Booking your wedding photographer, and asking the right questions
In these difficult times I really feel for all those couples who have had to rearrange their wedding. I hope this process has been as easy as possible for everyone and these couples are now able to look forward to their new date. I think the next couple of years will see a surge of weddings, so we all have something to look forward to!
I think now is an appropriate time to just give a few tips for anyone looking for a wedding photographer. When booking your wedding photographer it is imperative you get it right. Your photographer is someone who will be with you for a long time on your big day, and the photos are one of the few things you will keep after the wedding. There are so many photographers out there, where do you start?
In these times it is more difficult to make an appointment to go and see a photographer in person, so I am talking to couples over the phone initially, and if they are interested after a detailed phone conversation I am happy to hold their date until we are able to meet up in person.
I have put together a few tips that may help couples when they start looking ...
- Personal recommendation if possible. Do you know anyone who has recently got married? Who was their photographer and were they happy? If someone you know can recommend a photographer personally that is a good start. Do you know anyone in the industry?
- Look at different photographer’s websites to compare styles and packages. Are they more traditional or contemporary in the way they work? Not all will have their prices on their website, so contact 5 or 6 to get an idea of cost.
- Don’t necessarily go for the cheapest option. In fact, often there is a reason if someone is much cheaper than others. It could be a very good photographer just starting out who cannot charge established prices. But do make sure you know first.
- Having priced up 5 or 6, make an appointment to go and see 2 or 3. Not only do you need to make sure their portfolio is good, you need to feel comfortable with them as a person. They will be spending a lot of time with you on your big day, and it is really important you choose someone you get on with and whom you can relax around. Will they fit in to your big day or might they take over?
- Make sure you find out exactly what you get for the price – how many images, will they be digital, are they copyright free and printable? Some photographers charge extra for you to have all your images so be careful. Is an album included in the price? If so, do you want one - if not why pay for one? If the package does not include an album, can you get one at a later date if you want to? How long will the photographer be with you on the day?
- How long will it take for you to get all your edited images? A few months after the wedding is not quick enough and is not acceptable, in my opinion.
- Do guests get the chance to look at the photos and purchase them on a website?
- What happens if the unthinkable occurs and the photographer is taken ill or has an accident and cannot make it on the day? You need to know what plans they have in place to make sure you are not left without a photographer.
- Find out if the photographer has a back up camera in case of technical failure.
- Is the photographer happy to do all the shots you want and will they bring a list of all the group shot you would like and make sure they are all taken? Will they give you an itinerary and timings for photos on the day?
- What insurances do they have?
- How much deposit does the photographer ask for and when is the final balance due?