Researching wedding photographers and making the right choice…
This time of year I get inundated with tons of inquiries for weddings by brides. So many couples get engaged on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve and most are on the internet quick! I love to hear their excitement and enthusiasm for this new endeavor in their lives. But it doesn’t take long either to hear brides say how overwhelming, time consuming and daunting the process is. I absolutely understand!
The search for a wedding photographer usually begins with images the couple likes from websites, is narrowed down to who is in the budget and hopefully based on who the couple really like as a person and their work. When you meet with someone and feel that click with a photographer that is huge!
Here are the steps I recommend in researching your possible wedding photographer:
1. Start with reputable websites and blogs. Some to check out would be www.weddingwire.com, www.yelp.com, www.theknot.com,www.stylemepretty.com, www.theflirtyguide.com. If you are Facebook you can find lots of connections in this regard. I try to keep my business page, Misti Layne, updated with new photos and news of what I’m doing.
2. Look at photography associations like www.wpja.com, www.ppa.com, www.wipa.com, www.ispwp.com. A good association will require a membership process and this means a photographer has been through a screening process.
3. It may be tempting but stay away from craigslist and the like. I’m a business person with insurance, rent, over-head and costs just like a normal business. I’m constantly updating equipment and software and keeping myself educated. You take risks with people who shoot on weekends or are just starting out. Having a camera does not a wedding photographer make!
4. Ask a wedding planner! I really do recommend wedding planners. They have the resources and the knowledge and will save you time and are so worth it! Even having a planner for “day-of” wedding planning is going to be a huge relief and allow you to truly enjoy your day.
5. Ask friends who love their photos and you like as well! This is a great resource but as I said make sure they LOVED their photographer.
6. Narrow down your favorite photographers based on their images. The internet is a great resource but try to stay under five. Having 16 favorite photographers is still overwhelming. If the images make you react emotionally in some way like a tear or a laugh—keep them!
7. Contact them by email or phone and ask about availability and pricing. Does the email or conversation with the photographer feel right to you? Keep them on the list. A lot of personality can come through this way and if you don’t feel a connection or wary, take them off the list.
8. Narrow the list down to your most favorite three; more than this wastes time. If in that three you don’t feel the connection go back to some of the others but at this point you should have a good feel about them.
Next post will be the questions that are important to ask once you narrow down that list! So stay tuned!