Updated: Jan 10, 2022
Selecting the right Wedding Photographer is a particularly important topic for Brides and Grooms. With so many options ranging from family members who snap pictures, to world renowned Photographers, this process can be time consuming and over-whelming. While some may focus on affordability to stay within their budget, others prefer to invest as much as possible for the result their desire. In this blog we are going to share seven facts every Bride and Groom should know before booking their photographer for their special day. To make this process easier keep your list to no more than five potential Photographers and then begin your selection. Remember, this process is based on personal taste and the result may vary from person to person. Here we go.
1 - Portfolio
Take the time to browse through your potential Photographers’ previous work to see if their styles match your vision. Not every photographer is for every Bride and Groom, and not every Bride and Groom is a good fit for every Photographer. If after looking at your Photographers’ portfolio, you determine you like their work, only then add them to your list of candidates - unless of course you have made up your mind and are totally sure after first look. If possible, look at your photographers Facebook and Instagram accounts as well. The bottom line is that you need to make sure your selected Photographers can do the job to achieve the result you envision.
2 – Responsiveness
After narrowing your search to your top five candidates, contact each Photographer or submit your inquiry for availability, packages, price etc. It should take no longer than 24 hours to receive a response back from all of your candidates. Being responsive and setting that good first impression is usually an indicator of what to expect from your Photographers. Usually, not always, Photographers who offer premium prices, packages are very responsive and offer great a customer experience. The worst thing to avoid is an unresponsive Photographer, who simply processes clients as numbers and invoices, so take your time but be thorough.
3 – Booking Process
Inquire on your Photographers’ booking process to determine if they offer the value you are paying for. Most established Photographers will have a brochure, a pricing guide, some packages, a contract, and a few questionnaires. Just by having a detailed booking process that shows what to expect from your photographer can tell you their transparency and attention to details. Often Photographers may verbally go over their booking process, however, we all know documentation beats conversation. Also make sure to ask for copyright print release for personal use in writing for both parties.
4 - Prices/Fees/Deposits
All prices and fees from your Photographers should be in writing prior to signing any agreement. Your Photographers should provide you with a professionally written brochure to help you select a package that is right for you. You should also be provided with a detailed proposal/agreement based on your selected package or options along with a payment plan (as applicable). Most Photographers require a deposit or retainer. It is common for Photographers to require a 50% deposit/retainer to secure your booking and the remaining later. Any travel expenses, airfare, tolls, parking fees, late fee, cancelation, and refund policy should also be captured in the agreement. If you notice the absence of some of these fees, feel free to address them prior to signing any agreement.
5 – Products and services
Every Photographer should be able to present their products and services as part of a package or a-la-carte options. Some of the most used packages are bundle of services for example: Eight-hour Photography plus prints, Six hour of Photography coverage with a second Photographer etc.… Some Photographers like to package their services by the hour; therefore, they may advertise $200/hour for Photography coverage. Regardless of the way Photographers package their services, you should be focused on the value you are receiving from them. If you value prints and photo albums, then place a priority on Photographers who offer the more attractive packages that includes them. If you prefer digital files and maybe delivery time, look for photographers who offers the best value for your investment.
6 – Dress code
Ensure your Photographer understands the environment you are trying to create on your Wedding day and inquire if they are willing to support your dress code. If you are having a ceremony at the beach, and the Photographer shows up in tuxedo, well that might be a bit distracting. The same if valid if your ceremony is at a 5 start luxury resort and the Photographer shows up in short and t-shirt, this may also be very distracting. When it comes to dress code, it is better to be safe than sorry, since this experience will be remembered.
7 – Product delivery
Ask your Photographers, how they deliver the final product to their customers. Some Photographer use in-person delivery with external hard drives or online download via either dropbox or personal galleries. Depending on their delivery method you may be able to request a different delivery method that works for your such as cloud-based drives. Inquire on the editing and delivery timeline for digital files and print materials such as canvas, albums, and framed prints. Keep in mind some Photographers may also offer rush delivery options for an additional fee, which may be beneficial depending on how fast you need your final products. Cidade Visual Arts Phoenix, Arizona www.CidadeVisualArts.com