1. Is wedding photography the main focus of your business?
It’s important to know the level of experience of your wedding photographer has right off the bat. Most photographers branch out into many areas of the field, although that will not necessarily mean any particular specialty is compromised because of it. You could hire a portrait or sports photographer who captures the most amazing memories of your wedding, it’s simply impossible to tell. However, statistics indicate that the seasoned wedding photographer has approximately 25 nuptials under their belt every year. That intense hands-on experience can go a long way toward producing amazing photographs from your big day.
Here at Andrew Samplawski Photography, with 100+ wedding under Andrew’s belt, weddings are the main focus of our business.
2. For how many years have you been covering weddings?
Asking about the length of time your potential photographer has been involved specifically in weddings gives you an excellent indication of their relevant experience and will also reveal something about their prices. Photographers who have spent years perfecting their art feel justified when charging extravagant amounts for their services and most of the time are right. Take it a step further though, by seeking reviews from previous clients online and requesting verifiable references.
Here at Andrew Samplawski Photography, establishing our business in 2009, Andrew has continued to grow his style, his reputation in the Eau Claire area, and continue to provide the best customer service possible. In 2014, Andrew Samplawski Photography has became a Corporation; ARS Ventures, Inc. In 2014, Andrew has expanded having a sister office in St Cloud, MN. Eau Claire has always been “home” and will always continue to be “home” to us. This is incredibly impressive to establish a corporation as well as a sister office as a wedding photography studio because in today’s society, everyone’s a photographer because they have a “nice camera”.
3. Do you have experience at our venue in particular?
In taking comfort in knowing a photographer has covered the establishment in the past. Being on a first-name basis with staff also gives an air of professionalism and confidence. If the potential photographer in Eau Claire or St Cloud is not familiar with the venue, he or she should be more than happy to visit prior to the wedding, to become acquainted with the employees and layout alike. Every photo session and location presents individual obstacles and assets, all of which should be capitalized on. For example, a venue with an enormous dance floor could be covered from various angles, both to capture the mood of the crowd and to isolate the couple in a romantic embrace. Such a space should be thoroughly analyzed beforehand for the greatest use of depth, dimension and decor.
Andrew’s reputation is highly and well known in the Eau Claire area, both on the level of venues, staff, wedding coordinators and of course, our partners. Andrew makes every attempt to touch base with all venue wedding coordinators prior to the event.
4. Who is your photographer that will be there on the wedding day?
Your event may be scheduled by a representative and not the photographer, so it’s important to ask about the person showing up with camera equipment in hand for the big day. Meet with them at some point to get a sense of their character and personality prior to committing to any arrangement. You may also be interested in asking about a replacement photographer if the one you’ve hired becomes ill or is otherwise unable to attend.
-Weddings are our main business… and Andrew is the name & face of the business. Andrew will photograph every wedding unless otherwise requested to have one of our other photographers photograph. If Andrew is booked, other photographers are welcome to be invited to photograph your wedding in your enjoy our style, our gorgeous Italian wedding albums, and love us just for us.
5. Can we see a complete wedding you have done?
While samples can be very pretty to look at, inspecting a finished set of proofs shows you the whole wedding day from beginning to end. This will give you a better idea of what your day will look like in pictures with the given photographer. When you browse through the proofs, make a mental note of the artistic style to be sure it coordinates with what you’re interested in having with your own visual story. Note too if all of the most important aspects of the event are covered, such as the bride making her way down the aisle, the exchange of rings and so on. Also included should be random shots of guests simply enjoying the day, breaking out into laughter or tears and other honest depictions of the celebration. After viewing the album, see if the impression you gather is similar in emotion to what you’re looking for. Check out prints as well, because technical errors can’t be electronically touched up for those the way online photos can.
Andrew always shares a variety of album samples when you meet with him along with a variety of products. Andrew will make note of our style to make sure the style you envision of your wedding day, is exactly what we can provide to you here at Andrew Samplawski Photography. You can view some of our albums under our Albums Page.
6. Would you agree to go by a shot list?
This question can reveal the temperament of your potential vendor and how agreeable to collaboration they may be. Some photographers ask for blind faith when it comes to the shot list, and this can be a good sign that they’re not the most cooperative of artistic talents to work with. A delicate balance must be struck between photographic freedom and capturing the event as you see fit. Talk this over as you get to know the photographer, as well as during meetings right up until the main event.
Here at Andrew Samplawski Photography, Andrew will walk you through the details, the family formal list, and any other certain requests. Most of our clients share with us what’s important and trust us to do the rest because it’s our job. It’s our job to photograph the wedding based upon how it flows throughout the day, rather than following a particular list off of Pinterest.
7. What’s your style? What makes you different?
Many elements combine to form the answer to this question. From actual pictures to the way customers are treated, to the distinct personality of the photographic artist. If he or she doesn’t respond with a well-informed and impressive comeback, you might want to think about looking elsewhere. Mention the style you are interested in imploring for the day, and see how it suits them. Discuss the matter in detail, and their style should become self-evident.
Like mentioned above, Andrew will share the style. Based upon our reviews, clients share exactly what their experience is on the wedding day. Andrew takes charge in facilitating how family formals will flow smoothly, efficiently and effectively to have this completed in a timely manner as well as how the wedding party pictures will roll. Andrew is all about effective, efficient, and of course filled with memories, bad ass experience, and a day that your family & friends will always remember. Promise your family and friends will love us!
8. How soon until we receive our wedding photos?
A successful collaboration with your vendor will include meeting everyone’s expectations, including the promised deadline for delivery. While your photos will require editing, you should be given a specific idea about when you will receive the coveted finished products by the photographic studio. Most people don’t like to be kept waiting, but pictures of this nature demand special attention and should always be handled as expeditiously as possible.
Andrew Samplawski Photography our turn time for our wedding photos are promptly within 4 weeks. This should be important and nobody should ever have to wait months upon months, nor a year. Please be considerate of this when booking your photographer.
9. Is my package all-inclusive or will extra charges be added on?
The terms of any package you purchase from a photographer should be clear, but rates and fees are often tacked on long after the big event that was captured. Ask questions about your final price in advance, and make sure you cover every detail. Flat rates, assistant fees and other minor fluctuations can increase the total significantly. While you do want your photographer to feel free to create an amazing ensemble of pictures for you, you don’t want any major surprises when it comes time to opening your bill.
Andrew Samplawski Photography covers this top to bottom, inside and out because Andrew does not want surprises for clients. Everything is clearly stated in the contract of what our clients should expect of us, and what we expect of our clients. Surprises cause bitterness and that’s not what we want…we do want our clients for life as we treat our clients like family.
10. What’s the retainer fee and details?
How much will the photographer require for a deposit? Will you accept checks, credit cards or cash only? How soon do you need the full balance on my account? Let’s take a look at your budget and make sure that you have all of the small details covered in your finances. You’ll need to know when the deposit must be paid, how long you have to pay off the photographer and make sure that you secure them for your wedding date. This should take up approximately 12 percent of your budget on average.
Andrew walks through everything step by step as to how the retainer is covered to secure the date and collection along with our payment plan option.
11. Do you have back up equipment? Do you have quality equipment?
You’ll want to ensure that your photographer has extra equipment should they have a camera fail or run out of power. Ask them questions and find out what sorts of equipment they will be using, its quality and what they do if something breaks down. There couldn’t be anything worse than not having any pictures because equipment broke down and the photographer had no spare equipment on hand to make it through your special day.
Andrew has 4 cameras available at any given point to photograph a wedding. Nonetheless, a second photographer is highly recommended because we know how important weddings are along with how reliable technology can be. Andrew photographs weddings with 2 Canon cameras on him.
2. What is the dress code?
Is your Wisconsin or Minnesota wedding a formal attire style wedding? If so do you want the photographer in formal attire as well? You won’t want any distractions so make sure that the photographer is clear on how you expect them to show up as far as dress code. Also, if you are of a specific culture or religion make sure that the photographer knows that specific colors or designs are against your beliefs so that they don’t show up in those colors and offend the entire wedding. Many photographers go dressed all in black to stay as unobtrusive as possible.
Our staff here at Andrew Samplawski Photography always is in complete black dress attire to stay professional, unobtrusive, and classy.
13. Do you have insurance?
Every business needs to have insurance. Ask about the wedding photographers insurance. You wouldn’t want to be held liable if their cameras were stolen or if someone trips over their bag and sues the entire wedding party. If they don’t have insurance, they are either new to the business, or don’t take their job seriously enough for you to be hiring.
This is how you know if a photographer is a professional. We of course here at Andrew Samplawski Photography carry business insurance and make sure our clients, families, wedding parties, and staff are safe.
14. Will there be a contract between us?
Some photography studios will provide a contract for the couple to sign. Others don’t require one. As a good business, it is highly recommended to have a contract that details the services you’re expecting. This should include the price, terms of termination resolution, date, couples name etc. It should also include the details in question 1 of the financial end of the deal. This is for your protection. Be wary of anyone who won’t do a contract for this business transaction.
Your contract is your saving grace when it comes to your wedding day in case something arrises that you weren’t expecting or didn’t understand. You will receive a copy of a contract from Andrew the same date that you sign to book us for your wedding photography.
15. Will you have help at the wedding?
Do you do all the work yourself, or do you come to the event with a partner who will also be doing the event? You’ll want to make sure that if they have a partner that they work well together so that no important shots are missed. It’s great to have a partner and have different angles of the special event as well so ask details if they work with a partner. You might really appreciate the different angels of the pictures an it might be great to have photos from two completely different vantage points at the event.
Having a second photographer is highly important on many different levels. Similar to what we mentioned above, Andrew Samplawski Photography as 4 photographers on staff and there are always 2 photographers on the wedding day. This ensure full wedding day coverage, multiple opportunities to have completely different angles, as well as backup and assistance in anything that may arise throughout the day. We will help where needed and when able to… providing our clients with superior customer service.