5 Questions to ask your Photo and Video Team

Becca Thomas and Mandy York smiling at each other in New York City

Congratulations on the new engagement! We know that after the initial whirlwind that is the big question- it starts to get real that you’re going to have to plan a wedding. For a lot of people, this planning process is super exciting! But for many others choosing the vendors and venues and picking out place-cards can be super overwhelming. We wont pretend to know everything there is to know about planning a wedding- we will leave that to our lovely list of preferred planners. BUT- what we do know is photo and video. So without further ado- let’s dive into questions to ask your photo and video team to ensure you have all the info you need!

Question 1: What style do you shoot in?

This is the first and most crucial of questions to ask your photo and video team. Every photographer and videographer has a specific style- some are bright and airy, some are dark and moody, some are true to life and some, like us- are fine art. Your photographer and videographer should have a clearly defined style and a body of work that consistently shows this style.

Question 2: How do you work with others?

At our studio- we often come together as a package deal (although we do book seperately) which means that we have a very established shooting style and we know how to work alongside one another seamlessly. However- it is not uncommon for us to work with others and in doing so we have seen some wild behavior. Your photographer and videographer should be able to stay out of each others way, share space in small areas and hopefully have a similar shooting style that ensures your prompts and posing can be dual purpose. Look out for red flag answers like “I prefer to keep to myself” or “I haven’t worked with one before but we will see how it goes!”.

Question 3: What sort of gear will you be bringing?

This can be an extremely technical question (we promise not to sit here and bore you with the names of the gear we are bringing), but whoever you are speaking with should have some sort of answer. There are a few things for you to look for though- they should have dual recording cameras. This is a must and we are not accepting discussion. Dual recording means that all your photos and videos are being saved to two separate SD cards- so if one corrupts or gets lost there is a back up copy.

They should also have stabilization for video work- we use a Ronin 2 gimbal and tripods, but monopods, cage rigs and shoulder rigs work fine too.

We also encourage you to ask them if they are bringing lighting. For photo you are looking for the words “off camera flash” and for video you want “continuous stand lighting”.

Question 4: Can I see your portfolio?

If they can’t provide a portfolio and they are charging professional rates- do not book. And further, once you get your hands on a portfolio do a reverse image search. It’s been coming up really frequently in our photo and video circles for scammers to steal other peoples work and present it as their own in order to get bookings. If an image comes up in multiple places online that are NOT linked to the person you are booking- RUN.

Also, ask to see a full gallery or film. It’s pretty easy to just use your absolute best work on instagram or your website- we won’t even pretend we don’t also do that. But if you’re going to book them- you want to know how they preform in various conditions. Maybe their posed work looks great, but their reception shots are horrendous. Maybe their video clips in perfect outdoor light are great, but their work inside is bad.

Question 5: How much communication can I expect?

If you are a really anxious person- this can be a tough one. Weddings are stressful and it’s super common for us to get a random 10am text asking us about what to put in a details box. This is perfectly ok with us- because we’re pretty chatty ladies, but sometimes you’ll find a team who prefers to be hands off until the day of.

If you KNOW you’re going to want steady updates and open lines of communication- make sure and ask about it! How often can I expect to hear from you? Who am I reaching out to? When are your business hours? All of these are valid asks.

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