(Closed) Help this wedding photographer out!

posted 5 years ago in Career
Post # 3
Member
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Ill help. I have a small budget for the wedding, so price was a big one for me. HOWEVER, photography is very important to me, so I struggled with a balance. Photographers who responded quickly and were flexible were quickly bumped up my list. 

After those things, I would meet with photographers. Personality and if I felt we got along was important. There is no way to force this to happen. Portfolio’s don’t mean too much to me, except original perception, but I could probably come up with some pictures and edit them and pretend I do awesome photography. I insisted on seeing full weddings, I want a beautiful collection of photos, not a couple awesome ones. 

Anyway. Being somewhat flexible, whatever it was, was important, because it made me feel less like I was a dime a dozen bride, but instead someone who was important to the photographer. 

Post # 4
Member
2552 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Blush861:  Congrats on your big transition! 

1. The most important thing I was looking for when choosing fluctuated depending on what point at the relationship we were in. In the beginning before I even chose possible photographers I would say it would be their website. Really gorgeous pictures still look shitty if the website is poorly designed, and itmakes you wonder about the person as well that they would put such little thought into what is most people’s first impression. After that it would be the quality of the pictures & promptness- quality being most important but if I can’t get in touch with you or you take 3 weeks to answer my e-mail I don’t care how perfect your images are I’m going with someone else. 

2- The most important thing for me when looking at packages was the price/time value, and a print release or shared copyright with full resolution photos on DVD/CD. I’d pay someone more if I really loved them for a print release. I don’t really do alot of prints and would prefer to have them made on my own rather than sitting around my house collecting dust for who knows how long before I actually do anything with them… 

Hope this helped! 

Post # 5
Member
43 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: June 2014

It definitely helps when a photographer posts pricing information on their website. I personally want to do both a bridal and an engagement session, so having a package that includes both of those is nice. 

Post # 6
Member
1478 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013 - Creek club at ion, SC

For me it was promptness and professionalism. This was huge for me cos then I knew I could rely on them. Also a good website showing albums and not just one or two pics 

Post # 7
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Savannah, GA

If a photographer doesn’t have their price on the website, I just move on to the next.  

Post # 8
Member
8464 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Blush861:  Reputation was huge for me, I didn’t want to have to deal with a flakey photographer on my wedding day.  The next most important thing was artistic style; I wanted someone with pictures that I loved.

When choosing a photography package, price and print rights were the most important.  Having all day coverage and a 2nd photographer were definitely bonuses though.  Since I was planning on make my own album, having one included in the price didn’t really appeal to me.  Congrats on the job transition!

Post # 9
Member
1850 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

1: What is the most important thing you are looking for when choosing a  wedding photographer? Was it personality, website, portfolio, promptness or  something else?

My photographer had TONS of full weddings on his website. It let me know that he didn’t hide behind his portfolio. He has one or two weaknesses, but they’re not big enough for me to not want him to shoot our day. 🙂 He was also a really nice guy but very much about that business. I like that balance. They (husband and wife team) were very prompt with the emails and very kind.

2: What was the most important thing you looked for when looking at packages?  Was it price, printing, albums, 2 shooters, hours, DVD, or oniine galleries?

Price. FI set it arbitrarily at 3K and I did my best to stick with that. Our photographer was $3000, give or take $100. That’s with tax included – for a major city, that’s fab! I needed the coverage hours and the engagement session included.

Post # 10
Member
142 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

@Blush861:  

1. You know what made me choose my photographer? Like, the determining factor when I was looking through portfolio after portfolio after portfolio. I stumbled upon her (beautiful) website and saw that instead of your average, over-coffee or whatever interview; she offered a free “getting to know you mini shoot”. As a part-time photographer, it freaking blew me away. That’s genius!! Whodda thunk of something so simple?

How often to you hear of brides complaining after an engagement shoot that they just didn’t get along with the photog or that they really didn’t like the style or the way they were photographed?? This could all easily be sorted out by a little minishoot!

Anyway, if you really wanted to stand out, that’s one way to do it. I’ve heard of other photogs offering the service but it’s still pretty rare.

Other things that stand out to me are the website, like someone said before; even if you have your very-best-absolutely-fabulous shots on your website. If it’s not well designed or user-friendly; people won’t even bother to look.

Personality was also a big thing I looked for. I wanted someone with whom I could have a coffee or a beer. We actually passed on a few super talented, freaking genius photogs just because we didn’t like their personality. 

Anyway, hope that helped

Post # 13
Member
3769 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

1: What is the most important thing you are looking for when choosing a wedding photographer? Was it personality, website, portfolio, promptness or something else? – When looking at blogs and through albums at the bridal fair I was looking for great portfolios. What I noticed was that a lot of pictures were beautiful, but they weren’t beautiful because of the couple. They were beautiful because of the lighting, fancy tricks, and most of all location. I remember one BEAUTIFUL photo of a cathedral, the blue sky, the lighting was great, and oh yeah there was a bride and groom. I hated this. I wanted to see beautiful photos, but photos of couples, families, and friends. I didn’t want artwork, I wanted memories. So I focused on fiinding photographers that met that bill.

I also wanted laid back, casual personalities. The artsy types I mentioned earlier always seemed to have their noses in the air. The photographers we went with were so cool and laid back, they goofed off with us, and had fun.

Promptness is important, especially via email. With work and school I am always on a computer and it’s easier for me to communicate via email. I liked that our photographers were fast about email replies.

Travel to locations. Our photographers were willing to travel out of town for photo shoots, which was great. We didn’t have any trouble organizing a little trip about an hour out of town for our e-pics, and were even considering a trip to the University we attended, which was 3 hrs away. All ok with the photographers. They loved traveling!

2: What was the most important thing you looked for when looking at packages? Was it price, printing, albums, 2 shooters, hours, DVD, or oniine galleries?

All photos on DVDs, with release. 2 photographers was not vital at first, but our package included it and I realized quickly how happy I was about that. I have advised a lot of others to go ahead and splurge on 2 shooters. I also loved that our photographers were there all day, unlimited coverage.

Price was obviously important. We got great value for our money.

3: HOW did you find your photographer? – At a bridal show. They were actually my MOH’s photographer and when we spotted them at the bridal show I remembered them, they hugged my MOH, and we talked for a while. Set up an appointment for a week later.

Post # 14
Member
336 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

1: What is the most important thing you are looking for when choosing a wedding photographer? Was it personality, website, portfolio, promptness or something else?

A combination of all of the above. First and foremost for me, it was important for my photographer and my fiance and I to all get along. It’s also very important to listen to what your potential client wants, and to be open to their ideas. Obviously, the photographer is the expert, but I had some specific engagement picture requests, and my photographer was great in accommodating us. Also, as a bride, there is nothing that irritates me more than vendors who don’t respond for days. I think a professional and frequently-updated website is important, too. If I see a poor website for any vendor, not just a photographer, I’ll skip right past it, no matter how great the product is (which is probably dumb, but there’s so much competition!)

Flexibility was also a major factor. My engagement shoot was cancelled two days before it was supposed to take place (the venue had a conflicting event). I had to reschedule it to a Saturday morning in July – aka, the height of wedding season. My photographer was there on time, with a day’s notice. And worked down to the wire before he had to leave for the wedding he had to shoot that day. Awesome.

2: What was the most important thing you looked for when looking at packages? Was it price, printing, albums, 2 shooters, hours, DVD, or oniine galleries?

Price to me is most important. I would like the option of having two shooters, at least for the ceremony portion/receiving line portion. Once the reception kicks off, I’m not sure I would need to pay for two shooters. Turn around time is also extremely important to me. Obviously, I want to include my wedding shots in my thank you cards, and I don’t want to be waiting months to get the pictures back. My photographer also built in touch-ups to our photos in his price, and is burning everything onto a CD. Then I can do what I want with the pictures – blow them up, make an album, burn extra CDs, etc.

3: HOW did you find your photographer?

Word of mouth. And I love him so much that I’ll pass along his name to everyone I come into contact with who is getting married in the near future. 🙂

Good luck in your career! Congratulations!

Post # 15
Member
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2014

Most important thing for me (besides quality) is the full quality pictures available to me to print/blow up whenever and wherever I want. 

Budget… I want a full day of shooting. Two photographers is a nice to have, but not necessary. Same with albums/prints etc because I could just make my own if I had the digital files. 

Post # 16
Member
9143 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Blush861:  

1. Good use of lighting and composition across most if not all images on the website.  Your website should reflect your best work.  An out of place picture here and there looks okay but I want to see 15+ pictures from a single wedding and they should all look amazing.  Don’t show me one awesome photo from each of 12 weddings.  Even a blind person occasionally takes a great picture.  Have a neutral third party review your website before publishing and ask them to be brutally honest.

2. For packages I had a small budget so price was a major factor.  Otherwise, it was the ability to obtain a DVD with all images and the rights to print the images.  Why?  I don’t want to have to contact the photographer every time I want a picture and I also don’t want to worry that the photos weren’t archived and ended up lost after 10 years (if I lose them then it’s my own fault.)

I found my photographer on Craigslist.  Again, I had a tight budget so I couldn’t use the traditional wedding websites and bridal books/magazines.  I clicked through lots of photographers on Craigslist until I narrowed it down to three photographers that had great websites (linked from their Craigslist ads) and blogs that showcased their most recent work.  Then I contacted them in turn to inquire about availability.  I ended up with 4 hours, 2 photographers, and a DVD of images with full printing rights.  Honestly, for most brides 4 hours is not going to be enough but I didn’t want to wade through late night, drunken guest photos.  We still have the option to add an additional hour or two at hourly rates if we decide on the day of the wedding that we want her to stay.

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