What To Expect From Your Wedding Photographer
Everything You Need To Know
No Surprises! What You Should Expect From Your Wedding Photographer
I created this guide to simplify the process and expectations you should have with your wedding photographer. I have heard too many horror stories about couples who are unhappy with their photos or who waited several months and even years before receiving their wedding photos. This summary should help you have a clearer understanding of what to expect, who to work with, and how to better communicate with the photographer you hire to be your story-teller
So let's assume you have found a photographer, you love their work. The first thing on the list is setting up an in-person or video conversation with this photographer to meet them and discuss the wedding information and perhaps even details about your relationship; this is an important step. This call is an opportunity to ask questions, but most importantly, to make sure you get along with the photographer, to ensure that they have a friendly personality, seem genuine, and fit your unique needs. Connecting with a photographer's nature is key to feeling comfortable when working with them.
Ok! We have established that you like them, they’re available, and they are within your budget! Now what? Professional wedding photographers will require a retainer to hold the date for your wedding. In most cases, that retainer will be half of the total cost, with the remaining amount due, at the latest, two or so weeks before the wedding. This payment schedule is the industry standard that most photographers adhere to within their booking process. There will be a contract signed by both parties going over all wedding details. And we’ll get into an essential part of that contract in our final step.
It would be best to communicate with your photographer about your expectations before the wedding; this is incredibly important. If you have specific concerns, for example: having enough bridal portraits, or if you want them to take a lot of photos of your guests, etc. Let them know what is most important to you. They are professionals and should be taking notes of all your expectations for reference on your wedding day.
Make sure they receive or are a part of creating the wedding timeline with you or with your wedding planner, this will help them determine a lot of critical factors like lighting situations and any time restrictions.
Depending on the package and agreement you have with your photographer, they will arrive on time, according to the contract. They will have a photography timeline to adhere to while capturing candid moments between and making sure they photograph other details. It's your wedding day, and it's time for you to relax and have fun! If you need anything specific from them during the wedding, let them know. They will want to ensure not to miss anything. Keep that communication open throughout the day.
Another important note here is to make sure it's understood to family and friends: they are allowed to take photographs during the wedding. However, they should not interfere with the official photographer, e.g., standing in front of them to get a cell phone picture/video.
Wedding photographers will usually need approximately 4-6 weeks to edit and prepare your images for you (about 6-8 weeks for weddings during busy seasons). Any longer than that is completely unacceptable, in my opinion. Make sure there is a deadline written into the contract you sign with them.
It’s 2020, so you’re likely to receive digital files. It is up to you how you decide to save those images, but I highly recommend using cloud storage, as well as USB flash drives, to be safe, there are plenty of options out there (some are even free), and your photographer is likely to recommend a few!
IT IS MY MOST SINCERE WISH THAT THIS EXPECTATION GUIDE HELPS OF YOU ONLY DETERMINE WHO TO WORK WITH, BUT ALSO GIVES YOU SOME INSIGHT INTO WHAT WORKING WITH A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER SHOULD LOOK LIKE!