Post # 1
So, me and Fiance have decided that every month we will secure one vendor until it gets down to the smaller things (basically we’re trying to get venue, caterer, photographer, etc. done in the next couple of months). So far, we have our Ceremony & Reception venue (same place), so now we’re on our caterer and photographer search – Fiance has the caterer, I have the photographer.
Can I just say that photographers make our search like, 1000000% harder when they don’t list prices on their websites?!?! DRIVES ME CRAZY. But I digress, when I do finally find a great photographer that I fall in love with, their prices are close to $1000 more than our budget. It’s heartbreaking.
I’ve been lucky to find a handful of photographers that I like within our budget, it just kind of bums me out that none of them give me that “WOW!” reaction like the more pricey ones. I guess it’s just one of those ‘you get what you pay for’ situations.
Has the photographer been the toughest choice for any other Bees? If so, did you end up being happy with a photographer you “settled” with?
Post # 3
It was tough in the beginning, but when we met our photographer, we just knew it was the one and her prices matched up exactly to what we wanted to spend!
Post # 4
@ashleighxcult: As a photographer, I look for the wow factor haha…that was the hardest for me, also the ones I love are all men, and I need at least one female photographer, which was hard. I have a friend who is a photographer starting out, PM me with your email and I’ll put you in touch with her. She’s the one doing my pictures and she is a sweetheart–also what is your “WOW” factor?
Post # 5
@thegoogler88: I actually have a short list of photgraphers that we’ll probably go with whose work is really lovely, but thank you for the offer! It’s kind of hard to pin down exactly what my “WOW” factor is, but I’m a fan of creative shots, contrast and color.
Post # 6
I don’t know your budget, and you may be satisfied with your options… I was THRILLED with my photographer! He is from Western NY, so I don’t know what the travel cost would be. However, he is VERY reasonably priced… Just thought I’d tell you in case you’re interested 🙂 Feel free to PM me if you have questions!
ETA: I see now that you have a list that you are happy with – Hadn’t seen that before I posted 🙂
Post # 7
@abbie017: what photographer are you using, if you don’t mind me asking?
Post # 8
Thank you, Jenlon! I appreciate the suggestion!
Post # 9
@li612: We’re using Rachel Naft/RMN Photography. She’s based out of Crystal City.
Post # 10
I’m not suggesting $1000 is chump change, but if that’s what is standing between you and a photographer that brings in a WOW factor to you, then increase you photography budget. Here’s the thing – photography is about a personal connection. It’s hard for people to find that in the beginning because they are so caught up in the price and the “stuff” factor. I know everyone has their realistic bottom lines when it comes to a budget, but of all the things you will spend money on for your wedding photography is the only thing that gives you something afterwards. As a photographer deciding to put pricing up on your website is a tough call. A lot of times people will just look at it and dismiss you as being out of their budget and just move on. When people take the time to find out who we are and how passionate we are about what we do, they discover that their budget can often times be adjusted to accommodate us. They also might find out that some of the things they thought were important to them can be purchased later, or maybe they don’t need as much time, etc. Personally I think photographers should at least have a starting price or range on their website – which is what we currently have to give people an idea. However even when we had our full pricing structure on the website people often overlooked it anyway and would still ask us how much we cost. It’s important to be able to go over the general timeline and explain the services we offer too. My advice to you is don’t settle on photography!
Post # 11
@continuumphotography: I agree and I’m still searching for that one photographer who impresses but doesn’t break the bank. Unfortunately, unless we forego a honeymoon (which is NOT happening) we cannot afford to pay an extra $1000. It is just not in the budget. Luckily, as the search continues I am slowly but surely getting closer to finding our perfect photographer
Post # 12
@ashleighxcult: I’m going to PM you our photographer– she lives down in VA but I love her photos and her prices were the cheapest I’ve found for the caliber.
Post # 13
As a photographer – it was definitely the hardest part for me! When I had to do that search it was in the internet dark ages of the mid-90’s and we were planning from a distance. I think these days it the huge number of choices that overwhelms so many couples.
Also – about listing prices. I’ve had a web site for my photography for over a decade now and I’ve done it all as far as listing a starting price, detailed info, downloadable and no listing too. There’s reasons for each. Currently I list a starting price right now but what I encourage couples to do is ask questions and communicate your needs.
I adjust my pricing if it’s a Friday or Sunday wedding (more of those than ever!) and also how busy I am that month or if it’s another city I really want to photograph in or build a new referral base. Not everybody works like that of course – but many do!
I hate to think of a couple seeing my work, maybe loving what I do and then not even contacting me because of a starting price or specific package details. So, be sure to at least ask and communicate your needs when you find someone whose work you really love!
Post # 15
I suggest finding the best photog to fit whatever your surroundings are. Like, for me, I am having my wedding at an aquarium so I had to find someone that knew the correct lighting and shutter speed so the fish weren’t blurry and there weren’t reflections. If you are having a garden wedding, ya know someone that is good at nature shots. I know that prices are higher up north, but the cheapest without sacrificing quality down here is about $1500. I really found reviews and Angie’s List helpful.
Post # 16
As a Wedding Photographer, I have done countless hours of research on other photographers and wedding vendors. Like you said, in this case you get what you pay for. The wedding photographers that give you that wow factor charge a lot more because they have a lot of demand for it. One other benefit to charging more as a photographer is you usually work at nicer venues, and this actually makes our work and pictures much nicer. You can see an exapmle of that here at our latest Sonoma Wedding Photography. We have the privelage of being based in Lake Tahoe, Sonoma and Napa are a short drive, so we get to work at some great venues that make our work stand out.
I dont list my prices on my website because I find when I talk to a bride I have a much higher success rate in booking her. When you book a wedding photographer youre not just buying pictures, you hiring someone who will be by your side the entire day, and that you will have to enjoy being around. So by talking to the bride first it lets her know she will not only like our pictures but she will have fun with us around. Once that is established the higher price is understandable. Something you should remember that photography isnt like something you buy at the store and can just compare straight accross, you need to like who youre working with and the work and professional manner they deliver. At Jon M Photography our number one goal is a great picture, but not far after that its to make sure we are helping you through your wedding, and you are as comfortable with us as you are with everyone else. No one wants to be irritated with their photographer, it will make your wedding stressful and annoying. Wedding Photographers are the one vendor that you definitely need a good relationship with. You can see our Lake Tahoe Wedding Photography by clicking the link.
I hope that helped a little.