When planning an event people usually focus on the right catering hall, the right catering service, the music band, and the decorations. They worry about seating arrangements and what the environment will be like. However, the most important thing they overlook is hiring the right photographer for the job. Sure, its important to impress the guests and create the most memorable experience possible, but once that event is over, there is nothing left but memories.
And memories are our most valuable possessions because we can look back on them and recreate the wonderful times we had. But as the time goes by our memories fade away and we only remember bits and pieces of these important events and experiences. That is why it is so important to hire the right photographer so that he can capture these moments for many years to come. When we say photographer, we don’t just mean someone with a camera taking pictures. A professional event photographer usually has many services included in the package such as recoding videos, setting up proper lighting and coordinating strategic camera placements to best capture the event from all sides.
Here are some things to consider and different ways to identify the right professional photographer for your event.
Do your homework
Once you start shopping for a photographer you will notice that there are many photographers to choose from. These days anyone with a camera and an interest in taking photos thinks they are a photographer and are convinced they are experienced enough to do the job. But being a professional photographer is not an easy task. It takes many years of experience in both taking photos and organizing the right crew for the job. As a photographer you need to know how to setup proper lighting, capture the right angles of the event, edit photos and videos as well as many other things. That is why it is important to do some homework before hiring the right photographer for the job.
The first and the most reliable way to find an experienced photographer is usually by asking your friends and family. If they have planned a similar event in the past, there’s a good chance they have hired a photographer and if that photographer did a great job they would most likely recommend them to you. That is why worth of mouth is the best way to go. It is most trusted.
If you don’t know anyone that can recommend a photographer, the next best thing is looking online. A great place to find ratings and reviews for businesses and services is a website like Yelp.com Yelp is a business directory which allows visitors to leave real time, honest reviews about the experiences they have had with the vendor. Spend some time on Yelp and read the reviews on several photographers and see which one best fits your needs. Once you found the right photographer, it is now time to setup an interview.
Meet and interview
Ratings and reviews are great but now we need to ask the right questions to make sure they meet all your needs and requirements. This is your special event, and you want your photographer to be on the same page as your and bring the right vibes to the party.
When interviewing a photographer, you need to ask all the right questions so there are no surprised.
Ask if they require a written contract. It is important to have a list of exactly what is included in the photographer’s services so there are no surprised. Also, the photographer may want assurances that all expenses will be paid on time and to hold you as the customer accountable.
Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Nothing gives you a peace of mind like another person giving you’re a recommendation for great job they have received from a vendor you’re about to hire. Any experienced photographer has performed enough jobs to accumulate references which they will be more than happy to share with you if they want your business.
Inquire about their experience level. What kind of events have they worked on? How large where these events and how many people did it accommodate? Do they have enough people in their crew to accommodate such events?
And most importantly don’t forget to ask for samples from their previous jobs. What better way to evaluate their experience than by seeing the photos and videos they have taken of past events. Experienced photographer usually have a ready portfolio of their work for when they need to show it to new potential clients.
Discuss your budget
When it comes to the budget you need to be clear and upfront with your photographer. You need to discuss exactly how much you’re looking to spend, what the upfront costs are and if there are any additional charges such as putting the content on disk or making a video or even editing phones.
You may be expecting the photographer to include these expenses in the agreed upon price but that is not always the case. Make sure to go over the number of hours him and his crew will be required to be present and if there are any required breaks they will need to take. Also it is customer to provide food and beverages but it is not required. These and other things need to be agreed upon before agreeing on a budget.
Book in Advance
As we have mentioned above, the photographer is usually last on your to do list after the catering hall, the decorations, the food and the band, but by know I hope we have made our case that the photographer is one of the most important if not the most important part of your event since many years later the only thing you have left form that event are the memories and the photos. That being said, good photographer should be booked way in advance. It is unwise to try and book a photographer last minute because there is a very good chance, they will not be available when you need them.
Photographers just like any other service vendor needs to prepare for your venue and make the necessary arrangements with their crew as well as rent all the necessary equipment they may need to service your event. And in the unlikely chance you do manage to find a photographer on short term notice, you will end up paying way above market price because of the limited time frame.
In conclusion we suggest meeting with your photographer face to face before finalizing any kind of deals. I good way to do that is to invite them for a coffee or perhaps meet them at their place of business.