Post # 1
Hi all, so I’m trying to figure out photographers and hoping for some advice/input from you wise bees! What do you look for in valuing a quote you get from a photographer?
I’ve gotten all the information about the packages/rates of a few photographers we’re considering. However, since I’ve never gone through this before, I’m not really sure how to decide what I’ll actually want! It is pretty obvious to me that I would want a DVD/CD of all the original images so I can order extras on my own (probably for much cheaper than what the photographers themselves charge, right?).
Other than that – do I want a book with 200 photos in it from the big day? 300? None? Should I expect albums for the parents as well? I know you’ll probably say what each person wants is different…but I guess I’m just asking what are the types of things I should be looking for in a package/pricing? I’m confused as to how to compare the value of all of these packages (assuming the photographers’ skill is of equal caliber).
What did you all look for? What was important to you, pricewise, in selecting a photographer? (Again this isn’t a question about skill or rapport with the photographers…just the price issue)
Thanks in advance so much!
Post # 3
Well, look at the quality of their work, then who offers the most.
My photographer had a deal: either I could get 4 hours of coverage + 11 engagement prints and free engagement shot + disc of all images + album of either 400 photos or a nicer album of about 60-100, OR coverage for 8-9 hours plus a disc for the same price. We went with the longer coverage because we wanted more pics–we can make an album ourselves!
Post # 4
Hmmm. I’ll tell you everything I know.
1) Count personality. It makes a HUGE difference.
2) How soon did each photographer get back to you? We loved one photographer’s pictures and were willing to pay the price, but she would NEVER return our phone calls. I didn’t want to be one of those brides who still didn’t have any pics a year later!
3) A single-shooter should take anywhere from 400 to 800 images per event. Now, you probably won’t receive all of those because it would take FOREVER to edit and it would just be redundant. Usually in an album there are anywhere from 35 to 80 images. However, you should receive digitally much more than that.
I think you should be looking for someone who isn’t too rigid on times (i.e. will come as early and stay as late as you need them) and for sure, someone who gives you the rights to the images afterwards!
Post # 5
Thanks, cinemaparadiso! So that’s a good thing to bring up that I didn’t even think about — maybe I don’t care about getting an album at all from the photographer, since I can make the album myself. More important to just get all the coverage and a CD of all the pics so that I an order whatever I want and make my own album…
Or is there something I’m missing and maybe there’s a reason I would want to have an album straight from the photographer? Would it be higher quality photos or something? Or is it just a matter of saving time not having to put them in an album myself (which I don’t care about)?
Looking forward to more ideas…thanks!!!
Post # 6
You can make really great quality albums online at Snapfish and other sites like that with captions, stories, etc. And they can come in a “coffee table” edition that looks much nicer than an album. Just a thought. (: I’ll shutup now.
Post # 7
Thanks for the feedback, Mrs Dee to Bee – great points. I love the Snapfish albums…have seen some really cute ones!
The photographers are all equal with responsiveness, friendliness, and quality. I’m really just trying to figure out how to analyze the value and to make sure when I negotiate that I’ve thought of all the things I’m going to want from the photographer.
Post # 8
The greatest value – and the reason why photography is expensive and why prints are expensive – is in how much your photographers will be editing your photos. If they provide you a disc, great, but will they keep the photos at proof stage so that you still have to order prints through them to get the polished images you saw in the portfolio? You can ask each of your photographers just exactly how edited the photos would be, how many edited photos you will receive, and whether they can show you some before & after. After personality, professionalism, and their ability to capture your day, the true differentiating factor is the amount of work that happens afterwards!
Post # 9
Shangchen makes a good point… editing is important. I know how to edit pics already, so that wasn’t a big deal for me, but it may be for you.
Post # 10
shangchen…that’s a great, great point. I never would have thought about the fact that the images might be unedited on the disc they give us. I will absolutely look into that. Thank you!
Smart bees – keep the suggestions coming! Yall are great.
Post # 11
I am a photographer, though I have only shot one “official” wedding, I have been shooting for about 25 years? (Yes, i am old :)) and have a masters in photo (my creds!)
My only additional comment is that as a pro, I have accsess to higher quality products (from a pro lab) than the average consumer. There is also the issue of editing/post-production & design of albums, etc.
I also want to reiterate that you do indeed get what you pay for 🙂
And as a working mom, I price myself based on what I can actually make a living from. The photographers out there who are underpricing actually end up hurting themselves in the end, I strongly believe.
Hope that helps! Good luck!Have a wonderful wedding!!
Post # 12
the most important thing to me was price, and then the style of their work. i really love photojournalism and special effects so i wanted to find one in my price range. i got the dvd release, and the photography. that was it. i can add on albums after the wedding so that made me happy to not have to make those minor details right away. i also checked weddingwire.com for vendor reviews to see what other brides said about each one.