Post # 1
So I’m planning my wedding living in a city about an hour and a half away from the city where I’m actually getting married. I’m doing a lot of my initial research online before I set up meetings with actual photographers.
It seems to me there is no other vendor category where there is as much choice. The region has maybe 6-8 DJs, 10-15 wedding florists, 5-6 bridal salons, 8-10 elegant hotels/country clubs, but easily reaching 100 photographers!! Shouldn’t then the photographers be competing harder for my business?
I’ve picked out the photographer I want, but before we book him my fiance wants to see some comparison. (this same photographer is also the most expensive. Photography is the one thing I’m sparing no expense on.)
So over the weekeend I individually emailed about ten photographers who meet my high standards and have received exactly TWO replies. So I’m kind of happy email apathy is making it easier to select Top Photographer, but I’m just baffled why other photographers aren’t doing something as simple as respond to an email. Maybe they’re all booked up — which I might expect, I have a popular date and these are likley some of the best photographers in town — but to not even respond, it just seems kind of weird.
The bright side is, it sure is making the decision to spend the money on my first choice so much easier!!
Post # 3
I would honesty cut them a little slack. This last weekend was the fourth of july and most ppl travel, have family activities, or they might have been really busy …so most likely they didn’t even get your e-mail to Tues or Wed, so I would only consider it to be one day without response. I would allow atleast a week for replies.
Post # 4
I agree with Floridabeachbride, I’d cut them a little slack. With the holiday weekend, I’d give them some time to get back into the swing of things. I know quite a few people (and business owners) who traveled for the holiday. Not only that, but they may be busy with other work, too. I say if you don’t hear from them by mid-next week, I’d then start to consider other options. I’d hate for you to lose out on a great photog out of haste. I get the same way sometimes but always manage to talk myself into looking at the whole picture and ride out the wait.
Post # 5
I think it is polite to respond even if the date is full and a few vendors have done this. Several vendors we were already in contact with notified use via email that they would be taking a vacation and when we could get back to them. However, if it makes you decision easier, you have to narrow things down somehow!
Post # 6
I have found it to be so annoying with vendors not getting back to me. I’ve had a florist never get back to me, a florist call me 3 weeks later and then not respond when I called back, and a band e-mail with me back and forth several times and then fall off the Earth. I don’t get it! I’m with you, I give about 3 days and then I write them off. They need to be more timely with responses. It only takes a few minutes.
Post # 7
JenO, just thought I’d throw it out there that you might want to consider what exactly you are writing in your messages to these high-end photographers. After a while in the business, many of us (photographers) have come to be able to tell who is just price shopping, and who really loves our work and will be most likely to book us.
In your case, you area probably going to be sending the “just price shopping” vibe because you already have a photographer in mind who you are in love with/half ready to book. Also, when I receive an email that consists of nothing more than “Can you please email me your prices/packages?” I get the sneaking suspicion that it’s another photog in the area scouting my prices and usually do a little research before responding.
Basically, the more interested you seem, the hotter we’ll pursue you. In part, this means we are investing the bulk of our energy in someone more likely to book us, but more importantly it’s because WE IDEALLY WANT TO WORK WITH CLIENTS WHO LOVE OUR WORK, NOT JUST OUR PRICES 🙂
A 6k-starting-price photographer once told me he has no interest in price shoppers because they aren’t the kind of people who really appreciate his work. Less appreciation means less future referrals and so on. Essentially, those high-end photogs are choosing you as much as you are choosing them. Hope this helps!
Post # 8
Thanks Bees, for all the replies! You are right, I needed to just be patient. I know I was getting a little anxious because even though my date is a year away, the distance and my schedule really only permit me one weekend a month of planning/meeting/wedding intensity, etc., so I just want to make sure I snag a great photographer before they get snatched up!! So thanks for the perspective and the advice.
LBP, you make a great point. I have tried to keep the initial emails short, but I have in every case emphasized how beautiful I think the photographers work is. Although I have a first choice, every photogapher I’ve emailed has created truly breathtaking work and I know it’s going to be a difficult decision after I get meetings set up. Quality is much more important to me than price.
But, my budget isn’t unlimited either. And I only ask about price — which I find awkward — when there is no mention of it whatsoever on a photographer’s site. Can you gently explain to me why photographers do this? Even a simple line somewhere of “Packages begin at $3500” is sufficient to give me an idea without having to ask, but so many photographers don’t even list this minimum information. So then I have to “price shop,” which is unpleasant for everyone. How would you suggest broaching the subject of price in a way that doesn’t offend the photographer but at the same time gives me the basic information I need to make sure I’m not wasting anyone’s time?
Post # 9
Hi Jen! I think some photographers are just super-good salespeople so by not listing any sort of price they are trying to get the initial contact and a chance to try to “sell” you. I, on the other hand, am a terrible salesperson, so I really only want inquiries from potential clients whose budgets I’m already within. I only list a starting price on my site though, because I don’t want other local photographers to be able to come look at them and copy every one of my packages while making each one $100 cheaper. I’d say 90% of photogs who only list a starting price have the exact same thinking. Other than for sales purposes, I really don’t see why any photographer wouldn’t at least give a starting price, but then again, when you go to Rodeo drive in California and shop you don’t see prices on any of that stuff either!