You are wedding photographer and your clients booked you to deliver beautiful wedding pictures. You go to the wedding with all your equipment, two cameras, a few lenses, flash guns, reflectors, umbrellas and whatever else you can take that day, just to make sure your pictures look stunning. You spend the whole day taking pictures, running in the church with all your heavy cameras, trying to capture the perfect wedding picture, taking photos of the bride’s and groom’s family and at some point even entertaining children with your fancy, brand new reflector.
Wedding day goes by and you manage to take lots of good pictures in church, reception venue and local park and of course wedding couple is very pleased with the service your provided. You cover the whole day, 8-10 hours of hard photography work and this is not finish yet! Now it’s time to go back to your office, download all the pictures, select the best ones, edit them…this might take from one day to several days depends on how busy you’re as a wedding photographer. Ok, so finally you send pictures to bride and groom, they are amazed with your work…and a few months later you’re still waiting for the payment.
There might be a few reasons why you don’t receive your payment on time, i.e.:
- your clients refuse to pay you because you missed to take a few photos of their closest family, and these pictures were very important to them.
- the newly weds realised that your wedding photography service is actually overpriced comparing to the other more affordable wedding photographers.
- brides and groom spent all their money on honey moon or they had other more important expenditure.
There are probably many more reasons why in some situation wedding photographer might have a problem to receive the payment for it’s wedding photography services. All these reasons lead to very important questions “How do I deal with wedding photography payments?” and “How I make sure clients pay on time for their wedding pictures?”. Each wedding photographer has it’s own approach to the payments and so do I, for me the following approach always works and my clients are always happy with the payment options:
- Always make sure your signed clients checked your portfolio before their wedding and they are happy with your wedding photography style.
- Your service agreement includes, lists your client’s requirements and both you and client is happy with it.
- Agree payment option. Ask your clients how do they prefer to pay for the pictures. Some of my clients prefer in advance payments, some pay on the wedding day and some after I deliver the wedding pictures.
- It’s also very important to inform your clients about deposit. I personally require £80 deposit prior to the wedding day.
- Make sure you know your clients before the wedding day. It’s good practice to meet face to face, introduce yourself and build the trust between you and your clients. It also helps my clients to find out more about me and my wedding photography services.
- Track and record all your payments, send receipt/invoice to your clients with information about payments. Basically make sure you look after your accounts. There are lots of free on-line services which might help you with it i.e.: Wave, Invoiceable, Debitoor. I personally prefer and use Wave, is 100% free, available on-line from every device and it sends payment reminders to clients. If you’re still not sure what to use, check “27 Free Invoicing Tools for Businesses on a Budget” article.
All above points are very important to make your wedding photography business successful and even if your clients still don’t want to pay you can always offer part payments but remember in this situation you should release wedding pictures only when final payment hits your bank account:)