Here’s a comprehensive list of wedding photography FAQs. If there’s anything you have on your mind that is not listed here, or is not detailed enough, please feel free to get in touch!
Q: What’s your wedding photography style? Why do you shoot weddings?
A: That’s a tough question to answer. Some of the popular “styles” associated with wedding photography are candid, documentary, photojournalistic, art wedding photography and other fancy words like these. I think what I do is a mixture of all of these styles – and depends on the moment and what I’m aiming to achieve. I typically shadow the couple as closely as possible while being hypersensitive to behind-the-scene moments and emotions that occur spontaneously. These make the best wedding memories. This is largely photojournalistic to an extent – but I also like making gorgeous looking wedding photos for which I may direct and set the scene to an extent. I believe that a successful wedding assignment needs a mixture of all of this, and a responsible photographer should be adaptable enough to deliver a mix of genres.
Q: How long have you been shooting weddings and how many weddings have you shot?
A: I started shooting weddings back in 2010. I started shooting just for fun because i loved the colours and the energy. Once I realised we could do this for a living i started doing it more and more. I try and not overcommit – and prefer quality over quantity. We only take up one wedding at a time As of 2016, i have been a part of over 30 weddings.
Q: Where are you based? Are you open to travel for my wedding?
A: I’m based in Dar es salaam,Tanzania. As a photographer, I travel all over Tanzania and the world on assignment.
Q: Do you charge extra for out station assignments?
A: The short answer is no, I do not! My core assignment fees will remain the same – and will only cover the number of days I will actually be shooting. As a photographer, I realise that I need to be available to shoot where and when needed, and recognize that there will be non-billable days in travel. That’s all right, but out-of-station assignments will have an extra travel and lodging charge associated, which will be at actuals. You can read about our custom built wedding photography packages for more details.
Q: Do you shoot alone or do you have a team?
A: We have a full in-house team of photographers and cinematographers who can complement your wedding story with additional posed imagery and wedding movies. We have everything you need under one roof – which gives us the freedom to be able to create a single cohesive story using still and moving images for your wedding!
Q: Do you shoot both “sides” of a wedding?
A: Yes, we absolutely do! As a matter of fact, we highly recommend hiring just us to shoot both the groom’s and the bride’s family. It’s an absolute waste of resources to have two separate teams to essentially the same thing. We have enough resources in-house to be able to cover your entire wedding from start to finish.
Q: Who will actually shoot my wedding?
A: As mentioned above, we only take up one wedding at a time. Zahir abbas Panjwani will always lead the team and be at your wedding.
Q: I’m getting married next year, why do I need to book you so early?
A: Wedding photography, like everything else associated with a wedding like the venue, the decorator, the planner and the caterer – is a commodity that gets booked months and years in advance. There are clients who have an eye on a certain photographer, and just KNOW that nobody else will do. Booking your dates as early as possible guarantees that you won’t face any later heartburn and will be another item ticked off your wedding checklist!
Q: My wedding spans three days, of which the first and second day don’t involve full day work. Why are you charging me for three full days?
A: This is a standard question, and it’s a valid one. There are two parts here:
- The first is that I will be booking my full day to be available for you, and therefore lose out on other potential assignments I could have shot that day.
- The second, and more important one is that in my experience during Indian weddings, things average out. Your wedding day may (and most probably will) involve shooting overtime, as Indian weddings aren’t known to get over without a song and a dance! I won’t be charging you for working extra if your wedding needs it, so at the end of the day, things really do average out.
- For more on this, see the next question.
Q: What are your wedding photography assignment times? How many hours a day will you shoot?
A: Many photographers approach this differently. I do not believe in setting a limit on the number of hours I will be available to you during a wedding. Indian weddings don’t run as per a schedule (though there always is one!) and things do tend to over schedule at times. When this happens, it would be outright blackmail for the photographer to threaten to pack up unless paid extra. Rest assured, this won’t happen – and I will be available for you as long as needed. We usually charge by the day – with the assumption being that a regular day runs into 10-12 hours. We do charge extra however, if your ceremonies are scheduled very late into the night (like 4 am) which are treated as the next day.
Q: What about wedding albums? Do you provide those?
A: Yes! Wedding albums – or weddings books, are a critical part of the final piece of work. I have spent a lot of time evaluating album vendors in Tanzania and abroad, and am pleased to let you know that based on my experience, I’ve shortlisted the vendors I work with to a very small list. Albums are serious business, and available to you are the very best albums that are made in Dubai – and for the discerning bride, albums that are hand-made and imported from Italy. All albums are custom designed to your wedding, and are clean, contemporary and classy.
Q: Do you offer wedding video or cinematography services? I’d like a wedding video — and I’d like everything to be done under one roof.
A: Absolutely! Wedding cinema has evolved a lot over the last few years. We will develop a beautiful thematic documentary style wedding video which will perfectly complement your wedding album. Typical deliverables include a wedding trailer (5-6 mins), and a full 60-80 minute wedding movie — all in brilliant high definition video.
Q: How many wedding pictures do you typically provide per wedding? What are your selection criteria?
A: I do not limit the number of images I shoot during a wedding (the wonders of digital photography!). The kind of work I do results in a number of rejected photos – bad expressions, bad lighting, distractions in the frame and so on. After a painstaking review, I reject around 60-70% of the material right away for one reason or the other. The rest of the photos are manually selected, colour corrected, juxtaposed to tell a story if needed and marked for final delivery. On average, I deliver between 400-600 images from a two day wedding, and between 500-800 images from a three day wedding (and so on…). This will be more than sufficient for you to relive your wedding, frame by frame.
Q: Do you edit the photos? How much editing is involved?
A: Yes, all images provided to you will be edited to match the vision we had for each photo. Our editing style is a light touch – and mostly involves using a colour palette that we love. To get a general idea of our editing style.
Q: Will you provide me with a full dump of all the photos taken from my wedding? I don’t mind if they aren’t processed, I just want to see the full dump of pictures taken during my wedding days.
A: The short answer is, no. Here’s the long answer:
- As I mentioned above, a large number of pictures taken are straight away rejects – bad expressions, people in the frame, technical problems… and so on. This is an integral part of candid wedding photography – and wouldn’t happen if each shot taken was “posed”. These pictures are useless to everyone, and are a waste of resources to shortlist and deliver to you (on average, a single wedding takes up around 50-70 GB of storage space).
- I work really hard at weaving a story into what I do – and the final work is selected based on the vision and concept I was trying to work towards while shooting a part of your wedding.
- Trust: I have no reason to sit on good photographs –if there’s a good picture in there, and even if I have to deliver MORE than what I promised, I have absolutely no reason to kill a good picture! 🙂 At the end, you have to trust your photographer to deliver fantastic wedding memories to you.
Q: (From above) What happens if I’m not happy, and feel that a part of my wedding is not represented enough?
A: No problem! That’s a different matter altogether. As your photographer, I will move mountains to make sure you are satisfied. I will continue to work with you and revisit my shortlist to ensure that you are completely satisfied with the final selection of work. To me, the couple is the most important – and I will leave no stone unturned to make sure you’re satisfied.
Q: How long will it take for you to deliver our wedding photos? How long will the album take?
A: I typically deliver the final set of individually developed images from your wedding between 3-4 weeks after your wedding dates. I usually present the album options to you at this time, and upon final payment, the album will take another 2-3 weeks to reach your doorstep.
Q: Who owns the usage rights to my wedding images? What is a personal rights release, and who owns the copyright?
A: Along with the assignment, you own the full usage rights to your wedding photos for non-commercial use. Legal jargon aside, that means you can do whatever you want with your wedding photos (like making more albums, taking prints, sending them out to relatives, sharing them online and what have you). The only thing you cannot do is resell your wedding images – which I am sure you will not want to do! As the photographer, I will own the ‘copyright’ to the photographs, which means I own the author rights to the photograph.
Q: Will you be using the final wedding photos in your portfolio and on your social media channels? What if we do not want that?
A: I may! If your wedding results in terrific wedding photos (and I am sure it will!), I would love to share those pictures on my personal portfolio website and social channels as examples of great work I’ve done, so that other couples may also be inspired from your wedding. Should you specifically NOT want me to disclose your wedding photos on my personal channels, let me know before hand. There is no official policy on how to approach these situations, and there may be a middle ground we can work out.
Q: What camera do you use for wedding photography? Or, what equipment do you use?
A: In short, I use whatever it takes to get you stunning photos. I have a long list of equipment I shoot weddings with, and this includes full-frame cameras, fast lenses, all forms of off-camera lighting, remote lighting equipment, props, stands, tripods, monopods…all of which is updated and changed constantly. In case you’re interested in having a conversation on equipment, or debating the pros and cons between Nikon and Canon, feel free to leave a comment at the end of this page!
Q: Are your wedding packages negotiable? I can’t afford what you charge!
A: I truly understand how expensive it is to get married. There are a million things you need to pay for, and some of them are more challenging than others. However, premium wedding photography also comes at a price – and I can’t even begin to start justifying the effort it takes to deliver quality photos.