I find this topic coming up more and more now. It seems every bride who comes to me has a horror story of a past experience with a makeup artist (or i like to use the term fakeup artist), a so called photographer ( or in my terms a guy with a camera) and so on. With the internet and social media making it so easily accessible for anyone to claim anything, I constantly get asked this. How do i find and hire a quality wedding vendor and avoid hiring a nightmare? Its like a guessing game and we don't know the difference. Here are my easy and simple tips to hiring a quality professional and not a hobbyist to help you avoid disaster, wasted money and heartache.
1. Ask for an ABN number. Simple it seems yes it really is. Someone who works full time or even part time making substantial money as an income can call it their job and will be declaring it and paying tax on it. An abn means that their business is just that- a registered business. A hobbyist with no plans to make an income from it would not have one. Also a registered business would be happy to send you an invoice with all their details on it, name, contact, website, email etc.
2 . A professional will always ask you to sign an agreement/contract and pay a deposit. They will always provide you with information, be transparent with their terms and conditions and happily provide it in writing. They want to make money out of you after all and want to solidify their future income from you by having these things in place. An amateur hobbyist would not care for these things from being naive or not caring if they find themselves having a free weekend to party instead of working it. They don't depend on that money whereas a professional uses that money to pay their mortgage.
3. A professional would be happy to provide their qualifications, years of working experience in detail with you if asked. Majority have some form of formal training or another. There are a few select few that are gifted and learn't by on the job training by assisting others rather than a course. This is rare but you can easily ask to see a portfolio of their work and make judgement to their skill by looking at their photos. Every professional has a working portfolio to show potential clients of their past work.
4. Contact details. A hobbyist with just a Facebook page with 3-4 photos is hardly a demonstration of their capabilities. A legitimate business will have a professional website, contact number, email, Facebook, portfolio, and other contact details. They will have recommendations and pictures of past clients. They will have more than 10 photos of their original work NOT photos they copy and pasted from Google images. By the way that is classified as image theft and infringing on the image owners copy-write. Just cause it appears on Google doesn't mean anyone can just use it as their own.
5. Price. A professional will have their pricing in line with industry standard. Might be a bit higher or lower but it will be within reason of whats the standard going rate. Sorry bargain hunters but a $20 per face makeup artist is a sure fire sign that they are a hobbyist that plays with their own makeup on you and will ruin the most important day of your life. Question their sanitation methods. If they double dip into that tube of mascara RUN and RUN FAST! Same goes for other vendors, photographers always charge a premium for wedding cause its so much work involved. A $500 photographer off gumtree is a hobbyist and not a professional that charges over 3-5k mark. You would be lucky if they even showed up most just take your $500 and run. If you cant afford these essential wedding services then perhaps put off your wedding for another year and start saving or instead of having 6 bridesmaids cut it down to two.
6. Ask what brands do they stock in their kit, equipment etc. Dont lookout for consumer brands, look for professional brands. Familiarize or google the brands they tell you. A kit full of maybelline is a sure sign of a hobbyist compared to a season pro that will have a bit of mac a bit of nars, makeup forever, ben nye etc.
Hope this has provided some helpful information to guide you away from the unsavory people in the industry looking to exploit you. Check out my other blogs that will empower your wedding experience.