Tuesday, June 28, 2022

What to Look Out for When Hiring Wedding Photographers?


Featured Photographers:
Jazreel from Justrealle Photography.
Jordan from Twist Photography.

As you remove the bobby pins from your hair and sleep the alcohol away, what’s left of your wedding is a marriage to look forward to and of course, the photos.

Photos tend to be one of the most important aspects couples focus on for their wedding. There are good reasons for that because photos are the tangible things you can hold onto to remember the day by and to relive the moments you might have missed.

So, you know you need to find not only a good photographer but also the right one. Yet with so many photographers in Singapore, how do you even begin this painstaking process of sourcing a suitable one for you? It is more than just style and angles, we assure you. You should also know what to look out for, what you will need and perhaps also how you may relate with them on a more personal level.

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In this article, we lay out 5 steps you can use to guide your sourcing process. We hope these insights help you find the right photographer!

Step One – Enquiring

When you enquire with photographers, have these basic information ready:

  • Your wedding date
  • The duration of their service you require or at least a rough flow of the day

This way, the photographer can let you know if he/she is available on your wedding date, and their service rates. From there you know to keep communicating with them or to move on to other options.

Step Two – Package Inclusions

There are hundreds of photographers in Singapore, and correspondingly many ways they have packaged their services. Some photographers even provide videography service in-house, while some others may work with videography companies to put together a package.

For a start, your photographer should cover these common terms or inclusions in their packages:

  • Number of hours included
  • Number of photographers
  • Returns or what they will deliver
    • Number of edited photos returned
    • Number of unedited photos returned
    • How are photos delivered – digital transfer/ online gallery/ thumbdrive
    • Printed photos or albums
  • Any surcharges required, for example:
    • Morning surcharges (for services that starts early in the morning)
    • Additional hours of shooting
    • Transport surcharges (such as weddings at Sentosa Island)
    • Crew Meals requirement

If any of these are not addressed, you can always ask them to prevent any misalignment in expectations later.

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Step Three – Analysing Packages and Understanding Your Requirements

Now that you have a few packages, you will need to understand what your wedding requires, or what are your preferences.

Number of Hours

Are you having a full day wedding with a lot of travelling from location to location? Such weddings will usually require 8 hours to 10 hours of photography service.

For a simplified celebration where all the events are held at the wedding venue itself including fetching of the bride, tea ceremony, solemnisation and reception, you will usually require 4 hours to 8 hours of service.

For a simple ceremony followed by a reception, you will typically need about 4 to 6 hours of service.

You can also share your day’s flow and itinerary for the photographer to advise how many hours will be suitable for you. Their service coverage usually begins at the bride’s home as the bride is getting her hair and makeup done.

Number of Photographers

In Singapore, most photographers shoot solo but increasingly more couples are opting to have a second photographer. You may think why do you need 2 photographers if you are having an intimate wedding?

Having 2 photographers allow for more angles to be covered. For instance, at key moments, they will be able to capture more people and expressions – in the case where a bride is marching down the aisle, one photographer can focus on the couple and bridal party, while the other can focus on family members and guests.

Also, most photographers begin their service at the bride’s home, so if you would like some coverage of the groom in the morning as he’s getting ready, having a second photographer will let you do that!

Pre-COVID-19, Jordan from Twist Photography usually have an assistant for big weddings with more than 300 guests. “In the current situation, due to the restriction to the number of pax in a household and area, I work alone for most of the shoot.”

Returns

Photographers will usually advise how many images you can expect in return depending on the number of hours you have engaged them.

For a full wedding day of up to 10 hours, Jordan’s clients can expect around 500 to 600 photos. Other photographers, however, may return all good images like what Jazreel does, “Usually as long as the photo looks good I’ll return! So, I don’t restrict on the number of images to return, I will return based on the amount of content shot that day!”

Another key thing to consider is how would you like to store your wedding photos.

Do you prefer physical photos and albums over digital copies? Some photographers include photo album printing in their packages, and they will assist in the layout and design process of the albums as well.

If you prefer to keep things digital, consider if you have your own cloud storage. Digital copies are typically easier to share for instance by uploading the photos to Facebook yourself or if you prefer, to have a website link to an online gallery sent to your friends and family. An Online Gallery is a more popular option these days, and for couples who want to keep these moments private, you can opt to have it password locked too!

Surcharges

Do not just look at the cost of the photographer’s service! Take note of surcharges that you may incur in terms of early call times or additional hours.

Step Four – Other Considerations

Besides the basic inclusion, here are some other considerations you may want to delve into:

Lead Time

How long does it take for a photographer to process and deliver the photos after the wedding? Editing takes time and photos will not be ready the day immediately after your wedding! Jazreel shared this as a common misconception, “That editing is easy! Hahaha, editing takes up a huge bulk of our time!”

As a general guide, common lead time for wedding photographers in Singapore is between 8 weeks to 16 weeks after the wedding day.

Portfolio

Don’t just based your decision by scrolling your photographer’s Instagram page! As we all know, Instagram is a curated feed and what is shown may not be a full representative of the photos you can expect. A better reference will be the photographers’ full album portfolios. Request to view these so you’re able to have a sense of their photography style through the entire day.

You may also ask photographers for weddings that are similar to your day’s flow or at the same venue for a better reference of their work.

Personality and Workflow

Perhaps one often forgotten aspect is your photographer’s personality and style of working. Get a good understanding of their workflow so that you can work together with them to create the best pictures throughout the day.

For instance, if you need help in posing for photos, ask them if they can guide you in this aspect. Or if your family is more fluent in a certain language or dialect, ask them if they can speak that too so that interaction among key people on the wedding day can be more personal and dynamic, which will only result in better pictures.

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Step Five (Finally!) – Wedding Prep Before the Big Day!

Before the big day, discuss the following areas with your photographer:

Crew’s Meal

Do think about your vendors during your wedding day! They are human too and arranging for simple meals for them will be helpful to keep their stomach full and get back to work quicky!

Crew’s Transport

If you’re doing quite a bit of travelling throughout the wedding day, do consider the transportation for your photographer and videographer. They may not drive or prefer not to drive so that they do not lose the chance to capture precious moments while trying to find parking lots!

Site Recee and Location

Let your photographer know the locations they will be shooting as this will help them greatly in terms of logistics and equipment planning. Arrange for a site recee if needed or else share with them snaps of the space they’re going to be working with as what Jordan has explained here “We will advise couple to send photos of the suggested tea ceremony areas at their home/venues so that we know how the lighting and space is like, and that there is no messy background in the location we are shooting.”

If you’re having special lighting effects or ambience lights at your wedding venue, share with them too as “This will help us to manage unexpected blast of bad lighting that disrupt the moments of the wedding.”


And that’s how you get things sorted before you get yourself camera-ready! We hope this helps you in your search for the perfect person behind the lens! Head over to our Directory to get started!

Special thanks to Jazreel from Justrealle Photography and Jordan from Twist Photography for sharing their insights with us!



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