THE FINE PRINT Make sure you sign a contract before you pay any deposit! It’s vital that all your specific requests are documented, and any conditions they have are included! Note down exactly what is promised – the number of hours they’ll attend your wedding, specific locations you’ll shoot at, number of photos they’ll supply you with, any album or print requirements etc. It also pays to check on usage rights – if you want to feature in a wedding magazine such as My Wedding, you’ll need to ensure you have access to high resolution images and that you have the rights to use them (with appropriate credit, of course).
BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS If your budget is tight, you’re better of cutting extras like albums and wall size prints, rather than opting for a cheaper price through a less qualified photographer. This is one part of the wedding where it really doesn’t pay to skimp on costs! Rather do without favours or those extra large floral displays.
GET THE SHOTS It’s a good idea to give your photographer your shot list. Are there specific people he or she really must include? Are there very specific parts of your ceremony or reception that you want documented? Are there any no-go areas – either with people or areas of the venue? Do you want the photographer documenting both bride and groom getting ready? Are you doing a “first look”?
SMALL THINGS MAKE A DIFFERENCE Most wedding photographers will be on duty for a good few hours on your wedding day. It’s polite to provide them with a meal and liquid refresments (this applies to other professionals such as your DJ, wedding planner etc who are in attendance when guests are fed). Discuss a Plan B for shooting if the weather turns ugly on the day. Don’t spring last minute requests on them and then wonder why you’ve been sent an additional invoice.
BE PATIENT Please don’t turn into a nagging shrill two weeks after the wedding. Get a ballpark turnaround time for your photographer to edit the images and work their magic. Believe me when I tell you that half the magic lies in editing! They can magically remove a bruise on your arm, take that windblown hair out of your eyes, or even remove an offending photobomber completely … but it does take time, as does anything that demands perfection!