What to ask your wedding photographer

An article came out in Brides magazine on the exact day I established Interstellar Image. It was titled, “36 Important Questions To Ask Your Wedding Photographer“ and while I answered these questions a thousand times, it is good to revisit my responses

Availability:

  • Is my wedding date available?

    • The best way to find out would be to email alanna@interstellarimage.com | All projects are accepted on a first come first serve basis. In order to preserve the quality of service, we shoot one large-scale event per day and limit how many projects we can accept throughout the year.

  • Will you be the one shooting my wedding? If not, can I meet the photographer who will be on-site?

    • Alanna is the lead photographer for all events over 250 guests. All associate photographers are as skilled as Alanna and are prepared to take over an event in case of an emergency.

  • How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?

    • We average one or two weddings per weekend in addition to smaller events like pre-wedding events or parties

  • Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day?

    • If you have more than 150 guests, yes. Usually the second or third photographer will assist throughout the day whenever they’re available

Background Check:

  • How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?

    • I (Alanna) have photographed weddings since 2014, mostly jewish or persian and more recently, “American-style“. If I had to guess at least 150

  • Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we are planning?

    • In terms or size, I have photographed everything from 3 to 1000 guest weddings. In terms of style, its usually creative.

  • Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?

    • Yes, absolutely. We send specific galleries with a proposal. Many of our clients love to share, but privacy and discretion are a large part of our M.O.

  • Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues? If not, do you plan to check the venues out in advance?

    • There are numerous venues in Southern California and I have shot at most of them. Generally, a professional should be able to capture a good photo no matter where they are, but I go on venue walkthroughs whenever possible

  • Have you ever worked with our planner? Videographer? Florist? DJ? etc.

    • I am always excited to work with new vendors. For a more specific answer, email alanna@interstellarimage.com

Style:

  • How would you describe your photography style? What would you compare your work to?

    • Short answer : I want everything to look like a dramatic fashion editorial in Vogue Italia

    • Long Answer : There are four photographers I looked to for inspiration. Elizabeth Messina, Annie Leibovitz, Lelia Scarfiotti and Jose Villa. I find myself somewhere between art, fashion and documentary. I also switch between light and dark styles based on the client

  • How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?

    • All of the above. We discuss this during our creative consultation, it really depends on how the bride and groom want the day to go.

  • Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?

    • Our studio is 98% Digital. We offer a polaroid package that can be added for the cost of film and a third photographer

Pricing & Packages:

  • What is included in your standard package? What add-ons do the more expensive packages include?

    • All packages and information can be found HERE | Email alanna@interstellarimage.com for any additional questions

  • Can I customize a package to fit my needs?

  • Do you include engagement photos in your packages? What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?

  • How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?

    • Our base wedding package covers eight hours, twelve at the most

    • Overtime is $250/hr per photographer - Usually only one is necessary for after hours

  • Do you offer a photo booth?

    • No, but we offer a polaroid photography package

  • Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?

    • Images are culled and color corrected through adobe lightroom, then uploaded to an online gallery. Couples are able to select their top 150 for photoshop/retouching, each additional image is $10

    • Retouching is complimentary for enlargements included in the package

  • Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

    • Distances beyond 10 miles of 90210 are subject to a travel fee of $2/mile.

    • Travel costs for destinations outside of Los Angeles county are covered by the client

Prints & Albums:

  • Can we order prints or albums directly from you?

    • Yes, but prepare for a lot of questions

  • What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?

    • We get our albums printed at Miller’s, the traditional 11”x15“ leather bound 30page book is $350. Yes, you could go to Costco, but the quality will not be the same

    • We provide a gallery with over 500 images that allow you to create a “favorites“ list. The album design is based on the list and you will receive a digital draft that allows us to switch out images or redesign pages together, online.

  • Are albums or prints included in your packages? How many pages or prints are included, and what is the turnaround time?

    • Album design is included in all packages, but the cost of the physical print is the couple’s responsibility.

    • Couples have the full right to print the images wherever and however they like upon completion of payment

  • How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?

    • We submit teasers within 24hours of the wedding and the full digital gallery within 2-3 weeks.

    • A hard drive with all the raw files are available in our 12hr package or for an additional $250

  • Will we have the rights to the images?

    • Personal use rights to the images are transferred to the contracted party upon completion of payment, unless they intend to sell them to a publication or media outlet. Interstellar image reserves the right to distribute all images for promotional purposes

  • Will we receive the negatives and/or high resolution digital images? Is there a fee for that?

    • The online gallery has the original high resolution images. Raw files are available on a hard drive for an additional $250

  • Will the images be accessible online? For how long?

    • The images will be available via Pixieset online gallery for up to 6 months, assuming your album is complete and your files have been downloaded to several of your personal computers

Logistics:

  • When will we receive the contract?

    • You will receive the contract after submitting the proposal form, then the negotiations begin

  • How much of a deposit do you require? When is it due?

    • 50% of the contract value is due in order to save the date. If two couples inquire about the same date, it goes to the first person to submit a contract and deposit

  • Do you accept payments in installations?

    • Payment consists of two parts, the deposit and and final balance

  • What is your refund or cancellation policy?

    • Deposits are non-refundable because it is used to cover equipment and labor for the wedding day.

    • Associate photographers are trained to step in for Alanna in case of an emergency and a partial refund will be offered.

  • Do you have liability insurance? Does it cover your assistants, as well?

    • Yes, we have insurance that covers assistants and can provide proof to the relevant authorities.

  • Do you carry backup equipment?

    • Yes, I have two camera bodies, several lenses and back up cards/batteries

  • What is the backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason?

    • The associate and third photographer are trained to take over in case of an emergency

  • How will you and your assistants be dressed?

    • We wear suits and leather shoes

  • Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?

    • Yes, we encourage a prioritized “must-have” list, but you must understand that sometimes things happen beyond our control

  • Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media? Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?

    • Ideally yes, but we understand the privacy of our clientele. We can add a privacy clause to your contract, while reserving the right to share ambiance photos

    • If you would like to submit to a blog, let me know, usually the photographer is the one responsible for submissions