Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tips on Tuesdays | Rochester NY Wedding Photographer

Like all kinds of tips...
Today: How to choose a wedding photographer?
Why? Because holy wow is the field over saturated!!!!

I am okay with it (most days), but if I had a to hire one...I would be so totally overwhelmed...

1. Decide on what is most important to you: Quality or Price
2. Ask your recently married friends who they chose, what they thought, ask to see the photos. Referrals are an EXCELLENT way to find a great vendor.
3. Check out those vendors' websites/portfolios
Things to look for:
-Professional quality website
-More than one photo from a large variety of weddings
-Ability to view nearly a full wedding (you may have to ask for a portfolio to do this)...
Because most any "photographer" or person who owns even a low quality camera can come up with 2-3 fabulous shots out of a whole wedding day! (I think my 6 year old could), but a good photographer comes up with a day full of them...
-Professional level pricing...again
If someone is charging $300-$1000 for wedding photographer you can expect:
-low level equipment
-inexperience on many different levels (dealing with family members, camera knowledge, timing knowledge, dealing with other vendors, product availability, editing)
(and I speak from experience! when I first began, I charged $400-$1000, my clients knew I was beginning and the work I showed them was my own and at my level. They received just what I promised, but I did not have insurance, I had an entry level camera and limited lenses, my editing abilities were limited, I left off shots that maybe would have been wanted...Those are all things that come with experience)
4. Meet with your top 2-3 photographers. When you do, think about:
-Do I like this person's personality enough to spend 8-10 hours with them on MY DAY?
- Do I feel confident they are honest and am I confident in their abilities?
- Do I LOVE their work, style?
Wedding books will have you ask questions you don't even know what the answers should be!!
Don't waste your time with those...ask the ones that matter and mean something to you!
-How do you deal with families during portrait time?
-What if I want specific shots?
-What editing is included?
-Do you do this full time? Or as a hobby? (you should not be paying a hobbyist professional prices!)

5. Choose the photographer that in the end you feel comfortable with personally, has the best work to show you, and fits into your budget...

A side note on budget:

I didn't have a budget when I got married. We had to have two weddings. I just didn't think I could afford a photographer. I wanted a GREAT one, but the ones I met with were just too much.
I chose a friend (who now is uber successful..and I love her!) but at the time, was recently graduated from college. She was nearly free. $350.
I was very let down...I won't go into detail, because she may actually read this blog!!
But I cried.
In hindsight, I would have paid three times that to have the photos from that day...but I can't. No going back.

How to make your budget count:
If possible don't let budget make your decision.
If there is just no way around it:
-Ask your favorite photographer if they have associate pricing! The best way to get their style and professionalism in your price range.
OR just have your favorite photographer come for what you can afford.

What not to do:
-ask a friend with a camera to take photos...sometimes you can get lucky...but you don't want to rely on luck on a day you can NOT repeat. Ask around...I can't tell you how many of my family clients come in and say..I WISH I DIDN'T DO THAT. It is a lesson only learned by experience, but one you don't want to learn.
I personally am available for 4 more weddings for the 2012 season.
Contact me ASAP if you want one of those spots:

As always, find me on Facebook!!!

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