10 Commandments of a Successful Wedding Photographer by Dominic Lee
The 10 Commandments of a Successful Wedding Photographer: by Dominic Lee, AMPA.
1. Never ever take a booking without a booking fee (average 10%). A deposit is refundable while a booking fee is non refundable and explain that on your booking form.
2. Never ever smoke or drink alcohol while working and always dress as if you are a guest at the wedding. If you want to dress like “an artist” then take up wildlife photography.
3. Don’t give printable files without a printed album which shows what the quality is really like. Customers will use a cheap one hour photo service and stick them in an album that cost €1.99. Ever worse, they print them on cheap copy paper using the printer they got free with the computer which has all the colours of the rainbow in one cartridge and guess who they will blame for the poor quality?
4. Never panic, (if you are impatient, don’t be a wedding photographer).
5. Always carry a spare camera, flash and spare batteries that are fully charged.
6. At a religious service you should never take photographs during the Gospel or during the Consecration (it’s as disrespectful as doing a jig during the Nation Anthem) and never walk behind the altar during the service.
7. Always tell the Bride to lie to the hotel manager about the time of the ceremony by plus two hours. Banqueting managers never ever get the timing right and they always and I mean always blame the photographer when the wedding runs overtime. The fact that the bride was 30 minutes late at the church and they spent an hour outside the church after the wedding kissing and hugging 120 guests simply does not enter the hotel managers head when calculating dinner time.
8. Always advise the couple in writing that the price is only guaranteed for e.g. 3 months after the wedding and will increase annually by e.g. 20% as they can take years to place their order – “moving house“, “babies“, etc.
9. Never wait till after the wedding to get the balance, this should be paid in advance or at the latest on the wedding day. Did you ever hear of a couple paying for their honeymoon when they got back? Most of them have paid the travel agent 100% at least 6 months in advance and all other providers are paid their balance on the day.
10. Treat all the guests with respect and courtesy – 90% of them will never see your work and will only remember your attitude on the day.