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Tips to Hire a Wedding Photographer

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The Best Wedding Photographer in Auckland, New Zealand

The best wedding photographer is the one that has a special routine to make sure that everyone is included. This is no easy task for a wedding photographer at a large wedding, so it’s important that all the right descriptions are used to determine who should appear in each photo.

Best Auckland Wedding Photographer and videographer

Occasionally I get these phone calls from prospective clients who tell me that they want the “Best” candid wedding photography and after giving me a bullet list of events, have only two questions – How much do you charge? and What all is included in this price? Quite frankly, it sounds like someone buying a washing machine!!
The features vs. price mentality serves this mindset.

This article will give you a better perspective on how to find the right photographer and some tips to be able to afford them. You pick up what suits your taste, matches your sensibilities and is the best for you. This is exactly how you hire artists.

Ask them the right questions – about their perspective, their priorities, their style, and their USP. Only then can you be certain that you’re booking a photographer who’s the right fit for you.

Always remember that the best wedding photographer for one person could easily be the worst choice for someone else !!!. Assuming you’ve found the photographer you like the most, here are 3 simple ways to be  able to afford them.

Here are some tips before hiring a wedding photographer 

  • Choosing the Budget: 
  • Identify Style
  • Ask about background
  • Portfolio
  • Compare Packages
  • The personality of Photographer
  • Communication
  • Overworked Wedding Photographer
  • Read the fine print

Choosing the budget

It is one of the trickiest questions to answer as you finalise your budget. In reality, there is no such thing as a low or high budget. When it comes to hiring a wedding photographer, you get what you pay for. Budgets that are higher will result in more qualified and experienced photographers. Thus, you should determine how much you will spend on a photographer by assessing the importance of photos at your wedding. Maintain a high budget if it holds high value.

Identify style

There was a time when all wedding photographers shot in the same traditional style. Nowadays, couples have the option of choosing the style and look of their wedding pictures. You and your fiancé should look at wedding photographs and find a style that appeals to you both. A few common photo styles are listed below:

  • Documentary 
  • Portraiture
  • Fine art 
  • Edgy and bold

Ask about background

Ask your potential shooter if he or she studied photography in school. Look for someone with at least five years of experience in the field. Otherwise, you might end up with someone who just picked up a camera and decided to be a wedding photographer.

 Portfolio

Photographers have portfolios similar to resumes. It consists of the best work that an artist has produced. Additionally, it shows how much experience the photographer has in taking wedding photos.

Look at a complete album of a couple of weddings in their portfolio. By doing this, you can figure out whether the photographer keeps his work consistent.

Compare Packages

Ensure that all the packages include the things you care about. Try to find a package that is the most suitable to your needs and wants for the day by comparing what’s included in their standard packages and what’s charged as extras.

The personality of Photographer

It’s not necessary to be friends, but you should feel comfortable with them and your personalities should mesh. This makes a huge difference in how your images turn out. Also, check their social media pages for feedback left by their previous clients.

Communication

A great way to determine if the photographer is right for your event is to communicate with him or her. Observe their reaction as you ask the questions. If the photographer’s answers are satisfactory, then you may hire them.

Overworked Wedding Photographer

Some photographers shoot a limited number of weddings each year. This allows them to balance their work and personal lives. Ask them about workload.

Read the fine print

Before you sign a contract, make sure you will own the rights to your images immediately following the wedding. It’s important to know the rights because if you don’t, you could be charged much more for the photos you imagined were included in the package when you have to buy each photo separately.

1. Hire the best wedding photographer, even if it means trimming the list of events.

Top artists are expensive because their work is sophisticated, exclusive, and highly personalised. However, most of them are quite affordable if you change your perspective and requirements. For e.g. A lot of our clients working with a smaller budget choose to hire us only for the wedding ceremony and are very happy with the final delivery. It all boils down to quality versus quantity and how important photography is for you. You can always have inexpensive traditional photographers or your friends shooting the other events.

2. Ask for referrals.

Yes, it’s possible that you still might not be able to afford the photographer you really wanted. However, most photographers know other photographers with a similar shooting style. They also work with second-shooters whom they usually train & guide and every good-hearted photographer would want their second-shooters to start shooting independently.   What you need to do is simply ask for a referral. Be upfront and let them know your budget so that they only refer someone relevantly.

3. Look for an amateur/student/part-time photographer

Ideally, I wouldn’t want you here, but sometimes there are severe budget/family constraints that might restrict you from choosing the above two options. Photography students, amateurs, and part-time photographers may give you a too-good-to-be-true deal, but I can point out the possible pitfalls from my own experience. My job got in the way many times and I had to shift focus from my deliverables as a photographer.

I hope this article has been helpful in putting things into perspective. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them in the comments section below. I would be glad to respond.

Questions to ask before hiring a Wedding Photographer?

Availability

Is my wedding date available?

 When the photographer will arrive and leave?

 When you can expect your photographs?

How you’ll receive your pictures?

Any printing that’s included?

Who owns the rights to the photos?

Retouching options?

Will you be the one shooting my wedding? If not, can I meet the photographer who will be on-site?

How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?

Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day?

Background Check

How long have you been shooting weddings? 

How many weddings have you photographed?

Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we are planning?

Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?

Have you ever shot a wedding at our ceremony and reception venues? If not, do you plan to check the venues out in advance?

Style

How would you describe your photography style? What would you compare your work to?

How would you describe your working style?

 Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?

Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?

Pricing and Packages

What is included in your standard package? What add-ons do the more expensive packages include?

Can I customise a package to fit my needs?

Do you include engagement photos in your packages? What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?

How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?

Do you offer a photo booth?

Do you offer retouching, colour adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?

Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?

Prints and Albums

Can we order prints or albums directly from you?

What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?

Are albums or prints included in your packages? How many pages or prints are included, and what is the turnaround time?

How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?

Will we have the rights to the images?

Will we receive the negatives and/or high resolution digital images? Is there a fee for that?

Will the images be accessible online? For how long?

Logistics

When will we receive the contract?

How much of a deposit do you require? When is it due?

Do you accept payments in installations?

What is your refund or cancellation policy?

Do you have liability insurance? Does it cover your assistants, as well?

Do you carry backup equipment?

What is the backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason?

How will you and your assistants be dressed?

Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?

Do you bring your own lighting?

If you provide print albums, what type of paper will you use?

Have you ever shot at my venue before?

How many weddings do you do a weekend?

How long after the wedding do we get to see the photos?

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Hi, I'm Rosa

I am passionate in wedding photography and I help couples create magic in their wedding day.

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