Post # 1
Hey everybody! I need some help/advice as far as photographers come. I’ve read some horror stories about photographers not being dependable – i.e. not showing up to the wedding, not getting your photos back to you for like a year, if ever, etc. I’m really worried about this. Does anybody have any suggestions as to how they found their photographer and what’s the best way of going about hiring them knowing you can be certain they’re dependable? Also if anybody has any SC photographers they would recommend, please let me know! I’m looking for something starting under $2000.
Post # 3
I think getting someone with a long track record of reviews is your best bet. The only horror stories i’ve heard were of newer people to the business, because an established person would never ruin their rep by not showing up. It would be a death blow to their business.
You can put in the contract when you get photos back – i’d suggest that. It’s pretty normal for it to take a few months. Longer than that is rare unless, again, you’ve chosen a shady photog who purposefully doesn’t release the photos for 12 months to get you to buy albums, etc because that’s the only way to see your photos before that point.
Post # 4
@crayfish: Not releasing the digital files for a year isn’t shady, it’s just a business model. I personally wouldn’t do that, but there are many reputable photographers/studios who do that.
@weddingstars2012: The best advice is to a) ask to see an entire wedding (not just the best shots they have on their site) b) read reviews c) ask for references d) possibly hire them first for engagement photos and see what your experience is like. It will be a good indication of how things will go the day of the wedding. Most of the horror stories here could have been avoided by brides doing their homework and not sacrificing quality just to save a few hundred dollars. I’m familiar with the SC market (varies depending on where you are) but you will be able to find a great photographer in your area for your budget. If you need help deciding you can always post them here. =)
Post # 5
BeeM has excellent advice. I’d add — be wary of any place that has a stable of photographers. You could end up with someone who has very little experience. That happened to a friend of a friend, and it was disastrous.
Post # 6
I agree with BeeM’s advice, all except for c.) Ask for references. I try to respect the privacy of my clients, and not bother them by giving out their contact information to new potential clients. However, I do have tons and tons of reviews out there for people to look at, so I would say maybe in the absence of reviews it would be okay to ask for references.
It’s okay to ask anyway if you really want, but I wouldn’t write someone off because they didn’t want to release past client information. As a photographer, even if you have a few great clients who would be happy to do that for you. You can only ask them to do that so many times before it gets to be a lot to ask. I get tons and tons of inquiries, some of which don’t even book. It would be insane if they all expected references from past brides, and become a HUGE bother to my previous brides, regardless of how many would be willing to speak with them on my behalf.
Post # 7
Get a recommendation from a friend, or at least make sure you are familiar with the work of a *specific* photgrapher that you are hiring.