Post # 1
We are starting our search for a photographer and I’m not really sure what the necessary components are. I know that we want an engagement session, rights to print copies, and a DVD of the photos. What else is important?
Post # 3
Besides what you mentioned, the things that were important to us were: (1) number of hours that photog will be there day-of (if you want shots of you getting ready, etc., this may be a long time) and (2) whether photog will bring a second shooter. Not absolutely necessary, of course, but the way it’s going to work for us is the second shooter will spend a lot of time on the posed shots while our primary photog takes the more “photojournalistic” candids.
Post # 4
I’d also check on how many photos they’ll provide you and the level of editing. We didn’t want over-edited photos, so that was important to us. I also checked on back up plans, both photographer and equipment.
Post # 5
If you would like an album made from your wedding pictures, that’s also another component to consider. Ask to see their sample albums to get some ideas for your options.
It’s always nice to have a professional quality heirloom album that will stand the test of time and you’ll be able to look back on years from now.
Post # 6
I had the ceremony and reception in different locations so I at least wanted 9 hours (with a second). A high-res DVD with priting rights is a must. I also wanted an engagement session and a flush mount album. And add in the quality and personality to my liking to fit reasonably around the budgeted amount.
This was the most stressful so far…
Post # 7
When you sign the contract, if it doesn’t already have one, make sure to get a “Deliver By” date. Your photographer is the only vendor you will keep working with after your wedding day and it’s important to know when you can expect to receive your pictures. We didn’t have a firm date in our contract (and we had already paid them in full) and they took MONTHS to get us our pictures.
Post # 8
I second the “delivery time” written on the contract, and make it a fixed number, nothing like 3-10 month.
Post # 9
Totally agree with @ladyox and @wanderer it’s very important that your photographer gives you your photos within a reasonable amount of time. I try and blog a sneak peak within one week and then have all the photos uploaded to my client site within 3 weeks. None of this 3-10 months business!
Also- maybe a 2nd shooter and an engagement album if you’re interested?
Post # 10
What is considered a “must-have” is personal. For example, a must-have for me was the option to have a package WITHOUT engagement pictures, because I did not want them!
Some things to consider: Do they offer an engagement session? Or other session you are interested in (day after, bridal portraits, trash the dress)? Can they do a photobooth? What kinds of albums and prints are offered? If they are giving you a CD or DVD of your pictures, will they be high-res and will you have printing rights? Do you have to wait a certain amount of time to get the CD? Some photographers will not give you a CD until the proofs have been online for a few months, so that people will buy prints. Do they digitally enhance any of their pictures, or will they just do a basic cleanup? Do they have a second shooter? How many hours is their package for? How much are extra hours? Is there a limit on the number of locations they will shoot at in one day? Will there be a fee to travel to where you are? How many photos are you guaranteed to get? Will they let you customize their packages so that you can take out and not pay for anything you do not want?
When you get the contract, some things to look for are when you will get your pictures, if you are required to feed the photographer, and what happens if the photographer gets sick and can’t make your wedding.
Post # 11
The must-haves for me were second shooter, backup plan, and rights to the photos / ability to print our own copies w/o watermarks. The other things we added in were an engagement session, nine hours of coverage, and albums for us and our parents. Though I don’t think I would have added in the albums for everyone (which can be done cheaper on your own) if I hadn’t seen that my photographer’s album prices were well below market and going up in a couple of months.
Post # 12
Also, what extent do photogs do retouching/post-production editing?
A good tip is to request to see the gallery of a full wedding – I realized that I was falling in love with photog’s pics on their blog and then when I saw the full gallery, it wasn’t all that great…that’s because they only put their best pictures up on their blog. And once I looked at the full gallery, I realized which photogs I wanted and which I did not…
Post # 13
This is all so helpful, thank you!
Post # 14
We insisted on a photographer who offered all-day coverage instead of a package limited to a certain number of hours. That way, you don’t end up having to decide to pay for an additional hour during the wedding when you realize you want them to capture your exit from the reception – or, make the decision not to have them there while you’re getting ready. Our photographers were ours from the first to the last moment on our day.
Other things they offered which were awesome: free photobooth, free in-studio shoot (2010 only as a special since they just opened the studio) – which I used for boudoir, and two shooters. The two shooters thing was another bit I was insistent about, since I wanted to have multiple angles of important moments, and have someone to shoot the ladies getting ready while someone else shot the guys.