Buyer Beware – Photographer Substitutions

by admin on November 30, 2007

You’ve found the photographer of your dreams and he’s the best in the business. His higher prices reflect that and you are willing to pay that extra premium to make sure that you have that particular photographer for your wedding day.

But on the morning of your wedding, you get a phone call that Mr. Photographer has taken ill and an allegedly equally talented substitute will take his place to shoot your wedding. That substitute will either be another photographer from the studio stable or a stringer who does weekend wedding work on occasion. While the pictures do come out OK, you have just paid a premium price for a second rate photographer. Think of it this way, if just about any photographer (including a weekend warrior) can substitute for your high priced photographer, then you have paid more for the name recognition and marketing of that photographer than for actual talent. If substitute photographers are equal in talent to your high priced photographer of distinguished name, then why are they available at the last minute to shoot a wedding?

Substitutions are sometimes necessary. Accidents happen, people get sick. However, you should negotiate a contract clause which gives you certain remedies if the photographer of your choice cannot fulfill his obligations and must send a last minute substitute in his place.  Know who the potential substitutes are before the wedding day.  You paid for a Prime Rib photographer, not a Hamburger Helper one and the fees you pay should reflect that.

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