The Most Important Wedding Photography Question You’re Not Asking

bride and groom laughing

Do you know the #1 complaint couples have when it comes to wedding photography?

Bad images? Nope.  The photographer wasn’t easy to get along with? Uh-uh.  It was too expensive?  Sure, this is a common complaint but not the #1 complaint.  

A couple’s biggest disappointment and frustration with their wedding photography usually isn’t even “on the radar” until it’s too late.  Ready for it?

The #1 complaint couples have with their wedding photographer is how long is takes to get their wedding photos back after the wedding.  

The dirty little secret is that it’s not uncommon for couples to have to wait 6, 8, even 10 months before getting their final images, flash drive and/or album back. 10 MONTHS! That’s nearly a YEAR after your wedding. 

How to Avoid The Problem

To avoid the enormous frustration, disappointment – not to mention endless phone calls, emails and texts begging to see your wedding pictures – here’s what you do:  

  • Ask your photographer to give you a specific deadline for getting your images back. Then, ask them to GUARANTEE it in writing (prepare yourself for a blank stare back when you ask this).  
  • Not having guaranteed deadlines in your contract is a wedding photography trap!
  • They’ve got you. They’ve got your money. They’ve got all the time in the world to edit because they didn’t have to promise you when you’d get your photos back.

Here’s a (common) real life scenario that was recently shared with us. A bride hired her future husband’s cousin to be the photographer at their September wedding. She was the absolute sweetest person, they loved her work and she gave the couple a great deal – duh, they are family!  However once the wedding was over, that sweet, reasonably priced photographer kept missing her deadlines.

  • December 1st rolled around… nothing.
  • No images to share by Christmas, either.  BUMMER.
  • January 6th, the photographer told the bride she would have photos by the end of the month.
  • February 10th, still NO pictures.
  • 6 months after their wedding and they have not seen one single picture. Can you imagine?

If only she would have asked for a guaranteed deadline up front, she could have avoided massive disappointment and aggravation. By the way, this same bride had a friend who was married on October 14. They used Mike Staff Productions and her pictures were all over Facebook before Halloween!  

The Mike Staff Productions Guarantee

You’ll have images to share on Instagram and Facebook within 2 weeks of your wedding.  On your one month anniversary your entire gallery will be ready to view with every single photo professionally color corrected, ready to post and share. If your package includes an album, with your prompt feedback during the design process we can send it to print within 6 weeks!  That’s unheard of in the wedding industry.  We don’t really like to toot our own horn, but that’s pretty awesome!   In fact, we are the only wedding photographers in metro Detroit who will happily guarantee these deadlines … in writing!

By the way… when it comes to Wedding Videography in Detroit, couples have the same ‘waiting game’ problem. In fact, call around and you’ll find the average turnaround time for wedding videographers in Detroit and Chicago to get the finished video to their clients is 8 months!  Are you kidding?  If that seems absurd to you, we agree …. It is!

With your involvement in music selection and final approval, Mike Staff Productions guarantees you’ll be shedding tears of joy as you watch your wedding video no more than 12 weeks after your wedding. That promise is priceless!

So, be sure to ask every wedding photographer and videographer you are considering “how long will it take to get it back” … and then ask that they guarantee it in writing.  If they’re not willing to guarantee it then it’s not much of a promise, is it?

wedding spirit of detroit

Other Questions to Ask Before Hiring A Photographer

What is your photography style?

There are several photography styles; traditional, photojournalistic, stylized, and candid. Look for a photographer that offers a blend of these styles to meet your needs. Ask them to define the term to be sure it meets your definition. They should have sample images to support their styles.

How can I view your portfolio?

Online galleries are a convenient option but don’t always tell the whole story. If you are considering an album purchase, it is best to view in person so you can inspect the materials and designs.

Are we allowed to submit our own shot list?

Your photographer should include your input in the photography plan. It may be helpful to look at bridal magazines or Pinterest to get an idea of what shots you want. Your photographer will work with you to develop your shot list. Beware of photographers that do not ask for your input.

Will we receive a personal consultation prior to our wedding day?

Yes. You should always have the opportunity to speak with your photographer prior to your wedding date. This allows you to discuss your style, photography plan, and any personal preferences for your wedding photos.

How many photographers work with you?

Make sure there is enough to guarantee a photographer is “on-call” in the case of an emergency.

Will you bring back-up cameras and lenses?

Absolutely. A reputable photographer will have back-ups available, so they can capture your memories without any interruptions.

Does the photographer work with the DJ, videographer, and hall manager?

When the photographer and videographer work together, this will guarantee you the best shots and angles in your photos and videos. Working alongside the DJ also allows your photographer to plan key moments, so all of your memories will be documented.

How much do you cost and what does that include?

Stay away from “bargain” photographers! Be sure to have all costs clearly defined and understood by both parties. The photographer should offer packages that vary to meet your needs.

How much for additional hours?

The rate should be stated on paperwork in advance.

Are you insured?

Do not hire a company that doesn’t have at least $1,000,000 of coverage.

May I review your contract?

Never do business with any wedding professionals that does not clearly spell out what you should expect!

Do you participate in any online wedding communities?

A reputable wedding photographer will have an online profile with highly regarded online resources such as The Knot and WeddingWire. This is a great place to read reviews from real brides.

Will I receive high resolution images? Do I own the rights?

Make sure your photography service includes high-resolution images and a personal copyright release. Without one, you can not print your own images. Some photographers require you to order prints through them which can be very expensive!

How long will it take to receive my proofs?

Online image proofs and album designs make it convenient for you to view your wedding day images without another time-consuming meeting. Proofs should be available in a short turnaround time – such as one month from your wedding date.

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Questions To Ask Wedding Vendors

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Mike Staff Productions Guarantee

The Mike Staff Productions Guarantee

At Mike Staff Productions, we trust that you’ll choose the perfect person to work with because you know what you want on your wedding day!  There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wedding DJ, photographer or videographer – we get that, that’s why we invite you to be a part of the planning process.

Let’s bring your wedding vision to life!


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