So you just got engaged and you are beyond excited and thrilled! You are ecstatic for a few hours then… it hits you… what do you do now?
According to The Knot’s article, “just engaged?” it’s great to start off by either hiring a wedding planner or getting some planning in order. I think this is a great way to start your wedding planning, but of course it’s not a good idea to leave out finding your wedding photographer for the last thing. I’d suggest picking your date soon and then immediately contact your favorite photographers for availability. As the year goes on, photographers book up quickly so don’t leave it for the last thing on your list!
How to choose your wedding photographer:
1. Do some research.
Look for some photography styles you like, some ideas and really do your online research before hiring a photographer. It’s great to pick a few photographers that you really like and compare and contrast their styles and their professionalism. Wedding photographers often booked out for 6 months to a year (not always the case with Las Vegas weddings) but make sure to consider this when looking for a professional photographer. Important take away: don’t procrastinate when booking a photographer.
2. Email your photographer (my preferred choice).
I’m almost always out on assignment or working on the go, it’s very difficult for me to answer my phone and check my calendar at the same time. Plus, I like to have an email trail of what we talked about. I personally like to work with each individual couple for their pricing, so it’s nearly impossible for me to quote over the phone because none of my prices are set in stone.
3. Are your favorite photographers available for your date?
By the point you have picked your date and hopefully your location. If not, make sure to have a few dates in mind, so your photographer can check their availability. It’s a pet peeve when someone emails you straight away with your price list before they even tell you their date. Photographers may have different pricing for different days of the week and/or times of the year. Like I said, I personally customize my prices for each client so I need as much information as possible before I give you prices.
4. Look at their online reviews.
Check sites like Yelp, Google Local, Yellow pages etc. If your photographer is not listed on a single local review site, then you may want to check their website for testimonials. If past clients are willing to go online and write a review of testimonial, that is a sign of a service provider. That takes time and work for past clients to go out of their way and write reviews.
5. Costs, Contracts and the other boring stuff.
While you will probably gather some ideas about costs when you email your photographer, it’s a good time to really think about what you are willing to pay. Being a photographer is an awesome and rewarding career but it’s also hard work. Lots of long hours on the feet and in the editing chair, expensive equipment and extensive education and hands on training. Because honest with yourself about what you want. If you really don’t value you capturing your memories for a lifetime with your photos, then save your money for some delicious catering or a fun night out. If you do value you having gorgeous photos to share for your lifetime, then make sure you are willing to pay for it.
As a photographer, I sincerely value a client that loves my work and wants to cherish their wedding day. I am more likely to work with that client and their budget over someone that just “wants some photos”. So be thoughtful about where you want to spend your wedding budget and just be honest with yourself and what you are looking for in terms of a photographer.
Contracts. I usually require a 50% deposit (most photographers in Las Vegas do, I believe) and require my final payment 2 weeks prior to the wedding date. Make sure to read your photographers fine print. Some offer only digital files, some offer only hard copies, some offer only albums… make sure to do your reading.
As of right now, Taylored Photo Memories offers all options, but we have found that our clients really value the high resolution digital files so we offer those as well as albums and prints at very reasonable rates.
6. Post Production/Turn Around of your wedding photography.
All wedding photographers vary in the amount of time they take to deliver their final products. Wedding photographers or wedding companies that do not do post production or any color correction may be a cheaper price and may be available the next day, but keep in mind they will not edit any of your images. Most photographers that do develop and edit their own images will take anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months.
Taylored Photo Memories has a turn around time of no more than 8 weeks for a full scale wedding.
Any questions! We’d love to help you answer them!
And congrats on your engagement 🙂 Happy 2014!