POV: you’re deep in the midst of scouring for a wedding photographer for your big day but there are so many options, so many different styles, and soooo many different price points. There probably are people in your ear telling you what questions you should be asking your potential photographer and what to look for – which is a good thing. Being informed is the best thing you can do for your wedding and people wanting to advise just means they care.
As a wedding photographer myself, I eat a lot of wedding content as well as experience it myself. I’m used to rejection and not being chosen to work with and there are a slew of reasons but sometimes the reasons are a little frustrating and should not be a factor in deciding.
Well, here are three reasons to NOT rule out a photographer:
1. They’ve never shot at your venue before
If couples were to not go with me because I’ve never shot at their venue before then I would be out of business. For most weddings, it’s my first time shooting at that specific venue – especially only being a couple years in as well as being a travel photographer. But yet, I’ve heard this be a factor into why a couple didn’t go with me (and the verse, I’m been picked BECAUSE I have shot there). Let me tell you this does not matter. Of course, it’s nice to be familiar with an area but a wedding photographer’s superpower is being able to adapt to their environment and make anything work!
Even if I’m shooting a wedding and I’m worried about shooting spots, I’ll drive by the location (if it’s in town) and scope it out to ease my mind and see what’s around it. Wedding photographers are accustomed to dealing with various lighting conditions, unpredictable weather, and unexpected challenges. We are equipped to adapt and still create beautiful photos.
2. They are out of your budget
Hold up! Don’t write off your desired wedding photographer so fast because their prices are a little higher than expected. A lot of photographers offer some form of payment plans that help alleviate financial strain. Two massive payments may not be doable but if you can make smaller monthly payments then getting your dream photographer to capture your best day is closer than you think! Talk with the photographers that you are inquiring about to see if they offer payment plans.
3. They don't have a built-in photographer + videographer package
Maybe I’m biased because I am a solo photographer (with the exception of an occasional second shooter) but it’s just me out here. I have not been chosen for a wedding simply because I did not offer video services. And again, I could just be salty but it’s physically impossible to offer video services on top of photography unless you have a team. I’m always happy to recommend awesome videographers whom I trust and have worked with in the past.
I also get the flip side. It’s usually financially smart to find a team rather than paying for two separate people although those combos are few and far between. Finding a photographer who also offers video services within your desired style may be harder to find.
But wait! What are some reasons I straight up SHOULDN'T hire a certain wedding photographer?
Here are three definite reasons you should not hire a certain photographer:
1. you only liked a few of their example weddings but not all
Go with a photographer who you like ALL of their photos. Odds are that you’ll get your gallery back and it’s like the albums you didn’t like. You don’t want to gamble with one of the best (and maybe most expensive) days of your life!
2. they have no or very little online presence
Wedding photo horror story: I recently read of a couple booking a wedding photographer they found online (which is not the horror story – almost all my clients come from being found online). The horror story is that come wedding day, they did not show up. Communication fell off a couple of weeks prior to the wedding which left the couple worried and trying to book a last-minute photographer. Thankfully, they found someone to save the day but they had already had fully paid the other photographer. The photographer vanished from the internet and was nowhere to be found. It was a scammer. Now this situation may be a little on the couple but to give some grace, planning a wedding is a lot of work. Most people are planning a wedding for the first time and have no idea what they are doing. To avoid situations like this, make sure to meet with all photographers you are inquiring with (or video chat if you are in different locations). If a photographer is not willing to meet or video chat, that is a red flag and stir clear of them. Why would a photographer not want to meet a potential client if they aren’t a scammer?
I honestly had never heard of wedding photographer scamming schemes until this one. I’ve heard of people just being terrible business owners but this one is truly terrifying – especially because they are out of all that money. The number one rule is to meet with your wedding photographer before booking!
3. Personality clash aka you guys don't vibe
The personality and demeanor of a wedding photographer can be a crucial factor. Couples want to feel comfortable and at ease with their photographer, so a personality clash or a photographer’s inability to establish rapport can lead to a decision to choose someone else. Again, referring to #2, this is also why it’s important to meet with your inquiring wedding photographers. Yes, it’s important to make sure they are real with a real wedding photography business but that person is going to be by your side the whole day. You’ll want someone that you could basically hang out with on an average day! At least that is how I look at it – I feel responsible for making the couple feel comfortable and stress-free, having fun with the bridesmaids, cheersing with the groomsmen, and awning with the family. This creates those fun, candid moments. I make you feel comfortable and bring energy and fun for the day. If we don’t vibe, we won’t have a smooth, memorable day.
Vibing together established trust as well. You need to be able to trust that I’ll show up, do what I need to do, stay on track, and provide a beautiful gallery up to the expectations we set.
Go with your gut. Would you hang out with your photographer and do you trust them to capture the best day of your life?
What do you think?
What are some reasons you wouldn’t hire a certain wedding photographer?
Are you planning a wedding right now and looking for an awesome photographer? That could be me! Inquiry with me today to discuss more about capturing your best day ever.
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