#WeddingWednesday Could your photographer be totally incompetent?
It was the middle of the afternoon, during the Polar Vortex, I was awaiting my camera’s return from Nikon where it was undergoing maintenance. I have been doing so much “office work” lately in my down time. Networking, website upgrades and designing marketing materials and of course surfing the web. It was during all of this down time when I discovered a local “photographer” being featured by a prominent person in our local wedding industry. This “professional photographer” was totally and completely inexperienced. Obviously we all start somewhere, and I wish him/ her the best of luck, but I am infuriated that this wedding professional would recommend a photographer with no technical skills and a consumer- level camera as a “Wedding Professional” He/She WILL ruin someone’s wedding I promise that, and it makes me feel so bad for the unknowing and trusting brides involved.
This situation really got me thinking about brides who are looking for their photographer and the challenges that they face. During my own search for a photographer I became so frustrated that I eloped! I just couldn’t deal with the pressure. In my http://www.travels I came across a blog that brought a whole new problem to light for me; stopstealingphotos.com This blog is dedicated to calling out photographers who steal images from other more talented photographers or from stock photo companies for their portfolio, to give themselves a boost. At first as a photographer, I thought oh wow, that is a great way to help deter copyright infringement. But it only took reading a few posts for it to hit me- these photographers are scamming brides. The Brides who hire them think they are getting the talented photographers who produced the portfolio work displayed on the websites. This one in particular, is audacious! The “photographer” who has numerous aliases actually tried to pass off Mark Zuckerberg’s wedding image as their own!
It only took a little while for me to see site after site after site to realize that these photographers are everywhere, lying about who they are how much experience they have and what images they have taken. What should you do?? Keep reading for a few tips on finding a photographer you can trust.
- The wedding industry is a big and profitable machine. Anyone can get promoted for a fee, so just because you see a “professional” at a wedding show, fair or affiliated with an organization, does not mean they are a professional. The proof is in the Pudding, look for actual real client testimonials. Google places is a great place to start, as well as Wedding Wire, and even Facebook now has a rating feature.
- Ask how many weddings he/she has photographed. They can still lie about this, but most people who can lie online don’t have the heart to do it when confronted directly. There is no “right” answer for this question, but knowing the number of weddings your photographer has photographed will allow you to judge how experienced he/ she is.
- Start with word -of- mouth. Ask your friends and family who they would recommend, perhaps they can even show you their wedding images.
- A few other things to ask are how many images can I expect, how long will it take to get them back? and what will you do if there is an emergency on my wedding date? Are you insured and licensed? A seasoned professional will be able to provide clear and well thought out answers to these common questions.
- Last, and most important of all- A contract. Do not ever ever ever….hire a wedding photographer without a contract. Contracts are for the best interest of everyone, and tell you in writing exactly what you get for your investment.
Hi! I’m Shanna, Wife, Mother and Wedding Photographer in Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Lexington, Thomasville, and Kernersville North Carolina and surrounding areas. For more about me, or to see if we have some stuff in common; check out these random facts and photos. If you’re interested in becoming a client, visit me at Shannaduffy.com for more information.