Two easy ways to choose your wedding photographer.
It’s not an easy task these days being a bride and having to choose your wedding photographer. It wasn’t so long ago that all you had to do was visit the two or three major studios in your local town, armed with several
recommendations from your parents and friends. If that didn’t work there were always the yellow pages or, perish the thought, choosing the same studio that photographed your parents wedding.
But that was then and today, well……. There is the internet, flush with page after page of photographers. A plethora of websites, designs, prices, styles, stories and each and every one of them, an international photographer star wannabee charging anywhere from $500.00 to $10,000. Oh and lets not forget your cousin Carl who just bought a wonderful new Nikon and your mother or worse your fiancé is sure he can do it and save you some money.
I feel your pain! And as a wedding photographer who has photographed more than 300 weddings in several countries around the globe I’m here to tell you there are really only two important things for you to consider
in narrowing down your choice of photographers. The rest are sub factors that should come into play only after you have answered these two important questions;
1. Do I like his/her style and personality? In other words do you get goose bumps when you see their work? Do you feel as if you must have this person spend 8-12 hours with you and your family in what will arguably be one of the most emotional days of your life? Can you look at their work and feel whatever emotion is important to you? Do you feel the passion in their work? Is it authentic? Is it fun? Whatever feeling or emotion is important to you should be present in their work and in their personality. There should undoubtedly be a personal connection and a click that’s says I will love working with this person and having them be a part of my event. When you're there for your first meeting with them think about how you felt. Did you feel their excitement when discussing your big day? Did the words flow back and forth effortlessly and you felt like…”oh they get it”. If this feeling isn’t there it won’t matter how affordable they are. And if you choose your photographer based solely on whether you can afford, well you know how this story ends so I will spare you the details.
2. Can I afford them? Everyone has a budget whether its $5000 or $200.000 for their wedding so don’t be shy or embarrassed about it. The key is what will you spend your budget on? The larger shares will go toward those areas that are most important to you. Years ago I once photographed a wedding where the bride spent $4000.00 on her photography but had the reception in a small brick building with pot luck food served on paper plates (honest) by her guests. There was little doubt what was important to her.
If your photographer that gives you goose bumps costs more than what you have allocated for photography you will have a few decisions to make. You can a; look for someone else who fits your budget and your style requirements, b; shift portions of your budget from something else or c; work with your preferred photographer to adjust the package to fit your needs.
A really top notch photographer will most likely not bargain on price but should be open to customizing a package to fit your individual requirements.
Hopefully your chosen photographer spent some time listening to you and not only talking because if they are the perfect choice their work and personality will have sold itself without much work. All of the rest are just small details that we can discuss in our next article.
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