Post # 1
My fiance and I are meeting with our photographer tomorrow, and I’m freaking out! I love the pictures on her website and she has a really great package that my mom and I thought was a good price (My mom is paying for it, but we are paying the deposit). We found her at the bridal show earlier this month and I can’t even remember most of the photographers that I talked to, so I’m sure it will be like meeting her all over again. So I’m like really nervous to give her a deposit for our wedding. I think it might just be commiting to her as our photographer and trusting that she will take great pictures. Once we meet and we decide we like her, should we get a signed contract? I know that I want one, but I don’t know if that is common practice with photographers who are just in business for themselves, it’s not a photography company. (which in a way is nice because then I know she is the one who will be taking my pictures on the day) Should I pay with a check? What if she takes the deposit and we never hear from her again? Our deposit is $500 and we are on a VERY tight budget, so it wouldn’t be good if we couldn’t get that back and had no photographer. What if we don’t like the pictures? We can’t have a wedding do-over just for the pictures. OMG, this is what goes through my head everytime I think about our meeting tomorrow. It’s stressing me out 🙁
Any words of advice?
Post # 3
@robynrome: First of alll…relax! It’s going to be okay! I would say, most importantly, no matter how big or small a company/business is, you should always get a contract. Honestly, nowadays, even if it’s an individual I knew personally who was doing it for free, I’d still have something in writing that will cover all aspects of the agreement! Your wedding is too big of an event to let things “slide”…and never assume that the person is going to be the one shooting the event. You should ask about that as well. In the event that she is unable to shoot your wedding for a reason beyond her control, she should have something in her contract that explains what happens (i.e. she will arrange for another professional to shoot in her stead, she offers full refund if not, etc.) The last thing you want to do is be stuck finding another vendor at the last minute and you have nothing in writing to cover yourself.
As far as the fear of not liking what she does. Unfortunately, no matter who you choose, or how much you pay, that possibility is going to be there. When you go in for your first meeting, you can always ask to see her work from a recent wedding. Remember, vendors will always choose what they feel is their best shots for their webpage, brochures, etc. That’s not to say that they are being deceitful, but the shots are examples of their potential. Also, when you sit down with her on your one-on-one meeting, you can get a feel for her and decide if you all “mesh” well. You should feel comfortable and have a sense of confidence in her. If you get the feeling she is abrasive, rigid, remember she will be in the midst of your family and friends on your wedding day!
Don’t feel pressured to sign the contract right then either! Hopefully your mom or someone is going with you. If so, talk it over with her (or whomever goes with you) afterwards and decide if she’s the right one for the job! If she is, sign the contract and let it go! No need to stress anymore! Hope that helps…even a little bit!!
Post # 4
If you do decide to hire her as your photographer.
Ask her for a copy of her contract BEFORE giving her a deposit. I wouldn’t give her the deposit till you have time to fully read the contract. There may be a clause in the contract that you may not agree to.
Remember all contracts can be revised, even their standard preprinted contracts, if you do not like something or want better clarification , you can do an addendum to the contract.
I would give her a check for the deposit and ask her to sign a receipt for the deposit. Make sure to give her a copy. Better yet do 2 original signed receipts, so each of you can have an original.
Also make sure the prices are in writing and that if she needs to adjust her photography prices, she will agree to give you notice of the price increase.
I personally would not hire anyone without a clear written contract.