But what no bride wants, is to have nothing with which to remember her wedding day- which means great photographs and a way to see them at any time. All to often, that reality hits after it’s too late to solve the problem, so a bit of planning is needed to avoid this blunder. So let’s take a look at 3 common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
And before you leave, don’t miss the Totally Awesome Wedding Planning Checklist at the bottom of the page!
1. Shopping based on price alone.
Somewhere along the way, Brides have been thinking that every Wedding Photographer is the same and the only difference is their prices.
Every brides budget seems strained with every wedding and often times some things either get left out or they get done at the expense of other things. One of the things you don’t want to scrimp on is your wedding photography. Often times that “low price” equates to lesser quality photographs and you only discover that when you see what you paid to have done.
Find several photographers whose work you like. Contact them and then take a few minutes to get to know them- usually by phone- and when you find 3 or 4 you like, take the time for an in person Consultation. See if they are concerned about your needs and not their “great photography”. Their work speaks for itself, and getting the photos you want speaks to your needs. If they don’t ask what you want, move on.
There is one thing no photographer can do- rephotograph your wedding, so hiring experienced professionals is vital here. Often many pretty good amateurs will “pose” as professionals, or they are just getting started. Let them experiment on someone else wedding and not yours. Ask the questions and yes, even ask for a Business License. Real professionals have one. You probably wouldn’t hire a “part time, low priced, brain surgeon”, so why hire someone that is “part time” to capture the most important day of your life in photographs?
Don’t get fooled by a low price, but see if your photographer offers other services and products- prints, albums, online ordering, and archiving of your photos should something happen. These things could mean more tomorrow than they do today.
2. Using a Friend or Relative to photograph your wedding
Unless they are a full-time Professional Photographer, don’t be tempted to do this. Friends and relatives that take “good photographs” seldom have the knowledge or experience to photograph any wedding, much less yours. Few professionals will even accept their close friends or relatives as clients since they value the relationship more than the after effects should something go wrong (I am speaking from experience here).
A Professional Wedding Photographer will help you plan and work with you to achieve the photos you want and the look and style you desire. Friends and relatives aren’t equipped to understand the lighting challenges, the fast pace of weddings, and the various scenarios that can be encountered at any wedding. Unless they are experienced, using them will usually leave you short on quality, and short on your Memories.
3. Expecting to find your Photographer based on an Email or two
If you are hoping that you can send out a couple of emails, get price lists, and hire your photographer that way, expect a disaster (Okay, we are repeating #1 again sort of, so this must be really, really important).
Price, or them writing you a convincing email, doesn’t tell the entire story of who you are hiring. This blunder can really stress you on your wedding day as well as a few weeks after your wedding, and can be avoided.
You should meet with more than one photographer and see if their personality and their business manners are ones that are compatible with yours. This is perhaps more important than price alone and without an actual face to face interview, you will never know. Unless you are hiring from a long distance, you should take whatever time you need to sit down and actually discuss your wedding, your plans, and your ideas. See if they are offering the final product you want- prints, album, or just digital images. If you can’t get what you want from your photographer, you might not find “getting it later” is going to be so simple. Would you buy your wedding dress simply from a picture and never try it on? Or would you buy it because it’s “priced right”- even if it doesn’t quite fit?
Your wedding photographs are going to be all you have left after everything is over, so this decision should be one of the most important ones you make. By taking the time to interview before you hire is critical for a lifetime of memories. Not using your friends or relatives can avoid disaster and hiring based totally on price can be a costly blunder you want to avoid as well. Your wedding photographs will become priceless someday, so hire someone based on that approach, not their “price” alone.
Bottom line- when you are hiring your wedding photographer, take the time to get to know them- several actually- and keep in mind that this decision could arguably be the most important decision you make regarding your wedding. You may not realize this NOW, but you will in a few short months or years. Don’t be that bride that says, “We wish we had better wedding pictures, but didn’t take the time to hire the professional photographer like we should have”.
If you are struggling- or don’t want to- with making sure everything you need to get done for your wedding is actually done, then get our totally free Wedding Planning Checklist. We will send it out immediately and you can avoid missing dates and items you must have.