Post # 1
- Wedding: March 2016 - Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Since I posted about my engagement on IG, photographers from everywhere have been contacting me to consider working with them. This one photographer, let’s call her “Linda” commented on a post of my ring and naturally I clicked on her name and checked out her profile. I really liked some of her posts and commented on one of them – just for the sake of returning the favor I guess. I didn’t think anything of it after that.
So Linda starts following me on IG and asks for my email. I gave it to her to see what her pricing is like, and to find out more about her. She travels around the world to shoot weddings, and just before I made a comment on one of her photos, she said she was at her hairdressers (who used to live in Toronto) and suggested Linda to travel to Toronto and shoot a wedding there. Then she came across my profile on IG and thought, “it must be written in the stars”.
Her prices are fair, and her work is beautiful. Linda has never been to Toronto and lives in Nashville TN. She even said she’s “willing to absorb some of the travel costs and work out a price for me that works on my budget” I have not told her my budget and TBH her pricing is pretty much what I had in mind. I already replied to her and said, “Your work is fantastic but probably way out of my price range” to let her down gently. Then when I told her my venue, she got even more excited as she prefers smaller, non-banquet hall type of weddings. The fact that she’s willing to work around MY budget to shoot my wedding… just seems too good to me.
The wedding planning is at its early stages, I haven’t even thought about booking photographers! Plus, to save on costs (I mentioned to Linda our budget is extremely limited and was even going to do destination to save money) I thought about hiring a student – to help build their portfolio and get a great deal! Plus they would be local.
Why do you think she’s super eager? How do I reject her gently? Her work truly is beautiful though – I am tempted to say yes and really see if this is “written in the stars”. If you’ve seen my previous posts, from my ring, to the venue, to my dress… everything seems to be working out in my favor – now this???? Now I’m freaking out.
Post # 2
She’s a professional. You do not need to let her down gently. Just say “We have decided to go with another photographer, thanks.”
Most photographers are willing to work around your budget – number of hours, number of photogs, number of final prints, etc.
Post # 3
In my opinion photography is actually worth it to spend money on for a wedding. I have a couple friends who used photography students for their weddings and they weren’t too excited about their pictures afterwards. If you aren’t ready to book a photographer I would just tell her that and in the meantime look into other options locally to see if there are others you like better and figure out what direction you’d like to go. I wouldn’t want to book someone without meeting them personally so for me the distance would be a dealbreaker.
Post # 4
You don’t need to spare her feelings. You didn’t write anything in blood. She’s not family. She’s a professional vendor, plain and simple. She’s probably used to people saying no, especially if there’s not a contract involved yet.
Post # 5
I generally have a problem with people trying to push their services on me, so I totally see where you’re coming from. Just tell her that you really like her work, but that you have decided to go with a local photographer who you’ll be able to meet up with before the wedding.
Post # 6
If you really don’t want to use her, then simply thank her for her interest but tell her you’ve decided on someone else.
However, you sound like you really would like to use her. I would figure out exactly what your budget will be for photography and send her a message saying you can pay X amount and will that be something she can work with?
The thing about going with students is people think they are getting quality for less because the student is just starting out. This is often not the case and you really don’t want to take a gamble with your wedding photos. I know a girl who graduated with a degree in photography and now teaches it at a high school. She’s not good. On the other hand, my husband has been teaching himself photography for the last 4 years and has now been hired by our wedding photographers to shoot weddings. Schooling doesn’t mean shit when it comes to the arts. Go with someone who is experienced and has consistent good work to back it up.
Post # 7
wait. so you’re rejecting her because it seems too good to be true? have you told her your budget yet or talked to her about anything? i agree with others that there’s no need to spare feelings, especially in professional dealings, but you should at least look into the possibility that it could work out in your favor, right? if you tell her your budget and she’s like “oh hell no” then at least you could say you tried.
Post # 8
she’s probably so eager bc your wedding ideas that she’s heard interest her, and you’re getting married in a place she hasn’t been. avoiding monotony keeps shooting weddings interesting and fresh.
if she’s willing to work with your budget, I don’t see what the problem is. skype can work well when in person meetings aren’t possible…have a face to face conversation and get a vibe, and go from there.
Post # 9
100% agree with PP. She is a professional, so you don’t owe her any explanation of why you decided to go with another photographer. It’s none of her business. Pushy vendors turn me off as well. I had a DJ who called and emailed many times (like 4 times in a week) asking if we were ready to book the date with him. But we were waiting on a meeting with another DJ we were considering… and we told him that. After the 4th call, we knew we wouldn’t be choosing him purely due to the pushyness. We told him we were going with another vendor and that was the end of it.
Post # 10
I think you are overthinking this. She is super eager because it’s her livelihood, and probably something she is very passionate about. You don’t need to let her down gently, just tell her that you aren’t actively looking for a photographer at the moment and may contact her in the future. Trust me, you aren’t the first to do so and won’t be the last. Then continue with your life lol. FWIW, to me it sounds like she is being nice rather than pushy.
Post # 11
If you don’t want to go with her, just say you’ve decided on another photographer. As a photographer myself, when clients choose another photographer, there’s a minute of “aww, bummer! I would have loved to do that one!”…then you move on. Don’t sweat it.
Post # 12
I see where you are coming from but I would also caution you passing up on what seems like a great situation to take a gamble on a student. I only say this because I’ve been very interested in portrait/wedding photography and spent years learning technques from other seasoned weddin and potrait professionals online. There is just no way to compare a professional (ideally someone who has minimum 3-5 years of weddings under their belt) to a student. I think you are taking a huge gamble on that. I truly have awful photos of my wedding because we were very young at the time and my Mother-In-Law found a cheap photographer somewhere. It sucks only having 3-5 passable pictures of our wedding and the rest are blurry.
Lighting situations are constantly changing at weddings and that is where experience will be key. You need someone who knows what equipment to change and what lenses to use, what flashes to use, what settings are best when transitioning from a dimly lit interior room, to going outdoors in full sun, to areas next to windows etc. A seasoned professional will know how to handle lighting situations instinctivy from experience and have the speed to not miss shots. I know prices in Toronto are sky-high so you actually might come ahead having a photographer fly in from out of town. I don’t have any advice on how to let her down, but I’d caution about passing up someone with a great portfolio who can work within your budget for a student, which will be more of a crap-shoot in my opinion.
Post # 13
I also need to echo some of PPs replies.
You like her work and want to work with her, her price is what you had in mind, she wants to shoot your wedding.
So you want to ditch her and go with a student?
I’m not sure people really know what they are getting into when they hire a student. Photography students are “too good” to shoot weddings. They don’t want stinkin weddings in their portfolio. They want to do super artsy stuff for galleries. They of course will shoot your wedding casue sudents are poor, but don’t be suprized if you end up with closeups of blades of grass and odd reflections in glass rather than proper wedding pics. I had a friend use a student. Not only did she take forever to get her the photos since she put the wedding photos on a backburner, they were horrid. My friend basically used guest pics for her album. Unless you want some abstract photos that may semi-resemble a wedding go for a student. Hell, maybe one day your photos will be worth millions if that student ever makes it in the art world, but then again probably not and you’ll just be stuck with crap.
I’d bet the vast majority of wedding photgraphers do not go to photography school.
but you go ahead and tell that photographer you like to bugger off.
Post # 14
- Wedding: March 2016 - Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
Thank you all so much Bees! This is why I love this forum. I am actually having second thoughts about hiring a student and will be contacting Linda and tell her what my budget is and go from there.
Having beautiful portraits of the wedding day is important for me and assuming that day will be “chaotic” it would be nice to look back at the pictures and relive the day when it’s over.
I’m a firm believer in “things happen for a reason” and there must be some crazy reason why Linda contacted me. Even if I don’t end up using her services, this opened my eyes and made me realize how important capturing beautiful moments of our day will be after all.
Thank you Bees!!!
Post # 15
- Wedding: March 2016 - Enoch Turner Schoolhouse
I didn’t say I want to reject her for a student. Hiring a student was just in the back of my mind to cut costs. But I do like her work and if we could work out a good price, I probably would hire her. I only voiced my concern because of her location – but like one of the Bees said, technology these days (Skype) is a good means to get to know her personally. I was just worried about having to say no, sometimes I feel I’m too nice. But I think I will give her a “shot” 🙂 no pun intended 😛