1. Meet

    Meet your photographer – Honestly we don't bite. In the vast majority of cases photographers are more than happy to spend a little time in getting to know you and what you want. Remember you are going to have to work with them for a few hours days or months, so it's important to make sure you'll get along and that they aren't likely to upset Aunt Petunia, the CEO or your celebrity guest.

    I try to meet all my clients beforehand and really value that first meeting. It gives me the chance to find out what you are expecting and the opportunity to explain what's possible within your budget. I explain about the way I work, go over any contracts that need completing and of course, I get the chance to show off my work.

  2. Paperwork

    Check your photographer has paperwork – Few clients realise that their photographer is in essence a subcontractor and as such it is you 'the client' who is responsible for any damage to a venue (unless otherwise agreed). Now I'm not saying that photographers are a dangerous breed that spontaneously burst into flames. But 'stuff ' happens. Some red wine gets knocked accidentally onto a bridal suite carpet and you'll be looking at a hefty bill.

    You'll also want to look through any contracts and ensure that once you sign and pay any required fee that you won't be caught out come the day of the shoot.

    Luckily, I carry both 'public liability' and 'professional indemnity' insurance so I'm covered and so will that damaged carpet should an elbow knock a glass off a dressing table. I'll also promise not to burst into flames.

    Where appropriate I will send any contract through to clients and I'm more than happy to explain clauses or even changes.

  3. Goods

    See the goods – I can't say this enough. Make sure you see the images a photographer has produced for other clients. Photographers are a little egotistical to say the least and just love showing off. So ask to see previous work including albums. Ask about other work they have covered (this'll give you a look into the sort of experience they've had).

    I tend to turn up with a ton of albums and also have a website and an online portfolio. If required I can even give access to specific examples of my work that relate to what my client wants. If required I can even get clients in touch with my previous clients so they can find out 'how I did'.

  4. Content

    Ask, 'What's included?' - You need to know what you're getting for your hard earned pennies. Much of this will depend on your budget, what you want and what is possible. Many photographers offer set packages while others will provide a more bespoke service.

    You might also want to get a fix on how much all this will cost you.  Costs vary enormously, but that doesn't always get reflected in quality. In the majority of cases though, even with higher priced photographers, you'll be paying far less than you would to most trades for the amount of time a photographer spends on your project.

    I offer a variety of finished products from online galleries, usb sticks, dvds in cases and of course albums; heck, I can even get your images delivered on the side of a coffee mug. I can also provide images in any format and size a client may wish for.

    Although I have packages which quote a fixed price this can vary quite a bit. Generally I aim to offer a standard service with additional options.  There can also be additional expenses such as travel and accommodation or hire costs for specialist equipment.  In the case of wedding a photobook is included within the package but clients can opt for a luxury hand made leather album which can tip the scales at over £2000. In all cases I would finalise costs with clients at the meeting

  5. Ask

    Ask what are the photographs going to be like? - What style will be used how many can you expect to receive, what format will they be in and when will they be ready?

    In truth there is no standard way of delivering photography but you need to know that the images are going to meet your needs. Cameras can provide images that are mega mega pixels big...far too big for your phone, so you want to make that clear when you meet your photographer. Let them know how you want to use your images and if they are half the person the say then they will provide you with images that meet your needs.

    Also ask about copyright. How can you use you images, who owns them and alternative options like buying the full rights.

    The 'when' really depends on how busy your photographer is and the final product you are after. Bare in mind that most photographers are sole agents. Wedding photography can take a few weeks to edit and during that time your photographer needs to earn a living. Special effects photography, even in this day and age, can take a while to get right.

    During a quiet period a photographer might be able to make a modest number of images available within hours on an online gallery. During busy periods hand made Italian albums can take a few months; you just can't rush quality.

    I produce work for a range of clients so all my work has different timescales. When I'm editing work I also like to put it down for a day or two, do something else and then come back to it with a fresh eye.

    I do sometimes offer what I call a 'trickle delivery'. In other words I post up images on a clients gallery a shot at a time. It really depends on the job and the client and something that gets discussed at that initial meeting.

    Quantity really depends on the event in question. It stands to reason that a wedding with 20 guests is not going to generate the number of photo opportunities that a wedding with 200 guests will do. Equally a wedding shoot that covers a 5 hour period will not produce the same number of images that a wedding shoot which lasts 14 hours will do.

  6. Backup

    Check there's a back up plan - No it won't rain on your event, cameras don't break down and memory cards never fail...yeah right, the earth is flat and pigs fly. Anything and everything can and sometimes does happen on any photoshoot. So make sure you ask the 'what if' question.

    I carry two camera kits in case one fails. I also carry a third camera; now that's OCD. I also bring along a 3 unit studio lighting kit, in case it rains and we have to do the show in the barn. On top of that I carry full road side assistance, have car hire firms on speed dial and I even have a first aid kit and a full set of waterproofs including a big umbrella. I always check with the venue to see what available space there is for an inside shoot just in case the heavens do empty on your big day.

You are very welcome to contact me about your photography requirements via my contact page here Wedding Enquiries


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