(Closed) How did you pick your photographer? I don't know where to start,

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I started by visitng different wedding blogs of local weddings.. like smp you can filter on say los angeles.. then you get a feel for the photographers so I was able to narrow down who I liked.. I felt wedding wire or the knot offered wayyy too many choices I didnt have the time to look into all those. Plus this may seem kind of weird but Facebook! a lot of your friends/friends of friends post their wedding and you can easily find out who their photographer was. In terms of negotiating.. idk if you can do that or not but I think you should just talk to your photographer and see if there is anything he/she can do to help you otu.. never hurts to ask. but you’re right I feel like in So Cal Any of the talented ones start at 5k easily..good luck!

Post # 4
Member
1832 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Go to a bridal expo, they have tons of vendors you can check out and see their work.

Post # 5
Member
582 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well I have a wonderful friend who does wedding photography in the SoCal and is very reasonably priced compared to most otherphotographers in the area. Jacquelyn Rachel photography if you’re interested. We are actually flying ours in from nor cal because that’s still cheaper! It’s hard though but definitely check out blogs, check out weddings at your venue especially if you have one exhaust all of your options it really comes down to what style you want!:) 

Post # 6
Member
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Like PP, I asked on FB whenever I saw photos that I liked, searched on blogs, and googled photographers in my area.

Figure out what your must haves are before you decide to meet with anyone. I wanted all of the digital rights to the photos and I prefer more of the detail & photojournalistic shots. So, any photogs with portfolios of tons of posed photos were not going to work for me. I also don’t care if any prints are included in my package b/c by having the digital rights I can get prints made as I please.

We met with a guy who was the lowest priced and didn’t really care for his work and didn’t seem to mesh well with his personality (he was just starting out). After that we realized how much more we might need to spend to get what we wanted. We also had a price cap that we didn’t want to go over. In Chicago, many photogs are $4-5K but that just wasn’t going to work for us. We ended up with a great photographer in the $2K range.

Post # 7
Member
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

To add to @mishagirls79:  comment… set up a wedding email account if you plan to go to an expo or send emails to vendors found online. Some of them will send you so many emails and it clogs up your inbox.

Post # 8
Member
4039 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

You can also ask your venue. I lthese the wedding promo pictures on my venues site, so I asked them who did the photography and that ended up being the one we used!

Post # 9
Member
3625 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I started by searching blogs and asking around. Blogs are helpful in that you can see if a photographer is consistent, although I wouldn’t necessarily be too “sold” by the blogs/portfolio as that’s always the best work. That’s what happened to us with our first photographer.

We found our second one by asking around and he was a referral from a referral from a photographer. I’ve noticed that really good photographers tend to be friends with other really good photographers and they’ll shoot in similar styles.

I was able to negotiate some of the vendors in my wedding, but I never tried with photography. I’m not sure if you would get a discount in off-season per say since IMO, there’s really no “off season” in Southern California. It’s not like we get extreme weather where no one wants to get married.

What’s your budget for a photographer? I may have some good contacts for you.

Post # 10
Member
2363 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Our photographer shot a friend’s wedding, and we saw her pics on FB.

Our second choice was recommended by our venue.  I liked that she had worked in the space before and knew how to shoot an indoor wedding.  I noticed that most photographers/wedding blogs feature outdoor, DIY-inspired weddings, which is a very different look and feel than we were going for.

I recommend asking to see a photographer’s entire body of work from two or three weddings, which will give you a more accurate sense of what you will get than if you only see the two or three best shots from each wedding. 

Post # 12
Member
5371 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014 - Ontario, Canada ♥ EDD- April 2016

We live in a smaller area with pretty limited photographer choices. Basically I just googled “______ wedding photography” for my hometown and searched for photographers in surrounding areas. I had a dream photographer in mind though so that made it a bit easier. When I was searching I was basically just looking for comparables and trying to cover my bases.

Post # 13
Member
4336 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I had TONS of photographer possiblities after researching it, and I am so glad I just went with the one who has done several of my friends weddings (plus I love her pix). Since then, I have read more than enough horror stories on here about photographers- I think you have better chances of getting a good one if you know someone who has successfully used them!

Post # 14
Member
4352 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I started on weddingwire and contacted photographers with good reviews. I negotiated by eliminating things from their packages that I didn’t want. Some photographers were willling to work with me on budget, others weren’t. I told people who we didn’t pick because of their pricing that that was the reason why we didn’t pick them. Some emailed me back to try to create a less expensive package, others gave me the names of less expensive photographers they worked with, and some just wished me luck.

Post # 15
Member
733 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We asked a friend who is a photographer and we weren’t asking him to do our photos so that he could enjoy our day. So his friend will be doing it. Can’t wait!

Post # 16
Member
9570 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I used weddingwire as well.  It took me about a month to find my photographer, as I was pretty picky about quality and getting the things I wanted out of my package.

I just went through photographers on wedding wire…I looked at their portfolios and their packages (if they didn’t have prices, I emailed them for those).  From there I was able to piece together a list of about 5-7 of ones I liked better than everyone else (quality wise) that also had packages that were around my budget.  Then I made a spreadsheet to lay out what they offered in the package and the price.  From there I was able to narrow it down to 2 and then finally to pick one.

Weddingwire was great because I could read reviews for any vendor, including photographers.  I knew I wanted an engagement session and DVDs/CDs of all of the edited pictures from both sessions.  That way I can order prints and albums on my own time, or a few months later if I wanted.  Not everyone included DVDs/CDs, it was an extra for some and it was often $600-$1000 just for those alone on top of the package price, so I often threw out photographers that didn’t offer those in a package.

I don’t know about negotiating, but if you have such a small wedding party you could probably get away with not needing as many hours, so you could try to work that out.  I would look for someone whose work appeals to you visually and then look at what they charge.

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