Top Things to Know Before You Hire an NYC Event Photographer

Updated: Jan 26, 2019

Special events in your life, whether they are a milestone birthday party, a hallmark anniversary celebration, or your favorite charities annual gala, should not only be a night to remember, but they should be memorialized! And what better way to memorialize a fabulous event, than to hire a legendary NYC event photographer? But with so many seemingly incredible photographers available, how do you find the one that is best suited for your needs?

Here is a fool-proof list of the things to consider before you hire an event photographer. Follow along to make sure you don't fall prey to commonly made mistakes. You want to receive the best photographs as possible, and you also deserve to have a seamless, positive experience for your special day!

How to find a Photographer:

Ask friends and co-workers who they used for their events. Word of mouth is a great way to go! See what they liked and didn't like about their experiences.

Read Reviews. Be sure to spend time reading online reviews on websites such as Google, The Knot, Wedding Wire and Yelp. Additionally, read clients testimonials and study the images the photographer has curated on his or her website.

Before you hire a photographer...

Meet your potential photographer in person and ask them lots of questions! Don't be shy! - First and foremost, make sure they are available. Favorite photographers can get booked over a year in advance. If for some reason the photographer you want is not available, ask if there is anyone that they can recommend. - Make sure the photographer fits your budget. While some photographers may have wiggle room on their rates, most have a set price and will not be willing to budge so be prepared to pay that rate. - Talk about the deliverables. Make sure you know what you're getting with your photography package, beyond the fabulous photos.

Some questions to ask: - How many images do you estimate that you will take and how many will be returned to me? - What is the timeline for the photos to be returned? - How will I get my images? Will they come on a flash drive, in Dropbox, or some other form? - Does this photographer offer prints in-house, or will be they come from a third party? - Does this photographer create the albums? If not, who do they use? - Make sure this photographer has photographed events before. A true fashion photographer does not have the same skillset as an event photographer. - To get the maximum amount of angels and shots, it is recommended that you have one lead photographer and one assistant photographer. Beyond the lead photographer and assistant shooter, the rule of thumb is: for every 100 guests, there should be an additional photographer. Simple example: for an event with 500 guests, there should be 1 lead photographer and 4 assistant shooters. - Lastly, make sure you get along with your photographer! This person is more than just the eyes behind the camera! Make sure your personalities jive, that they understand your goals and are excited about your event. This will not only enhance the day but the photos as well.

After you hire the photographer...

Discuss the Shot List and Timeline - Go over a detailed timeline of the day with not just your photographer but all key vendors. The schedule is created by the event planner or the photographer and should be shared with everyone working the event. So that everyone is on the same page, have the vendors meet in person, Skype, or set up a call to go over each item of the day. At this meeting, you can discuss:

- The Shot List. This is extremely important. Event photographers are incredible at capturing the key moments, scene setters and the feeling of an event, but they will not know everything you want to highlight if you don't communicate it to them. Photographers may be artists, but they are not mind readers! What is unique to you may not be evident to someone else, so be sure to let your photography team know if there is a particular group of people, a crucial moment, or a keepsake from the day that you would like memorized.

- Working with other vendors. This may come as a surprise to you, but not all photographers and videographers get along. If you are going to hire a photographer and videographer, make sure that both vendors are aware of this and approve of the other vendor. Make sure that the photography team and videography team have a clear understanding of when each team can get their shots. By discussing this, they will not be competing with each other! - Food needs. Photographers are hard-working individuals who require breaks! It is recommended that you discuss food expectations beforehand. Will a meal be provided for them or are they are expected to provide their own nutrition? - The dress code. There is nothing cheesier than having a photographer dashing about in clothing that clearly does not match the event style. It is most common for photographers to wear all black. Have them dress it up or down depending on the dress code of the occasion. They will not be making the best-dressed list, but should look professional from head to toe!

- Payment. Be sure to promptly pay your photographer as stated in the contract. Typically, there will be a deposit with the final amount due the week of the event.

- When the event is winding down, make sure they know to connect with the point person to ensure that all the shots have been completed. This is also the appropriate time to tip him or her. A typical tip (in cash) would be 15%- 20% of their contracted rate.

Now that you know these essential tips for finding the best photographer for your next celebration, please check the event pricing on our website. You can even book our services easily online! And don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. We look forward to working with you capturing the memories you'll have for years to come.