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Building a Better Relationship
With Photographers

August 8th, 2011 by Jeannine

Wedding Photographer

I believe that having a good understanding about how your wedding vendors work will not only strengthen the client-vendor bond, it will also help the business relationship flow smoothly. I’ve decided to take an in-depth look at each specialty, this entry is about photographers and what couples can do to help them work more efficiently. I’ve surveyed a number of Vancouver wedding photographers, asking their opinions on the little things clients can do to help them out.

Details, Details

When inquiring about a quote, be sure to mention the date, time, venue, and how many hours of coverage you’d like. The more detailed the request, the more accurate the quote will be. Photographers also have varied schedules and may not necessarily be booked for the entire day. Being clear about when you’ll need them will help them give you a better answer about their availability. If somehow things don’t work out and you’ve decided to choose another photographer, let them know that you’ve moved on, they promise it won’t hurt their feelings :)

Photo vs. Video

If you’re hiring a videographer (amateur or pro), you should let your photographer touch base with them so they can talk about positioning. The last thing you want is for them to be stepping on each other’s toes and blocking that all-important shot. I’m sure it’s happened before that events, such as the first kiss, needed to be re-shot because someone got in the way. Knowing each other’s boundaries will prevent things like that from happening. Hiring a videographer from a reputable company is also encouraged because, for one, they may have dealt with your photographer before and know how they work, and if they haven’t, they follow certain  etiquette rules  and will know to be considerate of others who are also there to capture your day.

Timing is Everything

Discuss your itinerary with your photographer. An experienced photographer will be aware of how long certain shoots take and it varies from person to person. Writing up a photo list and figuring out the schedule of the day together with your planner will help reduce some unnecessary rushing around on the wedding day, plus it can help get all the shots you asked for on your list. Don’t forget to factor in travel and setup time too, two things that are often missed.

Keep Away “Extra” Photographers

You hired a photographer, didn’t you? So why are your guests working your wedding? Wandering guest photographers may be getting the shot they want, but it’s not letting your hired professional photographer get the shot YOU want. Photographers are strategic about their positioning to ensure that the angle and lighting  are perfect, and that nothing unpleasant is in the shot. If wandering guests block them, they are forced to move to a less optimal spot. Being professionals, they work with it anyway but to help them take the best photo possible, keep your guests in their seats. Your MC can make an announcement prior to the start of the ceremony so they will be aware.

Have Organized Shotlists

It’s encouraged to give your photographer a list of certain shots you want,  like decor details,  notable guests,  and especially a list of people involved with family formals.  Work with your coordinator and photographer so everyone is  aware who should be a part of the family photos. Of course, let your family members know that formals will be taken so they will stick around. This way, no time will be wasted looking for certain people around the venue.

Don’t Let Them Go Hungry

This is actually for anyone you hire that will be with you throughout the wedding day. Photographers can work from morning til late at night, lugging heavy gear around wherever they go. Imagine if you had to do that, you’d want a meal too right? It’s important to be considerate of your vendors. Include vendor meals in your budget, it’s something a lot of couples neglect to do. Some places have a discounted rate for vendors, others let you seat them in the room and have the same meals as the guests, others have them seated off to the side. In my opinion, have them sit and eat with the guests, that way, they can jump into action right away in case there’s a moment worth capturing. Most of all, food equals energy… a fed photographer = happy, alert, and always ready to shoot! Showing concern for your vendors is one way to show them that you appreciate all that they are doing for you on your special day. And last but not least…

Understand That A Contract Is A Contract

Cancellations are unfortunate, and no matter how bad the circumstances are, you still have to follow what the contract says. Photographers are businesses and they have to cover for any loss they may incur, which is what deposits are for. Photographers accept deposits to secure the wedding date for you, months, if not years before the wedding. If a client chooses to cancel, the photographer has lost other potential business and the deposit they keep covers part of that. That should be understood by both parties and not pushed, because at the end of the day, it is a business relationship and terms have to be respected. It is important to really read through the contract and only sign if you agree to all the terms.

Read other “Building a Better Relationship…” articles here.
Wedding Planner | Wedding Cake Baker

Feature Photo courtesy Shutterstock

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  • August 8th, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    Athalia's Photography says:

    Love this ! What a great advice Jeannine!

  • March 27th, 2012 at 10:24 am
    Martin says:

    Spot on!

  • August 5th, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    Tamea Burd Photography says:

    Fantastic advice, and you’re exactly right! Following these tips will ensure a good photographer/client relationship and great wedding photos!


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