Six Questions Brides Ask Before Booking (With Answers!)

With wedding season just around the corner, brides have a lot of questions on their minds about what their photography journey is going to look like. While every photographer does things differently, I'm going to quickly share my answers to a few commonly asked questions from brides during consultations. Let's dive in!

Can/should we do a first look? What is a first look?

Whether it's describing a first look or deciding whether or not to have one, every consultation encounters this topic! In the past, I used to attempt to persuade every couple to have a first look (where the groom sees the bride before the ceremony), because I thought it made the schedule easier, however, I realized that approaching the wedding from that angle was not prioritizing the wedding day experience for my bride and groom. Now I'm happy to discuss the pros and cons of the first look with my future couples to help them decide what works best for them!

The image below is of Haylee and Andrew during their First Look in Manhattan last summer. They were so sweet and so happy to see each other!

Will you pose us?

Because everyone wants to know they're going to look good in their photos, couples frequently ask me if I will pose them. Call me a control freak, but I couldn't imagine photographing someone without posing them!

Over the years, I've done my best to learn how to pose clients in a way that looks natural and flattering, while still leaving room for them to let their natural emotions show. To get a better idea of what that looks like, every portrait on my web-site (apart from candids) has been posed. Rest easy, and know that you're going to look beautiful and feel like yourself!

Here are Anna & Brett solidly rocking out a walking pose!

Can we have a second shooter? What will the second shooter do?

While every wedding doesn't need a second shooter (aka a second photographer), I'm always happy to discuss the pros and cons (much like a first look) with my couples.  When I have a second shooter, I prefer they act first as an assistant and second as a photographer.

For years I've been a one-woman-show, and I pride myself in my ability to adequately capture the story of wedding days singlehandedly. However, when days have more complicated schedules or when weddings are more large scale, it's occasionally helpful to have another set of hands on board. My assistants help with everything from running errands, assisting the bride and groom, and taking photos of extra moments on wedding days.

The reason I'm able to photograph weddings by myself is mostly because I work with the bride and groom to create a schedule that allows me to be in all of the key places as the most important things are happening. Despite that, I'm always happy to bring someone on board if need be.

Do you travel? If so, what do you charge?

Traveling is one of the most exciting perks of being a wedding photographer! While every photographer has different policies with travel, I've tried to streamline this potentially tricky process as much as possible. My travel guidelines are the same whether it's a wedding or a photo session. They are as follows:

  • Travel within 60 miles of my location is included
  • Travel after that is charged by the mile
  • Depending on the timeline/location, lodging, airfare, and car rental might be required

How do we book and save our date?

Booking is something that I want to over-simplify for my clients, because the topic typically comes up mid-consultation, and I want to be able to explain it easily. The entire process from paying their retainer to signing their contract is completed online through my client management software. While every photographer has a different method, I've found that the following format is very easy to follow and works well for me and my clients:

  • Pay a 30% non-refundable retainer fee (amount based on collection total, reserves date)
  • Complete contract online
  • Pay collection remainder one month prior to wedding

When should we expect our images?

While potential clients don't always ask when and how their images will be delivered, it's something that I like to cover because eventually they will want to know.  Not only that, but setting achievable expectations early is always helpful for them, and it sets me up for success! All of my brides are told that they will receive their wedding day images in 4-6 weeks, and that is being generous. Under promise and over deliver is my philosophy here, so I try to get images out as soon as possible!

Hopefully these questions for insightful for brides, grooms, and photographers alike! If you have more questions, always feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram @rosewheat or e-mail emma[at]rosewheat[dot]com!



Emma Wheatley

TOPEKA, KS, 66606