Get to know your photographer before you book

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kat2008 Posts : 10 Registered: 3/31/08
Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 1, 2008 4:58 PM

As someone who just got married, I just want to warn everyone to make sure you get to know your photographer before you decide to sign the contract and make sure you read the entire contract.  My photographer, Lauren Graelle Photography from New Jersey put a statement in her contract that she must be served a meal equivelent to that of the guests and be served a choice of meal.  I had to pay for her as if she was a guest at my wedding!  She spent the cocktail hour eating all of our food and never shot any photos of my immediate relatives at the head table.   She was also very rude to my videographer, yelling at him in front of guests to stay out of her way and literally told my parents to shut up and look at the camera!  Her website is so beautiful but her personality is not!  Just a little advice for all the soon-to-be brides!


projectmrscole Posts : 546 Registered: 12/29/07
Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 1, 2008 5:08 PM Go to message in response to: kat2008

Wow, I can't believe that she put "to be served her choice of meal that is equivelant to the guests" in the contract. And to yell at your parents and tell them to shut up! She sounds like a total bitch. When you first met her and signed the contract was she nice?


hellokitty4ever Posts : 740 Registered: 6/6/07
Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 1, 2008 7:09 PM Go to message in response to: kat2008

Wow!  That is extremely horrible and so very unprofessional.  Kat, did you at least get quality pics from her?

I also want to add that reading all the photography forums (where photogs get together and talk about their work) is a great resource.  I regret not doing that before I booked my photog....not that I didn't like him, it's just that there were so many more photogs that matched my style and taste, and with way more talent, passion, and experience.



MagicalMomentsP... Posts : 742 Registered: 3/6/06
Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 2, 2008 12:40 PM Go to message in response to: kat2008

I regret you had such a bad experience with your wedding photographer. We all have bad days.  However as a professional your photographer should have done her best to... well be professional.  There are times when a photographer has to take control of a situation.  But there is a right way and a wrong way to do that.  Unfortunately, it seems your photographer did it the wrong way.  

Meanwhile, I can see and understand your photographer's point about being served a mean comparable to the guests.  I've been served soggy BLT sandwiches without chips at one of Chicago's most prestigious country clubs.  My contract states a hot meal.  After working for hours, I'd like to refuel so I can continue to give my clients the best I can.  I'm just as happy with a burger/fries as I am with a guest meal.  But due to my style of photography, I do ask to be seated in the same room as the guests.  This way I'm able to capture any moments that might occur during the meal.  And yes, I do take a bit or two during cocktail hour -- while I'm still taking photos.

Next, vendor arguments/heated discussions should never take place where either the clients or guests can see the disagreement.  After all, we are all on the same team, the team formed for the special day.  Last night I worked with my favorite videographer.  You'd think we worked for the same company the way we support each other.  I got distracted by a bridesmaid wanting a photo.  Unknown to me, the bride decided to put her garter on.  Jen saved my bacon!  That's why I love working with her.  

Finally, you raise a great point.  You MUST absolutely meet the photographer/videographer/dj who will be at your wedding.  Even if they are the nicest people in the world, there are times when two people just don't click.  I can't speak for other photographers, but I'm interviewing a client as much as they are interviewing me.  If I sense there might not be a good fit, all parties are best served by bringing it out in the open and then deciding how to proceed.  Once again, I regret you day was troubled by your photographer's behavior.  Please let me know if there is any way I can assist you.

Howard Kier, Certified Professional Wedding Photographer

Magical Moments Photography


shawnmac Posts : 2 Registered: 11/7/08
Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 7, 2008 8:38 PM Go to message in response to: MagicalMomentsP...

I absolutely agree here about meeting the photographer beforehand.  That's a shame your photographer acted so rudely.  I've had a couple clients that declined pre-wedding meetings, opting for email and phone communication instead.  Luckily, we got along great (I'm pretty laid back).  

 In regards to a meal, it's pretty standard to be able to eat what guests eat, though I don't have that as a requirement in my contract.  I guess it might be a problem for receptions who offer menu options as opposed to buffet style meals.  

I recently read an article on the "starving" wedding photographer and how many high-end reception sites totally neglect to feed them, often unbeknown to the bride.  Or, they force the photographer to wait until people are finished eating before serving them.  That's actually a horrible idea, since by then it's time to start shooting again.  The least photographed period of a reception is when guests are eating, so that's the best time for the photographer, videographer, and DJ to eat as well.

Shawn Mac Photography

New York Wedding Photographer


miguelmayo Posts : 10 Registered: 2/28/08
Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 16, 2008 3:31 PM Go to message in response to: kat2008

She has the right to ask for a meal (I do the same) But she cannot be in the weddings as a guest , she is working for you, not having fun in a party.

Re: Get to know your photographer before you book
Posted: Nov 17, 2008 10:56 AM Go to message in response to: kat2008

I've been photographing weddings for almost 30 years and think it's downright rude to "require" a client to feed you!!!!! Yes, it's a long day, but meals are not the client's responsibility.

We only eat at a reception if the Bride tells me she ordered vendor meals; but I would NEVER ask!

We never photograph guests eating, so when dinner is served, my assistant and I go off by ourselves and eat something quick that we brought ourselves... usually just a sandwich or fruit so we are back to the recpetion in less than 15 minutes. You just never know when someone may want us.

Brides - ask your potential photographer (and other vendors) about this in your initial planning sessions. Communication is the key to being a satisfied customer - and if something doesn't feel right, walk away. There are TRUE professionals out there for you :)

Beth Collins


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