Over the years of sitting in front of brides, I have seen heard just about every conceivable question from them. Some are important and some are not as vital to the execution of a great wedding photography experience.
The most common question is “how expensive are you”? That is a normal question. Let me start by answering that oft asked question and how to evaluate it.
In the job market, there are assorted careers that earn specific income. As an example, a Walmart employee will not earn as much as a Purdue grad engineer. Makes sense, right?
In the wedding industry, it would be unfair to assume that all photographers are the same. Although there are many good, new photographers, they also could be lacking in social graces when dealing with the public, such as cooperating with your other assorted vendors who you’ve hired for your wedding plans. In other words, years of experience (I call “seasoning”) is lacking in many new start up photographers.
I always suggest to brides to do their homework on wedding photography. While some vendors might be seen as a commodity, each wedding photographer has a distinct style, therefore bundling all photographers together could be a grave mistake. Imagine wanting to buy a BMW and getting one at a Ford Escort price. Not going to happen. BMW sells their product as the “ultimate driving experience”.
If I were to make a suggestion on how to hire a wedding photographer, it would start with one question. A very important question.
What is more important to you? The style you want or the price you pay? Caution here as you may not get both.
When I meet with couples, I spend most of my time learning about them. What do they like? How did they meet? What do they enjoy about each other? Did your parents have a great wedding?
Choose what’s important to you? As an example, is alcohol more important to your wedding event than having great photographic images? The price spent on alcohol at many weddings could be used to hire a well seasoned photographer (twice over). Believe it or not, once your wedding is over and you choose the “party” above your future generations of photos, the regrets will come. Or you can evaluate and think ahead, and have no regrets.
Here’s some questions you might consider when meeting with your potential wedding photographer. Get personal with them. Have a cup of coffee with them. Enjoy the moment rather than the interrogation. It will be more fun for you.
1) Ask them some personal questions about their life? Are they married? How long? Once you get to know them, you might find a link that connects you to your photographer on a more personal level.
2) Ask them about their photography style. We hear it tossed around all the time. Are they contemporary? Photo journalistic? Modern? Classic? The Bello Romance Photography style is romantic stylist, with elegance and class.
3) Once you have learned about them and their styles, you can ask about prices. I always customize my packages to the couple’s needs. One thing I also do is give something extra to the couple if they can make a decision at the consultation.
A final note. As a photographer with over 35 years experience, I am typically booked between 1 and 2 years out. We have earned the trust of our peers and the many years of brides and grooms who know us well.