(Closed) Ladies, what do you look for when searching for a photographer?

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I look for a real portfolio and real weddings in blog posts–I get so annoyed when all of their photos are of gorgeous, skinny, white, heterosexual models in gorgeous locations with perfect lighting and there are no *real* photos.  I like to see weird faces and people of all different races, sizes and sexual orientations in different places.  I have no interest in supporting a business that thinks that people who are not gorgeous, skinny, white, heterosexual models are not worth displaying in their portfolio.  My main concern with hiring a photographer is to find someone awesome who will capture the day, our memories and time with our family.  I have no interest in being featured on SMP so style elements are secondary to me, although I don’t really like the “vintage”, overlit/washed out style that is popular now.  I prefer a more vibrant and saturated look to photos.  I also will murder a photographer who tries to make me stand on a railroad track.

I also will immediately close a window that starts playing music when I open the site.  I hate that.

Post # 4
Member
4194 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

I hate music on photography sites, as well!

I picked my photographer based on his range- he could do the formal photos Mom will want, and also the fun, artsy, creative ones FI & I love. He has a film background, so he has an incredible sense of light, and can do distance photos better than any other photographer I’d seen.

Also-he was very respectful of MY wishes as the bride. At first, I didn’t want to do a first look, and he didn’t pressure me at all about that (other photographers did a little.) He has a great back up plan, which was important.

The photographs have a *tremendous* value- after catering, and venue, it’s the third most expensive part of our budget, and we’ll have them for the rest of our lives. 

Post # 5
Member
7610 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I decided I wanted someone who a friend had actually used and would recommend.  Once I had quite a few recommendations, I decided I wanted someone whose photos made me feel something, even if I didn’t know the people in them.  Our photographer is amazing at capturing emotion.

I also knew that I was into more “real” photos and less posed oversized-picture-frame-holding, piano-in-a-field, random-pile-of-balloons sort of trendy stuff (which is very cool for some people, just not for us).

Post # 7
Member
1964 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I looked for a mix of photojournalistic style and portrait photography.  Obviously someone in my budget, as well as if I got rights to the pics.  I also nixed ANYONE who called their pricing an “investment.”

Good grammar and spelling was essential on their website.  I also needed them to be flexible, as I’m planning the wedding in my hometown but I currently live away.

Post # 8
Member
40 posts
Newbee

Here’s what I’ve found (as a photographer) – a lot of people look at my website during the day. Most likely they are at work. If you’re sitting at your desk and you open a website and it starts playing music, what’s the first thing you do? Close the window! So I keep music off my site. If anything, maybe have the music on there but have it default to being off. Let the visitor decide whether to turn it on or not 🙂

The other thing is – there are so, so many people out there who all have very different opinions about what they would like to see and what they wouldn’t. You can’t make everyone happy, but you can figure out who your ideal client base is and appeal to that 🙂 I’m sure there are a lot of people who visit my site and never email me for whatever X,Y, and Z reason. And that’s fine, because the ones who do email me are generally the perfect fit! It’s like buttah baby!

 

Post # 9
Member
705 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Laura Pennace:  exactly!  And even though I don’t look at work during the day, I usually have music going when I am looking in the evening.  Your music + my music = very angry lady.

I don’t have anything against the railroad tracks thing, I just prefer a photographer who is a bit more creative.  I don’t like doing what everyone else is doing for the sake of doing what everyone else is doing.  If all of the photos in a portfolio are in a field, with perfect lighting, near railroad tracks, then that photographer is not for us because I want our photos to reflect who we are as a couple.  Like I said, for me, this is not about being featured on a wedding blog; it’s about freezing this moment in time to remember later.  We’ve never been in a field with railroad tracks ever in our lives–why start now?  I want someone who is willing to step out of their comfort zone and do fun things with us.

Post # 10
Member
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

I second the “feeling” you get when going through their photos. Ours was recommended, but I found myself going through her albums over and over again and not feeling bored or feeling like it was all a repeat. Even though I didn’t know her other clients, I felt I got a sense of ” them” through the pictures. 

Post # 11
Member
1014 posts
Bumble bee

I prefer photographers with unique styles. I dont like anything too posey.  I want them to capture the moment and our personalities.  I have had once specifically in mind for like 10 months. I LOVE her work and i have looked at her photos over and over.  I am trying to get her availability because honestly i will book my wedding around her to make sure she is the photographer,

Post # 12
Member
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo

I also don’t like music on websites, not even because of work browsing (my comp’s always on mute!).  There is a 95% chance I do not like the music you chose to play on your website, and it will get muted anyway.  If you are one out of several websites I’m looking, there is a possibility I’ll remember you as “that website with the annoying love song” and I’ll put off revisiting you or not bother :/  That said, there was one photographer I wrote off for having music, then revisited because my friend recommended him.

I think photographic style preference is going to be different for every bride, so I wouldn’t place too much stock on that.  But I do look for a mix of photojournalistic and posed photos.  Out of the photographers we looked at I went for a more emotional feeling rather than highly stylized and artistic (although these elements aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive).

I did have a case of loving two photographers’ styles and I chose based on personality.  We met with all of our photographers, and the ones we liked best asked questions about us, were very open and detailed in answering our questions (so they sounded like they knew what they were doing), and overall seemed very enthusiastic about our wedding and us individually.

Aaand I valued my photography veeeery highly, knowing they would be the lasting memories of the big day.  I don’t mind when photographers call it an investment…

Post # 13
Member
7610 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Just to add, when I was first looking, I’d close all the music-playing websites as well without even looking.  I can’t even think of anything more annoying right now, haha.  Also, if you had to click on, then close, then open the next picture and it all took forever to load, I was out of there.  I want to be able to press “next” and so help me if the “next” button moves all over the place depending on the size of the picture!

Post # 14
Member
853 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I know packages vary so much, but I think all photographers should post SOMETHING about their prices. I worked with a very limited budget for CA photographers (ended up paying $2300 + tip), so if photographers’ packages started at twice my budget, I didn’t even want to bother myself or them by taking the time to ask. 

Have a portfolio with pictures that are more than just a couple. Street photography, pictures of your friends and family, corportate work, etc – it shows real versatility and passion for photography as an art rather than just an income. 

Use a flash site that is clean and simple. Don’t have popup widows or too many options. Here’s our photographer’s site: http://nicholaswray.com/

 

Post # 15
Member
1212 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I looked for a photographer with photos that captured the entire day and showed the emotions of the day. I liked bright happy pictures where you could tell people were having fun.

I wrote off any photographer who had those slanted shots that are supposed to be artsy but to me are just obnoxious. In fact, I wrote off pretty much anything that made it seem like “artsy” was the point instead of the wedding being the point. 

A plus for me was if a photographer had shot same-sex weddings before, or if he indicated that he was same-sex friendly. 

Post # 16
Member
962 posts
Busy bee

Please don’t list your prices as “investments” list your prices as “prices.” If I want an investment I will buy stock or real estate. Maybe I’m alone on this one, but the use of the term “investments” with regard to photos feels like an insult to my intelligence. I understand that some may view them as an investment in their memories, but really it isn’t an economic investment and should not be labeled as such. Just my opinion

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