How NOT to Get Scammed by a Wedding Photographer
Years ago getting started in wedding photography was difficult and expensive to start-up. Professional photography equipment was not as easily or cheaply accessible. This also made it very hard in obtaining actual wedding photography experience.
With the advancement in technology and things like YouTube & Google for education, it has allowed the venture of photography to become readily available for the masses compared to just a decade ago. Fast forward a few years and now there are plenty of new photographers arriving every month, making new websites, Facebook pages, etc. So sometimes it can help to know who to trust and where to start looking.
Most are real, some are professional and a few are con artists. How do you know which ones to trust? Who is legit? Are they going to show up to drastically and sadly under-deliver on what they give you? Will they just take the money and disappear? There are some real things to think about here.
So here’s a list of quick tips and questions to think about so that you can find yourself a professional wedding photographer that will give you exactly what you deserve for your best wedding day experience.
I just wholeheartedly want the best possible wedding day for you and I hope this helps.
Google, Facebook, Wedding Wire, TheKnot, and even Yelp. These are usually the top sites that most of our reviews go to. Check them out and see how they’ve treated past clients and see what their customers have to say. Check their socials and see if this seems like a trustworthy professional to spend an important day with.
Make sure to search your local areas with terms such as Wedding Photographer Near Me – South Bend Wedding Photographer – Notre Dame Wedding Photographer – etc. This will help make sure you don’t accidentally find one you love that is like 8 hours away from you.
If they do not have a contract in place, take that as a sign as they’re not legit. Period. Weddings happen only once, no do-overs are possible. All parties need to be protected with due dates, delivery dates, agreements, payment expectations, etc.
No contract? Don’t book them!
(also, they should have insurance too!)
When it comes time to book how do they handle the money? Do they offer payment plans? What is the retainer/deposit amount required on booking? When is the final amount due? Do they give you a receipt?
You won’t want to be randomly given an invoice at a time that is not at all convenient for you. This would be outlined in your contract.
When investigating your potential photographer, (their website, social media, etc) make sure all of the images are recent, and there is consistency in their quality. The look, feel and quality shouldn’t jump around as if shot by entirely different people and styles. Sure our portfolios evolve over time but there is still consistency with it in some manner. If it looks like each photo could have come from a different photographer or editor, I would start to wonder a bit.
As to see a few full wedding galleries, not just their favorite images but real weddings if they cannot provide you with any full wedding galleries but claim they’re experienced… Well…
I myself have caught and called out a few “photographers” using stock images they purchased from a 3rd party website. There’s also plenty that just outright steal their images from professional wedding photographers. They do it to deceive potential clients representing it as if it was their work even though it was not.
It’s an outright lie, plus it is just shady AF!
When you’re trying to find the photographer that’s right for you, be leery of the “too good to be true” offers. Offerings like unlimited hours, two albums, prints, and more for around a thousand dollars or something. You may think this is the real thing, and perhaps a slight chance it is, then awesome but I can tell you it’s not at all normal. Typically the photographer’s images will depend on how “legit” this is or is not. Just be safe and make sure there would be contracts in place to protect you. The last thing you or I want is someone to take your deposit and vanish.
If you want to know how to do a Reverse Image Search – Here’s a quick blog I wrote on how to do just that. Could let you know if they’ve stolen an image or bought it off a stock website. Yeah… It can happen…
This one is simple and the best thing to do for not only this but your entire wedding day. Trust.Your.Gut! If you have a bad feeling or just don’t trust it, walk away. There are plenty of possibilities out there for wedding photographers near you so just keep on searching.
Overall, I hope this advice help and if you use your instincts, I think you’re going to be just fine! I hope you have an amazing wedding day
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