WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY....... WHAT AM I PAYING FOR???!!!!!
Wedding Photography perhaps more than any other profession in the industry, has such a vast variation of what can be offered. When buying your cake, it's generally accepted that you will meet with the provider, agree a style and arrange a date for delivery or collection for the big day. When organising makeup or hair for the day, you find a vendor that you like, arrange trials and determine how many of your bridal party shall require the service. With suits the gents will find something to their liking, attend a fitting or two, and times that by the amount of suits needed.
Photography packages vary drastically; some include a flat rate (e.g. £1,000 for 10 hours of Wedding Day Coverage) with a-la-carte extras (your album or a second shooter) while other photographers may charge different levels of packages ranging from least-to most time-intensive (e.g including engagement shoots and first dances etc).
****PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS NOT A POST AIMED AT TELLING YOU THAT WHAT I PROVIDE IS CORRECT AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG. EACH PHOTOGRAPHER HAS THEIR OWN PRICING, STYLE AND WAY OF WORKING THAT MAKES THEM UNIQUE, YOU JUST HAVE TO FIND THE ONE THAT SUITS YOU****
That being said, here are just a few things to have a think about...
HOW LONG WILL MY PHOTOGRAPHER BE WITH US/HOW LATE WILL THEY STAY?
Photographing a wedding is a loooong day. Generally your photographer will arrange to meet up with the bridal party an hour or two after your morning prep has started.
- Generally a wedding Photographer will stay until at least a 'mock' cake cut before your speeches.
- Depending on where they will be in the morning, you're photographer may or may not visit the grooms party. Keep this in mind as a potential additional cost.
- Additional expense can be incurred sometimes when asking your photographer to cover speeches.
- 80% of photographers will charge extra to stay until your first dance and evening entertainment, as during the time between your meal and the first dance, there can often be 2, 3 or even 4 hour gaps.
Some couples simply aren't interested in images after speeches so be sure to pick the package that is right for you.
WHAT ABOUT A MEET UP? SHOULD WE DO THAT? HOW ABOUT AN ENGAGEMENT SHOOT?
Some photographers will be happy to meet with you for a coffee and a chat and some might prefer a Skype meeting or simple phone call. It isn't unreasonable to want to meet your photographer face-to-face! Just remember that in some cases you may have to travel to them to do so. I feel these meetings are important and have talked about them a little more in 8 TIPS TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.
Engagement shoots again are generally extra but keep an eye out for all inclusive packages if this is something important to you. Including an engagement shoot can:
- Help to build a better relationship with your photographer for the big day
- Practice some poses that you and your intended are comfortable with, and in turn help avoid some awkward fidgeting on your wedding day
- Provide some gorgeous images of you before you tie the knot. You might also want to ask your photographer if you can have a copy of these to use for a "save the date" or invites
- See some examples of engagement shoots HERE
HOW DO I GET THE IMAGES? DO I GET A DISC? IS AN ALBUM INCLUDED? CAN I MAKE MY OWN?
All common questions and asked by nearly all brides. There are many methods of delivery for your wedding images, here are a few quite common methods below:
- ALBUM ONLY - This is when a photographer is hired to cover your day with the ultimate aim of producing an album for you. In these instances your photographer will provide you with a method of choosing your favourite images which will then be delivered in album format pending your approval of the design. Additional costs may be incurred if you require a disc or USB of the edited images for your own use.
- ALBUM AND DIGITAL IMAGES - As above however the package will include an electronic copy of the images for you to enjoy. And some cases these may have a watermark order photographers and logo covering part of the image. This usually means they are happy for you to enjoy the images but would prefer you to order prints from them. (giving a client a copy of the images to print themselves can lead to a questionable output through cheap printers etc and many photographers are uncomfortable with their work being out in the world and looking like that.)
- DIGITAL ONLY - Many photographers are now offering their standard package to include a USB/Disc or private online album of selected digital images from the wedding. With the revolution of smart phones, tablets and Internet connection speeds, digital images are being viewed far more often than print. They also offer speedy delivery to that relative in Mongolia who couldn't make your big day but would love to see some pictures. USB packages can often include a bespoke presentation box and selection of prints also. ***Be warned though, many photographers will tell you this and they aren't just saying it ----------> YOUR IMAGES WILL LOOK BETTER IN PRINT! You may not choose to have your photographer print them or make an album but do invest in some professional printing, be it for a framed portrait in your house or a selection of prints to hand out to family.
SO I HAVE PAID FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS RIGHT? THEY'RE MINE TO DO WITH WHAT I PLEASE?
This issue comes down to copyright and should be clearly laid out in terms and conditions signed and agreed before booking your photographer. The gist of it is your photographer will ALWAYS own the final images. What's essentially happening is that you are being given license for personal use for the images. So what does this mean exactly? Well for example
- Print the images for personal use (unless otherwise stated in terms)
- Share images on social media
- Sell the images or use them for commercial gain (for example, in advertising)
- Distribute the images to other vendors for their use (put them in contact with the photographer and generally they will be happy to arrange something in return for a credit of the image)
- Edit or alter the images. This is a biggie. A good example of this would be if a client gave the digital files to a relative because they wanted to ‘play around’ with them on the computer and then maybe did some ‘spot colouring’ or other ‘creative’ technique. Your relative may think the resulting images are the height of sophistication and show them off all over the internet – most photographers will find this disturbing to say the least. Transforming or adapting the work is in effect a copyright infringement.
If you are booking a photographer for your wedding the points to remember are:
1. The photographer owns the copyright by default.
2. All you really need is a licence which covers your personal use of the images for printing
3. If you want to upload them to Facebook then ask your photographer just to be sure. It's rarely a problem.
4. Don’t give the images directly to your other wedding suppliers – refer them to your photographer as many are happy to provide free images in return for a credit and link back to their site.
5. Don’t alter the images. If you want changes then ask your photographer if they are happy to do them.
Please remember that these are GENERAL statements and there may be exceptions to many of these points. That being said, (and seeing as you're here already) head on over to the BLOG for a look at some of my work, then why not have a look at WHAT I CAN OFFER? Maybe it's just what you need.
HAVE I MISSED ANYTHING? NEED A LITTLE MORE READING? Have a look at 8 TIPS TO GET THE MOST FROM YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER.