Real Talk: The Ugly Questions No One Want’s To Ask, But Are MUST ASK Questions When Hiring A Wedding Professional!
Real Talk, & Real Moments With The Wedding Professionals
We welcome Whitney Korzan in this edition! She took the time to answer some of the questions most Brides might be afraid to ask their wedding vendors, but DEFINITELY need too! Check out her answers and tips below when hiring your wedding professional!
Name: Whitney Korzan
Tell us a little about yourself? What do you do? How long have you been in the industry? What brought you into weddings?
“I have been a full time photographer for about 4 years now and began getting more into weddings over the past 3 years. I got sucked into the wedding industry, because of my love for capturing everyone’s love story in their own unique way. I was always drawn to engagements, couple’s sessions, and to any moments, that captures raw emotions and the love for one another. I love being in the wedding industry because not only are we able to showcase everyone’s love in a different way, it is also an honor to be chosen and trusted as the person to capture someone’s once in a lifetime day.
Should brides feed their wedding vendors? Why or why not?
“I believe it is completely up to the couple. However, if they choose to not include us in their meal, a short break is much appreciated to eat the food we have brought for ourselves, especially if we are providing full day coverage. In my experience, most couples are persistent on the fact that we should be sitting and eating with them during dinner.”
Tipping? What’s the average in your industry? Who should and shouldn’t be tipped? And when should you receive that tip? “Tipping in my experience is very common, but obviously not expected. It is typically given at the end of the day.”
What was your worst screw up at a wedding and how did you handle it?
“Luckily, I have never had an outrageous screw up at the actual wedding, but I have a big scare when some of my photos had been transferred to the wrong file post-wedding and it took me about an hour to find the photos of the first kiss! Yikes. Luckily though I found them!”
As a professional what situation still makes you nervous?
“Although we take a large variety of precautions to eliminate data loss, this is what makes me most nervous. Even when I know our chances are next to none, technology is so unpredictable.”
How do you manage yourself when you’re in a bad mood?
“I just remind myself of every reason I have to be happy and if my mood is job related, I just remember all of the wonderful moments that have made me the proudest of myself. This always manages to fix any bad mood.”
How do you interact with guests during a wedding?
“During my consultations, I learn the names of the guests and family members I will be interacting with the most and make it a point to introduce myself to them at the wedding or beforehand if possible. Then on the actual wedding day and during photos, I feel that I already know them so that it makes posing and staging that much easier. A lot of brides and grooms ask me to be the one to direct guests in certain situations, so I interact with mostly all the guests at some point or another.”
How do you feel when you were hired to do a wedding and Uncle Bob is a photographer and shows up with camera gear? Should that be something the bride/groom discuss this with you beforehand?
“This is another point I try to bring up at consultations, however most brides and grooms beat me to it. They express their concerns with me and I make it a point to keep their vision intact the day of. Most commonly, they direct me to inform the person in charge (DOC, DJ, etc.) to make an announcement or a reminder if they or myself see something skewing away from the couple’s wishes.”
What influences your work?
“I am constantly influenced by friends and family who push me to be better every day. A lot of them have ideas and visions for photos as well, so they really help me keep my creative juices flowing and keep me from getting “photo block” during off season.”
Among your works which one is your favorite?
“I have about 10 photos that are my favorite, and they are all spread out within a few different weddings and photo sessions. I feature these photos wherever I can, and as I continue with new weddings and sessions, I develop more and more favorites.”
What happens if you get sick? Do you have a backup plan?
“I do have a backup plan if I was to become too sick to shoot. I have many alternative photographers to cover me if I need them to, and it states in my contract that if for whatever reason we are unable to provide a backup, a full refund will be provided. Because we have so many alternatives, it is almost 100% guaranteed we would be able to obtain a replacement.”
What are your thoughts on travel or destination weddings? Who pays the travel fees?
“When it comes to traveling, within the state I do not typically charge a travel fee. Out of state/cross country, the couple would then pay for travel accommodations for the duration of time that we would be there to cover their shoot.” Tomorrow
Do you prefer to work directly with bride/groom or with a wedding planner?
“I don’t have a preference on who reaches out to me first, I love working with both couples and planners. However, if I am working exclusively with a planner, I would still prefer to meet up or talk with the couple before the wedding to get to know them and their specific personalities and visions.”
What drives you nuts? And how do you handle it?
“Alternative cameras that mess up the shot. I don’t mind at all if there is someone else there trying to take photos on their phone/camera, if it is okay with the bride and groom and that it be done after my shot is taken. Too many times we have had to redo shots because I didn’t notice someone standing behind me and half of the eyes are looking at me and half are looking at the other camera. I politely ask that their photo be held off until I have completed my photo, because both of us would like all eyes the same direction.”
Is it important for you to connect with your bride/groom?
“In my opinion, yes. I prefer to meet with the couple prior to the wedding, and at the very least have steady communication. Connecting with brides and grooms is a crucial part to my job. I want them to feel that they are working with someone they truly click with.”
What happens when a wedding goes over the time?
“We always construct a timeline prior to the day-of to make sure everything will play out smoothly and fit everything in. I discuss the options of extending time if need be, and if that isn’t an option for them I work with them on their timeline to prioritize and assure everything will be on time.”
What is the weirdest request you’ve gotten? Did you complete it? Why or why not?
“I haven’t gotten any requests that have struck me as weird, although there aren’t many things that I wouldn’t make happen for a client! As long as it is safe and legal, it will most likely happen!”
How do you deal with a couple who is unhappy with the services provided?
“Luckily I haven’t had experience with this yet. But I would ask what I could do to make up for it, whether or not it be re editing the photos, setting up a complimentary styled shoot, or basically anything else they felt would make up for it.”
In a perfect world, what do you wish the couple did or knew before the wedding?
“If I had to choose one thing for my clients to know before the wedding, it would be for them to know how important communicating inspiration photos are. As a photographer, I do my absolute best to recreate any inspiration “dream” shots they have for them or of their day.”
How do you handle a bride who doesn’t like her look when getting ready?
“I ask her what she feels would make it better, and if it is a simple fix I do my best to help. If it is because of an unexpected blemish on her face (let’s be honest, acne happens) I reassure her that I can take care of them in post editing. Almost always it is just an insecurity that the bride can be talked out of with support from her vendors and bridesmaids.”
How far in advance should photographers be booked?
“Popular dates/wedding season dates; one year is ideal when booking your preferred vendor. Always reach out no matter what though because sometimes you get super lucky and they may be available with shorter notice! Although early booking is ideal to assure you get the vendor you want, I accept bookings at any time (even one month to a week in advance) as long as I am available.”
Photo credits? How do you feel when brides post images but no photo credit to the vendors?
“It is really nice and appreciated to receive credit for your services. I believe the initial post should be credited, but I wouldn’t worry about crediting the photographer every single time you share an image or change your profile photo over the years.”
How do you help guide your couple that has no vision, and lists a bunch of random things that don’t flow together?
“When a couple has no specific vision, I send them inspiration ideas to help fuel their creativity. If they list many things that don’t flow together, I document those things and we come up with a way to tweak them enough and order them in a way that they will begin to work together. And even if their ideas don’t flow perfectly, who cares? It’s completely up to them how/what they want to do on their wedding day and it is my job to make that happen.”
Top 5 tips you’d give couples searching for someone in your industry?
1. Ask questions. The more questions you ask, the better you will know your photographer. No question is a stupid question and no question is too small.
2. If you have inspiration photos, share them! This will assure we capture your special day in the way you’ve always dreamed.
3. Do your research on photography and consider everything you will want covered. If you do not have a timeline set, ask your photographer! 9 times out of 10, they will be willing to help you construct one! Don’t short yourself on hours, and always allow extra time for unexpected delays.
4. Photos are forever. Make sure you click with your photographer, so you feel comfortable around them. If you can, meet with them in person before the day of. Set up an engagement session with them to make sure you’re comfortable in front of their camera.
5. Splurge on the photos and video. Bits and pieces of the day will end in a blur, but as I stated above, photos are forever. Photographers capture some of the most raw and unexpected moments during the wedding, things you may not remember and might not have even noticed happened at all. I photograph a lot of anniversary sessions, and a lot of times their biggest regret is not deciding to have their wedding photographer there for the entire day.
Unplugged ceremonies? Thoughts?
“Yes, yes, yes. I love unplugged ceremonies. Too many times over again I see guests watching the whole wedding through the itty-bitty screens of their phones. And honestly, as the photographer nothing is more frustrating than having to delete a perfectly good shot due to a hot pink phone case covering the bride in the aisle. I see some of the most touching expressions from people who watch the ceremonies with their eyes, and not through a screen.”
What Separates Good vs. Bad Photography?
“Good photography vs. bad photography. Bad photography is not understanding settings on your camera and shooting on auto. Good photography is understanding not only the vision of a great shot, but the science behind it as well. Good photography is knowing how to hand edit and deliver images that match what your clients see in your portfolio. Bad photography is troubled communication and unwillingness to help your clients.”
What questions should the couple be asking you?
Although I typically cover all of these during the initial consultation, these are some great questions to ask your photographer:
1. Ask about printing rights. All my packages come will full printing/posting release, but I’ve noticed that a lot of photographers still require the purchase of proofs on top of their wedding rate.
2. Ask about recreating dream shots. I love it when my clients have a vision and I am able to bring that vision to life.
3. Be sure to ask what exactly you will be getting for the rate you are paying. (ex. How many hours, how many photos, how many shooters, etc)
4. If there is a deadline you need your photos by, don’t be afraid to ask! Some photographers charge a rush fee, but for most they are more than willing to get them to you a little sooner than standard.
5. Ask for our preferred vendor list! Most of us have one, and on average photography is one of the first things that get booked. If you are having trouble finding and choosing other vendors, ask us for our list!
6. Ask to see full weddings. Many photographers only present highlights of their work in their portfolio. If your photographer of choice doesn’t have full galleries present on their website, ask to see what was delivered to the client so you can see how an entire wedding plays out with them from A-Z.
7. “What information would you like to have from us before the wedding?” I provide my clients with a questionnaire along with their contract to help me obtain the information that is most helpful to me. Within that questionnaire, there are also places for the clients to write additional information they feel would be helpful along with the information I require.
8. Ask for References. If you would like to hear directly from a past client (not what they posted in our review/testimonial section) ask for references. The photographer should not hesitate to provide these.
9. Ask if they will be the photographer that will be physically shooting and editing your wedding. Note that this is EXTRA important to ask if they are representing a larger company/corporation.
9a. Ask if the photos you are seeing in their portfolio are shot/edited by them personally.
10. “Do you have a one wedding per day policy? Will you be shooting other weddings/events/sessions in the same day as my wedding?”
11. “Are you familiar with my venue(s)? And if not do you plan on going there ahead of time to check it out?”
12. “To what extent do you edit images in post?” Some photographers only edit the image as a whole with lighting and color correcting, while others take it the step farther to correct blemishes in portrait shots.
13. Are you flexible when it comes to shooting and editing styles?
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Real Talk & Real Moments with Wedding Professionals!
Check out Whitney’s Social Media Links and website and more information on how to go about booking her if you liked what you read!
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