If you’re like me you agree that times are hard. Most people are on a budget and can’t afford some of the luxuries they were once able to do. When it’s time to select a wedding photographer the task can be energy consuming and almost scary. If you’re logged into facebook you’ll see a new person with a camera calling themselves a photographer. Be wise because a lot of them are fauxtographers who can easily fool you if you’re not careful. So how do you separate one photographer from the next?
What to look for:
1. Are they professional?
2. Are they quick or nervous to discuss price?
3. Do they have a history of solid work?
4. Do they offer real value?
5. Are they open to giving you options?
6. Are they personal?
7. Are they creative?
Here’s my suggestion.
1. They must be professional. That’s with how they respond via email or on the phone. Even if they are busy there must be some professionalism in how they respond.
2. If a photographer is quick to discuss price or nervous in most cases they aren’t confident in what they have to offer. The sooner they are able to get you off the phone the happier they’ll be. They must devote the time to go over what they have to offer.
3. A photographer must have some history of work behind him/her. If they haven’t done a portrait session don’t expect them to provide you with an awesome product. You will get what you pay for.
4. When you’re discussing package details, the value of what you’re getting must match or exceed the price. Photographers must offer more than what a client is paying. Keep in mind that as a client, you cannot expect to hire a good wedding photographer to spend 8 hours with you and only charge you $500 or even $1,000.00. A good quality lens alone can cost $1,200.00 and above.
5. No one wants just one option. You should have options. In those options, the photographer should be able to give you what you’re looking for even if that means the package has to be customized. It is understood that not every client wants 10 – 8x10s. Make sure you’re getting more than just a disc with images.
6. A photographer must connect with each client. Those who are passionate about their craft and business will let it manifest through the consultation as well as through your session. If you’re not connecting with them, you may want to keep searching.
7. Now lets be honest. You aren’t expecting the same quality your grandmother received. The sad reality is, there are photographers who are still stuck in the 1980s with their creativity. Your photographer should have a creative eye and should be shown in the final product.
Something to always keep in mind as it relates to your wedding is putting things into proper perspective.
If you’re spending $5,000 on food, $1,000 on flowers, $4,500 on a wedding venue, $1,500 on a wedding gown but only budget $500 for wedding photography, that may be a problem. A huge one in most cases.
After the wedding day has passed, think about what you’ll have left. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot on all the other details and skimp out on the only thing that you’ll be able to reflect on. You’d hate to hire a low budget photographer who wasn’t able to capture those fine details you’ve spent a lot on. Photography should be higher on the priority list if details and quality are important.
For the record, photographing a wedding for 8 hours isn’t an easy task. Also, the real work starts after the wedding day is completed. Several hours are spent editing photos, designing albums and preparing proofs for the client. Most skilled photographers will show up with at least $7,500 or more worth of equipment. So when it’s time to hire your photographer, don’t make a quick decision unless you know they are the one for you.
I hope this information will enable you to make the right decision going forward and if you’re a photographer try to allow change in your business practice.