Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why is it So Important to Book a Professional Photographer?

Great article from 3 Chicks that Click:

Clint & ShawndaAre 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 place again.

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 would charge.

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 or tedious.

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.

VeilAt 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.

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