Wedding planning guides, and wedding planning websites, suggest some standard questions.  They usually come up naturally in conversation and they do get asked during initial meetings.  

Comparing Wedding Photographers

The primary three things when you are looking for a wedding photographer:

Portfolio (Do you love the way this photographer sees?)

Price (Is the price point something you are comfortable with?)

Personality (Will you and do you get along with this person?)

Every has their own way to doing business that is right for them. Hourly coverage, packages or collections, unlimited hours. Our pricing is based on what works for our individual businesses.  So it can make it a challenge to compare.

The Big Questions

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What follows are a list of the big questions that we, as wedding photographers, regularly get.  You may desperately want to know there answers. You may not have thought about some of them at all.  When you talk with wedding photographers their answers to these questions should help you feel like you are working with a professional wedding photographer.  

Do you have backup wedding photographers who will shoot the wedding if you're sick?

Will there be a second shooter or any assistants? Is there an additional fee for these?

Have you ever shot at my wedding venue(s) before? I understand it’s comforting to have a photographer know your venue and it’s quirks and magical spots.  Even if it’s the same physical location every wedding is different, and the days unfold in their own ways.

Will the wedding photos be exposure corrected and color balanced?

What gets retouched?

What is the deposit and total fee if we want to book you as our wedding photographer?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

How many weddings have you photographed, and how many do you do in a year?

Is wedding photography your main business? What percentage of your work is composed of weddings?

How many images do we get of our wedding?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?! 

Do you shoot both digital and film?

How do you process the images?

What are the restrictions for sharing photos online or for publication?

Do you own the copyright to the wedding photos?

When do we get to see the wedding pictures?!

And The Big (usually unasked) Question

Why is it so expensive? 

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Cameras, lenses, lighting, back up gear, insurance (business and health), studio rent, self employment tax, software licensing, advertising, equipment repair - it all adds up to a lot for a full time photographer.  

Photography is a luxury.  You don't need a wedding photographer any more than you need a wedding dress or a bouquet or a diamond to get married. 

Questions Your Wedding Photographer Wants To Ask You

Are you already thinking wedding day logistics and lighting? Might you be planning the wedding ceremony for sunset?  

Will you want family portraits done before or after the wedding ceremony? Inside or outside?

Are you open to talking through the timeline of the wedding day so your photographer can capture what you want?

How will you and your partner be if your wedding doesn’t unfold exactly the way you imagine it should? Spoiler: it likely won’t.

Will you trust us to capture the magic and moments are we see them? 

If you send us a wedding photography pinterest board, will you want us to replicate other people’s images or are you using pinterest as a tool for research and learn what style of photography you like? 

How do you want to display your wedding pictures?  Will they languish forever on a USB drive or in a facebook album?  Will you post some to Instagram?  Will you want to share prints with your family for the holidays?  Are you interested in getting an album?

What are you most excited about on the wedding day? The dance party? The ceremony? Seeing family? Eating? Pictures? What are the most important parts for you?  

I’m Boston wedding photographer Allana Taranto of Ars Magna Studio. I love photographing wedding in downtown Boston, and throughout New England. My wedding photography is beautiful and honest that celebrates your love story. 

Great Lives deserve Great Art. 

boston wedding photographer allana

Planning a wedding in downtown Boston?

Get in touch to learn more about our custom photography packages

Wedding FAQ: Family Formals

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I admit that posing for formals are not everyone’s favorite moment of the wedding day celebrations. Bit - It is record making in a classic form and I do think it is important.  Wedding formals are the only time during the day when I tell you what to do and where to stand.  The rest of the day I‘m reacting to what’s unfolding.

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I’m using the word family is a very loosely here.  I consider family to be inclusive of whoever is in your inner circle (be they biological or logical family).

I want to make this as quick and painless as possible.  I want you to spend happy times with your friends and family and with each other - not endlessly lining up for posed portraits.  In order to make that happen (quickly and painlessly) I ask that everyone who is in the pictures know before hand where and when they are to show up ready.  


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We will touch base a month or so before your wedding to cement your list for family groups. We start with the largest groups of family and then the smaller ones.  Before the wedding day, I’ll be checking in with you about timelines and any specific groupings of people you want to have for family portraits.  We’ll make a list and figure out the logistics.  This varies on the time of day, the venue and the size of the families.

Be sure to tell everyone on the list.  And tell them again,  just in case.  Budget 5 minutes for each group. This will buffer in time for the inevitable diaper chance, open bar magnet, dad who forgot his pants in the hotel, etc.

So Who’s On This List?  

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You can, and perhaps have already, done a web search for Family Formal Shot List and found a some huge lists that cover everything and everyone you've ever met or been introduced to.  As a someone who leans towards minimalism and inclusivity - you may not have that many people on your list. 

You can start with one of those big lists and then ask yourselves: Do we actually want this picture? Are we including this group because we are supposed to or because we really want to? What will we do with this group photo? Will we print it and frame it? Will we want it in our wedding album?  The answer might be an enthusiastic YES!  Or you may beginto pare down the list. 

I recommend this at a minimum:

Wedding Couple

Wedding Couple with parents on one side

Wedding Couple with parents on the other side

Wedding Couple with each extended side

Wedding Couple with both extended sides

Wedding Couple with Grandparents


There's a portrait of my mother's parents from her wedding that is wonderful.  My grandparents look fantastic, and everyone in the family has a large wall portrait of this image.  I like to quickly get some images of the parents alone, or of your siblings and their families.  Yes, you and your fiance are the reason that everyone has gathered.  It's important to get you in the majority of the pictures, as the centerpiece. While everyone in present and looking dapper, let's take advantage of it! 

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I find the best times are either before the wedding ceremony (if you’ve done a first look) or between the ceremony and the reception (usually a little time and place called cocktail hour).  If your list is very long, it might make sense to split the groups up into smaller groups and spend a little time at the beginning, middle and end of the day.  


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Realistically, if you have two big families, a wedding party and family expectation that everyone gathers for formal portraits, you’re looking at at least an hour of your wedding day relegated to family portraits.

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If you have ideas for any other groups (friends from work/school) you would like to see photographed, make sure to tell me. Informal groupings can be done during cocktail hour, during the reception or on the dance floor.  


Occasionally, I have clients that request a picture of all of the guests present at their wedding.  If this is something you want - please be sure to tell me in advance.  These images require additional time, gear and the logistics to be worked out in advance.  Ideally, a tall ladder or balcony or drone is used.