What if my wedding photographer is ill on my big day? (And a few other crisis scenarios to consider)


Choosing a wedding photographer is often one of the most important decisions to be made when planning your Big Day. This is my second post on the theme of questions to ask your wedding photographer – it explores some common ‘worst case scenarios’ to be prepared for.

Crisis #1: Help! My wedding photographer is ill on my Big Day!

Ok; so you’ve been planning your Big Day for months – maybe even years – so this might be one of the worst things that could conceivably happen. Although the chances might be slim, it’s worth asking your chosen wedding photographer about their contingency plan.

In my case, I’m a member of several online groups which are exclusively for photographers to call upon in an emergency such as being too ill to work, or hitting some other problem that prevents them from fulfilling their contractual duties to you. There is no other chat in these forums – they exist exclusively for emergency cover. I addition, my own personal network of local photographers is a tremendously friendly community on which I’d not hesitate to call for help if I needed it.

Crisis #2: My wedding venue is snowed-in – no photographer can reach us!

If your wedding venue is in a remote location and is likely to bear the brunt of particularly bad winter weather, it’s worth asking your photographer some questions. I have been known to book a room and travel to a venue 24 hours prior to a wedding if bad weather is forecast. The show must go on!

Crisis #3: A broken camera – what to do?

Picture the scene … Your photographer has set-up his camera on a tripod in a slightly precarious spot on a windy day and amongst some unruly children … and the inevitable happens. What’s the plan?

I always pack two cameras (sometimes two tripods!) Each camera contains two memory cards – one stores the photos I take, and the other is a back-up that duplicates those photos. I carry even more spare memory cards in addition to these four that live in my cameras! At large events I’ll also be accompanied by a second photographer, who is likely to have a similar set-up to safeguard kit and photos.

Crisis #4: The Mother Of The Bride has stumbled over that tripod and broken her leg

In the previous situation, or in this tricky alternative; you might also wonder who is liable for the damage. Your photographer should have the necessary insurance to cover damages such as this – and injuries to any unfortunate guest who is harmed as a result of their actions.

Crisis #5: My photographer’s studio has been burgled – my wedding photos were stolen!

This sounds like a major nightmare for everyone concerned! Not to worry though; any photographer worthy of your fee will be insured for this type of loss – not that this is much comfort when your precious memories are gone forever. Ask your photographer about how they store and back-up their photographs and it’s likely that they’ll have more than one server in operation (3 in my case). One should be off-site and away from their studio incase that crisis is a fire or similar.

In Summary …

It is well worth considering the ‘worst case scenarios’ that could potentially happen on your wedding day – and certainly do ask your wedding photographer about them. It’s likely that a professional and experienced wedding photographer will have the battle scars and contingencies in place to protect your memories from being lost on your Big Day.

Related Post: Here are a few additional questions to ask your wedding photographer.

Are you seeking a Wedding Photographer?

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