It's not easy to see what makes a great wedding photographer.
As with anything you can buy, there's a good, better and best version. Think shoes: Do you like Payless or Christian Louboutin? Let's make sure you find the CLB of wedding photographers.
Here are 4 categories that set apart the good, better, best photographers.
What equipment do you use?
I use the best Canon DSLR cameras and lenses that money can buy and always bring backup equipment. If you’re a fellow gear geek, here’s my list of toys:
Profoto B1s and B2s
Canon 70-200mm II f/2.8 L
Canon 135mm f/2 L
Canon 85mm f/1.2 L
Canon 50mm f/1.2 L
Canon 35mm f/1.4 L
Canon 24mm f/1.4 L
What do you wear?
We try out best to blend in but not look like we’re attending a funeral. Mostly black and darker clothes like dress pants and a blouse or a dress are a staple along with cute but comfy shoes.
Do you charge for travel or multiple locations?
Every wedding day is unique and some have more locations than other so we don’t discriminate that or charge travel for it. If your wedding is more than 50 miles from Freehold, NJ or in a major city then travel fees may apply but are evaluated on a case by case basis. I have extensive experience traveling and photograph destination weddings all around the globe.
How many pictures do you take?
I never count! I just shoot because I shoot digital and there’s no end to how much “film” I have. On average you’ll receive 80-100 images per hour of shooting. I do snap more than that but I do you the favor of taking out the outtakes like blinks, test shots, duplicates and the like. All the images are edited for color, exposure, sharpness and white balance.
How do we book you and what's your payment plan?
To make sure that you’ve snagged me for your wedding date I require a $2,000 retainer and electronically sign the wedding contract. Another $2,000 payment is due 6 months before the big day and the balance is due when the rest of your wedding vendor balances are due 14 days before the wedding. We are flexible with breaking up payments along the way and you'll have an online account to keep track of payments and balance.
How much do you charge?
I'm proud to be one the top wedding photographers in the country, giving the absolute best in photography and product quality. While packages start around $6,000 and peak towards $12,000, the average initial investment is $8,250 which includes full day coverage, an album and digital files.
When will we get our pictures?
I have one of the fastest turn-around times in the wedding industry with proofs ready in 3-4 weeks and the majority of my couples with their wedding album within 6 months. I’ve even been know to show a few sneak peak images before that 3-4 week mark too!
We love you, but will we love your 2nd photographer?
You will! All of the second photographers I worked with have been working with me for years. It takes years to train them to uphold the same quality of work that you expect and the type of friendliness and professionalism you’d want around with you the day of.
I've seen your pictures from a variety of weddings, but can we see a whole wedding day from start to finish?
This is one of the most important things you can ask photographers you’re interviewing so the answer is yes! You’ll want to make sure that I know how to take amazing photographs in any situation, of anyone and of anything. Wedding photographers need to work fast and be able to excel in all scenarios and I pride myself in being able to do just that. You can check out almost every wedding I’ve ever photographed at www.vanessajoy.smugmug.com/weddings.
I don’t want to spend an hour taking family photos, do I have to?
Absolutely not. In fact, because of how efficiently I work on the day of and the help I give you in preparing your family picture list, most family photo sessions on a wedding day are complete within 10-15 minutes.
Do you have liability insurance?
Absolutely and we’ll be happy to provide your venue with a proof of coverage.
Select from the following clips to learn a bit about the Vanessa Joy Wedding Experience.