Post # 1
I’m just starting to look into wedding photographers, and I had a few questions.
1. What is the normal amount of time to get your pictures back after the wedding? I understand this will differ a lot from photog to photog, but what would be extremely unreasonable or raise a red flag?
2. Do most photographers give you a CD with digital files on them? Honestly, this is all I really care about – being able to share photos with people and develop them at will. I really could care less about albums, etc, etc. Should I expect to run into trouble with this?
3. Married folks – is there anything you wish you’d known before booking photographers that you’d be so kind to tell me now?
Post # 3
We got our pro photos back in mid-late August from our June 26 wedding. We did get digital discs of our photos, which was also a must for me. As for advice, I’d look at lots of their photos, not just their highlights. And I’d make sure you know what times they’ll be there. We have no pro photos of getting makeup and hair done, as our photog arrived as I put the dress on. Make sure they take detail photos, like the rings, flowers, decor, etc. And make sure they fit your style. I didn’t want a photog that was too “artsy” because we’re pretty classic traditional and wanted all the normal posed shots in addition to photo journalistic photos. If you want photos that are unique, then find someone who won’t take all your formal portraits inside the church and vice versa.
Post # 4
@Beluga: So, from my experience (my own wedding and those I have been a part of) this is what I have found…
1. I had my photos in a couple weeks, BUT I asked that they not be retouched. This was part of the deal with my photographer. We were on a tight budget and my grandfather originally was supposed to take the photos as his gift to us but he ended up having health problems so we needed a backup plan. I found a photographer who would charge me just the time for being there and since I’m a Photoshop nut I could do all the editing I wanted with the RAW images. The wedding I was Maid/Matron of Honor in last August? The photos weren’t back until the end of October. However, those were completely retouched, etc. I guess it just depends on what kind of editing you want done and how busy the photographer is.
2. Explicitly state when you inquire about photos that you are only interested in photographs that you have ALL rights to. Make sure this in the contract that you both sign. Otherwise, you would be infringing on copyright by posting them on facebook (unless of course they have their emblem or logo on them). This was number one for us because I was sooo over being excited about past wedding photos I was in to discover I could only get prints I was willing to pay for. Major bummer, don’t do this to your guests. Some photographers can charge less because they count on the print revenue, but I don’t think it’s worth it in the long run. So yes, that is what I asked for from the beginning, a few DVD’s with all the photos taken with ALL rights for reproduction.
3. I can’t really think of anything else, the only problem I had with my photographer is that he spent to much time hitting on my bridesmaid. I picked him because I liked him and thought he would blend in really well with my family and friends… unfortunately he got along with everyone too well! He almost missed a few important shots (father daughter dance for one) because of this… and my husband still occasionally rants about it… Haha, but it doesn’t keep me up at night and I still think he would be a great match for my Bridesmaid or Best Man so I got over it! : )
Post # 5
@soonerpsych: Good point on the highlights. Ask for a complete set of photos from one of the weddings they have done. Anyone can pull 5 good photos out of 2000 they have taken. A great wedding photographer can turn a not-so interesting subject (say, your shoes in the corner after you have kicked them off late in the reception) into a photo that ends up on your coffee table! Judge their portfolio by the best AND the “worst” in the set : )
Post # 6
Be ready to pay a premium for a disk will full rights, most photographers worth their salt sell them for a pretty penny. Make sure to inquire very speificially about that point, some will charge $5o per SINGLE digital file and others will charge $500 for ALL files. I don’t know many quality photographers who include that in their packages, it’s always extra and much more.
Post # 7
1. Our photographers told us 4-6 weeks for our edited photos. We were able to see our pictures online (a highlights post on their blog, and a password protected proof site) exactly 1 month and 1 day after our wedding, and we got our disc about 2 1/2 weeks after that.
2. We got a disc of the digital files, with a print release included for our wedding photos, and we ordered one from our engagement session for $150 (the session itself was included in the wedding package). They had no problem with us using those files for a slideshow at our shower and reception (neither of which happened because we ran out of time to actually make a slideshow, but we did specifically ask if it was okay), or putting photos on Facebook.
3. The only thing I can think of is make sure the photographer is willing to work with you on scheduling. We eliminated one because when we said my husband didn’t want to see me before the wedding so we’d have to do our pictures together afterwards (but would do all the separate ones before), he said “No, that’s not how I do things. I take all the formal pictures before the ceremony, and you follow my schedule for the day.” The photographer we went with had no problem with pictures afterwards, sent us a tentative timeline, and then had no problem changing it when my husband decided he loved the idea of a first look 🙂
Post # 8
What is the normal amount of time to get your pictures back after the wedding?
The one I have said 8 weeks on the contract but sometimes can be a month.
What would be extremely unreasonable or raise a red flag?
I wouldn’t get one that took more than 8 weeks to not even get proofs.
Do most photographers give you a CD with digital files on them?
Yes…it’s the age of digital photos. I would be shocked and appalled if anyone didn’t give you a disk.
Should I expect to run into trouble with this?
Legally they own the copyright because they took the picture, but most will give you a shared copyright, meaning that you can share (on and offline) and print as you wish but can’t sell them.
Post # 9
@AwayWeGo08: My photographer only offers the DVD with rights to all the digital files. She even gives us both full size and web-sized files, all retouched, standard in her contract. That’s her most basic package. Every photographer I looked at in my area was the same way – so maybe it is a geographic thing? It’s all standard and doesn’t cost more.