Updated: Feb 18, 2021
More often than not, couples spend a large portion of their wedding budget on their photographer - and fair enough! When your big day is all over and done with, you are left with three special things - your love for each other, your rings, and your photos/video!
Here are some handy tips on how to ensure that you get the most out of your photographer and nothing gets missed from one of the most amazing days of your life!
1. Ask Questions
Make sure you know what you are getting! The first step to avoiding disappointment is making sure you are 100% clear on what is to be delivered. And I'm not just talking about number of photos and in what type of media. Here are some questions to get you going!
What time of the day will you start and finish?If capturing the "getting ready" does that include both bride and groom? Or just Bride?
If we happen to run later than scheduled, will you stay on to capture the first dance (or last event agreed as part of coverage), and is there an additional cost for this?
Will you be taking candid shots of my guests?How long after the wedding will the photos be delivered?
Will I get a sneak peak before the main delivery and at what time?What will happen if it rains?
2. Communicate Your Wish List
Be clear with your photographer about what you would like from them. E-mail them this information prior to your big day. For example:
Create a list of the family groups for formal group photos
List specific guests that you would like candid photos of, e.g. 95 year old Grandma.
Let them know your "good side" (we all have one!)
Seen some awesome wedding party photos on Instagram?? Let your photographer know if you would like to "recreate" any of your favourites!
Advise of any small details that you may have put a lot of effort into or have great sentimental value so that they can snap a few pics for you to remember!
3. Sign a Contract
Even if your photographer is a family friend or a hobbyist (particularly if they are a family friend or a hobbyist ..) make sure you have a contract with them. Too often you hear of Photographers not delivering what was promised or in the time frame promised and the couple do not have a contract to fall back on.
Here are some important items that should be in your Photography contract:
Delivery time frame
Number of images to be delivered and in what media (high resolution file on USB, printed, canvas, photo book etc)
Amount of coverage on the day (number of hours and what parts will be covered, e.g. ceremony, first dance)
The rights of the photographer to share and distribute images from your big day and if any approval from yourself is required
When payment is required
Is the deposit refundable and under what circumstances
What happens if the photographer is unable to make it on the day
Remember, communication is key! If you have any concerns or if you are unsure about anything, pick up the phone and call your photographer!
Let's face it, when planning a wedding you have a million things on your mind all at once! Always send an e-mail to confirm anything important so that you have a paper trail that you can check back on if you have forgotten what was discussed.