Hi – since I am a photographer, I just wanted to chime in here. Most photographers are leaning towards getting the deposit and all the money up front. I’ve spoken to a lot of other photographers and based on really good reasons, have decided to do this myself. I’d like to point out a couple very valid reasons why most photographers are heading in this direction.
1.) A lot of times, brides over budget for their weddings. Last minute things come up that they need to make the day perfect and they spend the money, not having enough to pay on time afterwards.
2.) Some brides who cannot afford to pay won’t tell the photographer that this is the problem. Instead they wait until they’ve been shown their proofs and then say they hate the photos in order to get away with not having to pay the balance.
3.) The photographer also has no guarantee that you will pay just because you signed the contract.
4.) The photographer spends time editing and enhancing your photos and needs some assurance that they’re not working for free during this time. Some photographers don’t spend a lot of time working on the photos, they do batch processing so it really doesn’t apply so much for them. But, photographers like myself – I some times spend 10 minutes on ONE photo to make it artsy and different. But, that’s my style.
5.) Some times the bride is getting the money from someone else for her photography. More often than you would think, family wars cause the family member to change their mind and not provide the money for the photographs.
6.) Often times, the client pays the photographer during the exchange. Photographer gives client images/album, etc, client gives photographer check – then the check bounces and the client has their images and the photographer has squat. There are so many reasons why this is becoming the most popular trend. I require 50% at booking unless it’s a HUGE package and then I split it 25% on booking, 25% 90 days before the wedding and in both cases, the last 50% is due 14 days prior to the wedding. This gives time for the check to bounce if it’s not going to clear, etc.
But the way I see it is like this – I have invested tens of thousands of dollars into seminars, training, licenses, insurance, equipment, back up equipment and even back up equipment for my back up equipment. I have 3 professional cameras, 3 professional flashes, 6 professional lenses so if one thing breaks or malfunctions during a wedding, I can pick up the other one and never miss important moments. My point is that I would never jeopardize all the time and money I have spent to become a professional photographer by not giving a client what I promised them. I stand to lose way more than I could ever make on one wedding.