Great article from 3 Chicks that Click:
Are you, or someone you know, recently engaged? If so, then shopping
around for a wedding photographer seems to be another item on the to-do
list. However, before you think of it as just another vendor to hire,
remember this: your wedding photos will be one of the most important investments of your wedding.
In fact, your photos and your jewelry are the only things that truly
last forever. Like the wedding jewelry, it’s worth making an investment
in quality that will last a lifetime.
The saddest thing about amateur wedding photography is all the great,
candid shots that are missed by someone who is not even aware of
looking for them. These are moments that will never be recreated, and a
group of people that will probably all never be together in the same
Booking the right wedding photographer
The best way to find amazing wedding photographers is to seek out
recommendations from other brides. Ask what they liked or didn’t like
about their photographer. Did the photographer behave and dress
appropriately for the wedding? Were they actually working throughout the
entire wedding, or were they chatting with the bartenders and DJ? When
did the brides actually see their wedding images? [brides who book Philip Michael Photography see their first preview images within 1-2 days!]
When you have a short list of photographers to consider, ask to see a
complete wedding online [I've got complete galleries I can show you], not just a few select images from their web
site. Ask for references and be sure those references or any
testimonials are legitimate.
After speaking with a few photographers (a few, no need to interview a
dozen), ask yourself this question – if all of them were to charge the
same fee, do you know who you would choose? If not, then you are
shopping by price alone, instead of quality and skill. If you would
answer a resounding YES to this question, then let that photographer
know how much you love their images and style. Most photographers are
happy to come up with custom packages that can work with your budget, as
long as you are realistic about having a full time professional to
photograph your wedding. These full time pros cannot, and will not,
compete with prices that a craigslist photographer or a weekend hobbyist
When you’ve decided on one or two photographers, review their quotes
carefully and be sure you’re comparing apples to apples. Think about the
intangible items as well – their personalities, skills, and experience.
A photographer that’s fun and loves their work, compared to someone who
just shoots weddings to make a few dollars, will make your day fabulous
Making an investment in a professional wedding photographer
Quite honestly, you probably can find someone on Craigslist who only
charges a few hundred dollars to shoot your wedding. Are they a shoot ‘n
burn photographer, the kind who will take the images directly from the
camera and burn them onto a DVD without any editing or retouching? These
are not album-ready images.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are many brides who have no
upper limit for their imagery. That’s not just the rare exception. Why
would they do so? Some brides realize that, for them, things like ice
sculptures, elaborate table gifts, or a hothouse full of flowers are not
permanent. They invest that money instead in a professional
photographer. The end result? They get AMAZING shots that are the envy
of their friends and family, and those photos are treasured for a
lifetime…unlike the ice sculpture, which the restaurant staff will smash
in the parking lot at the end of the night.
The bottom line when it comes to wedding photography costs: avoid
shopping by price alone. The cheapest photographer is rarely the best.
Thinking, “Well, at least we only paid $500 for these photos” when
you’re disappointed with them will provide little comfort to you or your
new spouse in years to come. And there are no do-overs.