Should The Photographer get the Couple a Wedding Present?

Although a present is generally not expected from any of the staff who are employed at the wedding, such as the bar staff or waiting staff, oftentimes the photographer will bestow the couple with a small gift. As a wedding photographer you are not obliged to do so, but if you have worked closely with the couple, and especially if you have formed a bond with them, it will be well received for you to give them some sort of token. For those who are looking to get something a little bit more expensive thoughtful, there is always rare whisky or some other special bottle of alcohol. A standard bottle will not do on such an occasion, so if you opt for alcohol it needs to hold some sort of significance.

When Should the Photographer be paid?

Photographers should ask for a deposit upon agreement of services and full price. The balance should be paid shortly before the wedding, on the day or just after. Each photographer will have a preference on when the balance should be paid.

What makes a good wedding photographer?

Having a professional camera does not make you a good photographer, just as having a paintbrush doesn’t make you a great artist. It is, however, your skill and creativity that produces fantastic photographs. A good wedding photographer will understand the lighting and environment around them and be able to capture the moment and emotion in one shot. Also, they will be able to compose a beautiful photo, ensuring the focus of the shot is beautifully captured and not ruined by lighting or unsightly things in the background. Check out my Wedding Photo Ideas for insight into fantastic wedding photos.

When choosing a wedding photographer you must ensure you feel comfortable around them and they make you feel at ease. If you are feeling relaxed, you will appear more natural on camera and therefore the photos will be of better quality.

How to find an amazing wedding photographer

When it comes to finding your perfect wedding photographer, looking online is a great place to start. You can browse photographers by style, location and budget making it a little easier to narrow down. However, don’t forget many photographers are willing to travel, so don’t feel restricted just to your region or location. If you find a photographer that you like that is further away, ask about travelling. Other ways to find a wedding photographer can include recommendations, ask your recently married friends and see who they used, ask on Facebook, take a look on Pinterest and view images you like and see if they are available for your day. Another great way is to check out wedding blogs and look at real weddings, find a style you like and check out the photographer that shot that wedding. If you are a photographer looking to go pro, or to start shooting weddings, have a look through my Wedding Photography Guide for advice on how to get started.

What questions should I ask my wedding photographer?

You may be worrying there are things you need to ask that you haven’t thought about. Your photographer should put you at ease and answer any question you have. It is likely that your photographer will answer all of your questions naturally in conversation about the wedding day. Examples of things you may want to know include:

  • Cost for full day
  • Colour/black and white
  • Print options
  • Digital options

How much should my wedding photographer cost?

Wedding photography can cost whatever you are willing to pay. You should first figure out how much value you place on photographs. A full day of coverage can range from $1500+. In our recent survey the average spend by couples was $2000 on photography. This will give you an idea of how much to budget and what you will be looking at spending. If you are getting married in the week, or in the winter months then you may be able to get a better deal compared to a Saturday in the summer which is peak season.

Other things to consider is how many hours you want covered, do you want an album put together too? Do you want the photos to be printed too?

Should my wedding photographer be insured?

Yes, they should have liability insurance of which many venues will insist your photographer has. Liability insurance covers the photographer if they trip and fall, or if they knock into a guest with their camera for example. Ask your photographer about this but don’t worry too much about it.

How long should my photographer stay for?

This varies from person to person. It depends on what kind of photos you would like and how your day is planned out. You must consider:

  • What time will you be getting ready
  • What time will you be leaving to go to the ceremony
  • What time shall it start
  • How long will it last
  • What time will you get to the reception
  • What time will you be eating
  • When will you cut the cake
  • When the dancing will start

This is a long list but it will give you a timescale for the day and allow you to work out how many hours you require. Most photographers will have packages for the whole day, however if you just want photos of the ceremony you should specify this early on.

Remember photos of you getting ready may not sound very interesting, however the emotion, fun and happiness of you and your bridesmaids getting ready makes for some beautiful photos, it is also part of the story of your day and how the day began with you and your girls getting ready, the same can also be said for the groom and groomsmen too.

Your wedding photos are a story of the day, so capture the day from the beginning, from getting ready right through to the first dance, this is just a one day moment and you only get one chance to capture it all.

What are the differences between all these different styles? (Reportage, Traditional, Candid & Quirky)

There are a few common styles and terms that come up when looking at photographers, traditional, reportage, candid, going through these traditional is your more set up and formal shots, so lots of couple photos, group shots with you and your family, photos are captured with a more formal approach.

Compared to reportage the focus is on natural photos and storytelling, so you capture emotions of you and your guests with photos that they are not even aware of, this is a more candid approach and create a natural story and natural emotion from people.

Of course whatever style you like you can combine them, so you can certainly get a quirky creative reportage wedding photographer that will also take some traditional shots of you and your family.

When should my wedding photographs arrive?

When will I get my wedding photos? This will depend on your photographer and they should be able to give you a rough timescale when you book them. Usually you should expect to have your photos 2-8 weeks after being shot. Once your photographer has captured your wedding they will go away and edit these photos, on the day your photographer may take hundreds and maybe into the thousands, these photos need editing down, removing any test shots and photos that didn’t work out, your photos will then be edited and cropped if needed.

Once complete they will package these all up for you, print any if this is included and get them to you. If you cannot wait then your photographer may give you a couple of easy shots if you are lucky.

Should I provide food for my wedding photographer?

Ask your photographer, they could be working all day ensuring every moment is captured, some photographers will bring their own food and like to get away for a few minutes, to have a break, while others may appreciate and enjoy a small meal at the venue.

Should I tip my wedding photographer?

Tip them if you wish, there is no requirement to, however if you are really happy and thrilled with your photos then let them know how much you like them, get them a lovely thank you card and leave them a lovely testimonial. There is no need to tip them and they won’t expect it, tell your engaged friends about them and how happy you are with their photos, a recommendation and a wonderful thank you/testimonial means a lot more to a photographer.

How many photos should a wedding photographer give you?

There is no definite answers and it will vary with photographer and how long they were there for. Obviously it will be less if they were just there for the ceremony then if they were there for the day. Photographers will take hundreds of photos on the day, however this does not mean you will get every single one, some will be test shots, maybe out of focus or just not great.

What is a second shooter, and should I have one?

A second shooter is a second wedding photographer, a second person there on your day capturing photos from a different angle. The benefits of this is you can have one photographer at the hotel with the bride capturing shots of you getting ready, and then the other getting shots of the groom. The is great if you want shots of both getting ready but are staying in different locations where you shall get ready. On your day your photographer cannot be in two places at once and so a second shooter allows different angles to captured, shots of guests entering the church, and then shots inside the church, different angles as you walk down the aisle, while also focusing in on your guests’ faces and capturing their emotions.

A second photographer is great for getting a more comprehensive array of shots that help to tell the story and is great for photos of the bride and groom getting ready. Of course with a second shooter there is an additional cost, speak to your photographer, they will have other professionals they can call upon that will be able to help and that they can rely upon.

What is an ‘Unplugged Wedding’?

A wedding without phones, cameras, iPads, a wedding without technology for you and your guests.

Why? In the age we live in everyone has a smart phone, everyone can instantly take a photo and upload to a social network for friends to see, however you have hired a professional wedding photographer to take professional pictures, to capture the day for you, there is no need for friend to take photos, you have invited them to be there at your wedding, because you want them there, not because you want them to take photos of you walking down the aisle and instantly uploading to Facebook for everyone to see before you have even tied the knot.

Help! My wedding photographer is not responding!

So you have booked your wedding photographer and ticked it off the to-do list, as the big days gets closer they suddenly disappear and nothing is heard from them. If this happens ensure their website is still working, drop them an email and leave them a voice message. Take a look at their social media profiles from their website and see if they are still active on there, on Facebook and twitter you can also drop them a private message and see if you can get a response this way.

If you have tried all this to no avail then you may want to think about a backup, get in touch with some other photographers that you like and see if they are available on your day. If you have still not heard anything then you want to hire someone else. If you are feeling stressed, worried and have lost trust in the photographer hired then it may be best to draw a line under it and hire someone else.

What to Do If You Don’t Like Your Wedding Photos

So your wedding day is over and you have just seen your wedding photos and it doesn’t draw happy tears, but tears of sadness, anger and frustration, then what can you do? Decide what you dislike about your photos, is it the style or way they have been captured, is it how you look in them, is it the poor composition, or bad lighting, or are they just not to your taste? This is more about understanding why you feel this way, is it more personal opinion that you don’t like them, or are they very poorly taken?

Once the wedding is over and the photos have been captured there is little you can do in terms of the photos, with the industry unregulated there is also little you can do if the photos taken are of terrible quality or nothing like the sort of photos and quality the photographer showed on their website and albums. However, this being said you should inform your photographer that you are unhappy and see if they are willing to do anything to make up for this, be it a part or full refund of your payment for their services.

As you cannot go back in time to capture your wedding day you could consider a ‘reshoot’, this recreating beautiful shots of you and your partner on your wedding day in your dress and suit, perhaps guests could join in where fun and natural shots are taken.

If you have any further questions that aren't covered in my FAQ, please complete the short contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible.