I’ve got a hot topic for you today! One that I hope will open your mind and leave you feeling inspired as you search for the perfect wedding photographer. While this point of view is specifically about hiring a wedding photographer, these concepts could be applied with any wedding vendor or service provider you’re hiring.
I often receive emails from potential clients that begin with, “Hi, we’re so-and-so and getting married on such-n-such date, and we want 2 photographers for 8 hours, no engagement session, and we want all the images. What does that cost? Thanks!”
I often cringe when I read these. I feel as if I’ve turned from a high quality wedding photographer into a drive-thru service. It’s harder to start the conversation which solves what you really need! And at the beginning of wedding planning you may not know what you actually need.
So here I’ll explain the downsides created when starting conversations this way with your potential wedding photographer, and give solutions that will get you WAY more out of the experience and leave you having better conversations!
1. Timing – Every Photographer Works Differently
What one can do in 8 hours could be the exact equivalent to what another photographer can do in 6 hours. Not to mention, since your timeline dictates how you’ll be spending your wedding day, it really needs to be thought through with your vendors!
My clients and I have a fun consultation which included how their timeline can be organized. There’s so many ways to arrange a timeline and it should fit your personalities.
This is why I never give out a generic wedding timeline, nor do I sign up for a bride’s timeline before we’ve had a chance to talk it through.
I’ve seen everything from couples who send over an agenda that includes 1 hour each for couples photos, bridal party, and family. That’s 3 hours in front of the camera! If that were me, I’d be ready for a nap after, not ready to get married and start partying!
Solution: Ask for a recommendation for your Wedding Timeline. This will give you a lot more information as to what pace that photographer works at and what you can expect from them on the day of!
2. Personality – What’s Their Vibe
Deciding on price alone leaves absolutely no room for the most important consideration ever: How that person makes you FEEL when you’re around them (much less in front of their camera!)
I often advise: hire a photographer whose personality you love because you’ll spend A LOT of time with them on your wedding day.
Storytime: I have a friend who hired a photographer she ended up hating to be around. His personality was awkward, and shy, and when she was in front of the camera, she felt like she couldn’t be herself. When she hired him, she figured it’d be different on the wedding day, but it wasn’t. She started to get annoyed during the getting ready, which built so much that by the time it was just the two of them in front of the camera she told the photographer “she was good, and they didn’t need anymore” just so she could get a break from him. Now she has only one or two photos of her and her husband alone on their wedding day. Biggest regret of her life. “I would have paid $1000 more for a photographer who was fun to be around and who got me.”
Experience matters! In the bridal suite as you’re getting ready you may want photographer there who can help keep things light when emotions get high, or who can make you laugh through your nerves, or help guide when questions arise (like which leg the garter goes on).
Pay attention to how you feel around the person you’re considering hiring and try to pick a photographer you could imagine as a friend.
Solution: Ask yourself, how do I vibe with this person? Are our personalities a good match? Then, ask your photographer, how do you make people feel comfortable in front of the camera? (Not only does this matter to you, but also to your friends and family who will work with this person on your wedding day).
3. Options – Keep All Your Options Open
When you sit down at a brand new restaurant you’re almost hoping they ask you, “have you been here before?” Why? Because it gives you the chance to get the low down: how does this place works, what makes it special, as a guest what can you expect, etc.
This is important information so you can relax and enjoy the new experience!
Then, you might ask your waiter for a dinner recommendations. Why? Because you trust that they know more about the menu than you do. When a new dish is recommended, suddenly you’re inspired. You weren’t in the mood for it, but the recommendation from someone who knows, is great info to you!
It’s exciting because you get to share what your palate prefers, hear their suggestions, and ultimately consider all your options. Maybe you’ll get to discover something you never expected.
Use this same philosophy when you’re searching for your wedding photographer. Come to them with with questions instead of an order, you get to find out all the cool things that they can offer to you.
Even if you’ve got some pro advice from a photog friend, or you’ve been in weddings so you feel confident in what you need, remember you’ve never talked to THIS wedding photographer about YOUR wedding before, so start with an open mind and an excitement that says, “how does this work, with YOU!”
Maybe you’ll hear exactly what you thought you were going to need, maybe more, or maybe it’s something that’s an even better match that you never thought of! Either way, you win!
Solution: Instead of coming to a photographer with a mandatory list, try asking questions, share your vision, and give them space to show you who they are and what they’re offering.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read my insight into hiring your wedding photographer. My ultimate goal is to work with couple’s who are excited about the process of collaborating, who know some of what they want, some of what they don’t want, and who are ready to learn how to make it all happen so their day is fun, easy, and beautifully captured.