Post # 1
Hello Fellow Bees,
I know I’m a little late choosing a wedding photographer for my wedding in December, but I’m having a hard time choosing the “right one.” I’ve e-mailed hunderds of photographers and have received quotes ranging from $1,000-$30,000 for photography. I need some help trying to figure out what I need to get out of a photographer. Can you ladies offer some advice? What should I be asking these photographers? Have you had any expeiernces where photographers tell you one thing and do another? I just want to make sure my money is well spent.
Post # 3
@Bee1108: Make sure that you own the rights to your photos. I spent $2500 and got 2 photographers for 10 hours, an 11×14 photo, a 50 picture album (which we can add more photos and I’m sure it will be extra), and the rights to our photos.
I wasn’t crazy about my photographer, and the CD came in 2 weeks ago and I have yet to pick it up to choose my album photos. They didn’t fluff out my dress when they should have and kept having us and our bridal party do the same poses over and over again.
Post # 4
@Rubbs: You will not ever “OWN” the rights to your photographs. The photographer always retains the copyright unless you do a full buyout, which would likely cost thousands. What you have, and what should be asked for is a “Personal usage license” or “Reproduction/Printing rights” which allows the client permissions to print from the images on the disc received.
If the photographer gave/sold you the copyrights/rights, they could no longer use any of the images for their portfolio. This is why photographers Do Not give their clients the copyrights or ownership of the images.
Post # 5
I suspect they likely meant a print release, I always try to give the commenter the benefit of the doubt when they throw the term “rights” around. Very few wedding photographers operate on a business model that doesn’t either include high resolution files with a print release or the option to buy them.
The process of finding a photographer isn’t so much about asking a set list of questions. First and foremost you should love their work. Secondly you should have a good vibe and like them as people. They should be people you wouldn’t mind hanging out with just to be around them. You should be confident that they will be able to deliver what you want. For some this may mean seeing full galleries of past weddings, sample products, or reading reviews of from their past clients online.
I’d recomend sticking to full time professionals, and someone who either operates as a two person team or has the option for it. Have them cover as much of your day as you can afford. Place the priority on having them there to take the photos, and less on the stuff. Example- say your budget is $5000. It is far better to spend it all on a fantastic photographer who you can afford to cover your day and provide a disc rather than a so-so photographer who can offer multiple albums, prints, or other products from the same price. Products quickly become not so important if you don’t love your photos. If you can afford everything you want then of course by all means get it.
Most pros in a major city will be between $2500-5000 for full day coverage and a disc. You may be able to find someone who will provide other products within that range as well. All depends on where you are and what you are looking for.
Post # 6
@continuumphotography: +1 – as usual, I agree 100%. I tell all my brides is it SO much more important to put your budget into the amount of coverage. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “stuff”, but those are things you can buy later. More time is the one thing you can never get more of after the fact.
Post # 7
Oh wow, I’ll have to run this by my husband. He was very adamant about having us able to own our pics.. When I pick up the CD I’ll see what they say. We mentioned to them at the time that I want one of the brag books to keep in my purse, and they recommended we go to a Walgreens or someplace because it will be cheaper. So I was under the impression we’d own our photos.. Oh well it’s all done with anyway lol And heck no I’m not spending thousands.. I’m actually perfectly happy with the album my mom put together lol.
Post # 8
@Rubbs: What advantage does owning the copyright to the images your photographers took afford you? Unless you are intending to use them to make a profit or want to prohibit your photographer from using them to promote their business (which odds are you found them because they were able to promote their business) there is no reason why you would need to own the copyright. Acquiring a usage permission from the photographer is all that the vast majority of people need.
Post # 9
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
@Rubbs: Your photographer saying that you can go to Walgreens to print your photos for cheaper sounds to me like he’s giving you printing rights, not the copyright. From what I understand, by retaining the copyright/”owning” the photos, this allows them to use your photos in their portfolio, blog about your wedding, and make any touch ups to the photos. If you’re not comfortable with any of those things, you can probably ask your photographer not to.. but retaining copyright is pretty important to artists.
You are just as well with printing rights; you will be able to take your photos anywhere to get prints, and use them in home made photobooks etc. Also take note that sometimes places like Walgreens or Walmart will recognize that a pro took your pics and ask for a written release of the printing rights; your photographer should provide this to you, or at least a word doc on your file you can print out that releases the printing rights.
@Bee1108: There’s not much for me to add, everyone has already given very good advice! I will say it’s important to talk to a photographer in person, whether on the phone or actually meeting, so that you can get a feel for their personality. They will be with you the whole day, so you should be comfortable with them!
Post # 10
@elysion: Thank you.. Yeah perhaps I got confused with printing rights and copyright lol We were happy with the package as long as we can get them printed wherever.
I will make sure he gives me a written release for that. Thanks for the tip!