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How to hire a wedding photographer or videographer

Hiring a wedding photographer is one of the most important tasks you have when planning your wedding. Your photographer and videographer only have one chance to capture your wedding,  so you should hire the best talent you can find. We can help you know what questions to ask and we also provide customizable Photography Contracts and Videography Agreements to protect your interests as you plan your special day.

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The fun part: Review their portfolios

Most photographers should have an online portfolio featuring their best work. You can start by searching for local wedding photographers and by asking for references from friends and family. Many service providers will list basic pricing options on their website, so you can see if they fit your budget. Try to narrow your list to five to ten options. From that list likely only three to five will be available for the dates you require. Once you have narrowed your list to five or so, you can start the interview process.

Questions to ask prospective wedding photographers

After you have found a few photographers that are available on the dates needed, you should start the interview process as quickly as possible. If you delay the interviews, they may end up taking another job before you can hire them. Here are few questions you should ask:

What is offered in your basic package?

Most professional photographers can provide information about what might be considered a basic package. From there, you can ask about additional services such as extra shots, photographs of the wedding party, engagement pictures, reception pictures, and more.

How many weddings have you shot?

How long have you been a professional photographer? How much experience do your assistants have? Have you shot at the venue before?

What is your contingency plan?

Weddings don’t always go as planned. Are you prepared for power issues? Do you bring an additional set of cameras and batteries? How do you handle bad weather? What if your car breaks down? Do you have a backup photographer?

How do we provide a shot list?

Most wedding photographers work from a plan. They will need to capture the required images in an organized manner such as pre-wedding, wedding, family and cake cutting pictures. You may also want them to provide additional photographers for spontaneous, casual pictures, as well.

When will we get our finished photographs and video?

Expect them to take a bit of time to prepare your final images. Ask if you will receive digital copies as well as prints, if requested. Will you receive untouched images too? How do they want their images accredited? Can you share pictures online? Keep in mind that most photographers and video experts only want to present their best work and may not provide copies of unedited footage.

Wedding photographer contacts

When you find your dream photographer, you should require a professional legal contract. Wedding photographer contracts should include the basics such as time and place, as well as details about the terms, payment dates, deposit details, liability and insurance requirements, default options, and more. Your contract should also include details, such as when they should arrive, how long they should stay, what fees may occur if they work beyond the allotted time, and what is required of second shooters. You should also ensure that the photographer carries adequate insurance. Make sure you keep up your side of the contract by paying them on time and being agreeable to work with. Your photographer may also ask you to control amatuer photographers interference such as friends and family members taking pictures using their phone. Some may even ask that you prohibit mobile phones and additional cameras.

Professional wedding photographers provide high-quality images that capture your wedding day with style and skill. You may be able to forget a bad caterer or DJ, but your photographer doesn’t have any room for making a mistake. Take the extra time to find the best photographer that you can afford. If you have questions about your wedding contracts, be sure to ask a lawyer before signing.

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