Were going to take you to the very beginning of the process here. Lets face it, there are a lot of options now days for hiring photography services. You can do as many broad searches as you’d like, (ISO posts for example) and you’re going to get a lot of feed back. A LOT OF FEEDBACK. I’m guilty of adding to that mass mess but we all just want to share our work, and love of our jobs with those brides looking for services! Lets try and help you narrow it down some so you don’t have quite so much to dig through initially. Did you know there are all different types of STYLE of photography? It seems all simple. Point. Shoot. Process. But really, every company is probably just a little different from the next on how they like to style their shoots and process albums for clients. Research photography styles and thumb through them for a while until you have an eye for what you “like.” This can help you narrow down companies quicker by thumbing through their work.
Do not always make a decision based on price. High or Low. I am on so many of these bride pages and it kills me seeing posts about horrible experiences with companies. Some have even had their most memorable day ever ruined by it. Have a budget but do your research of what is typical in your area and what you want for services. Like the old saying goes, do you want quality or quantity? How about somewhere in the middle? Just because you pay a lot doesn’t mean its going to be great quality with a great experience. But the same can be said for paying very little. Do your research and know what you want and what you are paying for!
Check out the photographers previous work. Look for weddings that are done from beginning to end to make sure to see examples of the specifics you are looking for. This can also show the photographer has had experience shooting a wedding from start to finish. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If there are specific things you are passionate about having photographed, ask for examples!
Ask about their post-production process and all expectations. What type of editing do they do? How do they filter through the images? How many images are you to be expecting? What is the usually time post processing will take? It is so important to have all these conversations before hand. A bride should never be left wondering whats to come or when they are getting their images. It is also important for a company to have contracts. Never agree to any service without one. The contract should also lay out all expectations of both company and client. These should be pretty black and white but in case of confusion, make sure to ask questions.
Do not be afraid of having consultation meetings with photographers. If you are not available due to distance, a phone session can be arranged or maybe even a Skype call. This is another great way to see the photographers work and portfolios. This also allows for open communication not delayed from email or phone messages.
Do your homework on the company(s) you are interested in. Do they have a professional background? Do they have a professional website with their own domain? Nothing against companies that do not, but there are costs in creating a professional website with all your own domains and information and if a company truly wants to be viewed as professional, they will create the professional outlets and allow access to their work and client reviews. Is the company listed on any other sites that help with photographer searches? Social media is great but there are so many platforms out there.
Does the photographer have back up equipment in case of equipment failure. The case of this happening is very rare but I have heard stories and unfortunately, we all know stuff happens.
Is the company legally licensed for the work they do. I’m sure you see just as many horror stories as us vendors do and trust us, you really want to make sure to protect yourself from scammers and non legit companies. We do want your business also but we really want to see happy clients, with gorgeous images more ,whether you were working with our business or another’s. I promise you, every vendor that reads those terrible stories from a bride cringes in horror.
How long has the company been in business? Sometimes this can make a huge difference and sometimes it doesn’t, but its is always great to ask. For example, my company is fairly new to the Wedding World but we did our homework before launching to make sure our clients will receive the best experience possible in all legal means, the same as any other legal company would operate. The longer a company has been in business, you would expect to see a higher amount of reviews on their work. If you find a company with little to no reviews and they have been in business for a long time, you may want to ask more questions.
And lastly… QUESTIONS! One big one is lighting. If a photographer describes themselves as a natural light photographer, make sure they can also shoot with flash and artificial light. Most weddings tend to have lower lighting and you want to make sure to not have dark dull images. All other questions however are just as important. You have the right to ask as many questions as you please. There is no limit to how much information on a company you should have before signing a contract of service. You should always feel confident in your decisions especially when it comes to a service of value like wedding services.
Brought to you by Sandy Prints Photography