Do you have backup camera equipment? Every photographer should have backup equipment that they bring with them on your wedding day in case their camera breaks down and is rendered useless. A wedding day can't be repeated so if a piece of vital camera equipment breaks your photographer should have backup equipment so they can keep shooting and not miss a shot. I bring a backup camera, lenses and flashes in case any of my equipment fails on a wedding day. My husband carries our backup camera in a backpack which is with us at all times of the day. That is important because if a camera breaks during your ceremony there is no time to run back to the car to retrieve back up equipment.
Are you licensed & insured? Photographers who photograph in the Canadian Rockies are required to have a business license for every area that they photograph in. It's required to have a Parks Canada business license, a Banff-Lake Louise license, a Canmore license and a Yoho National Park license if you are photographing in those areas. Your photographer should have a valid business license for the area that you are getting married and carry a copy of that license in their camera bag if they are asked to present it on your wedding day to avoid delays. A professional photographer should also carry business insurance to cover their equipment and their car if an accident happens on your wedding day you want to make sure there is coverage. Most wedding venues also require that photographers working at that venue carry valid business insurance in order to photograph in their space. I am fully licensed and insured. I carry valid licenses for Banff, Lake Louise, Canmore & Yoho National Park. My equipment is fully insured and I carry commercial car insurance.
Are the photographs on your website from real weddings or inspiration shoots? If you see photographs that you love on your photographer's website make sure you ask them to make the distinction between photographs that they took on real wedding days and photographs that were taken during a styled inspiration shoot. On wedding days photographers have to create compelling images despite harsh light, bad weather, tight schedules and other difficult situations so it's important that they show you work from real weddings. It's easy to create beautiful images from a styled shoot when the photographer has complete control over the time of day, weather and creative freedom with limitless time. You need to know if your photographer can create those same types of photographs on a real wedding day when they don't have 2 hours to photograph your cake. The vast majority of photographs on my website are from real weddings. If I do feature an inspiration shoot then I make sure to clearly mark it as an inspiration shoot so you know it is not a real wedding but a creative project.
Do you work with an assistant? I work with my husband full time who is there to assist me by carrying my equipment, driving the car, carrying the bride's shoes and bouquet when needed and helping me with lighting to create the photographs that I create. Having an assistant ensures that my photo sessions run as quickly and smoothly as possible.
How long after our wedding day will we receive all of our edited wedding photographs? A lot of photographers shoot several weddings every week-end and then start editing photographs at the end of their busy season. I've heard from several couples that they had to wait 3-6 months to see any photographs from their wedding day. It's important to know up front what you can expect. While editing varies with every wedding your photographer should be able to give you a ballpark figure so you know what to expect after your wedding day. I deliver final edited photographs to my couples in 4-6 weeks.
What are your travel fees and what is included? It's important to know up front what some potential extra charges you might be expected to pay to get your photographer to your destination wedding. Ask in advance what your photographer's travel fees are. Some photographers will ask for a price per km travelled and you may be required to pay for their hotel accommodation for 1 or 2 nights. Factor that in when comparing fees. I don't charge any travel fees or require that you pay for a hotel room for me for any weddings in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise or Emerald Lake.
How do you handle meals on a wedding day? It's important to feed your photographer on your wedding day so they can do the best work possible for you. Ask in advance what the best arrangement is for them at your specific venue so you can have that organized in advance and you aren't surprised on your wedding day. The best time for me to eat is to eat while you are eating since no one wants photos taken while eating. That way I can be ready to capture the rest of the reception moments.
Hello my name is Kirstie and I am a wedding photographer who specializes in photographing intimate weddings & elopements in Calgary, Banff, Canmore & Emerald Lake. I’ve been photographing mountain weddings since we moved to Banff in 2004. I lived in the mountains for 17 years before moving to Calgary in 2021.