Detroit Wedding – Photographer
Let’s Talk Wedding Photography
We want to help educate you on the particulars of hiring the right photographer for your wedding day. We’re breaking down the red flags.
What you’ll learn in this guide on how to hire a Wedding Photographer
- 7 Ways to Know You’re Hiring the RIGHT Wedding Photographer
- The #1 Complaint Couples Have about Wedding Photographers
- View Wedding Photography Gallery
- Instagram Worthy Photography Locations
- Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer (and the answers!)
- Do You Need a Second Photographer?
- Why You NEED a Wedding Album
But before you start exploring this guide, do you know your photography style? That’s an important element to find out before you can even begin to hire the perfect photographer for your wedding day. But we’ve got you covered!
WATCH: Ready to Hire Your Perfect Wedding Photographer?
Love Your Wedding Photos
Do you want beautiful, emotional wedding photos that you’ll absolutely love? Mike Staff Productions can guarantee that because YOU choose which wedding photographer you want to work with.
Check out some of our work to show you how our experienced wedding photographers can bring your wedding vision to life.
7 Ways to Know You’re Hiring the Right Wedding Photographer
Great Competency as a Wedding Photographer.
In addition to having a highly trained “eye” for the perfect shot, great photographers will also have the ability to frame, set-up and capture those shots. Additionally, they’ll have a thorough understanding of lighting and an in-depth knowledge of his or her gear and how to use it. Plus, they will be skilled in various styles of photography; artistic, photojournalistic, traditional, etc. This comprehensive proficiency only comes as a result of years and years of experience, education and commitment to their craft.
Do They “Get” You?
When you first sit down with a photographer you should feel comfortable asking as many questions as you would like, but also pay attention to the questions they are asking you. Do they assume they know the best style for your wedding before you have even shared any information?
Beware of photographers or studios that don’t take the time to find out what exactly you want, what your fears and anxieties are, what your vision for your day is, and what’s important to you. Do they ask questions and listen to you or do they just tell you what “they do” and try to dictate what you’ll get.
Trustworthy photographers will be curious about YOU. Before taking you on as a client they will want to be sure that they will be able to give you what you want. One size does not fit all with wedding photography.
Be cautious of photographers that “talk and tell” more than “listen and ask questions”.
It doesn’t matter how talented your photographer is if you just don’t like him or her or if your personalities clash. We find ourselves drawn to certain people for many different reasons; humor, sincerity, common interests, etc. Ideally, you want to find a photographer that you feel comfortable with and connect with in some way.
Organized and Extremely Experienced with Shooting Weddings.
Not every great photographer is a great wedding photographer. Honest photographers will readily admit that shooting weddings is totally different from every other kind of professional photography. In-depth wedding knowledge and experience, combined with excellent organizational skills, “people” skills, and the ability to think fast under pressure are all pre-requisites for a great wedding photographer.
A Solid Post-Wedding System.
It sounds obvious, but it doesn’t matter how great you got along with your photographer on your wedding day or how amazing your wedding photos look if it takes forever to get them! In a recent survey, 67% of newlyweds reported that the # 1 MOST frustrating part of getting married was trying to get their final images and wedding album from their photographer. The average length of time it took? Over 10 months! With 21% of couples reporting that they didn’t get their final digital images and / or wedding album for over a year past their wedding date.
To avoid this type of frustration, when interviewing potential photographers, ask about how the post-wedding process will work. Ask them to be specific about how long it will take to get all of your prints, to de- sign and print your album and to get a final disc with all of your digital images; and ask them to put these timelines in writing on your contract.
(It might interest you to know that because Mike Staff Productions has a full-time team of post production technicians, editors and graphic designers, we can deliver final albums, prints and digital discs in as little as 10 weeks from your wedding day.)
Check the Reputation of the Studio / Photographer
Check the reputation of the studio first before rushing to sign a contract. Do they have at least 75 positive reviews on sites such as The Knot and Wedding Wire? Have other industry professionals heard of them and recommend them? Does the Better Busi- ness Bureau have any information on them?
Professionalism and Trust
Do they have a professional office or studio to meet in or do they want to meet with you at Starbucks or Panera Bread? It should be a giant “red flag” if a salesperson from a studio wants to meet you at a coffee shop or restaurant. Reputable photographers are eager to invite you into their office or studio.
A photographer / studio with an office at a physical location that you’ve visited will give you confidence to know that they will still be in business on your wedding day … and that you always know where to find them. One of the most common complaints about wedding photographers is that they took the deposit and was never heard from again. Don’t let this happen to you.
WATCH: What’s An Appointment Like 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 Photographer – we get that, that’s why we invite you to be a part of the process.
Choose Your Wedding Photographer
- Watch video profiles of our award winning Photographers in action.
- Get familiar with their style, artistry and personality
- View examples of their work
Organized and Helpful?
A disorganized photographer makes for a highly stressful wedding day and disappointing wedding images.Professional photographers and studios will offer to help create a Photography Plan for your wedding day; consisting of a timeline, must- have shots, location suggestions and much more.
When interviewing photographers be sure to ask how they will prepare with you for your wedding day. If he replies with a “we’ll figure it out as we go along” response, RUN! It’s good to have a photographer that can “go with the flow” and adapt to any situation … it’s quite another thing to have a photographer that doesn’t even have a plan to begin with.
WATCH: How To Find the Perfect Photographer For Your Wedding
The Hidden Trap in Wedding Photography
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.
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.
WARNING: Horror Story Ahead!
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.
- By 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 who will happily guarantee these deadlines … in writing!
Want the Mike Staff Productions Guarantee for Your Wedding?
Instagram Worthy Photography Locations
So, you’re engaged, you’re in love & now you’re probably looking for a little inspiration when it comes to wedding photography – particularly those engagement photos, right? Choose a location that tells something about the two of you. First dates, your proposal spot, favorite hang outs… all of these places can make great, meaningful locations for engagement photos.
But if you’re looking for some more Instagram worthy inspiration – the team at Mike Staff Productions is here to help – here are some of our favorite spots!
Where can you see the best view of the Detroit skyline without going to Canada? The western end of Belle Isle—properly named Sunset Point. While you’re there snap some photos in front of the James Scott Memorial Fountain.
The Detroit Institute of Art
Located on Woodward, the Detroit Institute of the Arts is a downtown gem. From fountains to a grand entrance to walk ways surrounded by greenery, the overall feel of the DIA is sophisticated and photo options are endless.
Between Gratiot and Grand River, underneath the Z Lot, the Belt Alley is bursting with color these days. New murals and bright lights have re-energized this alley downtown.
Michigan Central Station
Michigan Central station is a piece of Detroit history – enough said. There’s just something magical about this building. But get your engagement photos done before this iconic, architectural landmark is fully renovated.
In the heart of downtown Detroit, Campus Martius is a lively urban park with tons of spots to sneak away for a photo session: There’s an outdoor skating rink in the winter, a “beach” in the summer, gardens, cafes, monuments, and more.
Stoney Creek Metro Park
From beaches, bodies of water, a golf course, and a nature preserve – Stoney Creek Metro Park offers over 4 thousand acres of natural beauty. Since this is a a Metro Park there will be a fee to get in, so plan ahead!
University Of Michigan – Law Quad
The striking Gothic-style buildings that make up the University of Michigan Law Quad is architecture at it’s finest. This Ann Arbor location is a wedding photo favorite. You don’t have to be a student to be on the grounds but you may have to battle crowds.
Between the flowers, the sheds, the shops, and the murals, there’s always an opportunity for the perfect photo at Detroit’s historic Eastern Market. Wander through the crowds on a Saturday, or choose a quiet weekday afternoon to see it all.
Touristy? We don’t care. We love the big tiger in front of Comerica Park. Even if you’re not heading into a game, it’s fun to stop by and take your picture with the big tiger.
WATCH: Wedding Photography Tips From the Pros
Questions You Should Ask Your Wedding Photographer
To preserve your wedding memories, it is critical to select the right photographer for your wedding day. While each couple will have their own unique needs, these questions are a great starting point as you interview photographers. We’ve listed the questions and what you should be listening for. As you interview photographers pay attention to how well they listen and how well they ask questions. Photographers that are poor listeners almost always deliver disappointing images.
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.
What is your style? What does that mean? There are several photography styles; traditional, photojournalistic, stylized, 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.
Will I receive my high resolution images on a flash drive? Do I own the rights?
- Make sure that the flash drive includes high resolution images and a personal copyright release. Without one, you can not print your own images!
How many photographers work with you?
- Make sure there is enough to guarantee a photographer is “on-call” in the event of emergencies.
Does the photographer work with the DJs, videographers, hall managers and other wedding professionals on your team?
- Ask how well they know some of your other vendors and if they have worked with them. It is easy to overlook the importance of this upfront, but it will have a major impact on your wedding day, and on the quality of your services.
Are we allowed to submit our own shot list? Can you help me develop one?
- Beware of photographers that do not ask for your input, or act as if they know what you want without asking. Many wedding photographers take the approach that “they know best” and the result is frustrated couples and disappointing pictures.
What attire will you wear to the wedding?
- A professional photographer should be dressed in professional business attire.
Have you been recognized as a reputable photographer by past brides and in the wedding community?
- A reputable photographer will have dozens of reviews with highly regarded online resources such as theknot.com and weddingwire.com. Beware of any wedding photographers that you cannot find A LOT of online reviews for.
Is there someone to replace the photographer in case of emergency?
- Accidents happen and emergencies occur (that’s why they’re called emergencies!). Make sure that there is an experienced backup wedding photographer who is on call and standing by in the event of unforeseen circumstances. (NOTE: Mike Staff Productions pay photographers to be on-call each weekend. This is the only way to ensure that your photographer’s’ potential misfortunes don’t become yours.)
Will you bring back-up cameras, lenses and other gear to the wedding?
- You want to be sure that your photographer has planned for the unexpected.
Are you insured?
- Do not hire a company that doesn’t have at least $1,000,000 of coverage.
Do you accept major credit cards?
- Even if you want to pay with cash or a check, it is highly recommended to avoid studios or photographers that don’t accept credit cards. It simply signals a professional & reputable company.
How much do you cost?
- This can often be a trick question, because wedding photographers are notorious for hiding potential charges from their clients. Wedding Photography “Guru’s” are constantly teaching wedding photographers how to have low initial packages and then up-sell, up-sell, up-sell after the wedding. And it is not uncommon for these charges to be much more than what you paid initially. Mike Staff Productions believes in up-front, all inclusive pricing so you know exactly what you’re going to get and exactly how much it’s going to cost.
How long will it take to receive my proofs?
- Is another meeting necessary? 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 to view within about a month of your wedding day.
May I review your contract?
- Never do business with any wedding professionals that do not clearly spell out what you should expect!
Trust Our Reputation! LOVE Your Wedding Photos.
Do You Need a Second Wedding Photographer?
When our Mike Staff Productions team sits down with brides, grooms and/or their families, one of the top questions we get asked is: ‘Do we really need a second wedding photographer?’ The answer…..
It depends. (Keep reading, we promise this is helpful!)
While deciding whether or not you want one or two professional photographers documenting your day is 100% your personal preference (based on budget, timeline and what kind of photos you want), lets explain the difference to hopefully make your decision easier.
Bottom line is this: Every wedding, every couple and everyone’s ‘wants’ are different. So, let’s break down your wedding day to *show* you how two photographers can make an impact and where one is enough.
WATCH: Do You Need A Second Photographer?
Do you need a wedding album?
It’s a priceless feeling when you hold your wedding day in your hands. Your wedding album is a visual reminder of every moment, each emotion and every detail of your wedding day, bringing it to life in a way a flash drive of images can’t. You’ll return to your wedding album at family gatherings, anniversaries, and perhaps with your children one day. Isn’t that better than crowding around the screen of your phone showing off the best day ever?
Mike Staff Productions wedding albums are high-quality art pieces, that combine tradition with modern design. Each album offers personalization choices in textiles and leathers, cover materials, embossing, leather etching and, of course, a personal album designer to guide you throughout the process.
All albums feature lay-flat designs so your images float seamlessly across the page, printed on thick archival fine-art papers so they will stand the test of time. Your wedding album will be an unforgettable heirloom that will last for years to come.