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Things to Think Through Before Saying “I do” to Your Wedding Photographer!

Let’s face it. Weddings can be crazy expensive. I’m all about finding ways to save money, and there are lots of ways you can do so. I remember spending countless days planning my own wedding reading, crafting, and borrowing details like mason jars from friends to save an extra dollar. But if you only splurge on one thing for your wedding, LET IT BE PHOTOGRAPHY. That’s right photography! Chances are you know someone who is a “photographer” and it can be tempting to hire them inexpensively or even have them shoot your wedding as a gift, but hear me now and believe me later, don’t settle! Allow me to explain more in depth. Here’s are a few reasons why you should splurge on your wedding photographer.

You Will Never Get This Chance Again.
This is your wedding. I’m guessing you are hoping to only plan one! Isn’t it worth the investment?  At the end of the day, this is the ONLY thing you will have left after your wedding. Not your food, your flowers, your make-up or the band. Besides, when else will all your family and friends be gathered in one place? I’ve had brides have their grandmothers pass away just days after their wedding and now the photos I captured are the last family pictures they will ever have.

A Great Wedding Photographer Can Anticipate What Will Happen Next.
This is why you should not only get a great photographer, you should get a great wedding photographer. The word “photographer” encompasses a variety of people: family photographers, fashion photographers, landscape photographers, food photographers, etc. Being good in one area doesn’t necessarily mean you are good in another. If you hire someone whose livelihood is in shooting weddings, there is a much better chance they have done this enough times to not only know where they need to be in order to capture certain moments, but also random things like what kind of light will come through that stained glass window at 5:00 in July, etc.

An Experienced Wedding Photographer Can Turn an Ordinary Wedding Into an EXTRAORDINARY Wedding.
I have seen this on multiple occasions. A couple is on a tight budget and doesn’t have a lot of money for decor or fancy extras at their wedding. But they choose to hire a great photographer, and lo and behold when you see the photos you would think it was a luxury event. The photographer knows how to capture everything at its best, and focus on everything that is wonderful about the day.

If it Doesn’t Turn Out Well, You Don’t Want to Have Hard Feelings With a Friend.
This is a big one. I know people who have had to beg their photographer friend to give them their wedding photos because the friend still has not gotten around to editing them. If you hire or ask a favor from a friend and the photos don’t turn out well, or you never receive your image (yes I hear of this happening all the time!), it can seriously damage your relationship. Every time you see that person you will think of how she/he “ruined” your wedding photos. You know its not really intentional, but you can’t help but associating them with this unfortunate act.

So What Should We Look Out For When Picking a Photographer?

The Price.
This can all depend on where you live and what is included in their rate. Some photographers quote their rates for shooting only, while others quote packages that include both shooting and prints, albums, digital images, etc. When you are researching photographers you should keep this in mind and make sure you are comparing apples to apples with regard to pricing. Obviously every couple has a different budget, but very often hiring that photographer for $800 isn’t the best option. Don’t get me wrong, even I started out charging a very low amount because I needed experience and to build my portfolio in the first year in business. But when I come across photographers on Yelp who claim that they have been in the industry for 10 years and you can hire them for only $800, I have to wonder. If they’ve been in the industry for that long, why are they still charging such a low price? Obviously you can find great deals on awesome photographers, but just consider how long they’ve been doing this in comparison to their pricing.

A Frequently Updated Blog.
If a photographer doesn’t have a blog thats been recently updated, you have to wonder if they really aren’t shooting very often. A blog is a way to show off a photographers work and journal their adventures. You really can’t get to know a photographer, unless you have seen all their work consistently and seen how it has progressed as well as how each photo shoot varies.

A Professional That You Get Along With.
It’s is extremely important that the photographer you pick not only takes fantastic pictures, but is a good person with a good personality; someone you will get along with and enjoy spending your wedding day with! Most brides don’t realize, their photographer is by their side every moment on the most important day of their life, and it’s very important to have a good relationship, easy communication, and really click!. I’ve heard stories before of photographers saying “I’m not here to be anyone’s friend” and that could not be farther from a great philosophy! Your photographer should be a people person who WANTS to get along with your mom, videographer, bridal party, etc…

Great Client Reviews.
Before you book your photographer it’s a great idea to check out their reviews. It’s so important to know that previous clients were happy with their work. It’s a great sign if past clients have taken the time to write them something nice! Chances are if multiple people are happy with a photographer, you will be too 🙂

Please note: I write all of this because I want couples to be happy with their photos, whether it be me or a different photographer. This post is not meant to create waves. It is simply very important to think through all your options. Your wedding photos are so important and they will be with you forever. Trust me. You won’t regret it!

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