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Need Help, Photography Contract ….long

So we found a photographer that we want to book for our wedding.  When looking over the contract last night, it stated that they are guaranteed for up to 10 hrs with each additional hour costing $500.   Our ceremony will be at 2pm and reception is schedule for 6pm-12. (There is no way of changing the ceremony time with our church).  We already know we will definitely need them for more than 10 hrs.  If we started getting ready 2 hrs before the ceremony that would be at Noon and now we are talking 12 hrs for a photographer.  I’m assuming we’ll start getting ready well before that so now its closer to 14+hrs.   When did you start getting read on your wedding day? How many hours should we plan for?  I have 5 BMs, 2 mothers and 1 grandmother that will being getting ready with me. We’ll be about 15 minutes from the church. Should we have an exact number of hours listed in the contract?  They have been very casual when I’ve asked them about it and say, “oh don’t worry about that, we’ll can discuss that once it gets closer to the wedding.  We’ll be there all day.”  I think they are sincere but I don’t want to pay the huge fee they will be charging for the contract and then get a bill for a couple thousand dollars after the wedding for additional time.   Sorry for the novel... any help is greatly appreciated!!

Re: Need Help, Photography Contract ….long

  • edited December 2011
    My first thought--- 10hours is WAY more generous than most photographers offer (but I also don't know what you guys are paying for that, either...) and $500 doesn't sound unreasonable for any hours after that 10hours. 

    What I WOULD suggest is talking with your photographer and letting them know that you have a budget to adhere to, and if they can accommodate the extra (what seems like 4 hours from your desciption) within that budget, then they can.  If they can't, then they cant, and you'll at least know now.

    They seem pretty easy to chat with-- just call them up and talk to them about it. :)  

    I also want to edit this post with the following:
    I see WAY too many girls on here afraid to talk money with their vendors.  Yeah, HI-- this is cold hard cash we're talking about.  No one (that I know...) has so much they can just leave it on their seat in the T, or casually light it on fire just because they 'can,' so I don't expect folks out there to be willy nilly about financial contracts with vendors, either.  Just talk to them!!  If you're upfront and honest with them, I think they'll thank you later.  If it means your on the hunt for another vendor-- then it was for the benefit of everyone.  Really. 
  • edited December 2011

    I know my photog told me she doesn't have to be there for the BMs getting their hair and makeup done and stuff, just for you, which usually is close to the end. So maybe 2 hours is ok?

    Another thought, if your ceremony is at 2, then it will prob go to 3 at the absolute latest, then to take formals will prob put you at 4:00.  That's almost two hours downtime in there.  Can they charge you like $150 for those two extra hours since they wont be taking pics? 

  • edited December 2011
    I'm getting married at 2, and our photographer is coming to our house around 12 to start taking pictures.  It sounded like it's usually 2 hours before the ceremony to start taking pictures

    I agree with Evs, talk to them about it.  Tell them your concerns with your budget and see what they can do to work within it. 

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  • edited December 2011

    When we met with them they were super sweet and easy to talk to.  My first instinct is to trust them and go with the flow the way they said we should.  Who doesn't love to hear that.  But then the more realistic side of me is thinking about the fact that this is a business transaction and a contract is involved and I don't want to get caught in a bad situation at the wedding or post wedding.

    I didn't realize that they don't really need to be there for the BMs, that makes sense though.  So maybe the 12 hrs is fine.  Should I just have them put that in the contract now or take their word that they'll be there whenever we ask them to be on the wedding day.

    I could just be over thinking it.  They are a completely sweet, reputable and experience couple that has been doing this for a long time.  They seems sincere from the moment we first started speaking with them.  

  • edited December 2011
    I would have them put that in the contract now. If there's a problem later, you can go back and say that it's in there.
  • edited December 2011
    I would also point out that they don't necessarily need to stay until the end of the reception. A lot of times the photographer will just stay until a certain point, such as after the cake cutting and a few songs when everyone is on the dance floor. My photographer is coming about an hour before the ceremony, since i don't want a lot of getting ready pics, just at the end, and will leave a few hours into the reception. She will come and say good bye and if I want her to stay later, she will for the agreed upon fee-- I think for her it was $250 an hour.

    I would also add that the photographer is the one place where I absolutely did not want to scrimp, since pictures are forever!
  • noodle_oonoodle_oo member
    edited December 2011

    Seriously, this is a business agreement and if someone says "just trust me", I'd be concerned.  The contract is there to protect both of you and make sure you both know what you are agreeing to.  If you already know you will need them for more than the 10 hrs they include, you need to figure out how to deal with it.  When you were talking, they may not have realized that you have a gap in the middle that will make the day pretty long, or maybe they didn't think you wanted the getting ready shots.  Anyway, talk to them about it and don' t be shy.  They want you to be happy and everyone is better off to discuss these issues up front in the beginning to prevent misunderstandings and problems later on.  They might give you a discount since you have such a big gap, but be prepared that they may not since it is not like they can go home or do anything else during that time.  You are hiring them for a very long day. 

    And i just want to reiterate evseidl's point: this IS a business agreement, make sure you discuss all terms up front or you may have issues later on.  Good luck! 
  • jkeprosjkepros member
    Ninth Anniversary 1000 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'd discuss the logistics with them now and put it in the contract.  Like Ekobs said, maybe you can negotiate for the "off" time?  Also, think about not only do you NOT need them taking pics of everyone else getting ready...just you (which will be the last 1-2 hours of your "getting ready" time).  But also think about do you really need them there for the entire reception.  If you have some kind of big closing exit/good-bye right at midnight, then yes.  But if you have a traditional reception most of the reception "events" are done by 9-10pm, and the last couple hours is mostly just the younger folks dancing.  It's nice to have pics of that, but do you really need to pay the pros to be there that entire time...?  Don't forget many guests will have cameras (if nothing else everyone's cell has them!).  Anyway, it might actually be closer to the 10 hours once you give it some thought.

    Oh, and like evs said...don't be afraid to ask questions, be blunt about your budget, and hash it out ahead of time.  If they are experienced they will have already heard it all before. 

    GOOD LUCK!  :)
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  • edited December 2011
    Is it 100% necessary to have them stay for the whole reception?  People often say that once you get some photos of people dancing.... do you really need a ton more? 

    You could probably have them arrive an 1.5 through 2 hours before the ceremony (noonish) and stay till 10pm... only missing 2 hours of your reception.  Is that feasible?
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  • edited December 2011
    Thank you for the advice!!  I honestly didn't realize how much time we really can cut out for the photographers... like when the BMs are getting ready and leaving early from the reception.  Good thing I have you ladies to ask!  

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