So, you’re newly engaged (YAY) and you decided it’s about time to sit down and start looking into actually choosing a wedding photographer. You know, the person or people that will capture one of the most epic and fleeting days of your life, no pressure.
Thirty minutes later you have fifty tabs open in google and you feel more confused on how to find and choose “the one” than when you first set out on the quest (slams laptop closed, puts off San Diego wedding photographer for another week).
It’s not always easy to sum up what you like but it’s one of those things you know it when you see it. Wedding photography is such a subjective thing as are most art forms. Finding a wedding photographer as who’s work you truly love is no different.
So we aren’t here to tell you how to choose your wedding photographer based on their work but once you have found a wedding photographer whose images make your heart pitter patter with giddiness at the thought of them capturing your day here are some questions you may want to ask. And… just in case you stumbled upon our work and it felt SO right, lurked on our about page and feel like we are already friends then we’ve included the answers to these questions for Emry Photography so you can get a better idea if you want to hop on over to our inbox and find out if we are available to photograph your San Diego wedding. (shameless plug, we know).
We have a lot to cover so let’s jump right into it, shall we?
Questions to ask wedding photographers before hiring them
Do I get the rights to my images?
- With us absolutely, they are your images! We want you to be able to print them wherever you want, blow them up as big as you want and put them all over your place. We also want you to have every last capture and not have to make cuts to which images you choose because you can’t afford to purchase rights to all of your images. So yes, you have the rights to your wedding photos as it should be.
How many images will I receive?
- With us between 1000-1500 usually. All of our collections are unlimited event coverage, that means we are never dipping out after 6 hours on the wedding day which in turn leads to a larger final collection of images. We are on the dance floor capturing every frame of grandma getting low to shout (a little bit softer now) and we know you will cherish all of those micro moments from your wedding day so with our style of storytelling you tend to get more frames than the industry standard.
Will all of my images be edited?
- Ryan and I edit every single image by hand, even if it is shot by our associate team we do the editing to keep that “Emry Aesthetic.”
Do you use presets?
- We do not, we edit every image as its own piece of art. We keep our style consistent (timeless, true to eye color) but not to the point of your wedding looking nothing like it truly did. Some photographers use presets that they bought or developed themselves that manipulate colors to look a certain way. While this helps them achieve a very consistent style where their collection of images has all the same tones we feel that it doesn’t speak to our mission as wedding photographers. We want to bring you back to the moments which means your flowers will be the color they were, the grass at your venue will be the color it was, the sky will look how it did as we don’t use artificial intelligence to replace skies we don’t feel that serves your memories. We do however edit for the mood, we run with how a moment felt and will use our expertise to evoke that emotion in an image.
Do you outsource your editing?
- We personally do all the editing. We know the story and how the day felt and looked and it’s our mission to honor that.
How long until I receive all of my images?
- With us less than 3 weeks. We know that sounds fast, and that’s because it is! We are much faster than the industry norm and it’s not because we give your images less special attention it’s because we don’t sleep (haha). But really, we don’t want you two to have come back from the honeymoon and returned to work for a few months and then finally be receiving your wedding photos. That’s what happened when we got married and honestly by that time the excitement had fizzled a bit. Our goal is to have your pretty little package sitting at your door by the time you are returning home from your honeymoon.
Are engagement sessions included with your collections?
- They are included with all of our 2 photographer collections. We only have one collection that has only one photographer included in it and that is generally for very small elopements. All of our other collections have two photographers so that we can really lean into our storytelling and give you two the most artful representation of your day. We include the engagement session because on your wedding day we really want to be showing up not as strangers but as friends. The engagement session gives us an opportunity to meet face to face (if we haven’t already) and allows you to get comfortable in front of our camera and get to know how we give guidance for the photographs. If you are still on the hunt for the perfect location for your San Diego engagement session then check out these blog posts of our top San Diego locations and top Temecula locations.
How long until I receive my engagement session images?
- Less than a week with us, we know you want to blitz your friends on social media with them 😉 or use them for save the dates whichever we aren’t judging. Also are we not Instagram friends yet? Stalk us.
Do I receive anything with my engagement session images?
- A free 8×10 print to every online gallery visitor just like the wedding gallery. So you can send the link to your family and friends and they can all choose a free print. Also, several collections include a 16X24 gallery wrap to be displayed at the wedding and in your home after. We are huge believers in print, there is nothing like having a tough day maybe you nagged at each other or you’re just down and then walking past that photo of the two of you brings you right back to the important stuff.
Do I receive an album?
- With us every single collection includes a custom designer album, hand made in Poland. We work with you to create the album exactly as you want. You choose the materials the images, everything. Again we believe in print and we want your wedding photos living somewhere other than a computer. According to statistics we are generally forgotten in three generations, that is heart breaking and we want your images to live on and your album to be passed through the generations as a family heirloom. You can check out our gorgeous hand crafted albums here and see why we are so crazy about print.
Do I get to help with the album design?
- With us it is a collaboration to make it exactly how you like. We want it to be everything you imaged and more, we hope it lives on a coffee table where it is out and enjoyed. We always say that there is nothing like the patina of fingerprints on a well-loved photo album.
How many hours of coverage do I get?
- HERE is a BIGGIN’! We are the only San Diego wedding photographers that we know of who don’t cap your wedding day coverage. So with us, unlimited we don’t want our couples stressing over building a wedding day timeline around us. We want you to LIVE in the moments of your day not stacking all of the events on top of each other to be sure it’s captured by us. So take a deep sigh of relief knowing we are there for it all. From the moments of getting ready anticipation with your besties, to capturing tipsy grandma on the dance floor we wouldn’t miss it for anything because when you choose us we are invested in you.
IF there is limited coverage with the photographer you choose, you’ll want to ask how much to add additional hours and what if that doesn’t cover all the events of the day?
- Will you want to miss having part of pre-ceremony captured or reception?
Do I receive any prints from my wedding?
- A free 8×10 print to every visitor to the online gallery (unlimited) . This makes for a great thank you gift to all of your guests who attended the wedding and even those who couldn’t make it. We always tell our couples to put the link in your thank you cards and give a little gift back to your guests. What’s great about this is they can choose any photo they want. We pride ourselves on capturing not only the two of you but all of your friends and family who came out to celebrate with you so they can choose a photo of themselves having a blast at your wedding. Also, several collections include an additional print package.
Do my guests have the ability to purchase prints?
- Yes, very easily. They can order professional lab quality prints from the online gallery in addition to your free 8×10. All visitors get 15% off their order in the first 30 days of the gallery opening.
Is there an online gallery?
- Yes, we use an easy to navigate online gallery with all the images of the day. We keep these galleries active too. Some photographers only allow access to the gallery for 12 months.
IF wanting videography services as well, do you have a video offering?
- Yes we do! We have been scooping up amazing videographers for years now and we have a small curated team of videographers whose cinematic films and style of shooting complimented our photography. Having videography and photography on same team is beneficial in so many ways. One contract versus many, one point of contact and a photo/video team that is in tune with one another allows the day to run so smoothly, it also maximizes timeline as both of us are able to get the shots and angles we need simultaneously rather than having to play tag or piggy back off one another back and forth which can eat at the timeline. Having worked together extensively also aids us in not being in each others shots.
Do you use off camera lighting? How many lights do you have?
- This is one of our favorite things to do, we love getting artsy with lights at night and making some unique images for you. We have 11 different lights made by the #1 professional photography light company in the world. The fun and artsy stuff aside there are downfalls to hiring a photographer that is a “natural light” photographer. Natural light is brilliant and we will exploit it to its full potential any time we have it but the truth of the matter is a wedding day is long and occurs across multiple locations and lighting situations and lighting only with what’s available to you from the environment isn’t always an option or isn’t always the best option. We like having everything we can knowledge wise in our photography tool kit and then deciding when to use those things or not. Without our lights photograph in dark situations would require us to crank our cameras ISO resulting in noisy photos (a lot of grain), it’s hard for cameras to find focus in dark situations as well so it could result in a lot of out of focus photographs. Having lights also aids us before it gets dark, it helps in dim rooms during the getting ready portion of the day and it allows us to capture all of the colors of a sunset while still having you two exposed properly without lights the alternative would be to “blow-out” the sky losing almost all of that amazing sunset.
Do you do night shots with off camera lighting?
- We like to do at least one night photograph at every single wedding, reserved for sneaking away during open dance. It not only makes for some really fun and unique images but it’s a great opportunity to decompress for a few minutes and have a moment together to soak in the days events. It also allows us to capture you two at different points of the day when the mood has shifted which really helps tell your story even more.
How do you handle family formals?
- We know everyone wants to get to cocktail hour and we want more time with the two of you for portraits, so our goal is to have all family photos as well as bridal party finished in 20 minutes or less. We always joke that we are equal parts peppy camp counselor and drill sergeant during this portion of the day. We are able to get it done efficiently and pleasantly so everyone can move on to the more fun parts of the day.
Do you use a shot list for the day?
- We will ask you for the “must have” shots of the day, but rest easy knowing we are going to get the obvious ones i.e. coming down the aisle, first kiss, first dance, etc.. We do NOT want to have a specific list that we follow because every wedding is unique, every love story deserves to be told exactly how it happened, and no list can be made that can predict exactly what those “moments” will be. We promise if you limit a photographs creativity with a stringent list of shots, the work will not be as compelling as you may have hoped. Rather, we prefer to get to know what the two of you want, what’s most important to you and the vision for your day. We then use all of that information to inform our photographic choices throughout the day. In our questionnaire the shot list is really reserved for those things we may not know unless you tell us. For example, my family is traveling in from New Zealand and I want a lot of photos with them. Or there will be something sewn inside my dress I would like captured etc.
Can I see some full galleries?
- It is so important to see an example of some full galleries to have insight into what you would be receiving. Yes, website images are great, Instagram images are great, but these are likely the Best of the Best over a long spanning career. We want you to see what all the images you receive will be like. We want you to see how the story is told.
How many weddings have you photographed?
- Collectively at Emry we have photographed over 500 weddings across San Diego, Palm Springs, and Southern California.
Do you get in touch with the coordinator? Communication pre-wedding?
- If we have their contact information we absolutely love to be in touch with your coordinator before the wedding to help with timeline construction, and really make sure we are on the same page to give you the best experience. We are even willing to do a walk through with your coordinator or the two of you at your wedding venue to be sure we are all in sync. The best time to do this is 1 year prior to the wedding at the same time of year so that we can get an idea of lighting.
Do you back up the images? For how long?
- Every image of yours will be backed up 4 ways, and they are stored for life in case a “oops” ever happens. We cringe every time we see a photographer mention in their FAQ that you are solely responsible for back up the images and that they do not secure them. We have had couples come back to us years later having lost their images and we are still able to provide the images to them.
Do you offer wall art?
- We work with the top professional photography print lab in the country and offer a vast variety of wall art options (i.e. acrylics, metal prints, wood prints, gallery wraps, canvas prints, framed/matted prints, etc..). We have many studio samples and we are happy to show them to you so you can make the best decision. We also love to help you choose based on the space you are looking to decorate. Our couples will often send us a photo of their space and we can help you choose the image, dimensions and type of wall art that will best suit it.
Do you offer photo booth? (If interested in photo booth)
- Yes, we have a photo booth that is discounted as an add-on to any photo collection. Again, this is so convenient so that you can keep everything photo related with one company, which means one contract and one point of contact.
Do you help with wedding day timeline construction?
- Yes, we love to be a part of the timeline construction. As photographers we know when the best lighting is for the best photos and can ensure that timeline allows for this opportunity to happen.
Do you offer payment plans?
- Yes, we can set up a payment plan for you, or simply split the payments into how ever many payments you would like to spread the investment out over the coming months/years.
Can I pay with a credit card?
- Yes, we encourage you do, and our little tip/trick….get a new credit card just for the wedding. Find a card that offers an initial bonus (i..e if you spend X amount in the first 90 days you will receive 100,000 bonus miles). Use this for all your wedding expenses and use those miles towards your honeymoon. We did this for our wedding and all of our airfare to and from Italy was covered from the rewards.
What if something happens and you are not able to show up/shoot my wedding (i.e. sick)?
- This has never happened in our years of doing weddings, but IF for some reason it did, we have our Emry Creatives available and ready to jump in, in the case of an emergency. It’s actually a huge perk to going with a Photographer that has a curated team behind them.
How many cameras do you bring to the wedding? What if one has a problem/breaks?
- We bring with us to every wedding 4+ cameras. Additionally, we have our camera bodies and lenses regularly serviced to be sure they are operating perfectly.
What does a wedding day with you as our photographer look like from beginning to end?
- By the time we are showing up to capture your wedding we are already on the same page and hopefully feel like old friends. We walk in the door with the positive energy and your fave coffee if you give us your order ;). We always show up to the venue or getting ready location a bit early to scout the location for the best light and backdrops so don’t be surprised if we’re saying hello a few minutes early. From there we are capturing all of those getting ready photographs of you and your besties. Capturing every little detail you poured your hearts into in an artful and intentional way.
- We usually end up getting adopted into your group of family and friends. Connecting with them and you over the course of the wedding planning is integral to our style of capturing weddings which is as unfiltered as possible. Blending in with your family and friends lends authenticity to our final product. We are there for the emotion so for us to do that successfully requires everyone around us feeling at ease like we are just one of the gang. As much as we bond with everyone and love to chat up your loved ones we also know when to step back and quietly document a moment allowing it to unfold naturally and without distraction.
- Another key to capturing your wedding in our signature storytelling style is having a timeline that has the space to breathe a little, allowing those effortless moments to unfold. That’s a huge reason all of our collections have unlimited coverage. Because we’ve been there and done that as a couple who planned our wedding just a few years ago we remember the stress of a crunched timeline and trying to stack events one after the other so our photographer wouldn’t miss a thing. Rest assured that we got you!!! We are there from the getting ready anticipation to getting grandma boogeying on the dance floor. We want you two lost in the moments, not worrying about a thing but having the time and party of your lives.