Step 4. Packages (and which one is right for you)
Knowing exactly what you’re getting from your photography package is really important. Knowing what you want from your package is even more so! Before you can make an informed decision on what you would like in your photography package, you need to consider what will work for you.
Do you want a wedding album? Would you like digital copies of all your images? How much of your wedding would you like covering by a professional photographer? Would you like a second photographer?
When you’ve worked out what you would like from your day, then you can start looking at packages.
Never assume that two photographers offer the same things, even if they’re advertising a similar price. One photographer may be all inclusive, while another may have the same price for their basic package.
Things to ask when discussing your package are:
How long does the photographer stay for?
This will vary depending on the photographer. Some people start their day from the preparations right through to late evening; others will stay until the first dance. If you don’t feel that you need them for that long, say so. Most photographers offer a part day package which may suit your needs better than their standard time.
How many photographers do I get?
Some photographers work alone, some like to work with a second photographer. What is happening on your day will change whether you need a second photographer or not. For example, if you require ‘getting ready’ images of both the bride and groom, and you’re in completely different locations, one photographer will struggle to capture this. If you’ll be in the same hotel, then one photographer will be able to capture both of you. Talk to your photographer about your requirements and ensure they’ll be able to capture all the images you require, and if this means another photographer being present.
Does the package include an album?
You may have decided that this is something that you don’t want, so don’t want to pay for it! If this is the case, explain this to your photographer. They’ll usually be more than happy to offer a discount if you don’t want an album from them. Similarly, if it something you definitely want then be sure it is included. Ask to see samples of the albums, and what options you have in terms of paper, covers and styles. If the album doesn’t come as standard then be clear on the prices before you book. Your budget is important, and you need to make sure your money will get you the package that you want.
Will I get a digital copy of the images?
Many photographers now offer a digital copy of your wedding photographs either on a CD or a memory stick. If this does not come as standard, ask how much extra it would be to get your images, and what they can be used for. Some photographers will give you files that are only suitable for online use while others may give you files that you can print. Make sure you’re happy with what is being offered.
Where do I sign?
This is possibly the most important part of your wedding package, the wedding photograph contract. No good professional photographer will work without having one of these. Along with other details, it highlights exactly what you’re paying, and what you’re getting for that price. It will cover which album (if any) will be in your package, when your photographer will arrive and leave, and if you’ll receive any digital copies of your photographs. If there is no contract, do not book. There have been cases where people have held back wedding photographs and demanded extra payments before they will release images to the newlyweds. Without a contract, there is nothing that can be done.