Reasons Not to Hire a Part Time Photographer
The photography industry is one that clearly hates itself. At every turn there is someone trying to undercut the next photog, to the point where the profit for the bottom 85% of photographers in NY makes almost no money. Especially in the wedding and event space.
Photography is pretty unique that there are few or no industries that non-pros are bidding for work claiming to be a professional. A website and a camera doesn’t make a pro just in the same way a garage and a few tools doesn’t make me a mechanic, I can use these analogies all day long but I digress.
Should you care ?
Why should you care, the bride, the corporate company, the event organizer ? Well for a few reasons and some you may not have thought of and every one of them will avoid stress later. Let’s run through them now.
Reasons why you should hire a full time photographer
Many venues offer the same challenges as the next, some don’t ; but the only way a photographer is exposed to these venues is by experience. There are quite a few part timers that just don’t get the exposure to the number of venues a pro does. Can impact final images and image count.
The big one that many of the part time brigade miss, and its very important to ask if they are covered, many venues will assume they have it but in the event of an emergency – you or someone in your party get injured, property gets damaged or alike. You would expect the photographer responsible and have it covered. Being covered for bricks and mortar, staff and venue is pinnacle without it liability could fall elsewhere. Overheads such as these are included and normally given to brides and grooms to hand on to the venues that ask for them.
Having backup everything from light boxes, flash, strobes, camera bodies and lenses is really important. Including writing to two SD cards while shooting in case of an error on one. Creative workflow is one thing but having the ability to fix something on the fly is another. Pros will tend to have more gear and a much more resilient workflow.
You would hope that your images are backed up and looked after responsibly if you need them again later. Many cowboy part timers will just leave your images on their PC / Mac and hope for the best. Images need to be inside a catalog, saved onto a network back up device AND online storage nothing less will do. Check your contract to see how long and how they are protected.
Sticky subject with many; without a doubt this area is often overlooked by many wanting to save a few bucks using “Tommy Trigger Finger”. Lets get this straight, unless stated and paid for, the image copyright stays with the photographer for a few reasons. 1) It’s one of the most profitable areas of photography to go after infringement 2) It protects your images from being used without permission of the photographer – yes it protects your organisation, event and wedding too. Sure, you can arrange commercial release with the photographer but GET IT IN WRITING ! Don’t assume you can use your images for commercial purposes, as you could fall foul of the law by a cowboy wanting to make a quick buck out of you.
Check your photographer has an LLC / Corp, that’s a good sign he or she takes it seriously.
Simply gives you the scope to see in clear English whats expected of you and your photographer. No contract ? No responsibility !
Bottom line, don’t chance it . . . .