Photo: Skyy Woo Photography, Her World Brides June 2015.

1. Do your research
Survey a few photographers’ portfolios before narrowing down on your choices. Know the kind of photos you want, and focus in that direction. Also, it is important to go with someone who you’ve got chemistry with, as he or she will be around you and your family most of the time, on your very special day. Do also take into account your photographer’s experience before making your decision. Take your time, go through a few interviews, and if you know where you’re going to be having your wedding at, a photographer who’s familiar with said venue, is a bonus.

2. Know what you’re doing before putting your name on it
Don’t be afraid to say no, request for certain changes, or take your time. What’s important is that you’ve been through the contract and understand the terms before signing. If you feel you don’t understand certain things, have someone else (preferably someone with a legal background) look at it first.

3. Negotiate
If you’ve found your dream photographer, but he/she comes at a higher cost than expected, see if there’re ways to get around this. You can either negotiate, cut down on the number of hours he/she will be working for, and so on. But if he is unwilling to budge, and unable to meet your needs (or vice versa), you should find someone that’ll be more suited for your needs. That, or cut something else from your wedding list.

4. Speak up!
Clear all your doubts and establish any requirements first, so you can include them in the contract. For instance, confirm your schedule, number of days or hours you’ll be hiring him or her for. Discuss also: fees, over-time rates, copyright issues, the number of photos you’ll be receiving, your wedding albums (physical or digital), digital photos or negatives, whether he’ll be the photographer on the day of, and will there be a second shooter. You have to take all these into consideration. Copyright, especially, is important. You want to know that your photos (after paying a sum for them), are yours, and won’t be used frivolously, especially without your permission.

5. Put it in black and white
After establishing an agreement, have everything put in writing. If your photographer has a template contract, you should request for all the terms discussed and agreed upon, added in before you sign. This will help protect you, should there be a breach in contract.