This week, I was contacted by a bride who was in tears because she had been let down by her photographer. Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. On average, I have at least one phone call a month from a bride and groom who have been scammed by a wedding photographer. As a professional wedding photographer, it deeply upsets me that the profession is being put into disrepute by photographers with no morale compass. Unfortunately, the wedding photography business is ungoverned and therefore is open to brides and grooms being taken advantage of so I would like to give some advice to help couples being taken advantage of.
If you search the internet, there seems to be lots of advice on how to choose and pick you’re wedding photographer but most of this neglects in taking due diligence so I don’t want to give advice that is already out there so hopefully the steps below will help in ensuring that you avoid being taken advantage of. For me, the most important fact is meeting the photographer at their premises. That way, if something goes wrong, you know where they live or work. A lot of photographers can hide behind a mobile phone number and making visits to your home unfortunately, this is where you are most vulnerable because you do not know whether the photographer is legitimate or not and visiting them at their premises will help you avoid this pitfall. Make sure your photographer has the correct insurance. If necessary, ask to see documentation and if you want to be 100% sure, check with the insurance company that their documentation is legitimate. A photographer should have at least liability and indemnity insurance up to the value of £1million. The next process of due diligence: ask the photographer if he has a contact at a wedding venue who will give them a reference. Unfortunately, looking at testimonials on the internet or written testimonials can be fabricated. The next is to ask what type of equipment the photographer has and ask if he has back-up equipment and what will happen if the weather turns bad i.e. if it rains. Be suspicious of photographers who do not have high quality portable studio lights.
Hopefully the above should help you in making sure that you are not one of those brides or grooms who phones me up in desperation.
One last point, make sure you get on with the photographer and ask how he will be dressed for your wedding as you do not want a scruffy photographer attending a wedding when all your guests will be well dressed.