My Uncle/Aunt/Sister etc wants to photograph our wedding too, what do I say/do?

It can be difficult managing family members expectations at weddings, most friends and family members simply want to have a momento from such a special occasion but it can cause problems when it impacts on my ability to capture your special moments, these moments are often fleeting and as such people standing between the camera and the happy couple mean that these moments are lost.

Diplomacy is always the best approach when it comes to friends and family. Here are some suggestions on what to say.

  1. “it says in our contract that other photographers are not allowed to shoot because they get in the way and can actually spoil some of the photos” or
  2. “we would rather you just came and enjoyed the wedding”

If it easier just blame me, unless your family member is a professional wedding photographer they aren’t going to outshoot me no matter what gear they have or how good they say they are. Im sure they mean well but my job is to give you the best images possible and other photographers impact on that. If need be I will politely talk to them and explain why and if need be I will give them some photographic assignments to do which will keep them busy and out of my way 😉

How would you describe your style?

Personality wise I’d describe myself as an easy going, affable kind of guy and I use my experience in photography to make the process as quick, fun and minimally invasive as possible.

I would describe my shooting style as being mostly journalistic, I like to capture special, fleeting moments in a candid, natural manner rather than the typical “you stand there, smile and say cheese” style. The formal shots are generally quick and easy and I direct people in a natural manner with poses that don’t feel like poses. One of the comments I get most is that I have really captured peoples personalities and to me that is extremely important.

As far as editing goes, I like to work with my clients to edit to their taste. I like a very natural and intimate feel to my images and I really love black and white.

Do you offer engagement sessions?

Yes I do! I strongly suggest couples consider an engagement shoot – it gives us an opportunity to work out the most natural and flattering poses and it is an excellent way to minimise nerves for the big day. Whilst grooms in particular can be reluctant to participate I have found that it has made them far more relaxed and natural on the big day.

I’m a bit self-conscious / nervous about being photographed.

Truth be told I hate being photographed too so I have learned how to shoot in a way that makes the photography side of things as easy as possible if you don’t feel completely at ease. In fact the majority of people feel self conscious in front of a camera. I have had lots of experience in photographing people and it is something I am very good at, rest assured that I’d be applying that knowledge and experience on the day. If you have any concerns about being photographed let me know and I’ll do whatever I can to accommodate your needs.

My partner and I are a same sex couple, is this a problem?

No, your sexuality is irrelevant to me and my crew, if you love someone and you want to commit to them then I would be proud to record it.

How do I book you?

I require a $300 deposit and a signed and returned copy of my Service Agreement to book your wedding date. Once received, I remove that date from my calendar.

The deposit is non-refundable, once received I refuse other work requests for a week on either side of your day and in doing so risk incurring financial loss should you change your mind. The deposit is transferable to another person or for another photographic service should unforseen circumstances arise pending availability of the new date.

Payment

The balance of funds for your package is due 5 working days before the ceremony, non-payment will be considered a breach of contract resulting in a forfeiture of the deposit. Due to production costs images – prints and other products will not be released until all outstanding monies are paid in full.

Pre-arranged payment plans are available for wedding packages leading up to your wedding day, there is no additional cost for doing so.

What happens if we need you for longer on the day than we anticipated?

It isn’t a problem unless stipulated otherwise, I am more than happy to accommodate extra time and there is a charge stipulated on the price list / quote.

If we are heading towards an overrun on the day I will discreetly notify you as we approach that time and seek direction from you at the soonest convenient time (i.e. not in the middle of a speech). Over runs result in paying overtime to assistants and use of consumables and needs to be passed on to clients. It is important to note that it is up to you or your appointed person to advise me when to stop shooting rather than have me continually interrupting you to confirm the same. Over runs are charged in 1 hour blocks and must be paid for before any images and products will be released.

Do you provide video footage?

I don’t shoot video for a number of reasons but most importantly because I concentrate on stills, video requires extra equipment, extra time to set up and whilst images can be lifted from video footage they are not of the same quality that a dedicated stills photograph provides. I do know a number of video specific providers and can supply their details upon request.

What happens if you get sick/injured/hurt?

If something happens to me I can assure you that I will be doing whatever it takes to cover your special day. The main priority will be arranging another photographer to step in but I have never missed a wedding yet, as a sole trader I cannot afford to treat your wedding with anything less than with the utmost respect. I have worked extremely hard to develop my reputation and as far as I am concerned it is on the line every time I shoot – the last thing I would do is disrespect your big day. If I become sick/injured/hurt through my own misdeeds you will not incur any financial loss.

If the bride or groom get sick injured or hurt I will do whatever I can to accommodate their needs, this will be subject to availability and location.

The day of the shoot.

To get best value for money it would be a great help to have easy access to locations, I carry a lot of gear so quick and easy access to locations especially car spaces means I spend less time walking and more time shooting.

Please ensure that you keep me in the loop with any changes for the day and give me as much information as possible before your wedding day – a printed time line of the day is extremely important.

I understand that weddings can be lively and I will certainly extend lots of latitude and understanding but in the event of any threat of wilful damage to photography equipment, violence or sexual harassment toward my staff or myself I will approach you with a view to resolution where possible. Any actual wilful damage, violence or sexual harassment will result in an immediate cessation of coverage.

What do we get for our money?

Packages include –

  • Images from the day in print size as well as social media optimised images on a high quality USB.
  • A password protected online gallery
  • A high quality slideshow of selected images on USB,
  • An album provided by a high quality, Australian owned and operated printer to the value you wish – less the cost of voucher included in your package.

We’d like more than / less than what appears on your pricelist.

If you have a special request or needs that extend beyond the pricelist I am more than happy to provide you with a personalised quote. Package 1 however is my base package. Package 1 provides a fairly thorough coverage for most couples providing a consistent level of quality in recording your big day.

Do you travel to shoot weddings?

I do travel for weddings, whilst based in Coffs Harbour I am more than willing to travel to cover your wedding. So far I have covered weddings as far south as Canberra and as far north as the Queensland border. Travelling can incur varying charges according to distance but any additional charges will be covered in your quote.

Can I have the RAW images?

RAW images are the straight from camera images and are not available to clients. The reason for this is that having the finished image and RAW image gives people an instructional in how I shoot, process, retouch etc. – it is like going to a restaurant, paying for dinner and then wanting the recipe as well.

How many images do we get?

This question is difficult to provide a definitive answer to due to the many variables from wedding to wedding. A very rough guide is 100 per hour though it is worth noting that there will be more than 100 in some hours and less than 100 in others.

I do not include images where key people have momentary unflattering poses (think of Beyoncé’s Super bowl dance photos), shots where someone is blinking / half blinking, where the flash didn’t fire, camera didn’t focus properly, someone walked in front of the camera or shots where I have shot multiple identical shots (i.e. 6 identical photos per second). It is in my best interest to give the best quality and quantity of work, which I will do, there is no benefit in ditching perfectly good shots.

Copyright?

Copyright is intellectual property rather than physical ownership. I provide clients with a written release for unlimited prints and sharing of your images. In retaining copyright I am able to use selected images for promotion, competition etc. It is in my interest to ensure your happiness with me and I always consult with clients before using images in this way.

Boudoir or preparation shots are never published without consultation with my clients. I value the trust and confidence clients have in me, it is a very important part of my business.

How does the album design process work?

Once editing is complete I will send you the link to an online gallery of all your images, from there you select the images you want in the album and I compile them on a virtual album layout. From there you can advise on any changes to the format and once satisfied with the layout your order is sent to the printer – at this time a 50% deposit is required before printing starts.

I have been a fully insured and accredited professional photographer since 2013. This is important because some venues will not allow uninsured photographers to work on premises. I can provide you with a copy of my Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance to show your venue.

Do you require a seat and meal at the reception?

I believe that your wedding is for your family and friends and prefer not to sit at tables with guests. I would honestly rather you invited another guest. My crew and I bring our own provisions, during down times we may have a bite to eat and drink. I generally do not shoot during meals as most people don’t appreciate being photographed when eating.

Why do you have a Service Agreement when other photographers don’t?

As an AIPP member I am required to supply you with a service agreement which both parties have to sign. The agreement spells out exactly what you are paying for and what my responsibilities are in return, there are numerous stories of unethical photographers on social and traditional media failing to deliver on promises or misleading clients. I encourage you to read the service agreement and ask any questions you might have.