How to hire a wedding photographer. | Wedding & Portrait Photographer Lexington KY | Kristen Ellis

How to hire a wedding photographer

How does all this all work anyway?

Here is how to hire a wedding photographer, and is concentrated more towards the contracts, retainer fees, and timelines common with wedding photography. This may vary between photographers, but this is what you can expect from the majority of professional wedding photographers. If you need help on choosing wedding photographer, read my How to Choose a Wedding Photographer.

  1. Decide on your photographer. You’ve viewed multiple galleries, reviewed your budget, and now you need to choose one photographer who’ll capture your wedding in the style you love. Once you’ve chosen them…
  2. Email/Call/Text/Hire a Singing Telegram. Okay, maybe not the last one. Although, that would be an awesome start to a day and certainly memorable. Contact them and include the following information to see if they are available, if they have galleries of similar venues, and within your budget.
    • Names
    • Wedding Date
    • Venue
    • Budget for Photography
  3. Schedule a meeting/consultation. Once they email back and if they are available, meet with them. Either for coffee, lunch, over Skype if they live a bit far from you, or schedule a phone consultation. Bring all your questions so they can answer them.
  4. Decide on services or a package. If you love them, decide on the services you want so they can draw up the contract for you.
  5. Sign the contract. Review the contract and ask questions about it if you are unsure about something. Then sign the contract once your questions are answered. Don’t hire a photographer if they don’t use contracts.
  6. Pay the retainer fee. In order to save your date, photographers require a retainer fee or booking fee as some call it. This reserves your date and usually covers any work they do towards your wedding prior to the day itself. Such as scouting locations, communication time, planning, etc. This fee should go towards the total of your wedding package. So, if your package is $5000, and your photographer requires a $2000 retainer, then the total amount due after you pay the retainer would be $3000. Once you pay the retainer, you just hired your photographer! Woot! Now what?
  7. Pay your balance. A standard practice in wedding photography is paying the balance in full about 30 days prior to the wedding. This timeframe can differ among photographers and how they’ve set up their business, but this is simply the common practice.
  8. Confirm details. Communicate about family photos, shot lists, timelines, etc. If you’ve hired a professional wedding photographer, they will usually send you an email or questionnaire about these things in the months leading up to your wedding.
  9. Get married. It’s wedding time! Now just trust your photographer to get the job done, and have an amazing wedding.
  10. Photo delivery. This will vary greatly among photographers and could depend on if your wedding is during busy season. A standard is no more than eight weeks from your wedding, but could go up to 12 weeks if it’s peak wedding season.

That’s it! That’s how hiring a wedding photographer works. If you want to know more about my process and what I do for my couples, click here!


Wedding Photographer Lexington KY | Portrait Photographer Lexington KY
(859)-619-3631 | 3276 Waterford Park Lexington, KY 40517 | kristen@kristenellis.com

 
 

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