How to select a wedding photographer in Belfast?
Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake etc.), your wedding photographs aren't things you can hear, smell, taste or even see before they have been actually shot. You don't really know what you're getting till it has been actually done. This means careful selection based on research regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanour are extra important when choosing your photographer.
We strongly believe that better informed customers means better results, and is something which both the clients and the service providers appreciate. In our opinion, following is a list of tentative questions one should ask before deciding which photographer to pick, for ones wedding. To make it simple where we stand vis-a vis the self check, we have even given our answers too.
Question : Do you have my date available?
The easiest way to know is by sending us a message, Please click here to send us an email.
Question : Do you have a price list? Does it give detailed information regarding each package?
Yes, we have a price list. Please email us and we will be pleased to forward it to you. It does give detailed information regarding each package in the form of a comparison table which makes the choice easier.
Question : Do you provide full-day coverage (from the bride's house until the newly weds leave their reception)?
Yes, our Silver and Gold package cover full day.
Question : Do you have an assistant?
Yes, for Silver and Gold packages, we will always have Ash as the main photographer and an assistant with a professional camera, Ash's daughter, who is 22 and is a QUB graduate, accompanies him sometimes and is also able to create professional quality videos. Otherwise it is a professional from the industry hired as an assistant for the day. If you are being offered a custom built package with some elements of Silver and some from the Basic package, we will state this clearly at the outset whether the package includes two photographers or one.
Question : Do you shoot in the photo-journalistic style? If you do, will you also do some traditional wedding photos?
Yes, we always shoot a mix of both traditional as well as photo-journalistic style. We discuss this in detail at the time of the booking.
Question : How many photos do you generally take? Do I get to see all of them?
As the hi-end and top of the line digital cameras we own, shoot at high speeds, we have been ending up shooting more and more pictures for each wedding as time goes on, and it means the number of images can run into thousands sometimes.
When giving the pictures to our customers, we include two folders
1. with all the 'straight from the camera' pics, and
2. with all the edited images.
So you get to see all the images taken on the day, then select the ones you want for the album if you want one or for any post processing work required on them.
Question : Do I keep my proofs or do I have to purchase them?
For all wedding photography packages, the images are given in a USB disk in both high resolution (suitable for printing) and low resolution (for quicker and easier sharing via social media / emails). For Albums, the layout/design is prepared online and shown for approval before the album is ordered from the online suppliers.
Unlike many photographers we do not let the copyright issues come in between, they are your pictures once we have been paid in full upfront for shooting them and you have every right to use them the way you like.
Question : How soon after my wedding will I get to see my pictures?
Usually it can take up to 4-6 weeks before you get to see professionally edited images, however we aim to deliver at the earliest. If you need them quicker, please inform us in advance and we can give you a deadline we will be able to keep.
Question : Will you be able to edit/Photoshop pictures as per my choice, correct and marks or spots on the face?
Besides Wedding photography, I shoot many fashion advertising campaigns working with top models and such work is edited quite heavily in which models can be made to look slimmer, taller etc. I have the expertise to do advanced and complex editing on Photoshop however for weddings we want the images to look as natural as possible. Having said, I am frequently asked by the brides to adjust their complexion, tan, and sometimes remove spots etc. which I am always happy to do.
Question : Will you be taking digital photographs?
Yes, nowadays as most photography assignments, we shoot 100% on digital cameras and in digital format.
Question : Do you take both black and white and colour photos?
Yes, on digital format actually, it is very easy to shoot all pictures in colour initially and then be able to convert them to perfect black and white images in post production, and we do mix and match them to our customers personal tastes.
Question : If we want to order prints and extra albums, what are the costs?
We have a very simple mechanism, as prints and albums are ordered externally like 99.9% photographers in the market do nowadays (with technological advancement, gone are the days when photographers had their own darkrooms and developing labs), unlike many opportunists, We DO NOT CHARGE any profit or MARK UP our prices for any prints or albums our customers want to order. If e.g. you paid us for USB only package and later on you need an album, we will design it online for you or show you how to do it, and you can pay the suppliers directly using your debit/credit cards online and have the prints/album delivered at your door step. We hear of many incidents of photographers after having been paid for shooting on the day, they would not let the customers order the prints directly online or will charge exorbitant prices for giving them prints/albums etc. by quoting the copyright law loopholes. We are very clear, as a photographer our earnings are from shooting professional pictures (that is where our talent exists) and we do not want to extend our revenue streams by asking for exorbitant amounts for prints or albums afterwards. We will assist and point you in the right direction to either order them yourselves or can even order them for you directly with you paying the the actual cost price without no mark ups.
Question : How long have you been in business? How many weddings have you shot?
I started my career in the advertising industry in 1993 and have been doing photography since then. As a professional photographer it has been over 20 years I have been in the business and have done countless number of photo shoots including a lot of weddings for clients of diverse cultures, at varied locations and of different sizes in terms of the number of guests.
Question : What do you think distinguishes your work from that of other photographers?
Well, photography being an art form, no photographer probably can claim to be the best in the industry, as there is room for improvement, always. None the less, I am confident to be considered as a very good photographer with a lot of experience. What probably sets me apart is perhaps my friendly and helpful personality with the committed approach to make my customers 'HAPPY' rather than 'just satisfied'.
Question : What type of equipment do you use?
I use a Full Frame Camera i.e. Canon 5D MK IV as my main camera and it is one of the most expensive and the flagship camera of Canon at present. I use a variety of lenses during the photo-shoot. I have invested more than £20000 on my equipment which is top of the line. I am also a Gold Member of the https://www.canon.co.uk/pro/canon-professional-services.
Question : Do you create and get a written contract signed?
Yes, after I have met you in person and once you are happy with your selection of the package and we have sorted out all the details, I will ask you (both the Bride & Groom) to sign a contract with my business to cover your wedding photography.
Question : Are you running a HMRC registered business?
Yes, MagicEye Design is HMRC registered and I file income tax returns every year.
Question : How much Deposit do you accept? Do you have a payment plan?
£100 is accepted as a Non refundable deposit. So for example if you book the Gold Package for £1400, the deposit will be £100 (which will be non refundable) but the balance will be £1300. This can be be paid in instalments by a standing order or bank transfers as of a payment plan. However, 100% payment must be received by us at least one week before the date of the wedding.
Do you have liability insurance?
Yes, I have a Public & Products Liability Insurance of up to a maximum amount of £1 Million.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
Do I feel a connection with this photographer as well as his/her photos? Are our personalities a good match?
Am I comfortable with this person's work and communication style?
Has this photographer listened well and addressed all my concerns?
Please feel free to call us for a friendly meeting at our studio in Belfast to discuss and personally answer any questions you have.
Thank you for reading! :-)