Wedding Photography - Top 5 Tips To Avoid Getting Scammed.

We need to talk a little bit about how people scam unsuspecting
couples out of their hard-earned money when it comes to wedding photography -  and
the top five things you can do to make sure that it doesn’t happen to you.

You could be forgiven for not knowing that wedding
photography scams exist – before I worked in the industry, I had no idea how
common it was. 

It is really common though – take a look at these screengrabs. These
are all from one wedding group on Facebook. There are loads of these kind of
groups, and similar complaints appear on all of them.

Pretty crazy, right?

Everything from taking your deposit and then disappearing, to taking full
payment and not even turning up on the day.

Here’s the good news, though.

There is plenty that you can do to help ensure that it doesn’t happen to you.    

Here are my top 5 tips to avoid the scammers and make sure you get photographs to treasure:

1) Ask to see proof of Public Liability Insurance.

This is a really good thing to ask, because no professional
wedding photographer would dream of doing their job without PL Insurance. Also,
a lot of venues insist on it, so it’s just something an actual photographer
will have and will be able to send you very easily should you ask.
A scammer, however, is really unlikely to bother going to the trouble of
getting PL Insurance as very few couples ever ask for it.

2) Ask to see some full wedding galleries.

Believe it or not, it’s really easy and near enough free, for
a scammer to build a really beautiful website using images they’ve stolen from
the internet. Lots of great photographer’s post lots of gorgeous photos publicly.
 Very few of us post an entire gallery
from a single wedding publicly, but we all have them saved on the cloud
privately. A genuine photographer should be able to send you a link to a gallery
full of images that are all from the same wedding. A scammer most probably won’t
be able to do this.

3) Meet your photographer.

Most photographers really like to meet their couples before any money changes hands. Why? Simply put, we want to make sure we get along with you. In most cases your photographer will be with you all day long on your wedding day. Imagine
how awkward that would be if you just didn’t get along with each other. For that
reason, most of us like to meet the couple before a booking is officially made.
It’s not always possible of course, distance and schedule clashes can make it
very tricky. Even then, a video chat or at least a phone call is always an
option and works nearly as well as a meeting.

A real photographer would be very happy to meet / video
chat with you. A scammer would likely prefer to have you send your money as
soon as possible and would be way less keen to actually meet with you.

4) Ask to talk to a previous bride of theirs.

Reviews are great and of course you should check
them before you hire someone to photograph your wedding. Most of the time they
are trustworthy reviews from real brides. Not always though. Fake accounts can
be created and fake reviews can be posted. That’s why, if you’re not sure about
someone, I would encourage you to ask them if you can talk to a bride whose
wedding they’ve already photographed. I personally have a couple of brides that
are happy for someone thinking of booking me to drop them an email or a quick
phone call.

Perhaps not every photographer has a couple of brides at the ready like I do, and because
of data protection it might take them a little while (they’ll need to get consent
from the other person before they can pass their details on to you), but they
should all be able to put you in touch with someone they have worked for

5) If it seems to good to be true…

Well, you know the next bit.
One thing the majority of these scammed bride-to-be’s all had in common, is
that they went for an ‘amazing deal’.
Lots of really great photographers offer deals and discounts and all of that
good stuff, so you don’t need to avoid every offer you see. You just need to be
wary of the ones that seem too good. 

There’s a lot that goes into photographing a wedding, it’s hard work and
requires a lot skill. The work doesn’t stop after the day itself either. There
are still hundreds of images to be edited, tweaked and delivered. A professional
photographer’s price, regardless of any deal they happen to be running, will
reflect the hard work and talent required.
Many scammers like to panic people into sending money ASAP for fear of missing out on a crazy cheap deal.
For example, if you see something like ‘a full day’s photography coverage for
£250!’, ask yourself ‘why is it so cheap?’ There’s a reason. Does their work
look amazing? If it does, then really ask yourself how it can be so cheap. Never
find yourself in a position where you’re saying ‘I knew it was too
good to be true’.

Everyone wants beautiful photographs to remember their
wedding day, and if you follow even some of these 5 steps, you should be able
to safely avoid the scammers and find a great photographer to capture your
special day perfectly.

Genuine wedding photographers hate the scams just as much as you
do. It gives the industry a bad name and makes people wary of everyone. 

For that reason, no genuine wedding photographer will mind in the slightest if you
take up a little of their time by asking them for the above information.

If you are still worried about being scammed – and even if,
for whatever reason, you have no interest in booking me as your photographer –
please feel free to drop me an email here. 

I would much rather spend some of my time exchanging a few emails and offering
my advice to someone that doesn’t even want to book me, than see another post
pop up in a Facebook group from a heartbroken bride with no wedding photos.

Please feel free to share this post far and wide. The more people that are
aware of these steps, the fewer people will get scammed and that can only be a
good thing

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