Friday, February 27, 2015

Photo Friday: Hiring an Event Photographer

Event Photography Sweet Sixteen Snowflake Party

You’ve done your research and finally selected a photographer for your event. Here’s how to make the process smooth for both you and the photographer and get the most bang for your buck.

What Do You Want?

Know what you want.  If you aren’t sure what you want, have a discussion with the photographer who will likely be able to make some suggestions and help you define what will meet your needs.

  • What is your budget?
  • Is there a particular style of images you want?
  • Do you want the final product to be prints, digital, a CD, an album, a photo book, or a combination?
  • Do you want formal or candid pictures?  
  • Do you want a photo booth?  
  • Are there certain people you want captured?  
  • Are there certain events that are essential?  
  • Are you sure the photographer you hired can produce the style you are looking for?  

Be sure to look at samples of their work and read reviews and testimonials. Make sure that the photographer you chose can give you what you want.


Once you know what you want, your next step is to make sure you have open communication with your photographer.  

Here are things you should ask:
  • What is your charge per hour?
  • Do you have a traveling fee?
  • What do I get for the money I paid?
  • What if I want something a little different?  (i.e. recently for a Sweet 16, the client only wanted images sized for facebook, no prints, etc.)
    • Can you do it?
    • Will it cost any extra?
  • Do you need me to bring anything?
  • Do you need a list of specific images I want you to capture?
  • What happens if I need to cancel the event?
  • Do you have a back up photographer in case you are ill or in an emergency?
  • What do you charge if I need you to stay beyond the original time we agreed upon?
  • How will the prints be delivered?  Will they be online?  Do I order them myself or do I tell you my order?
  • What is the timeframe within which I should expect to see my photos?
  • What happens if there is an equipment malfunction on your part?
  • Contract, expectations
  • Will the photographer be using your photos (portfolio, website, etc.)
  • How can I get in touch with you?

Here are things the photographer needs to know:
  • List of required photographs
  • what is the venue like?  Is it well-lit?  What kind of lighting?  
  • How many people are expected to attend?
  • What events will be occurring and in what order?  How will the photographer know where to be and when?
  • What are your priorities if events are happening simultaneously?
  • How many images are you expecting?


Are there props you are responsible for or a special backdrop?   Make sure you have all you need the night before.  If you have any issues be sure to communicate with the photographer.  He or she may have ideas or other equipment that may help.

It is best to have an extra list of images you need on hand in case one gets misplaced.  Also, if there are specific people the photographer needs to be able to identify, be sure you or someone you designate can point them out.  

Contract & Payment

Make a checklist of your questions and expectations, and be sure to cover (and get answers to) every one of them before signing a contract.  Find out how the photographer expects to be paid.  Often times there is a deposit involved to reserve the time.

Additional Considerations

Other items you may want to consider include: photographer’s insurance, if the photographer has back up equipment, and what happens in case of an emergency such as weather or illness.

Know that lower priced photographers are less likely to have insurance or back up equipment.  It’s a trade-off that you make for the price.

If the photographer does her job and does it well, you may want to consider tipping her for her time or providing a reference or testimonial.  Also, if she is someone you would consider referring to someone else, ask if there is an incentive program for referring a new client.  Often times the photographer would be happy to provide a discount on future services or a couple of free prints!

Shout Out!

The gorgeous cake at this Sweet Sixteen celebration was made by Mo Cake in Woburn, MA! It was as delicious as it was beautiful. Want to see more of her beautiful work? Check out her Facebook Page and show her some Facebook love!

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