Friday, February 19, 2010

When Things Go Wrong: Is Your Photographer Prepared? (Part Two)

As expert L.A. photographer Damien Smith shared yesterday, you just never know when something might go wrong on your wedding day. But by asking the right questions now, you can ensure that your photographer will be able to handle whatever mishaps may arise.

Here, a few more key things to look for and discuss before hiring a photographer.

A Backup Photographer in Case of Illness or Emergency

If I wake up sick the day of the wedding, I have peace of mind knowing I can call on one of my photographer friends to fill in for me. I always place a call to several of my friends about a month before a wedding to see if they would be available to fill in for me on a particular day should I become sick. This is nothing for a couple to be concerned about. People can't control when they get sick, and most professional wedding photographers have a clause in the contract that provides for a substitute photographer of “equal” skill should the photographer you hired become sick or hospitalized.

A Dependable Car

I suggest asking what type of car a wedding photographer has before you hire him or her. Of course, it doesn't have to be a brand new car, or even a late model car, but it does have to be in good repair. It won't do you any good to hire a photographer who has a car that overheats on a regular basis. Your engagement session is a good time to see what type of car your photographer has. When he or she arrives, take note of whether the car is smoking, and listen to hear how the engine sounds. Does it sound good, or does it sound like it's on its last leg? You want to be sure that he or she will actually make it to your wedding.

A Reliable Image Backup System

Ask your photographer if he or she will back up your wedding images in multiple locations. Computers and hard drives fail all the time, and your photographer should have at least two backups sets of your pictures. As for me, I have three – a hard drive set, DVD set, and online set. I do my hard drive and DVD backups as soon as I get home from a wedding, and the online backup happens automatically. The online backup is in case of a fire or flood in my studio. That way, once I got my studio back together, I’d still be able to download the images. (I'm knocking on wood right now! LOL!)

What backups plans do your hired vendors have in place in case of illness or emergency?


  1. Since ours is coming from Greece i'm not sure what happens if he is unable to make it. These are good questions to ask! thanks!

  2. These are good things to know and ask a potential photographer and even after you've booked them!