I hope this FAQ helps you. Click on the list below to jump to the topic.
- Why hire a specialist wedding photographer?
- Deciding which wedding photographer is right for you.
- Is choosing a photographer based on price a bad idea?
- What cameras do you use?
- Why hire a specialist wedding photographer?
- How to decide which wedding photographer is right for you.
- Is choosing a photographer based solely on price a bad idea?
- What kind of cameras do you use?
- Do you shoot in JPG or RAW?
- How many photos do I get back?
- Where can I see samples of your work?
- How current are your samples?
- Where is your studio?
- Our wedding is so important we want to hire TWO photography companies.
- Do you shoot weddings outside of KL? How about overseas?
- How much should I budget for my photos?
- Who owns the rights to the photos?
- How do I book you?
- How quickly after the wedding do we get the photos?
- Do you supply videography services?
- Wedding tips
Why hire a specialist wedding photographer?
I believe you already know but just as a refresher, your wedding is the most important event in your life. If you want to have it captured without heart ache it is wise to get an experienced wedding photographer. Their reputation and experience grants you peace of mind that you are going to get great work back. Additional benefits are that you deal directly with the photographer, and so can view their long track record of quality work.
- Everyone is different so use these tips as a guidelines for items I believe are worthy of your consideration.
- It is very important to meet with the photographer. Is the photographer excited/interested about your wedding day? You can only determine this by meeting them.
- Related to the above: Deal directly with the photographer not a sales person, as it is the photographer and not their sales rep who will be with you for your wedding day.
- Are you viewing a balanced portfolio. Portraits are only one part of the day. Ask to see full days coverage.
- Make sure the photographer whose work you like is going to be the one shooting for you.
- Be up front about your budget. You can give a budget range, and then see what the photographer can provide for you.
- Ask if they shoot in RAW or JPEG. RAW shooters will personally edit every photo they take and can make an average or poorly lit venue or photo and make it look great in a way a Jpeg shooter never can.
- Ask them what protection they use in case their storage card gets corrupted. Most professional cameras have 2 card slots inside and can write images to BOTH at once. While storage card corruption is rare it can happen. There is NOTHING you can do to avoid it. Some people say it has never happened to them…but it will one day. Others say they only use new cards…but there are new cards that have failed as well. The right answer is that they write to both cards in their camera at the same time. I have been practicing this for well over a decade and seen photographers who did not do this have one epic fail at a wedding either learn the painful lesson or go out of business. Your wedding is simply not the place for anyone to be taking a risk with storage cards.
- If you have seen the photographer in action before at a friends wedding take notes. Some photographers are oblivious to the guests and stand in the way blocking everyone’s view of the entire ceremony. I do not to understand this mentality. Photographers should be discreet and non-obtrusive.
Everyone has a budget and not everyone can spend as much as they would like. I do receive many emails and whatsapps from people and their first (and only) question is price. It is better if you have a budget in mind and be up front with your photographer about this. They can then tell you if something can be worked out. Tell me which you prefer when you contact me otherwise you may miss out by simply not being up front and speaking candidly.
That said, I know of horror stories of people who “cheaped out” on their photographer only to have said person simply disappear after payment as they are not even running a registered company. I have also been asked by hobbyist photographers (or their couples) to fix bad photos from weddings I did not cover. Think very carefully about this before taking the cheapest option.
What Cameras do you use?
We use professional cameras and not too fussed on the brand as long as they get the job done and get it done well. Over the years we have shot with Phase One, Nikon, Canon, Sony, FujiFilm, Leica and a handful of others you may not have heard of (Bronica, Hasselblad). That said, the most important component in photography is the person holding the camera. Their knowledge of light, angles, lens and camera capabilities and limitations all play a part in making the photo.
Do you shoot in JPG or RAW?
RAW. I believe strongly that every actual day wedding professional should shoot in RAW format with no exceptions. Make sure you establish your photographer will shoot RAW before you book them. I could bore you with why but very quickly: RAW captures an ENORMOUS amount of data and enables the photographer to DEVELOP the photos properly after the shoot. JPEG doesn’t. A photographer who shoots in RAW must work on and edit EVERY image to make it look as good as it can. A photographer who shoots jpeg usually will not. Given the choice between a photographer who must edit the images meticulously and one who will not the choice is a no brainer. RAW RAW RAW
How many photos do you return?
Some people are very concerned on the number of images they will receive back. Apart from blinks or those rejected for aesthetic reasons you receive all of them. You may then use the images for personal usage.
Where can I see samples of your work?
There are thousands of photos on this web site. Too many as they site is enormous now as it has photos going back nearly 20 years! I do not post all shoots on line due to the size of the site now, but use the search feature to look for terms and you will hopefully find what you are looking for. I have tried to institute tagging on all new uploads so they can be found by searching.
How current are your samples?
I try to update as frequently as I can, however as a working photographer I spend a lot more time shooting and editing than working on my web site. I also update photos on my instagram! Look for @grantcorban
Where is your studio?
My fully equipped brick and mortar photo studio is in 3-Two Square in Petaling Jaya. I conduct mostly graduation, family, maternity, children, baby and product photography there. However as a full time commercial photographer I am often out at clients sites and so I am only usually there only on appointment basis. For client side photos we bring studio lighting and back drops as well.
“Our Wedding is so important we want to hire two photography companies.”
Don’t laugh. This actually happens. This is a great way to ruin your wedding photography coverage. More than one company photographing your wedding can transform it into a paparazzi trash wedding. I have photos I could post on how this looks but as I have no desire to embarrass anyone I will refrain. If you have a big wedding tell me. I will hand pick a team of experienced photographers who will give you superb, unobtrusive coverage and who will work together as one team. No need for 4 photographers to shoot the exact same photo.
Do you shoot weddings outside of KL? How about overseas?
Most of my weddings seem to be outside KL! Funny how that worked out. It seems I shoot in Penang, JB, Ipoh, Melaka Seremban, Banting, KK and Kinabalu more often than PJ and KL. So outstation travel is pretty normal for us. As for overseas: UK, USA, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand… I love covering weddings in all of them.
Most wedding magazines and web sites recommend that a realistic budget is about 10% of your entire budget. This may seem like a lot, but remember that 25 years after your wedding the only reminders you will have to show your family will be your wedding photos and your wedding ring. A lot of the older relatives, your parents and uncles etc, will likely not be around then either, so having great photos of them looking happy on the day of your wedding is priceless.
In Malaysia an RM5000-RM7000 budget for the day is realistic. Pricing can be cheaper if you just want the main ceremony covered, or perhaps only a half day covered.
Do not be pressured to pay a deposit on your first meeting. Take time to talk the decision over with your fiance.
“It’s unwise to pay too much. But it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. It can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run. And if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better”-John Ruskin
Who owns the rights to the photos?
The legal rights to the photos belong to my photography company, but that doesn’t mean you are all tangled up in legal mumbo jumbo. You, as my couple, have the rights to use the images for any non-commercial purposes, including web page display, printing and/or burning extra CDs for your friends and family. However use in any commercial publication or for the purpose of advertising requires my express written permission.
How do I book you?
A mobilization fee needs to be paid and the agreement signed to confirm your booking. Calling me on the phone and asking me to hold the date is not considered a booking. Popular dates may be booked up to 18 months in advance so please don’t procrastinate.
How quickly after the wedding do we get to see the photos?
The normal timeline for editing is 2-3 weeks. Occasionally public holidays, overseas shoots etc may extend this by a few extra days. I have been told that this is considered fast in the wedding industry.
- Go unplugged for the actual ceremony. Turn all phones off. Tell your relatives this.Live in the moment. Enjoy.
- Remember the goal of the day is to have fun!
- You are the king and queen of your day so you should be relaxed and enjoy it.
- Have friends or close relatives help you in your planning and then delegate responsibilities to capable people. The best run weddings I have attended were run by caring family and/or friends.
- Have a clear check list with estimated times, important addresses and contacts on it.
- Do not get hung up if the timeline is not followed precisely.
- On the wedding day make sure your hair stylist/make up artist comes to your home/hotel instead of you going to their studio. You do not want to be caught in traffic either to or from the hair dressers and I have seen the best planned schedules ruined because the bride was caught in traffic some where. Remember it is your day, not the hair dressers, so they should come to you.
- Get a good sleep before your wedding. Remember that only pandas look good with panda eyes! Make sure you go to bed EARLY unless you like a LOT of make up.
- If you know there will be a lot of alcohol in the evening, order room service before the banquet. A full stomach will enable you to enjoy the evening. An empty one may be your undoing during the yum sing sessions. Make it memorable by popping a bottle of champagne over some sandwiches with your organizing team in your room before coming down for dinner.
- If you prefer a small intimate dinner with friends rather than a massive 500-1500 person affair talk with your parents EARLY. A lot of couples now have two dinners. Parents pay for one where they entertain their friends, and the couple organize their own smaller intimate one on a different night with their friends.
- Try something different as far as a wedding car. A lot of people are now looking for something a little different from a BMW or Mercedes. They are looking for vintage vehicles. There are people who offer them.
- Dance floors really ARE fun! So are live bands. They help make the event more memorable. Every wedding movie you have ever seen probably has a scene of the bride dancing with her groom/father/father in law. These are special moments. Just do it!
- I saw the following idea at a wedding we covered in Pekanbaru, Indonesia. Guests were GREETED at the door, so all the congratulations are done, and people could quietly leave when they wanted to. That meant the end of the evening the couple were not stuck at the door saying goodbye to all of their parents friends. Instead they were on the dance floor with their friends.
- Dome dinners guarantee a short evening. Use that tip with caution. Want to finish fast so you can leave…book a Dome dinner. If you want to fit in more than 2 speeches and a quick cake cutting, then avoid dome dinners like the plague.