Oh WOW! It's been 6 months!
Oh My Goodness! We need to catch up!
So these last few months have been a blur...fall weddings, a new job, more fall weddings...another new job...winter weddings...and an insanely short winter, where has all this time gone?
I've learned so much about this industry...the importance of quality assurance, communicating with your clients, promoting your work, and doing your vey best barely scratch the surface of this very complex industry.
Of course, what many brides are looking for is a connection with their photographer. They want someone who shares the same vision of their wedding day, who can develop a good plan of action to successfully capture their special day, and a way to turn the images around in a timely manner, edited in the way the client envisioned.
So, how does a bride choose her photographer?
(1) First things first, you have to establish a budget and a style.
Why budget before style? Simply put, it's similar to finding a gown, you have to understand what you've got to work with money-wise and how you want to spend that money. Would you prefer to have a package that includes an album, an engagement session, all day coverage, a small travel fee, a second photographer, but the drawback is your'e working with a much larger organization and there is some potential for you to not have the one on one experience you're wanting? Or would you prefer to have something that gives you a very stylized shoot, a very personal experience, but you don't get an album or the full day of coverage? Each situation has it's perks and its drawbacks, but it's really 100% up to you how you spend that budget. Just remember, many of you have a budget, and you have to work well with it.
When it comes down to style, there are some very larger variances between photographers. Would you prefer editorial and capture the moment style photos? Or something more traditional? Do you want an edgy look to your shooting style? Do you want something heavily edited, HDR style or light on the touch ups and heavy on the natural light?
All of these are things you have to really think over as you begin your search for your photographer. Many brides choose a blend of light, airy, natural and traditional shooting styles, so they get a good mesh of images they'll treasure for the rest of their lives, and images mom and dad would like as well.
(2) Start doing your research. The internet is full of great resources for you to find your photographer. Sites like knot.com, weddingwire.com, and borrowedandblue.com have listings of hundreds of photographers in your area within your budget, no matter how much or little you have to work with. There are also planners and coordinators, your venue, your caterer, or even your florist who may have a few recommendations. Not to mention your friends and family.
Once you find a few photographers that fit your budget, and match your style, it's important to read more into their work. Find reviews of theirs online, check out their site, if you know one of their clients, ask them their honest opinion.
(3) Set up interviews. You've done your research, you've found a few you like...it's time to sit down and talk with them.
It may be a hassle, they may only be able to meet on the weekdays, they may only be able to meet in a certain part of town, they may not be available or they may be so busy they can't meet with you any time soon. But they have your info, they may be available, they're going to want to meet with you! If they reach out to you via email or over the phone, reach back out. They are ready and able to set up a meeting with you!
Make sure to arrive to the meeting on time and with your list of questions. You already like their price and their style, see if they're a good fit for you. Keep in mind, aside from you groom and your mom, your photographer is going to be the person you spend most of your day with. You have to get along with them.
(4) Don't forget, there is no such thing as too many questions.
You're going to want to know as much about your photographer as you can. What their background is in? How did they get trained? How do they approach a wedding? What all do you get in your contract? Whats the price of certain add ons? whats the travel fee? do they charge taxes for their services? Whats the editing process like? How long does it take for you to get your images back? Whats the deposit?
^^and that's just a few!^^ Ask as many questions as you can think of. Ask to see an example of their work that's NOT on their website or Facebook page. Review this work as closely as you can. The whole reason for websites or Facebook pages is to showcase the very best work they have to offer. What does their work TYPICALLY look like. Chances are there's no variance in the two, but you do want to make sure.
And, of course, DO NOT forget to ask about the rights to your images. Most photographers contracts stipulate that the photographer maintains the ownership of the images, and they can use them in their promotions and advertising. This could also mean that you cannot post them anywhere online, including your Facebook page. Your contract could say that you and the photographer share the rights to the images...meaning you both can post them anywhere and use them at either's discretion. Make sure to ask if you can make copies as well.
All of this can be negotiated in the meeting.
(5) if everything looks good, and you feel like you and your photographer mesh well, then get excited! You just found your photographer! Make sure to sign the documents and pay the deposit, keep a copy for yourself, and start brainstorming photo ideas! This phase is done!
You can always schedule a meeting with me by emailing me or calling 512-517-3182! I'd love to work with you!