It seems that anyone “with a good camera” is seen as a potential wedding photographer.
There are so many suppliers out there. Everyone with a camera and kit can call themselves professional. So how do you tell the difference between a skilled artist and someone who is masquerading with someone else’s work ? Naturally, you will be able to distinguish from the chalk and cheese and go with your instinct as to what is quality and what is substandard. Remember that every industry has it’s fair share of beginners, experienced professionals and rogue traders. Below are a few pointers as to how you can spot the real deal from the time wasters.
1) Very Cheap Pricing
Rogue traders will attempt to lure you in by offering supremely cheap rates. It could also be the mark of an inexperienced or amateur trader, who doesn’t know how services should be priced. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This is why it is important to do your research to determine the market price range for similar job. We recommend getting at least three quotes from a range of suppliers so you can be sure their prices are appropriate. Be sure to get a like for like comparison. The variable include date, duration of cover, number of photographers. What you get at the end. The skills and experience of the people shooting the wedding. The equipment used to shoot and process the work after the big day. Once you’ve looked at a few peoples work. Quality is something you can often judge by looking at the product and talking to the suppliers. Go with your instinct!
What we do ?
Our prices are not the cheapest nor are we at the high end of the market. We know where we are with regards to our own work and where it sits in the industry. We have taken the time to research and understand the market to see what is out there. So when someone says ‘you are too expensive’ or the price is too ‘high’, our usual response is ‘compared to what?’. For the hours and time that is involved, we are confident that our prices are very competitive. As a business there are so many costs that are not visible such as overheads and what happens after the images have been captured i.e the editing stage. We don’t like cutting corners or compromising on quality. For this reason, our prices are what they are. We really don’t mind price comparisons or people who genuinely are looking for a deal. We are happy to discuss prices and explain why our prices are what they are.
2) Unwilling to provide a written quote
Legitimate suppliers are happy to provide written quotes for work. Rogue traders are unwilling to put costs in writing because they do not want to commit to anything, usually because they do not intend to do what they have promised. Many couples do not realise there is a difference between quotes and estimates. A quote is an offer to do the work for a set amount and once agreed, that offer must be adhered to. An estimate is a best guess at how much a job will cost. Some rogue traders will only offer estimates. While there may be legal recourse if the estimate turns out to be unrealistic, the safest thing to do is to get an actual fixed quote in writing before you commit to having work done.
We provide a full written quote up front once we get the date, hours and location. The quote outlines all costs to include things that you might want after the wedding. For instance this could be bigger story books or perhaps additional pages or edited images.
3) Can’t provide references
Most reputable traders will have a string of good references that they would be happy to share with a prospective client. You wouldn’t apply for a job without references to support your application; if a trader is not able to supply you with a single positive recommendation from a former client, this should be a major cause for concern.
We have a string of clients who would be happy for you to make contact with them. Simply ask and we will give you details of people you can contact.
4) Overly keen to start the job
Rogue traders are often keen to start a job quickly because they are already planning on moving to a new area, or are concerned about the authorities catching up with them. Reputable traders will work with you to find a time that is mutually convenient. We work with you to produce a time-line that reflects your events. We will then plan our level of involvement. We also understand your expectations on how involved you would like to be from the start.
5) Will not provide any contact or business information
A reputable business will have a landline and a registered business address. Many will also have a website or some form of online presence. If a tradesperson is reluctant to share details about their company, it could be because they are not a legitimate tradesperson. A trader might also be reluctant to share details because their reputation is so poor. For both of these reasons, it is important you obtain as much information as you can from a trader about their business. If in doubt, ask to visit their premises and request proof of credentials and qualifications.
We will provide our business details from the start. This includes our address, website details and social media details. We meet all of our couples before we take the booking.
6) Lies about credentials
Many couples assume that if a trader has a website or a social media presence they must be professional. Anyone can create a website and it’s not unknown that images can be grabbed from google to create fake profiles. Ask to see the artist’s current work looks like and details about who the clients are. A full wedding from start to finish shows the style and what you can expect. We have been in business for over 12 years and have lots of work from start to finish to show you.
7) Only accepts cash or demands full payment up-front
Many rogue suppliers will ask for a full payment upfront without any written plans, making it easy for them to leave without finishing the job and leaving you with little negotiating power if the work is poor. Avoid this by ensuring your contract with the supplier states payment terms and what goods you will receive with a clear time-line for when you can expect goods.
What do we do ?
For us. The most important thing is about being on the same page as our clients with regards to what they want and what we can deliver. So we arrange a free consultation first of all. We then provide a clear breakdown of costs and an agreement with everything written down. Once this is signed, we request the deposit be paid with a payment plan that is suitable for the client. Dates are locked and we talk to our couples before the main day to plan and support the process.