SIX TIPS COUPLES MUST LOOK OUT FOR BEFORE HIRING A PHOTOGRAPHER
Updated: Jan 14, 2020
Every year, there are many new players in the wedding industry, couples must be careful when choosing a photographer for your special day. Entering the market to become a professional photographer seems easy as all you need to have is to have an Instagram business page and a set of professional cameras. However, knowing the credibility and the background of the photographer is very essential.
As a pioneer of female photographers in Singapore, I’m proud to see many young budding photographers in the industry making a name for themselves. Female Photographers are no longer rare and many female photographers who have started on their own are personally mentored and trained by me. Each photographer trained at ALPS, clocked at least 300 hours of training before being allowed to shoot at a wedding as an Associate Photographer to represent our company. ALPS is the first company to organise styled shoots in 2015 without the help of publications and created the trend to work with individual vendors for social media purposes. Today, ALPS is the first full team to venture into china and created a subsidiary company for international expansion. In Singapore, we plan to partner with many vendors to collaborate and provide an attractive and competitive packages for you.
We hope to pave the way and constantly create new trends for the next generation that is to come.
#1 : CHECK THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S BACKGROUND AND CREDENTIALS
Many new companies will tell you that they have worked in a reputable company and are unable to post their own portfolios due to copyright issues with their previous employer. Check with the reputable company directly if the photographer was an actual employee and the number of years of experience he/she has.
Check the number of actual day work the photographer has directly on their website or Vimeo instead of a google drive link. To figure out if a photographer is just starting out, there will be tons of styled shoot, giveaways and promotions on social media. Beware of the pricing as some photographers do not charge cheap even though they just started out. In a proper business, there must be more that one point of contact in case of any emergency.
Ten years ago, it was a trend to start a new business with the photographer's name. However, its less cool to put the photographer's name as a business name anymore.
* note : There are many photographers who claimed to work for us which in fact they were never our employees.
#2 : ITS COOL TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR
It’s cool to be an entrepreneur and travel around the world at the expense of the wedding couple. However, couples must be aware and be vigilant in finding out if the photographer is a freelancer or has a real registered business. Like the recent case of beautiful love wedding closing down suddenly, all the clients could complain to CASE as they are a registered business and there might still be a chance to collect back their deposit unlike a freelancer.
#3 : DO THEY HAVE A BACKUP PHOTOGRAPHER ?
Due to unforeseen circumstances, a photographer can be late, or unavailable to make it. Find out before confirming with the photographer about the backup plan and who exactly will be the person who will take over if something goes terribly wrong. There are many photographers who say they have a backup photographer but do not actually have an exact person in mind.
At Annabel Law Productions (ALPS), we ensure that all couples will be given a backup photographer that will be on call 24/7 on the day of your wedding in case of any emergency. A Sales manager and Secretary will be an additional point of contact in the group chat upon confirmation.
#4 : WILL YOU RUN AWAY WITH OUR DEPOSIT ?
We have encountered many instances of freelancers running away with ten of thousands of deposits and are nowhere to be found. It has been less common in recent years as its hard to lie about your real identity in social media. However, the risk of freelancers not doing a good job with no other point of contact is scary and dangerous. Its best to find a team of photographers who will reply your enquires and will be able to give you the optimal service needed during your wedding.
#5 : FIND OUT IF THEY ARE LOCALS
There are many foreigners working in Singapore who are based both in Singapore and other countries. When asked for a business registration, they will provide with a company name that will sound legit and can be found on ACRA. Upon confirmation, the invoice is paid directly to the photographer’s bank account and pay now mobile instead of the said company name. This action is illegal and if the government finds out of illegal work in Singapore, the photographer will be banned from coming back and there is no way you will get back your deposit.
#6 : READ CONTRACTS PROPERLY
I have personally encountered a photographer who lost all the photos due to negligence. This freelance photographer revamped her contract to add a clause that only 50% of the final amount will be refunded in the event that all photos are not delivered due to unforeseen circumstances. Its always advisable to read contracts properly and make sure you do not sign a contract that will be detrimental to you. At ALPS, we make sure that backups are done immediately after the shoot into our sd card, Hard Disk and Cloud storage. All employees must sign a backup form within three days after the shoot. Companies must have very strict regulations to ensure quality and good service at all times.