DON’T DO IT! The first thing a lot of couples ask when looking for a wedding photographer
, is “how much?” Sometimes it’s overwhelming looking at so many options and that’s the only thing you can think to ask!! If you’re going to ask that, then don’t forget ask what is included. It is because value is so different from upfront cost. I know you want to stick to your budget, but think about this:
Let’s say your budget is $3,000. Photographer A charges $3,000 for 6 hours of wedding day coverage. Photographer B charges $3,200 but you get 8 hours of coverage, images & an album. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d go over my budget that little amount for that any day. YET at the same time, you wouldn’t do that if the $3,200 photographer’s work wasn’t as good or what you wanted, right?
Any photographer will tell you that decision should be about liking their work and nothing else, but the reality is that most people have budgets and can’t just choose the $10,000 photographer because you “are in love with their work.” You need to think about how high a priority it is and then find an approximate number. (ex. if you’re budget is less than $1,000 then you will probably get a pretty newbie photographer who has only shot a handful of weddings) Then start looking at people who’s work you like.
Personally, if someone doesn’t have a price easy to find on their website – I get really nervous and probably won’t even contact them because I assume it’s really expensive! I like to be open, everyone who comes to my website knows my starting pricing and if they can’t do that pricing, they don’t waste their time contacting me.
It currently looks like I’m raising my prices for 2015, but when it you look at it, it’s much less of a price increase and just more inclusion in my packages. Over the last year, almost all of my couples have added to their packages before the wedding, added albums after the wedding, or regretted not having me present for another hour or two. For this reason, I have created “the wedding experience” which I’d say is the best well-rounded wedding day.
The Wedding Experience starts at $2,400 and includes:
– 8 hours of wedding day coverage
– all edited digital images
– 2nd photographer
– engagement session
– reception signing album
8″ leather wedding album available to add for $500 at time of booking (reg. $600)
There are a lot of questions people ask me during consultations, and there are a lot of “10 questions to ask your wedding photographer
” lists floating around. Here are some answered
common and important ones, and a few that are many silly and not so important to ask.
There are so many questions on so many lists – if you have a question that you would like a personal or general answer or opinion of asking just comment and let me know!
How long have you been in business?
This is my first year as a “full time” business but I have been photographing several weddings (as well as second shot for many photographers) since 2012.
This is often not a super accurate question of experience because Photographer A could have been working for 5 years photographing 5 weddings per year. Photographer B could have been working for 2 years photographing 15 weddings per year. It’s less about duration in business and more about quantity of weddings.
How far in advance do I need to book with you?
I am currently booking weddings 10 months out from now, but I’m not fully booked for the next 10 months.
Really, the sooner the better for anyone. It’s just about their skill level and popularity how fast they book up. Some newer photographers you can book the month before, some super popular photographers are booked a year and a half in advance. No one can reserve your date for you, so anyone could potentially steal the date the day after.
How would you describe your style?
I am an natural illustrative style, which is a blend of traditional and photojournalistic with an emphasis on light and composition.
This brings me back to what you’ve seen that made you email the photographer that you did. If you liked the imagery and could picture yourself in their images, that’s the style you wanted – so you probably shouldn’t ask them to describe it because it’s kind of complicated ;)
Do you have a portfolio I can review? Are all of the images yours and is the work recent?
See above. Almost no photographers carry a physical portfolio anymore, their website is their portfolio. If you liked their work enough to email them, you like their work. If you haven’t seen their work before you emailed them, I’m not sure what to say to you! lol
If the images are not all theirs, run away. Fast. It should always be recent too. If both answers are no, then I’m not sure I would call them a professional photographer at all.
What type of equipment do you use? Do you have backup equipment?
I use an Nikon D800 FX with G grade prime lenses and SB700s. And yes, I have a backup body.
If you don’t know anything about equipment, then it’s usually best not to ask that. It makes a photographer feel really vulnerable and interrogated. A professional photographer will usually opt to upgrading to the best equipment and have backups, but equipment doesn’t make a photographer. Skill does. I know many photographers who can’t invest in the highest level gear just yet, but their images are still breathtaking and I promise, you won’t notice the difference.
May I have a list of references?
Personally, I would love to give that to anyone. I’m proud of what my couples say about me. But reality is people move on so fast after their wedding day to get back to life. I won’t give out someone’s contact info without their permission, but I often don’t hear back from many because their busy. This is why I try to get reviews right after, whether it be on Facebook, WeddingWire, Google Pages..etc. So that they’re there for future clients to read.
Do you have a written contract?
Yes. 1000x yes. It protects you as much as it protects me. PLEASE don’t book any vendor that doesn’t have a contract. Run away.