Monday, January 26, 2009

You get what you pay for?

One of things that I learned while doing my current crash course in everything wedding, is that many photographers will do a destination wedding for free. All we'd pay for is their flight and hotel room and they'd be there the whole time shooting photos (or, they wouldn't be working the whole time but they would be shooting more than just the wedding). It works out much cheaper than hiring a photographer and I emailed a few good ones yesterday and they all seem interested. I also love the idea of a professional photographer being on hand for most of the weekend. I'm a HUGE picture-taker and it almost bothers me that I won't really be able to do much snapping during our wedding weekend.

My fear, though, is that people who aren't paid for their work can't be relied upon to work. I'm concerned there is a higher probability that they won't show up, or will be more likely to slack if they do. Am I being unfair? I suppose I would do a good job in exchange for a free vacation somewhere warm, but would I do as good a job as if I were being paid for it? I'm not sure.

What say you all? Do we go with one of the "free" photographers or do we suck it up and hire one on the island (massively expensive, by the way).

9 comments:

  1. Make them sign a contract!!!! for the hours you expect them to work in exchange for flight& hotel. If you are dealing with a professional you should have no problem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with that, I do believe that paying their way down and hosting them is their form of payment. But it's true, if they are professional they'd sign some sort of contract that they'd be photographing the wedding, pre ceremony after party whatever it is, and should at least work x amount of hours. Just to make sure they dont think their job is to like photograph pre wedding pics and thats it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Aurelie CunninghamJanuary 26, 2009 at 3:48 PM

    If you want the name of our photo guy (who was GREAT throughout), I'll be happy to supply you with it. He was really wonderful to work with, and did me a favor by not having me pay for his hotel room, though we did pay for his flight and fee (which was really reasonable). We flew him here from San Fran... he had done my niece's baptism there, and we really liked his work. He now lives in North Carolina. Again, a total doll to work with! On the whole, I understand your concerns, but with a contract, you should be ok.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yeah, definitely! Send along his info.

    ReplyDelete
  5. And I'll look into what the photogs think of a contract. It's also kind of hard to be demanding or bossy about something like a contract when it's free, but yeah, it's not worth it to not have a contract.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is a tangential comment, but I would encourage your guests to bring digital cameras and send you the results. Wifey Kim and I received a ton of pictures or access to pics via Kodak Gallery and we ordered our own prints and made our own photo album separate from the one we paid for. Our guests took more pictures from more angles and, in fact, got better shots. Plus, it was MUCH cheaper and we were able to put together our own album a good year before we got the one we paid for, which incidentally was a waste of money when it was all said and done.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Along with the contract, see if you can get any references who also used him for a desination wedding, and ask them if he's a slacker. And ask if there were any other problems. (He was great until the bar opened, the bikini girls showed up, etc.)

    ReplyDelete
  8. As a photographer myself, I'd definitely do this but yes - make sure you get a contract. You'll need a contract anyways with a photog so just add in there what you want him/her to be responsible for when they are there that weekend. I had a fantastic photog at my wedding - will be happy to recommend if you want!

    ReplyDelete
  9. As an amature photographer myself (of the free variety), my honest take on it is you get what you pay for. Established (i.e. reputable) phographers will charge for a destination wedding. Personally, I would NEVER entrust somthing as valuable as my wedding photography to someone who is desperate enough to do it for free!! That means they are not established in the area and are looking to START establishing their business by doing it for free. Once they establish themselves, they will charge for it.

    My two cents is pay someone. You will kick yourself if you get a flake or he/she fails to do a good job. Trust me -- you really DO NOT want to go with the free photog.

    No matter what, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get a contract. There are plenty of websites that will tell you what you should ask for (i.e. ownership/rights over digital files, what size those files should be (you want full professional size), turn-around time, whether they will edit them in photoshop (you WILL want this), hours they will work (establish a ground base), range of # of pics you will get turned over (typical wedding gets 700 pictures), etc. etc.)

    In other words, if you care about photography, I suggest some heavy research about what you expect to get in return (and usually this will not come for free).

    I have no dog in this fight - this is free advice. I just hope you decide to go the paid-route. Id be sad if you were disappointed with your pics. It's one of the few things that will last into the future and can pass on to future generations. Totally worth the investment.

    ReplyDelete