lot about competition. In almost all cases, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

If you want me to take your wedding photos but you don't have the budget for the full package then I'm happy to talk about options that will reduce the cost without affecting the quality of what I provide. We can look at reducing the coverage, different options for delivering the images (simpler or smaller albums for example).

OK, some more straightforward ones:

Do you travel to weddings?
Yes. Although the majority of my weddings are in the Cork / Kerry region I am prepared to travel further if required. My package costing assumes a moderate amount of travel so if I need to go further or stay overnight they'll be an additional cost.

Are you available for my wedding?
Probably. Obviously the only way to be sure is to contact me with your date but since I balance my business between weddings, portraits and commercial work I tend to have more availability than people who shoot mostly weddings.

Do you do civil weddings?
Yes I've photographed a lot of civil weddings, large and small, in a number of popular locations. If you're planning a smaller wedding - whether it's a civil ceremony or a small church wedding - then you may not need the full package. Contact me and we can discuss your plans and create a wedding photography service that's right for you.

Do you do 'Storybook Albums'?
Yes. Now I think some people mix up terms with albums and especially confuse 'Storybook' with 'Photobook' and sometimes even 'Coffee Table'. But I can provide a full range of album styles either as part of the package or as options on the package for something larger or more fancy. The specifics of how the albums work is easier to show you in person than to trade confusing terms.

Do you work on your own?
In general I cover weddings on my own but it is possible to bring a second photographer along to cover additional elements of the day if that's required. I know some good photographers that I'm very happy to work with. There will be an additional charge for this.

Do you do video?
No. I think video work is very different to stills photography in terms of the creative process, planning and equipment required. It's a different profession. I do know some good professionals who I'm happy to recommend and work alongside on the day if you need a recommendation.

What happens if you're sick on my wedding day?
First off this hasn't ever happened but it is a possibility and I guess one which all small business people worry about. I have a network of professional contacts locally who I would expect to draw upon if this were to happen. I would find a trusted professional photographer to cover your wedding and I would provide whatever assistance to them I can.

How many pictures will I get?
For a typical traditional wedding you can expect to see between 300 and 500 proof images. These will all be corrected and basic edits done so you can appreciate what they'll look like in the album. This isn't all the images shot on the day as I'll remove duplicate and similar images but nothing is left out.

The albums in the package are 'Storybook' format in that there are a mix of pages with single images on them and pages with more than one image designed to work together. Therefore for a 30 page album you can expect 60-90 images. Albums with less images tend to be more stylish and elegant, focussing on the key images with most impact. Albums with more images give a wider spread of the day and cover more.

Sometimes it's not easy to narrow down the selection but I can help you with that.

Do I get a CD of images?
Proof images are delivered by a web gallery which is viewable on a desktop computer or mobile device.

You can purchase a disc of high resolution images or you can choose to replace your album in the package with the disc. The disc contains high resolution versions of all the images in your proof gallery so they've all been edited and ready to print yourself.

Before you consider the Digital-only option (possibly to save money), it's worth reading this and thinking about whether you'll get around to your own album and whether it'll be worth it in the end.

Is there a deposit?
Yes I normally take a €300 deposit for the wedding package. This secures your booking and keeps the date.

When is the rest due?
The balance of the payment for the package is due on (or before) the wedding day.

Once we've booked, what happens next?
I like to know as much as possible about the wedding before the ceremony. A lot of this is logistics of timing between the various locations and the ceremony but it also includes who's who in the bridal party so we can make sure everything is covered. Normally this can all be handled at a meeting around a week before the ceremony but if there are material changes to the original booking before then then the sooner I know the better.

For the majority of weddings I also attend the rehearsal. This allows me to meet the priest or celebrant and members of the bridal party before the ceremony. It also gives me an opportunity to see the venue and how it's lit. In partiuclar each priest has their own personal preferences for seating, arranging the bridal party for the vows and signing the register - all these are worked out during the rehearsal so it's good to know all this in advance.

What happens after the wedding?
I'll go through all the pictures taken, prune out the duplicates and similar images and process the entire set for your web gallery. For most couples I aim to have them available for when they return from honeymoon but that somewhat depends on the specific timing of the wedding (and the honeymoon of course). You then get the chance to go through them and enjoy them at your leisure.

From there I need a list of favourite images from which to base your album design. You can either just give me a list or come into the Gallery in Douglas and choose them with me.

I then put together an album design. We review it, you approve it and I get it produced.


I'm sure there's lots here that I haven't been able to cover, or you may have more questions regarding my answers so please don't hesitate to contact me and I can help you organise a beautiful set of memories that you and your family will cherish for many years to come.


All images © Rob Lamb 2014 all rights reserved