Post # 1
Fiance and I had a meeting with a very reputable photography company last night and they quoted us approximately $3500 for 8 hours of coverage, a CD of all pictures and 1 album. FI thought they were professional and had nice pictures, but he thinks that we could get the same or better quality if we go for a solo photographer. He just wants to make sure that there isn’t anything better out there before going with this company. So I have agreed to look around some more.
FI found someone today who has shot only a handful of weddings, but he does have a nice looking portfolio so I can’t say he’s not good–his portfolio is comparable to the one I saw from the photography company. He is quoting us $2500 for 8 hours of coverage, 2 albums, and I think a few other things.
The only issue is that I have never heard of this guy and he isn’t listed on weddingwire, and no reviews are available online. It makes me wonder whether we should just forget about meeting him or if I should just ask for references and give him a chance to prove his work.
What do you all think here? Could a solo photographer who isn’t really well known and has just started out be a good idea for us if all we have is some references from him and the few portfolios he has online? Or should we go for the photography company just because they are well known and have tons of positive reviews on weddingwire?
Also, we aren’t getting a videographer so our photos HAVE to be awesome!
Here is the link to the solo photographer: http://www.bluepalmstudios.com/ and the photography company is Freed: http://www.freedphoto.com/our-artists/jayrol/gallery/
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
If the solo photog’s portfolio is great and what you are looking for, I would at least meet with him if possible. You can ask him the usual questions and also ask for any references/former clients that you can contact as well. I think not being able to find any reviews online is a valid concern that he should be able to address. I am personally going with a photog who has much less experience than the others we looked at and is charging much less, but we LOVED her portfolio and I liked her personality when talking/interviewing her in person.
Post # 4
@elysion: Thanks, I just put the link up for the solo photographer. I’d love to know what you think 🙂
Post # 5
@violet25: Ask for references from the solo photographer. I know you say solo, but I would also ask if he typically brings along a second shooter, someone who captures other elements of the day and is his assistant. Quality photos of standard wedding-day happenings and other great details, good references, timely service, reasonable price, and a second shooter might sway me to say to go for the solo photographer.
Also, I happen to notice you are in California. If you’re interested you might check out the photographers we used, a professional couple that have shot many weddings, named Cinzo Photography. We were very pleased with their work and for two professionals we spent about $3K for over 8 hrs. and a wonderful package deal.
Here’s a link: http://cinzo.net/
Post # 6
@Cornflakegirl: Yes, I’m originally from Cali but my Fiance lives in DC–and that’s where we’ll be getting married and living.
Post # 7
I’m in DC, and I’ve heard good things about Freed. I was afraid you were going to use The Pros or Bella or something – those companies are terrible. But Freed, I’ve seen some amazing work with them, and I haven’t heard anything bad.
I would be hestitant to use either one. One doesn’t have much experience (was he at least a second shooter before?), but the other is a company that can basically assign you whatever photographer they want. I’d probably keep looking. If you say a little about what you’re looking for and budget stuff (or PM me), I can share some of the photographers I found.
Post # 8
@violet25: Ah I see! I just saw you post their respective websites and noticed the DC local.
Based on their work, I would go with the company hands down. Their photos are higher quality, better composition, well-balanced with color and contrast. The solo photographer’s work is really cool, but pushing the trendy over-processed-photoshopped-vintage-washed-out look. That is a neat look and style if that is what you prefer, but I think if you start with quality photos you can adjust them over the years however you please, vintage look or otherwise.
See if, with the company, you can request a specific photographer and get that into the contract. I bet if you ask nicely and early, they can accommodate your choice.
Post # 9
I went with a photographer that was just starting out. She had only done one or two weddings at the time we booked her and as a result, she was cheeper. We got a great deal! We did our engagement photos and they turned out awesome. If your photographer has a blog, that is sometimes a better representation than a portfolio or “greatest hits album.” Good luck!
Post # 10
@Cornflakegirl: Yes, we can definitely request our photographer from Freed. They have several that are priced in the 3K range–but the rest are 4K and above. The link I provided above is for one of Freed’s photographers who is in the 3K range and he is available for our date.
Post # 11
@abbie017: Hi, and thanks for the offer! Basically, I’m just looking for someone who takes nice clear photos with good use of the light. We’re going to be doing most of our photos in our hotel, so I want to make sure they won’t be dark. Other than that, I think I just want someone with a good reputation. Our budget is in the 3K range (but including the album). I think we don’t want to go over $3500 total. If you know of any good photographers that fit that descriptions please do let me know!
Post # 12
I see what Cornflakegirl means about the solo producing some over-processed vintage stuff but I honestly don’t like the company’s work. The colors are way too saturated (my monitor is calibrated for printing photos and maybe that’s why I’m seeing it a bit different) and has too heavy of vignetting imo. But that’s just me and I’m not you! 🙂
Honestly it all comes down to your taste. You’re looking at two completely different styles of photography. One thing I noticed with the solo, I didn’t really see any indoor ceremony shots, mostly outdoor/natural light by the window stuff, so if your wedding is indoors I would keep that in mind.
I would definately meet with the solo, to at least give him a chance and see if you click/don’t click.
On another another note out of all the Freed photogs I like Jennifers portfolio the best (just judging by a quick browse though).
Post # 13
I’ve honestly never looked at big companies like that. Do you get to choose your photographer out of the many? Because I look at their gallery and it’s beautiful but you don’t know which photographer took which shot. I would only consider that if you got to see individual portofolios and got to choose your photographer.
As for the other one, the photos seem pretty good. I don’t have any problem going with an individual, that way you know what you’re getting. I would ask for references. And you will definitely get an impression or him and his professionalism if you meet him in person.
Post # 15
@violet25: Check out Rachel Naft (RMN photography), She is great, based out of Arlington, and in your budget.