BOOKING A WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER: 3 HUGE MISTAKES BRIDES MAKE PLUS MY BEST ADVICE
When booking a wedding photographer, I see brides, grooms, and families make the same mistakes over and over. After photographing over seven-hundred weddings, here are a few of the biggest mistakes I see made, plus my best advice for avoiding them.
- Treating their photographer like a commodity. Wedding photography isn’t cheap and far too often, price drives the decision on who to select. I’ve seen brides allow their cousin who is ‘into photography’ to take their photos because they only charge $250 and will give them all the photos on a flash drive. Sadly, what they end up with photos they aren’t proud to display in their home that do nothing but sit, forever, on that flash drive.
- Booking too late. Much like the price-shopping mentioned above, I’ve seen brides unable to book a fantastic photographer because they waited too long to book them. Great wedding photographers are often booked a year in advance.
- Not choosing based on personality and experience. On your wedding day, nothing matters more than knowing your photography is being taken care of by a professional so you can focus on the most important day of your life. A photographers pictures may be beautiful, but if they act like a tyrant, they may derail your entire wedding day. Did they provide you with other past customers reviews? Did they vibe well with you when you met them for a consultation? Did they even offer to meet with you prior to the wedding day? (MAJOR red flag.) Not an agent or booking rep, did you meet the person who will be at your wedding. More and more businesses are popping up promising cheap photography and filling their roster with unqualified amateurs sourced on craigslist and shuffled around week to week.
Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve seen others make. What follows are four of my best tips for choosing the a wedding photographer.
Advice for Booking a Wedding Photographer
MEET YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER.
They are going to be with you nearly all day and you want to know they have the kind of personality, style and work ethic you want. I also tell brides and grooms to give their photographer the airport test – If you were to get stranded with them on some layover in a tiny remote airport with no wifi and nothing to do for 8 hours, would you want to hang out with them? If so, they’re the photographers for you.
Know Your Price Range.
Cheap wedding photography is not always good and good wedding photography is not cheap. In this industry you get what you pay for, so set a budget keeping this in mind.
Look at a complete wedding (or two).
Many photographers are able to include several good photos in a portfolio if they just show their ten best images. Don’t fall for a well-placed gallery or header image of a blog post. Ask to see an entire wedding that includes all aspects of the wedding from the getting ready to the reception images. Make sure the images you see are actually theirs. There are sadly so many companies with great samples from their best three photographers they show clients but they farm out the work to several cheaper photographers juggled around willy nilly.
Make sure your photographer has backup gear, and shooters if a mishap occurs.
This has to be one of the most overlooked aspects of booking a pro. It’s a ‘must-ask’ question when booking a wedding photographer.
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