So how do you choose a wedding or portrait photographer,
With the developments in digital technology meaning digital SLR cameras are accessible by all; it’s not hard to see new wedding photographers and portrait photographers springing up all over the place.
Been studio and wedding photographers ourselves we hear too many sickening stories of clients that have booked a so called professional and ended up calling into our studio to see if we can do anything with the images they cocked up. Well firstly we can’t due to copyright laws, but your heart goes out to these people. Your wedding day is a one off day, a special and emotional day. So for a so called professional photographer to mess up your wedding images it’s bound to cause heartbreak.
We hear at wedding fairs that all important phase – “my uncles a professional photographer, he’s taking our images”. I know of plenty of this kind of case but one stands out most. A “professional” uncle turned up to take a brides big day with a 3 megapixel “compact” camera, so when the bride brought the images into us to get our opinion, if we could edit them for her. I was distraught to see that firstly they where all under exposed (too dark) which can only be marginally fixed due to the fact he had taken them all in compressed JPEG his second error and his worst and final error was that in every image the people where 2mm high max, leaving too much sky, so his composition was completely off. This was to such an extent the bride and groom could not distinguish who was who.
It wasn’t that long ago that a photographer from County Durham was successfully sued for lack of care with his wedding images.
Another story we hear all too often, is about one so called pro photographer. A year and a half has gone by and some client’s still haven’t got their images and only have small proof images to remind them of their wedding day. Another story with the same photographer was that he rang the wedding venue just as the wedding was about to start and stated he was running late…….. He never turned up! The client’s now £800 out of pocket and long legal battle a head to get it back. This particular photographer is been investigated by the police.
A proper dedicated professional photographer will have Public liability insurance, indemnity insurance and data loss insurance, this way if the photographer looses any of your images the insurance company will pay to restage your wedding so the images can be recaptured (usually up to £75,000)
They will also be member of various societies such as the BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) or the RPS (Royal Photographic Society) or perhaps the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers). With most of these societies the photographer needs to have reached a certain quality with their images before been accepted to become a member and once accepted they have to abide by the rules of the society which covers you as the client.
Check especially for portrait photography that the photographer gets you to sign a model release form this makes sure they have your written permission to take and publish your images. If you’re not happy publishing them, then simply say or write it on the form, of which you can ask for a copy of. Also check if the photographer is CRB checked (Criminal Records Check) and any photographer should be happy to show you their certificate, especially working with children.
Understandably these things all add cost to the various packages offered to you by the photographer, but surely to be covered from every angle, especially with wedding photography is priceless to you as a client? After all like most things in life … you get what you pay for!
So we feel we need to give you engaged people and those looking to get that important family portrait some ideas what to look for and what to ask:
- How long have you been trading?
- Are you insured for Data loss?
- Are you a member of any societies?
- Can we see you CRB?
- What happened if you don’t turn up?
- Can we see you Terms & Conditions?
- Do you have a studio?
So be warned check before you book and make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for and at least you’re covered if your not!…. not forgetting to read the small print before signing anything.