10 Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer Pt II

Published:  May 01, 2017

You read about the first five tips previously. Now find out the rest:

STEP 6 : MAKING SURE THEY’RE RIGHT FOR YOU

The key to great wedding photographs is not just the skill of the person behind the lens but their personality. This person has to be excited about your day. They have to share your vision, present a clear understanding of what you want. Do they have the right personality? In other words are they going to liven things up when the need arises, keep people on track without upsetting them?  The chances are they are going to be with you for quite a few hours of your special day and they must make you and your wedding party feel relaxed and willing to work with them in order to get the most out the situation. The last thing you want is an abrupt rude professional who leaves people in tears or irritated.  Runny mascara never made anyone look great.

To get the best results your photographer will need to be assertive enough when they need to be, persuasive enough to coax relaxed smiles and natural stances from people, and calm when things get tense. They should be able to ask lots of questions at the same time as being a good listener.

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STEP 7: CONFIRM WHO YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER WILL BE

When booking through a large agency, it is not uncommon that the person you spoke to will be the person who turns up at your event.  As every professional has a different style or technique it is important that you get to meet the person who will be taking the photographs. If the agency cannot confirm the identity of your photographer then it may be prudent to look elsewhere.

If you are going to enter into a contract make sure that the photographer you have agreed upon will be the one doing the work and the option to opt out at no loss of deposit or commitment of further monies should things change. You need to check if there will be any second photographers working with them and what their role will be. Ascertain if there will be any additional costs associated with this person or the photographs they will be taking.  If not then great as the more professionals present the more photos to choose from.

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STEP 8: COMPARING THE PACKAGES

Many photographers offer packages. It’s their way of making it easier for people to obtain photographs of their day at prices they can afford and it makes them competitive.Packages from professional photographers can start from around the $2,500 mark in WA and from there the skies the limit. You should make sure that the packages and what they include and exclude are explained in simple easy terms. These terms need to be clearly written out. If you are not sure have them explain them and make notes on the documents.  When you work through the photo shoot ask about professionally manipulated photos and what these costs may be. Some photographers offer a package that may include up to a particular number of standard photo’s, an album of selected photos including so many particular sizes included and a few specially prepared photographs for mounting in frames.

Here are some questions to consider asking: How many images will I get?  Will they be high resolution or low resolution?  Will I be able to get prints made myself, or does the photographer retain the rights (copyright) to the images? Will the proofs I see be the retouched versions, or does that happen after I select the photos?  Ask about retouching options and special effects (which can range from simple white balancing to beauty retouching and stylized art effects like super-saturated colours) and the additional cost for each.

How long will your photographer be with you?
Some like to start when the bride is getting her makeup and work with you to the end of your reception whilst others may turn up as you arrive at the ceremony and leave shortly after you arrive at the reception.

A key to keeping a photographer working at their best is to make sure you keep them watered and fed throughout the day. Sitting down during a photo shoot and having drink and meal is a great way to build the relationship.

If they are staying right to the finish then add them as a guest at the reception. This way you know they have had a break and meal and will feel refreshed.

Many photographers are left to their own devices and whilst some reception venues state they will look after the photographer, it doesn’t always happen.

Most importantly ascertain if the photographer will be shooting any other events prior to or after your event. Will they be shooting the day before or after as this may impact on the time it takes to obtain your photographs.
Obtain an agreement as to how long after your wedding day you will receive your photographic package.Make sure each is clearly explained as you may be entering into a contract that can result in much heartache later, if you get it wrong. 

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STEP 9: YOUR RIGHTS

Most professional photographers retain the copywrite to the photographs taken by them at your wedding. This means the photographer can use them commercially or for other purposes. This includes photographs of you and your new spouse.
This includes the proofs they may provide to you from which it is intended for you to make your final selection.

When entering into a contract with a professional photographer you need to determine the specific restrictions placed on the use of the photograph that are supplied to you. This might mean that when you place some of the photographs from your paid collection on to digital formats such as Facebook or Instagram, credit has to be paid to the photographer concerned. In some instances, the photographer may offer for you to buy the copyright to the photographs, either outright, at the time of engagement, after purchasing your selection or at a later time.

Breaching copyright can result in legal action being taken by the photographer to recoup loss of potential income or damage to his reputation. 

STEP 10:  THINGS TO CONSIDER

We live in an age where professional grade cameras are within easy reach of the average person. Merely owning a professional camera and knowing how to use it are two different things. There’s more to a photograph than just getting a nice sharp image. It is not uncommon for people who can take a reasonable photograph to consider themselves worthy of taking on the responsibility of someone’s wedding.

Taking wedding photographs should be handled by a professional. One that is insured, carries public and professional indemnity and the experience to back it.

Often people have a friend take their photographs for them, and whilst they may turn out ok the risk of things going wrong and the potential fallout can be devastating. Professional photographers usually carry two or more cameras. This may be because they are pre-set with lenses and pre-set settings but also to ensure that if one camera fails the job doesn’t come to a grinding halt.

More-over the post-production of the photographs by a professional can ensure your images will look the way they are supposed look, and to the standard you were shown at your initial consultation.

A professional photographer can ensure the style of your wedding is represented as you imagined.

A wedding photographer will work very hard on your day. People are unaware of the skill, the emotion and physical effort needed to get the most out of the bridal party and the to obtain those perfect shots.

Friends at your wedding should be there to share your day, not be working hard to get the next photo.

There is always a budding professional amongst family and friends and one way to let them develop is to perhaps ask if they could shadow your professional photographer, but please remember they must not get in the way.
Note: If you are presented with a contract take care to read it carefully. If you are in doubt ask to take it away with you for to be able to take your time to understand it and if necessary seek the advice of a qualified legal expert.

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If you need help with a wedding photographer speak to one of the Crystal Swan team as they have had a lot of experience working with many throughout Perth.

© Crystal Swan 2017