(Closed) Tips for hiring a photog

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

I think these are all great points. I would add. Do a in-depth google search on them. Look for reviews. Do they have just a handful of them? Lots of them? They don’t all have to be stellar reviews but what are brides saying about them? Are you comfortable with what they are saying. Do your homework on everyone you hire.

The second is make sure they are shooting and editing in a style that you like. Do you LOVE their photos? Don’t hire someone and then expect them to shoot the way you want them to. It needs to be the other way around. Make sure you can see your wedding unfold in their photos. Don’t like cheese poses or pee colored skys? Then don’t hire someone who shows that kind of work.

Also, be weary of portfolios where the editing is all over the place. It means they are still experimenting with their style and you don’t want them “trying” things out on your dime.

Post # 4
Hostess
16213 posts
Honey Beekeeper

To me, personality is a big deal. I was with my photographer longer than I was with anyone else on my wedding day — even my new husband! Your personalities have to mesh because your photog be by your side all day long.

Post # 5
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I disagree with some of this advice, but I’ll go through point by point.

1.) YES! Definitely do this!

2.) Very nice if you can get them to give them to you, but honestly, a lot of photographers just don’t give references of past clients out of respect for their privacy, and you should be mindful of this. Someday it will be you after your wedding, and while you may be happy to give ONE glowing reference for your past photographer, you would NOT be happy if you were swamped with emails from every prospective client the photog has. For every one person we actually book, we get numerous inquiries wanting mulitiple references, so if you’re using clients from the previous year for references, that can add up to A LOT of referral requests per parst client and a VERY annoying photographer to deal with after your wedding. I personally don’t give references for this reason, but that’s also why I have TONS of reviews you can find online. I ask each client to write me ONE glowing review that other brides can find, and this is just as good as a reference because we have no control over what people write and can’t have online reviews changed if we don’t like them. Now if the photographer didnt have legitimate online reviews (not just ones they posted on their own website), then I’d definitely expect references.

3.) Delivery date yes, amount of photos no. Photographers can give a rough estimate sometimes, but if no one dances at your reception and people are eating the whole time (people get MAD when you take pictures of them eating) your photographer knows they probably wont have as many photos to give you, which is why we only have estimates.

4.) Absolutely NO. We will not, under any circumstances, book a client who is not willing to pay in full before the wedding and this is pretty standard for the industry. At the end of the day there are FAR more photographers who have been screwed over by clients than there are clients who have been screwed by their photogs when it comes to payments. Why? Because photographers have a business reputation to maintain and a bad review can end our business, whereas, apart from legal action there is NOTHING a photographer can do to coerce payment from an overdue client.

Also photography is extremely subjective, so clients want to try to use witholding the final payment until after viewing the photos as a sort of “satisfaction guarantee,” which is ridiculous when your photographer in reality is offering nothing of the sort. Any client for any reason can say they don’t like the photos (whether they do or not) and use that as excuse to not pay the final payment, and that’s not how we operate. All of the work on our end has already been done and that balance is due regardless. Be prepared to run into A LOT of photographers like us who will NOT book you under these terms, and keep in mind those who will are more likely to be less reputable photographers who are simply more desperate for your business.

5.) Wouldn’t be at the top of my list but sure you could expect this. I would say as long as your photographer is consistently responsive you should be okay.

 

Post # 6
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

I should add +1 to LB on the payment after the wedding. We would never ever agree to that. Also, we do not give out personal info of our clients but you can find them connected to our FB page and I’ve had some prospective clients get references that way.

Post # 7
Member
739 posts
Busy bee

ps. good to see you back LB πŸ˜‰

Post # 8
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Im with LB Photography.

I do not want to pester clients for references and there is no way I would take payment after the fact. This is why I have contracts so we are all happy with the terms.

Biggest thing: I suggest to see a gallery of a full wedding from a recent wedding they photographed. This will be a sure sign of what you will get.

I also wouldn’t go by calling either its responsiveness period. I dont answer the phone all the time. Be more wary if they dont email you back within a reasonable time.. Many of us run more through email. If Im off shooting a wedding for 10 hours Im not calling you when I get home at 1 am but I’ll certainly email. πŸ™‚ I sometimes set up a time to phone chat so we both have time to talk. The couple is just as busy as us trying to plan..

I dont have many reviews but I can show gobs of thank you cards Ive been sent or show private email raves. πŸ˜€ After the production of a wedding the couple just wants to get on with life.. a review can be a bit time consuming, I understand why they wont. Dont rule a photographer out because they dont have a ton of reviews.

Post # 10
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Im really sorry you had such a bad photographer, I swear we are not all like that. πŸ™‚

 

Its a very standard practice to pay before and why there are contracts. In that other forum they dont know standard business practice for photographers. Im my contract it specificly says deliverey dates etc.. so you wouldnt go through what you did. Contracts protect the customer and the photographer.

 

 

Post # 11
Member
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

@Atalanta:  First, I did say that most clients would be happy to have their information given to one, maybe even two prospective clients after the wedding, but how many is too many? My opinion? More than two is too many and we’d be asking in the tens to fifteens per client for at least a year following their wedding, and you have to admit, even the happiest customer would be annoyed by that. That’s why we just dont do it.

As for paying up front, sorry, but I’ve been in this business a LONG TIME, and I don’t know ANY legitimate professionals who allow some payment to be paid after delivery of the photos for the aforementioned reasons. If there were people on your forum who commented they would do that, they are probably desperate Craigslist photographers and not real professionals, which of course is a worse scenario. All your vendors work the same way, needing the payment upfront. You don’t pay the balance for your cake only after your guests have eaten it and liked it, and the balance for your dress only after your butt didn’t look fat in it. No one would be able to run a successful business if we allowed our business to operate that way.

Post # 12
Member
54 posts
Worker bee

@Atalanta:  Wish everyone could afford a photographer like this. We aren’t all so lucky

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