Over the past week, a Filipina bride who called out her wedding photographer online went viral for the poor quality of their photos from the big day. Caren, who goes by the name Nayumi Stone Heart on Facebook, narrated their experience and shared that their hired photographer sent in their photos nearly four months after their ceremony, and the results were anything but worth the wait.
"My wedding photos [were] a disaster! We should not be treated like this! [Four] months after ninyo [ni-release] ang mga [pictures] and this is what we get?" she expressed in a post. According to Caren, they paid a fee amounting to P16,000 to book the photographer and waited for months to receive their pictures from the celebration, only to end up in shock with the output.
How Couples Can Avoid Disastrous Wedding Photos
To understand what happened and how a fiasco like this can be avoided, we reached out to Mayad Studios and Pat Dy, two trusted and celebrity-approved wedding documentors, for their insight. Read on for their expert advise.
1. Make sure your photographer is equipped with the technical skills required for properly executing an event coverage.
Bill Ti Yu, resident lensman at Mayad, explains that the pictures suffered from overexposure. "The lens/es produced very hazy outputs, and I’m guessing it lack some TLC. The use of flash was very poor, too. What went wrong would probably be unmet expectations from both parties: photographer to client, and vis-a-vis. Unfortunately yet objectively, they did not [come] close to industry standards."
To avoid something like this from happening, be thorough when choosing a wedding photographer and browse through their portfolios to ensure that they have enough experience in covering special events such as weddings. Remember: It's a once-in-a-lifetime event and you only have one chance of documenting this special milestone in your life.
2. Set a reasonable budget for your wedding photographer.
A point of discussion that also arose was the P16,000 supplier fee. Pat states that a client can price photography and videography services at any amount they think is an appropriate one. However, Bill contests that the agreed-upon figure was simply not enough for any client.
"Just for reference, to cover a wedding 'fully' (i.e. not missing any sequence, important moments, or guests), you will need at least two photographers and two videographers. Not to mention paying for the use of their gear (a huge investment on a creative’s part) and paying for skill and expertise in itself— whew!" he expressed. "We don’t even stop there, the editing they will do after the event itself takes a lot of time, skill, and effort, too. I don’t know how to practically allocate P16,000 with this." Pat also agrees that it takes more than one documenter to fully shoot an event as grand as a wedding.
That said, make sure to set a reasonable amount when allocating budget for your wedding. It doesn't have to be a very expensive supplier, but make sure it's a good deal to manage your expectations.
3. Do your homework.
For anyone looking to book a company for their special day, both experts emphasize the importance of researching for the perfect and most competent photographers and videographers. "Do due diligence and research extensively by checking all of their social media pages and reviews," Pat says.
Bill backs this up, stating: "Couples [should] really set their expectations and do their research before booking a supplier— check testimonials, check past and current work. And as for us suppliers, it’s imperative that we also present our portfolio in the most honest way possible—no misleading, no false hopes, explaining possible circumstances that would lead to certain outcomes."
4. Secure an agreement with your booked supplier.
Before "disasters" like this ever have the chance to occur to you, Bill says that a mutually signed contract will be the end-all, be-all. This is where the client can lay out the required shots, as well as the expectations for the final shots.
5. Opt for a professional photographer.
"Never hire a newbie to shoot the most important day of your life. Invest wisely," Pat adds.
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