Mistakes happen. But what if your mistakes ruin your relationship with your wedding photographer? Chances of ending up with bad pictures? Sounds like a nightmare right? All of us love to have a smooth relationship and somehow end up with a bad experience. Can you minimize the mistake if it is on your end?
Many a times we have suffered to a great extent when our beloved clients knowingly or unknowingly do certain things they never meant. Yes, wedding happens just once and neither the family nor the couple would know everything in advance. But there are a few things that have to be avoided or things you have to know when you are booking your wedding photographer. This will help establish a great relationship between you and your wedding photographer. Of course a great relationship gives great photographs.
Photographers are NOT too pricey:
Been hearing too many times in the recent days that wedding photographers charge really high. That’s definitely a myth. Knowing the task involved is extremely important. People just think you are just going to click a button and you charge so much for that. I wish it was that simple. Photography is a noble profession and we see it that way. We give you the memories that take you back in time. A makeup will cost you from 20,000 to 75, 0000 and a decoration will cost you from 50,000 to 5, 00,000 and these last just for a day.
It is only the photographs/video that stay with you forever and help you relive the moments. We walk in to every wedding with this responsibility. Now you know why I call it a noble profession. There are a lot of article that says why photography is worth spending and everything is just exactly what we photographer go through. It is not just about clicking a button but much beyond that. Knowing the equipment in and out and taking a perfect picture of the wedding that is clumsy (most Indian weddings are) itself deserves to be paid. The amount of hours we spend before, during and post-event, the equipment, the album quality, and the proper coordination incurs money. When a photographer charges 20,000 and another one charges 1, 00,000 there is definitely a huge difference. I don’t mean the difference in the amount but the output. One can easily see this difference in the quality of your album, the eye for detail, and love for the job and even how the photographer behaves with your guests makes a huge difference. In today’s market, any professional photographer with an office space and a good portfolio will definitely charge a minimum of 75,000/-. If not, it’s either his part time profession, he’s not fetching profit or he’s going to cheat on you. Be aware of the market and negotiate accordingly.
Choosing a Bad makeup artist:
I know brides who chose the best photographers but failed to choose a great makeup artist. For a bride, make up is as important, it is your wedding day and it happens only once. I have heard a lot of my brides saying “I do not like make up. I am planning to look simple” or” I have spent a lot on wedding photographer and he can make me look beautiful, so i am not bothered to spend much on makeup” or “I am fair and I don’t think I need make up”.
A good make up gives a good photograph. A bad make up ruins the pictures. We do manage at times, but even we cannot make you look good in the post production when the makeup is really badly done. Choosing a right makeup artist is as important as choosing a great wedding photographer. If you do not know a good makeup artist, ask your wedding photographer, because we know how a good make up looks like and helping you choose the right makeup artist makes our job that much easier.
Not getting back to the photographer on time:
You inquire a wedding photographer. In fact you inquire a couple of wedding photographers and it is extremely hard to choose one out of the many options laid on you. Fair enough. But it is important to know how long you keep us on hold. And once you have finalized your wedding photographer, it is extremely important for you to intimate the others not to wait. We are professionals and we love when we are treated like one.
Once I met a prospective client in the year 2013. I traveled from my office, located in Annanagar to someplace on the OMR almost 30kms away. Had a discussion for almost an hour, answering all the questions asked by every family member very patiently. They were nearly 12 of them sitting around and each one had different likes, dislikes and opinions. Few of them really liked my works, few really liked me so much and there was one person who was the son in law who had little knowledge on camera and asked me a lot of questions. Questions like “why have you made the background out of focus? “, “What is the ISO value you use in daylight?”, “Why do you use canon and not Nikon?”, “Why have you taken yawning pictures?” and I answered all of it with a big smile. (If you have read my previous posts, you know how important it is to keep smiling no matter how stupid the questions are) To him I looked so small and young (yes I was just 22 years old), and for some reason he never liked me.
Half knowledge is dangerous and I know he was one of that kinds. After all the questions been answered I was given a plate of snacks that I had happily, sharing my experiences on shooting weddings. When I had to leave, the bride asked me to block the dates as all of them were impressed (I know the son in law was not) and said she will pay an advance in a week or so.
In the end, I was not their wedding photographer, they had opted for some other photographer but failed to even answer my calls from the day I stepped out of their house. That was something I felt so rude and as an insult for the time I and effort I spent. This is something I am still experiencing from a lot of prospective clients.
Saying NO to us is completely fine. It is your right and we will definitely not force you to choose us. It is the kind of concern that we expect from you for the time we spend meeting you and for the calls, mails and follow ups we do for you. To go further, if you tell the reason for not booking that particular photographer, it will help them change the way they deal with things. That might help them improve and grow. So, be willing to intimate the ones you do not choose. Be nice to the ones who follow up because it is our job to do that and let us love what we do.
Not mentioning the proper schedule:
I once had a real bad experience with this. It was rainy season and we had shot a beautiful reception the previous evening and almost done with the wedding in the morning and we knew it was all that we had to shoot as per the schedule informed to us and as per the agreement signed. We generally wrap up our shoot after the family portraits or after the couple portraits. That day as the session was over, we had to wrap up fast so as to go for another reception in the evening. And it is now that the bride’s father walks to us and tells us that they have a ceremony in the evening for which they wanted the whole team to stay.
May be they thought it was okay to intimate us on the event date on the spot almost at the ending time? For me, it’s not about what’s mentioned in the agreement but about the relationship. I could have simply said a NO which would have been much easier but that would have greatly disappointed the client, understanding their situation and knowing it is an important ceremony I could barely argue, or tell them we had another shoot in the evening. I quickly had to make arrangements so we did not miss both the events.
Don’t you think it’s important to let the wedding photographer know the proper schedule? As professionals we will always arrive on time and will want to leave on time. We do not want to waste time when we will be asked to be on the venue 2 hours before the start time sitting in the empty hall staring at nothing. We know we have to be early for us to set the lights and get ready. But 2 hours before the event is too much to sit idle.
Make sure you intimate the proper schedule of the event well in advance so as to avoid any confusions or disappointments at the last minute. This will spoil the relationship. Remember, photographers never work only for money but for the relationship, appreciation and respect for the art.
Groom books his wedding photographer and Bride books her wedding photographer:
This does happen. And contrary to what they think almost always this will end in a bad experience. This is definitely a place where a lot of confusions happen and you end up with getting really bad pictures. The bride will look at her wedding photographer, the groom will look at his wedding photographer ending up in a mess. The two different teams will not have any good rapport but only a competitive mind set unlike a single team who complement each other and have a smooth coordination for good pictures. You will not know whom to pose to, which camera to look at, and you cannot have a happy experience at the end.
Bride and groom can discuss and settle with a single team hiring extra photographers which will definitely give a better result than opting two different teams.
Not knowing your wedding photographer:
You are going to spend two whole days with a stranger giving him poses? When a stranger asks you to hug your mate from behind, are you going to feel really comfortable? It is very important to meet your wedding photographer before. Meeting the whole team might not be practically possible but meeting one of them is definitely important. You become comfortable and that helps you get better pictures. Talk to your photographer, share with them what you like, what you do not want, the difference of opinion between you and your parents ( we can’t afford to get scolding from them for the intimate pictures that you want, and a complete taboo for them). Go for a pre-shoot rather than the post-shoot which will help you build rapport with your fiance as well as your wedding photographer.
Not making payments on time:
This might hit you hard. You might even think how can someone not pay the wedding photographer. This is not about just making payments, but about paying on time. Discuss and know clearly when the payment needs to be made and make sure it is done on time as agreed. And make sure the final amount is settled when the final delivery is made. I have a lot my clients who are my good friends who says they would pay later. They definitely will. But keeping in mind the expenses we incur we are forced to be ethically professional. Every wedding photographer will have different terms. You can definitely ask them if it is ok to pay them later, and be clear on that. Most of us prefer to get paid before getting the albums printed. Because it is for the printing we spend a lot of money. Pay them.
Urging for the delivery:
Delivery takes time. Yes. Understand that there is a lot of work involved in post-production. From Culling of pictures to colour correction to designing, everything takes a lot of time. It is definitely not an overnight process. And knowing the delivery time your wedding photographer would take is important. If he/she has promised you to give an album in 45 days, You surely have to wait for it. And there are times when the wedding photographer would delay for months and months which I will definitely write about in my next article. But here I would like to mention how the couples urge us with the delivery. There are times when just in 10 days, the client would start calling us asking for the pictures. We understand how important it is for you to see the pictures. But make it a clear point while booking the wedding photographers as in how they will deliver the pictures and the duration of time that they would want. Patience is important when you want a beautiful memory book of yours. Remember it is something that will come forever.
SOME MORE QUICK TIPS :
Post processing is possible. Post process is efficient. But showing a fat person thin, opening the closed eyes, making a bad make up good are few impossible things. 80% is how we take and only 20% is how we edit. Not everything can be done in photo shop.
Do not ask us to add pictures taken in the mobile to the album unless it is extremely important.
Take all your files at the time of delivery. Digital files after all occupies a lot of space and not all photographers will keep them always. We generally delete the files in three months from the delivery. Once delivered its your responsibility to keep your wedding files safe. Hard disk corruptions happens just in seconds.
Most importantly make sure your wedding album reaches you within two months of your wedding. Either your end delay or the photographers delay , but get it done. Do not delay more than two months. The interest in seeing the album , for the friends, for the relatives in fact even for you will vanish after two months. Don not delay. Do not let the photographers delay.
Be nice to your wedding photographer. Treat them how you want your boss to treat you. You are our boss. Never message or call them during late nights for knowing the work update unless you are in another country.Never call them on Diwali , Pongal , Christmas. If it is a holiday for you , so it is for us too. Most of us work on Sundays but few might not. Ask them in prior.
Compliment your wedding photographer. Review them on social media if you like their work. Let them know how they can improve and help them grow.
Last but never the least, give credits to your wedding photographer when you share the pictures on Facebook. That’s the best gift we can get. We love to be appreciated. In fact who doesn’t?
Done. This might help you to a great extent to understand your photographer. Good relationship is very important. Happy occasion requires happy experience. I guess I helped you with few things so as to have a happy experience.
If you are a photographer and think I should write on any specific topic please do lemme know. In case you didn’t like anything I had mentioned I would love to hear that as well. Correct me if I am wrong. Happy to learn from you :))
Sharadha Gopalakrishnan & Mani kandan
Spreading smiles (: (: