10 Questions to Ask when Looking for a Wedding Photographer

Photos are a wedding staple. Wedding photos become more invaluable as time passes by. As such, it is a wedding essential that couples are willing to pay a lot for. Couples in Singapore normally spend between $1,500 to over $5,000 on their wedding photography, the range varies according to the skill and experience of the photographer. However, couples can also spend as little as $2,000 for their wedding photos if they avail of only a starter package from less renowned photographers.

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What’s in a wedding package?

A wedding photography package usually include a certain number of photos that will be delivered to the married couple in an album once post processing and printing are completed. Most packages include a 2-hour photo shoot before the ceremony to capture wedding essentials and portraiture. Most packages also come with at least one framed large photo.

Understanding the style that you want for your wedding photographs is a good start to getting the kind of photo mementos you’d like to see not just after the wedding but after years of being together. Aside from experience, affiliations and awards, you should also consider a photographer’s style as this will be the one factor that will make your wedding photos distinct from all others.

Knowing what questions to ask a wedding photographer helps couples get the style they want at a budget they can afford. Here are 10 questions couples should ask a wedding photographer, and the ways in which couples can negotiate for more favorable terms.

1.       Can we see samples of your photography portfolio?

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This gives couples an idea of the style and experience of the photographer. Assuming that couples already know the photographer’s style, requesting for sample photos will help confirm the photographer’s skills and discover what else he or she can do.

2.       What packages do you offer?

Some provide only actual day wedding photography services, while others go beyond the traditional wedding photo mementos by offering pre-wedding photography. Whether it’s one or the other, it’s important that couples have a say in the pictures that are included in the package they wish to avail.

Even if photographers have a set of packages, couples can request to add some features or go without some others to suit their preference and budget. Photographers are usually flexible as long as what’s requested is justified by its payment. It’s important that couples are decided in terms of what they want as early as the negotiation process so that photographers will not have to deal with too many short noticed requests.

3.       Can we provide a list of photos we want to be taken?

The photographer should be able to say yes to this question. Couples have particular moments in mind that they want captured, as well as the special people that will be attending the wedding. Couples may negotiate to merge this in the package to save on cost. But if they want to retain the package as is and have it as additional items, then they should also be able to do so. Couples just have to make it clear with the photographer.

4.       Will we get the digital copy of all the photos on a CD?

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Some photographers provide a digital copy of the printed photos, while some do not. There are also those that capture additional photos and offer to print them, or save them on a CD or SD card, for additional charges. One thing is fixed though: couples have to order and pay for reprints in case they want additional copies of a particular photo.

5.       How much do you charge for additional photos?

It’s very important to ask this question to avoid misunderstanding once the payment is made. Additional costs can pertain not only to added photos but also to certain things like an extra hour the photographer spend covering the event, a DVD for slide show of images, or transportation allowance. Unless it is really necessary, couples can go without these add-on services.

6.       What are the payment terms?

Some may require a down payment, while others may like to receive the payment in full. If a down payment is needed, ask how much will be deposited, when it will be deposited, and when the final payment will be due. If they allow credit card as a mode of payment, couples can take advantage of it to earn points. But couples should make sure to pay it on time to avoid incurring interests.

7.       Have you photographed a wedding at the venue where our wedding will be held?

If the photographer says yes, couples could save money – and the photographer’s time – since they are already familiar with the place. They know which part of the place are good for spontaneous shots, as well as where they have to put their lighting equipment. The photographer may not impose additional charges because they need not assess the area and do a dry run.

8.       Do you have a backup plan in case Plan A fails?

Some may think of it as a trivial question, but it does matter bringing it up during the negotiation process. It’s good to know that they have a solid plan in case of unexpected circumstances. It will be a good thing if the wedding photography studio is insured. But going for an uninsured one won’t hurt either.

9.       Do you provide written terms and conditions?

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Everything that is agreed upon between the couple and the photographer should be stated in a contract. Couples are not only entrusting their money to their wedding photographer, but more importantly, the documentation of one of the most important events in their lives. The best way to ensure that they’ll do their job well is to have a contract. Couples should carefully read the contract before signing it. They should also ask for clarifications if there are terms and conditions that are not clear to them.

10.   Can you suggest locations for pre-wedding photography or destination photography?

This question applies to those who want to have prenup photos. In Singapore, there are many great places for capturing pre-wedding photos, and chances are most wedding photographers have worked in some, if not all, of these areas before. Couples can choose between museums, heritage sites, gardens and natural parks, landscapes and cityscapes.

Knowing how much to spend on wedding photography is a good way for couples to stick to their budget. Preparing a few carefully chosen questions to ask will help couples enter the world of wedding suppliers with their best foot forward.

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