What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.
If you decide to hire a photographer, see if the photographer can take photos outdoors or in a large space so all involved parties can maintain the recommended distance between themselves. You should also sanitize surfaces, avoid handshakes, don’t make any other physical contact and use digital platforms to complete payments. Speak with a local photographer in your area to put a strategy in place.
A wedding videographer will create a lifetime memory for you from edited video footage of your wedding day, ceremony and reception. Choosing a wedding videographer starts with looking online at portfolios of their past work. There’s no need to talk to anyone unless you love what you see. Next, make sure they have good reviews and past client experience; don’t be shy about asking for references if there aren’t any posted online. When you find someone who has a style you love, ask if they are available on your wedding day. If so, it’s time to talk pricing. Be clear about your maximum budget, and ask what kind of packages they offer. Pricing will depend on the number of crew needed for filming, the hours they are required to be onsite, post-production editing, and the length of the final product. Talk with several wedding videographers to get a feel for what prices are like in your region. Nationally, the average cost for wedding videography ranges between $990 and $1,260 per event. Once you agree on a product and have a plan, get everything in a written and signed contract. Clearly state the details of what is expected for your wedding day and from the final product. Be prepared to pay a deposit to reserve their services for the day, then pay the remainder upon receiving the video.
As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.
A videographer professionally films weddings and other events and edits the footage to create film keepsakes or marketing materials for their clients. Wedding videographers record all the key elements of your wedding day, ceremony and reception, and then edit the hours of film during post-production to make a wedding video, social media highlight reels, and any other film features you choose. Wedding videography captures, in live action, your vows, the cake-cutting, the first dance, reception toasts, the decor, the guests and all the details of your day. Many wedding videographers also interview guests (based on an interview list provided by the couple) and incorporate the recorded responses into the wedding video. Event videography typically costs less than wedding videography, as events are shorter with less detail. The national average cost for event videography is $500-$760, while the national average cost for wedding videography is $990-$1,260. A videographer usually does not need to be licensed, but it is important to confirm they have insurance and good standing in the business community, as well as good client reviews. A great majority of the work happens during post-production. The pros watch and blend together the hours of footage they took (sometimes from multiple cameras) to capture the story of your wedding day or event.
There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.
Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic.
For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services.
If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.
Most wedding videographers and photographers require a set deposit when you hire them. Wedding season is a busy time and a deposit secures that vendor’s services for your wedding date. It also protects the vendor if the couple changes their mind at the last minute, and they can’t find a new booking and lose work for the day. The deposit may be anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent of the agreed-upon total price. Always get a written confirmation that your deposit has been received.
The remainder of the wedding videography and photography bill may be due in the week before to your wedding or on the day of the wedding. Other vendors may require a second payment immediately before the wedding and a third and final payment after the wedding video or photos are delivered. Each vendor has their own policies, so before hiring be sure to read, understand and agree to payment protocols. There is no requirement for tipping wedding videographers or photographers, but if you do want to tip them, the end of the reception is the appropriate time.
Finding the perfect wedding videographer doesn’t have to be stressful. Asking a few key questions upfront will help you find the right fit for your big day. Before talking with wedding videographers, research their work online. Look at their websites, business profiles and social media, and see what their finished wedding videos look like. If the style fits what you’re envisioning, it’s time to reach out. During initial contact, make sure you get along with the person. This is important since they’ll be interacting with you and your guests.
Your first question should be about their availability; there’s no point in going further if they’re booked on your wedding day. Ask to see references if they’re not readily available online. Next, it’s time to talk about money. Ask how they determine rates or what kind of packages they offer. When you settle on a rate and the services you want, make sure to have a written contract that outlines everything, including cost, length of time they film, what post-production will include, and when you can expect to receive the edited project.