8 Common Mistakes Most Couples Make While Hiring A Wedding Photographer


By Sephi Bergerson Last Updated:

8 Common Mistakes Most Couples Make While Hiring A Wedding Photographer

Every couple aspires for their wedding to be a picture-perfect affair. And, they leave no stone unturned to turn this dream into a reality. They look for the most exotic venue, hire the best vendors, select the most beautiful outfits, and everything else, which helps them to make their wedding truly memorable. However, when it comes to hiring a wedding photographer, not every couple might end up making the best decision because of their lack of knowledge about this art. In fact, there are a few mistakes, which most couples usually make while hiring their photographer.

Well, this can be a real spoiler in any couple’s dreams of having a perfect wedding, since, only the wedding pictures preserve the memories of this beautiful day. So, here are some common mistakes you must avoid, which most couples make while hiring a wedding photographer.

Mistake #1. Budget vs quality

Image Courtesy: Sephi Bergerson Photography

Having a professional wedding photographer is possibly the best investment that you can make for the most important day of your life. This is where you should not be looking for the cheapest, but for the best that you can afford. Remember, even if you stretch your budget a bit more on other aspects, it will be forgotten once the wedding is over. However, what will stay with you forever would be your wedding photographs. So, it is surely not a good idea to compromise on the quality of your photographs, just because they cost you slightly lesser than the good ones.

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Mistake #2. Interfering in his work

Many couples tend to give their suggestions to the photographer while getting themselves shot. What’s worse? They even reject the photographer's ideas at times, and compel them to do the things the way they feel is right. You have to understand that your photographer is a pro in his work, and hence, is well aware of how to give you the best wedding photographs. By dictating your own terms, you might just end up irking him; the result of which, can lead to you getting the mediocre quality pictures.

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Mistake #3. Prioritising quantity over quality

You might have a limited budget, and there is nothing wrong with that. But, this does not mean you need to compromise on the quality of your wedding pictures. There are ways to work around a small budget. However, those ways might not work at all if your preference would be to get more number of pictures than those better in terms of quality. Well, ask anyone. Isn’t it a better idea to have a bunch of great pictures in your drawer than having an album of mediocre images? Of course it is. And, if your budget does not allow you to get the album made right now, you can skip it for a while and get it made a little later. At present, simply focus on the quality of the photography, rather than worrying about the number of pictures you will get i your album.

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Mistake #4. Allowing others to shoot

Image Courtesy: Sephi Bergerson

Nowadays, it is pretty normal to see the guests clicking pictures of the couple with their cameras or at least, with their phones. Well, this can make the work of your photographer difficult, as the overenthusiastic guests might just come in their way when they might be about to capture a perfect shot. Agreed, that it might be difficult for you to stop them, but you can always tell this in advance to at least your close friends and family members. After all, it would be the best thing to let your photographer do this job, as he/she is paid to do it.

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Mistake #5. Booking a distant accommodation

This one is specifically for the couples, who hire a photographer residing out of their own city. You have to ensure that the stay arrangement of your photographer is done as close as possible, to your own place. And, in case you are having a destination wedding, then there could be nothing better than having your photographer in the same hotel where you are staying. This will ensure that your destination wedding photographer does not miss any important ceremony, and is easily available even at certain unexpected moments. Additionally, they will be saved from the hassle of travelling back and forth with entire camera gear, when there are a couple of hours between two ceremonies.

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Mistake #6. Mistaking copyrights and usage rights

Image Courtesy: Sephi Bergerson

Some couples might get mistaken by the idea that the pictures taken at their wedding for which they have paid, are owned by them. Well, prior to booking a photographer, you should be having these questions for him as well as yourself:

  • What is it that you are entitled to when you commission a photographer to shoot your wedding?
  • Who owns the images?
  • What rights do you have in your wedding images, and what rights, if any, does the photographer keep?

And, to know the answers to these important questions, you need to first have a basic understanding of intellectual property rights, and how they are different from usage rights.

  • Copyright is a legal right created by the law of a country, which grants the creator of an original work, exclusive rights to its use and distribution. Usually, these rights are provided for a limited time, with the intention of enabling the creator to receive compensation for their intellectual effort.
  • Moral rights are the rights of the creators of the copyrighted works, generally recognized in civil law jurisdictions and, to a lesser extent, in some common law jurisdictions. They include the right of attribution, the right to have a work published anonymously or pseudonymously, and the right to the integrity of the work.

So, you hire a photographer and in return for your investment, you are entitled to certain rights in the images. In the case of your own wedding images, these rights are usually limited to personal use. This means that you will be able to do whatever you want with the images as long as you do not use them for commercial purposes. So, at the end of the day, all you really need is the usage rights. At the same time, the photographer should still be able to be recognised as the creator of the work and keep his moral right. The photographer might want to use pictures from your wedding on his/her website for self-promotion, but will not be able to use images for any commercial use unless a model release is signed.

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Mistake #7. Not signing a legal contract

This is yet another mistake that many couples often make while hiring a wedding photographer- not signing a legal contract. Remember, whatever you decide and agree on with your wedding photographer should be put down in writing in a legal contract. This will save a lot of misunderstandings and help sort out issues that could potentially arise at a later stage. The agreement should mention the agreed number of days/hours of work, the number of edited/unedited images, the maximum delivery time, liability, ownership of the images, usage rights, payment terms, etc.

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Mistake #8. Ask for all the images

This issue, of course, occurs once the wedding is over. The couples usually ask their photographer to provide them with all the pictures (at times, even the unprocessed ones) clicked during their wedding. However, what you need to understand is that a professional photographer needs to hand the client, only the very best shots, edited to the best possible standard. And, the photos that are not chosen to be edited are left behind for a reason. So, there is no point bothering your photographer or even yourself for something that is not really of much use for you.

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Needless to say, pictures are the only way to preserve the memories of the most beautiful day of your life. And one of the keys to get the best wedding pictures is, to let an expert do this task. So, all you have to do now before finalising a professional photographer for your wedding is, to keep these tips in mind so as to avoid any goof-ups.

Article by Sephi Bergerson: He is an international wedding photographer based in India, with extensive experience of covering weddings all over the subcontinent.


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