You obviously want to turn your wedding into a true fairy tale. Planning the event takes a lot of time and effort and might be rather stressful — but nevertheless, it’s a delightful process. Even if you are organising an intimate and budget-friendly soiree, booking a professional wedding photographer is a must. Although your friends and relatives have cameras on their smartphones, they will be busy with other things such as eating, drinking, dancing, socialising and watching the performance. Meanwhile, the photographer will be relentlessly following you, exercising their creativity, finding the best angles and taking splendid shots.
Below, you’ll find handy recommendations on how to select the most amazing wedding photographer, how to negotiate with them and sign the contract.
Budget Comes First
Most likely, you would like to calculate your spendings in advance and avoid any extra expenses that might come as a surprise. If you aim to economise, you might consider booking not an experienced photographer but a student. Students charge less or might be ready to work for free because they need to build a portfolio. Another valuable lifehack is to invite a photographer not for the entire duration of the event but only for the most important couple of hours. Anyway, you should discuss all the financial aspects with the vendor in advance and fix your budget in a written agreement. Here are the points that you might want to negotiate:
- At what time will the photographer arrive and for how long will they stay?
- If you ask them to stay longer, will this be possible? If yes, what will be their hourly rate?
- Will they be working alone or with an assistant?
- How many pictures will you get? What will be their size and resolution?
- Will you receive the photos in digital or printed format (or maybe both)?
- Will you need to pay extra for editing and retouching?
Compile the list of questions in advance and don’t be shy to be a bit persistent.
Do You Share the Same Aesthetic Preferences?
Wedding photography is a rather broad notion. If you like a particular style of photos, you should find a vendor who shares your tastes. You might want to make formal traditional portraits, or emotional “candid” pictures, or stunning monochrome images… Your photo album should reflect your personality and the unique atmosphere of your celebration. Show to the vendor a small collection of pictures that you like and let them share with you a few examples of their work, created in an identical manner.
Sign the Contract Months in Advance
Top professionals of the industry might be booked a year in advance. 6 months before your big day is the deadline when you should sign the contract with a photographer. Later, your choice will be limited and the prices will go considerably higher. When compiling the list of vendors you need to contract, place the photographer on top of it.
Experience Is Essential
The more experienced the photographer, the more skills they have and the better pictures they deliver. Also, seasoned specialists have a lot of additional gear such as flash guns, lenses or lighting. Try to look for those who specialise in weddings and not just photography in general. Like this, you can be sure that the chosen professional will masterfully render your mood and make top-notch images. It’s good if the person you chose had some kind of formal education and can boast of a diploma. However, more and more self-taught talents today learn with the help of free online guides and deliver impressive results in spite of the lack of “proper” education.
It’s OK to Be Demanding
Your wedding photos will become a part of your family archive. Your children and grandchildren will admire them. So you need to get perfect images on the first attempt! Don’t invite a random candidate — instead, invest your time and budget in booking a worthy talent.