The craze on instant prints has raised so many questions, the answers to which vary from one photographer or production team to another. Especially questions on price, equipment, and perks.
Just as with any aspect of the wedding, it’s important to ask the right questions to get the answers you need to help you decide what is right for you. When you sit down with your photographer to talk about all your wedding photography needs, take a few minutes to ask these questions on instant prints. This will help you seal the best deal for your wedding photography package.
1. Will there be unlimited prints or should we settle for a print quota?
Initially, unlimited prints sound like the way to go. However, this can actually mean just additional cost and excess prints. Most production teams recommend an agreeable print quota that can accommodate all your guests according to the capacity of their printer without sacrificing quality. This can be advantageous for you as your guests won’t spend so much time goofing around and make every shot count. In addition, having a quota gives an obligation to the team to meet a required number of prints based on your choice and budget.
2. What can be customized?
For instant prints, the following are usually customizable: templates, frames, print sizes and backdrop, and, sometimes, even the props. (However, if you have the time, it might be more fun if you DIY your instant print props.) Customization basically depends on how far the team is willing to go to serve your needs. Some of these customizable items are for an extra charge while others like the templates and backdrop may be included in your price package. It’s important to be clear with your photographer regarding what can be customized in your package without incurring extra costs.
3. How many photographers and printers do I need?
For this, you need to let your vendor know how many guests are attending, how long you’ll be needing their service, how much space you can give them, and of course your budget. It’s ideal to work with less and avoid an idle printer and a photographer who will just be hanging out more than taking pictures. Discuss with your vendor the appropriate ratio of guests to photographer and printer.
4. What are your setup needs onsite and how long will it take for you to set up?
Request a sketch of the layout from your photographer so that you’ll know what the instant print area will look like. Be particular with the visual presentation of the set up so that it doesn’t clash with your venue décor. No matter how much you spend on your décor and flowers, the sight of the power socket and all the intertwined wirings and the scattered tripods can certainly spoil everything.
5. How much will it cost me?
Just as with most of your other wedding needs, the following information is important to determine the cost: number of guests, event hours, and your special requirements. You can request for a customized package to suit your needs, or you can work the other way around by giving your budget and letting your photographer adjust to what you can afford, such as by working for fewer hours or giving you’re a lower print quota.
6. What is the quality of your prints?
Pricing will greatly depend on the quality of prints. So ask about the kind of printer, ink, and photo paper used to know that you’re spending for high quality prints. Go for a trusted brand for printer like Canon for efficient printing with original ink that creates superb color reproduction. For photo paper, opt for the kind with glossy water-resistant coating for long lasting prints.
7. What sizes do you have?
The most popular size that should readily be available in any instant print provider is the credit card size. Aside from that, 4R is also a standard size for instant print. Other service providers can offer 5R, 6R and even A4. But of course you don’t need all these sizes. You can pick at most two various sizes or even just have one size for all your prints.
8. Do you advertise on your prints?
You should request for a sample layout of your photographer’s advertisement on your instant prints to be sure that it wouldn’t get in the way of your customized template. The last thing you’d like in your photos are your photographers’ logo covering your monogram. Some studios give a discount if you let them advertise on the front side of your prints, while there are others who only place their marks at the back of the photos.
9. Do you have a system to accommodate all my guests and print efficiently?
You should know how the team will manage providing instant print to all your guests. Ask about their previous experiences in weddings and how they coped with unexpected demands. Know how they operate and if it can be done smoothly and efficiently without letting your guests cue too long and get the area crowded. Ask also if your photographer will be going around taking pictures of your guests for instant print or if it will be done only at one area.
10. What are your payment terms?
Ask about the retainer fee and balance percentages of the payment, as well as the schedule of payment. It’s safer for you and your photographer to have a contract or MOA to avoid any misunderstandings along the way on your deals and to protect your interests. Indicate specifically what are inclusive in your package, and any extras that you can avail as part of their service. This will protect you from being charged for something you thought was free later on.
As soon as you have a photographer in mind, discuss instant print sooner by getting clear and specific answers to the questions so that you can finalize your choices. Book the service as soon as possible because the demand of instant print is increasing. And if you decide on the last minute, you might not be able to get the service.
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