Post # 1
So my wedding isn’t until March of 2018. I’ve been looking at photographers a lot, as I figure that’s sort of the next thing to worry about. To make a long story short, I had narrowed down a few just from looking online, and had my fiance look at those to narrow it down further. We ended up with two that fit both of our criteria, and I emailed them just to get more information about their services and pricing, and they both responded promptly. My issue, though, is that one of them (we’ll call him photographer A. His website is here, if you’re really interested in looking: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/azar-photography-galloway-oh-544749) responded with a package that is the same price as the package fitting what we’d need from the other photographer (who we’ll call photographer B, whose info is here: https://www.theknot.com/marketplace/picture-bliss-photography-grove-city-oh-417271), but with an extra hour of photos, a second photographer, and at about $300 less than he would usually charge for that package, because of the time of year we’re having the wedding… but he said that this price will no longer be available after February 14.
Part of me is really turned off by this sudden pressure to book by photographer A. I thought I made it pretty clear that I was just getting information, not wanting to book ASAP, since my wedding is more than a year out. However, his reviews on theknot.com are all really great, and his photos are beautiful. If this really is a great deal, I don’t want to miss out on it, but I also don’t want to make a mistake because of the pressure to book.
My instinct says to try to meet with both of them next week, and if I really like photographer B then to go ahead and hire him. But I also don’t want to waste my time. I have a ton going on this month, and was sort of planning on putting off any real wedding planning other then researching stuffs online until next month. But now I’m stuck on this. Photography is the biggest differentiating point for my fiancé and me at the moment, as he is just disgusted that we would have to spend more than like $500 for someone to take pictures. He’s finally agreed to up the budget some, since I keep telling him that I really think we should invest in at least decent photos, so if this is a chance to find really great photography for a better-than-usual price, I want to jump on it. I guess I’m just sort of taken aback, as I was not planning on hiring anyone quite this soon.
Have any of you dealt with anything similar? Any advice? I appreciate all of your help!
Post # 2
scipioblack : if you book now you can lock in lower prices, its not unusual to book really early out, we booked our photographer more than a year out.
Post # 3
As long as you have a secure date and venue, you can book the photographer. Popular photographers are most likely already booking for 2018, so this wouldn’t be out of the norm.
Post # 4
I booked my photographer way in advance to my wedding also. It was just one thing off the list and we’re pretty picky as we’re not really natural in front of a camera so we wanted someone who was fun and could navivate through our families for photos so once we found one we liked, we booked as soon as we could.
Post # 5
scipioblack : I’m a wedding photographer, I think photographer A has the better portfolio by far. there’s nothing wrong with booking over a year out so long as you have our date/venue booked and secure. I guess I don’t understand why you’re turned off by feeling pressured to book. It doesn’t sound like he’s pressuring you, simply telling you that the current special pricing offered is only valid through February 14th. If you like him and want the discount, book now. If you don’t want to book wait until you’re ready and pay full price. That’s like going to the grocery store and not needing milk right now but it’s on sale…..you don’t get angry with the grocery store because you still have a 1/2 full jug at home. You either buy the milk on sale now or pay full price when you run out at home.
FWIW, I have plenty of inquiries that come through while I might have a booking discount going on. I always let them know that what it is, and when the discount ends. It’s not to pressure them, it’s because I have a discount happening and like all discounts they end at some point. I’m already booking well into Fall 2018 at this point. May/June & September/October are the busiest wedding months. Those dates go very quickly and it’s not uncommon to book over 12 months out.
Post # 6
In my opinion, as soon a you have a locked in date with a venue, you should immediately shop for and select your photographer. Popular photographers book one to three years in advance, and it’s very easy for them to get booked out from under you. It’s completely normal to book your photographer well in advance.
As for the discount until a certain date – I don’t see anything wrong with that; they’ve got special pricing that expires as of a certain date. You’re welcome to take advantage of that, or take more time to decide but pay a little more. The photographer we selected was running a promo with a two week deadline, so we sped up our selection process, met with alternate photographers to review their portfoliios, and made a decision before the promo ended.
Post # 7
I won’t comment on the specific photographers, as others have commented on that, but more on the “is it too early?” thing.
We’re getting married June 2018. We’ve already booked ceremony and reception, so next is photographer. We’ve got a list of photographers we want to meet with and plan to start meeting in April (we’re getting married 3.5 hours away and will be going down that way for a personal event anyway). I want to book photographer sooner rather than later, since June is one of the more popular months for weddings, and don’t want to risk a photographer we really like being booked for our date already!
Post # 8
We booked everything super early on as well. My photographer was booked for 2017 (fully) by November of last year (And even then she only had about 3 spots left). We booked for our October 2017 wedding back in September of last year (2016) so I’d say we booked fairly early.
If there’s one thing I can offer it’s this: meet both photographers, pick the one you click with. My Fiance isn’t a people person but we really clicked with our photographer the first time we met her, that’s what made my decision in the end. I’d set up meetings with approximately 3 photographers but we decided to go with her before meeting anyone else and her vision absolutely matches up with mine. Every discussion I’ve had with her, her ideas are 100% what I’ve been seeing for our engagement session/wedding pics so I’m very pleased. I wouldn’t decide anything without meeting a photographer first because if you book someone you don’t click with, no matter what you’re pictures aren’t going to turn out.
Post # 9
I booked the photographer a week after I booked my venue. I had been talking to her for months and knew I didn’t want to go with anyone else, so I got on her calendar as soon as I had my date secure.
Post # 10
Our wedding is October 2018. I booked the venue last week and booked the photographer the next day. She said she was already getting requests for spring 2018. I figured I knew I wanted her and her current pricing so I’d book her now and not worry about it anymore.
Post # 11
We’re also looking to book now for our wedding in March 2018. We followed the same process to narrow down a shortlist and then picked a favourite from that shortlist to start with. We’re looking to meet them in March (as I’m away for a week this month) and will go from there.
If it weren’t for the fact that we’ve been busy/I’m going away, we might’ve booked by now 🙂
Post # 12
starfish0116 : I appreciate the input. What turned me off about the offer was that he most definitely did not make it sound like it was a general promotion he had running until the 14th. It says on his website that discounts for wedding during the months November through April were available in his general pricing information (which in no way was made to look like it was a promo he had running at the time, it was a general statement of fact about his pricing), and my understanding of his email was that this offer was that discount, and he was only making it available to me until the 15th, or exactly two weeks after I first contacted him. So if I had waited a month to contact him, I still would have had two weeks to look at his information and decide. So, as far as I can see it, it is absolutely a pressuring tactic. Maybe I’m misunderstanding, but I truly don’t think that I am. I just find it to be frustrating.
Post # 13
scipioblack : from that explanation it does sound like a pressuring tactic. But I think he might mean it less like a pressuring tactic and more like a booking incentive if you know what I mean. I’m also a wedding photographer (much newer than starfish tho!) and the azar portfolio definitely seems to be the more experienced of the two. (I wouldn’t recommend the other one – while she makes some lovely images her style is quite inconsistent so you might get images you don’t like)
You could try something like say “I really like your work, and at that price I’m excited, but it’s a bit early for me to book, can you extend the deadline on that offer by [a short/reasonable period]? or you could find another photographer if you don’t like his sales tactics. as you said, you have plenty of time, and with a shoulder-season wedding, photographers will probably have good availability.
Post # 14
As soon as I booked the venue I called the photographer. I had been looking online and liked my photographer’s style the best. I dunno about anyone else, but I have every wedding person(save my photographer) tell me to figure it out quickly. Personally, I think it is a pressuring tactic that the industry usues…or so that’s been my experience.
Post # 15
I’m getting married in June 2018 and I booked my photographer already! It was the next thing I did after securing the date at my venue. It has been awesome booking things early because a lot of vendors are letting me lock in 2017 prices. (And actually my venue let me lock in the 2016 price because I paid my deposit before the new year!)