(Closed) Payment for Photographer(s)?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
14 posts
  • Wedding: August 2008

Alot of my vendors require a full payment a couple weeks before the date of the wedding. I think it’s normal.

Post # 4
286 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2007

My photographer had us put down 50% before the wedding and the remaining balance to be paid when we view the proofs.  My florist had us paid in full one week before our date.  The videographer also required payment in full before the date.  Yes, I was paranoid since there’s nothing to stop them from failing to show.  Everything worked out ok for me. 

Post # 5
236 posts
Helper bee

For a photog I don’t think that is normal.  It never hurts to ask though.  I wouldn’t suggest that you need a garuntee for delivery but ask if it is possible to pay 75% with the remaining 25% when the proofs are ready.  I would even ask to hold back a portion until the albums are ready if they are providing those as well.

Post # 6
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

My photographer has payment due a week before. Where I live, that’s pretty standard. All the photographers I looked at require it to be paid then.

Post # 7
212 posts
Helper bee

mine is also full payment prior to the wedding.  i think you just have to trust that they wouldn’t mess with their reputation by not showing.  we have wedding insurance so if they don’t show… we technically get to "restage" the wedding but it’ll never be the same. 

Post # 8
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2008

Last payment due 30 days after wedding for my guy.

Post # 9
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

Our photographer asked for a $500 deposit, half of balance before the wedding (although I don’t find anywhere whether that means 30 days before, one week before, or one hour before…), and the remainder when we view the proofs.  Although our "package fee" covers only their time and the proofs – we will order all albums and framed photos separately after we view the proofs.  His typical practice with actual photos is that you pay when you receive the product.  I assume that the money up front in this case is because the wedding photography is so much more time and money than a normal sitting fee.

I would also assume that you are being asked to pay only for your photographers’ time up front – that you are not paying for actual photos or albums prior to even seeing the product.

Post # 10
8 posts

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.      

Post # 11
161 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

My photographer wants the remaining half of the payment a week before if we’re paying by checks and the day of if we’re paying by cash (same go with our venue and caterer, probably based on the points by PureEmotionsPhotography).  I think that’s fair and I don’t feel that they would run off with my money in that way (i plan to pay by cash the day of when possible anyways).  Plus, I suggest getting a reputable photographer, one with a long list of current references you can contact.  I made a point to contact all my vendors on occassions just to say "hello" just to be more personal with all my vendors.  They’re in business to make money..they know they wouldn’t gain with an unhappy bride (see previous posts about brides unhappy with their photos..yikes!).  I hope you feel at east, i felt uneasy about handing someone a huge amount of money at first too!

Post # 12
95 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

yeah when we looked at photographers, we made sure that we only put a small amount of deposit first because obviously we don’t get that back in case anything happens.  second, that we pay half two weeks before the wedding and then the rest after we get our proofs etc..  this way we are all protected so-to-speak.

Post # 13
44 posts

Ours is doing $500 up front ( already ) paid and the rest due on the wedding day which seems fine.       I don’t think I’d be comfortable doing the balance 30 days in advance.     

I would try to negotiate terms to do what you feel comfy with.

Post # 14
2342 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

you know I never thought about that, but it’s true why pay for a service in full when nothings been done yet!?  My photographer has to be paid in full 1 week before the wedding, I’ve heard nothing but good things about him, so I guess it would be okay.

Post # 15
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

Was this written in your contract? Our photographer told us the payment schedule up front. I’d read over your contract first.

Post # 16
73 posts
Worker bee

A photog here as well, and I require the last payment 1 week in advance. I agree with what PureEmotions said, but I also want to add another thing – weddings are almost always booked months in advance and should the bride back out at the very last moment, it’s devastating to a photog’s income if their business is primarily based on wedding photography, because it’s not like we’re going to be able to rebook that date.

Second, I have had trouble getting brides to pay me on the day of. Either they forgot the check, are too busy, and it’s a little awkward (for me at least) to get the check at the end, because I simply want the wedding to be an enjoyable time for the bride. 

Also, it’s very rare that a photog is going to take your money and not show up. After all, our business IS on the line if we ever tried to pull something like that.

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