(Closed) Photography Opinion Poll

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

Cliff, I spent a lot of time surfing photography websites before choosing my photographer, so I’m happy to weigh in!  Here are the things I noticed and that went into my decision.

1.  Straightforward pricing.  Photography is incredibly important to me, but my fiance and I are on a fairly strict budget.   I only interviewed photographers whose prices were within my range.  I know that sounds obvious, but I think some vendors assume that brides and grooms on a budget will try to negociate for better prices — and not all of us will.  I was interested in a photograher who did not list her prices on her website, so I e-mailed her and asked for her price list.  She was out of my budget so I thanked her for her time but did not contact her again.  When she e-mailed a few weeks later to follow up, I explained that our budget would not cover her costs — and then she said her prices were "flexible."  Well, great, but I’d already put a deposit down on another photographer.  If you’re willing to negociate on your pricing packages, tell us that up front instead of waiting for us to guess.  Some customers will simply move on to the next photographer rather than try to argue with vendors about their pricing.

2. I love photography blogs.  It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me (my photographer doesn’t have a blog) but reading the blogs of other photographers made me feel a personal connection to them and their work.  It was also a lot of fun to see all of the weddings they shoot!

3.  I was also looking for a calm, professional, non-intrusive presence on my wedding day.  If someone seemed too hyper or too into "making the shot" and not enough into going with the flow and recording the important moments as they happened organically, it was definitely a turn-off.  That’s a personal thing, I know some brides and grooms really want their photographer to set up fancy, artsy shots, but that just wasn’t what I wanted.

4.  It definitely impressed me that my photographer remembered details of particular shoots he did — one bride had just lost her father,  another couple wanted tons of pictures with the vintage convertible they’d restored together, etc.  It made me feel like he does this because he loves it, and that he’d be equally psyched about shooting our wedding.

I hope that helps!

Edited to add:  I also knew I wanted a photographer who would sell me the rights to my images.  If that wasn’t an option, I didn’t bother contacting the photographer.  Some good friends of mine had a nightmare experience with this — the bride’s mom decided she wanted a parent album, but the photographer said she was "too busy" to do it and suggested they ask again in six months to see if things had cleared up.  When my friend asked if she could purchase the rights to the photos to make her mom’s album herself, the photographer said no.  Both of them told me not to talk to anyone who wouldn’t sell us our images, and I definitely listened!

Post # 4
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Along with what MelissaB mentioned:

I’ve only yet done my engagement photos (wedding is not until Dec.), but I think is important that the photographer listens to the bride & groom’s requests. Most brides seem to have a least one shot they have to have. Surprisingly, I’ve heard of many times when photographers just disregard  this request. One of the last weddings I went to, the photographer was kind of offended that anyone would ask them to do something that did not completely correspond with what they wanted to do. He was kind of a jerk, but the MOB thought if they were paying all of that money, they should be able to request a few shots.

 I also think a quick turn-around is important. If something comes up, let the bride and groom know that it might be a few more days. I think photography is just so important to so many couples, that they just want to be involved with all of the steps. 

Post # 5
601 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I agree with all the above, those were all important factors, especially owning the rights to the images.  

Another major factor I was looking for was a style that matched ours.

Finally, I wanted to feel comfortable with our photographer.  I was amazingly fortunate to have such a wonderful rapport with our photographer. 

Post # 6
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I suggest that you try to talk to references if you are comfortable doing so.  Specifically, I would talk to past brides about how satisfied they were with the organization and coordination of all of the group photographs (both sides of the family, the wedding party all together, etc.).

At my sister’s wedding, the pictures were taken after the ceremony so that she and her husband wouldn’t see each other before the ceremony.  That would have been totally fine, if the photographer would have been more organized.  As it turned out, she was all over the place, the people who were supposed to be in the photos were all over the place–it was a mess.  It ended up taking way too much time, and then we had to do more photos after the cake was cut, first dance, etc.  I wished we all could have enjoyed the reception more.

At a friend’s wedding recently, the photographer was very systematic  during the necessary group shots and there was a "point person" for each family who was in charge of keeping people around and paying attention (there were many, many family members!).  The photographer was very efficient and kept control of the people for a short time, which left more time for people to enjoy the reception and more time for her to take the fun candid shots.

Good luck finding your photographer!

EDIT:  Oops!  I should have read the original post more carefully… and I would have realized I wasn’t talking to a bride!  Well, to Cliff–organization is very important to me.  Even for "laid-back" couples, organization during photos is a must, as everyone will start to get restless and annoyed when they have to wait around and do a bunch of posed pictures.  I am sure you know all about this, though…

Post # 7
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2008

I agree with the above posters.  My list of wants from my photographer (in order of importance):

1.  Give me the rights to the photos. 

2.  Published price list, including all fees (if you charge for multiple locations, dress changes, traveling,  photoshopping out a tattoo on my bridesmaid’s shoulder, etc, I want to know before you send me the bill).  Also, if you need to be fed, put it in your contract and I will comply, but honestly, that sometimes slips a busy bride’s mind.  But note, I don’t think I should have to feed you if you work less than 6 hours.

3. If I email/call/text, please be a professional and contact me to answer my question within 24 hours.  If you are unable to do that, have someone check your messages and respond back to me in some manner.  For example, set your email to send back an auto response to let me know if you are out of town.

4.  State in your contract when I am supposed to receive my pictures back (approximently-within 1-2 weeks of stated date is acceptable).

5.  Match my mood.  If I am happy and bubbly it’s welcome that you are happy and bubbly.  If I am calm and serene, follow suit.

6.  Sending teasers within a week of the session is awesome.  It gets us really excited and hyped up for the real deal.

7.  Please don’t drink at my wedding (except during the toast).  I don’t drink at my job, so neither should you. 

8.  Make sure you get a list of "must have shots" from me. 

9.  Know your contact person’s name and face.  They will tell you which cousin is likely to get sloshed and hit on you.  A wealth of info those contact people are.



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