Part 2—The Details

This second post in our 2-part series on “What to look for in a Wedding Photographer and Videographer” (here’s Part 1) will provide you with information on The Details of dealing with the photographer and videographer, including finding out about:

  • Backup equipment
  • Insurance
  • What’s in your contract
  • Working together
  • Day-of prep
  • Capturing the beauty of your venue

Do they come with backup equipment?

Please, please, please ask your photographer and videographer if they come to the wedding shoot with backup equipment. What if the strap breaks and the camera falls to the ground before the ceremony has started? What if the camera body is used frequently and the shutter breaks? Do they have multiple lenses in case a guest accidentally spills a beverage on the one lens with no spares? What is the weather changes and outdoor events have to go inside…are they prepared?

Are they insured?

Professional photographers and videographers should be covered in case something happens to their gear or something accidentally happens to one of your guests involving the cameras or video equipment…. like a light stand falls over on a guest on the dance floor and injures them.

Getting the most out of your contract

You won’t be able to pin down an exact dollar amount until you’re sure of what you want, how many albums, photos, the length of video you want, and where your shooters are based. Your contract should include:

  • What’s in the basic package, so you know the coverage time (the number of hours you want them at your venue shooting pictures and videos; full day or weekend, etc.) Ideally, you want your shooters to be there for your full wedding day—from when you start getting ready until after you make your grand exit from the reception.
  • How many shooters you’ll have.
  • The people who are shooting your wedding. (Make sure the people you interview actually are doing your wedding, and not less experienced associates.)
  • Nitty-gritty logistical details (time, location).
  • Cancellation policies.
  • Of course, the standard fee, so you can compare packages.
  • Overtime fees, if any.
  • An itemized list of the finished product. (Photography should itemize what’s in a standard package, a “shooting fee,” type of album(s), number of photos, etc. Video package should itemize: highlight reels, trailers, digital media files and the like.)
  • Any extras you may want, like an engagement photo or video session or, in the case of video, a same-day edit, special effects, and music.
  • What your rights are. (Who owns the rights to all photos and videos taken at the wedding? Can the shooters use them promotionally on their website, or blog, or in ads?)
  • Turn-around time. (Do you want to wait 5-6 months to view your photographs and videos? Can your photographer and videographer give you individualized and thoughtful attention if they are shooting a bunch of weddings or they have another full-time job?)

If it’s not outlined in the contract, don’t assume you’re going to get it. If you’re not sure and you want something, ask about it. 

While packages vary, most include everything from pre-ceremony events (getting ready with the bridesmaids or first-look photos) to the end of the reception. It’s usually better to pay for more coverage if there’s a chance you’ll run over and you definitely want your shooters there until the end (overtime is usually charged at a higher hourly rate).

Make sure your videographer and photographer work well together

Consider asking your photographer for any videographer recommendations…and vice versa. Since these two will have to work and cooperate in tandem, knowing they already have good chemistry and have previously captured weddings together can make a huge difference. While any professional should be able to work with well with the rest of your vendor team, a pre-existing rapport can’t hurt.

Day-of Prep

Remember that your photographer and videographer are the pros, so you shouldn’t spend too much time putting together a detailed photo or video list for them. Don’t try to micromanage.

Instead, pass along your day-of timeline, give them an idea of what images you’d like captured (for example, a shot with each of your bridesmaids in addition to wedding party portraits), and let them do their thing. Also give them a heads up on any familial or friendship intricacies they should be aware of, like divorced parents, a grandmother that needs to remain sitting for portraits or a groomsman and bridesmaids that don’t get along.

Capture the beauty of your venue

Call us slightly biased, but we believe at Six Pastures you get to welcome and entertain your guests in one of the most gorgeous lush landscapes on the planet, rich with history and charm. This beautiful Virginia countryside location is certainly one you’ll want to capture in photographs and videos for your big day.

When we talk to couples we recommend they select an appropriate photographer and videographer to suit the budget, style and location. One that will take the time to visit and become familiar with the location where your wedding will take place. Feel free to talk to us about hiring a wedding photographer and/or videographer from our preferred list, however we will enthusiastically work with whomever you choose.

Remember, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” And when it comes to a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding, every one of those sensitive, emotional pictures and every action-packed minute of video footage are valuable and should be sensitively, accurately and passionately recorded.