I want to share with you a cautionary tale... one wrought with danger and adventure, in a time of magic and monsters.
Well... sort of. Its the story of my wedding photography. And in order for me to properly tell you, you'll have to travel with me, way back to 2013.
My soon to be wife an I were searching for a wedding photographer. And little did i know we went about that search all wrong.
My wife and I selected a photographer based on cost, and it ended up costing us big time.
We paid the meager asking price of $450 for two photographers to cover our wedding.
Honestly, we didn’t know what to expect or how much a professional photographer should cost.
We thought, hey we’re paying them $450 for maybe 6 hours of work.
Needless to say the photography and service were everything but professional.
Our wedding was on Sept 13th 2013, our pictures weren't delivered until November 2014. This is after dozens of letters and the threat of a civil suite.
From our once in a lifetime day we have maybe a dozen photos that are keepers. Not even enough to fill a Facebook Photo album. (i'm not even comfortable sharing the images here they're that bad)
But rather than just rant on about how terrible the experience was I want to share some steps to help you avoid the same potential pitfall.
- Don't Cheat Yourself
Don’t make your selection based on lowest price.
Professional Photographers base their prices on several factors. Some of those being education, expertise, investment (in both terms of time and money), and availability.
Equipment costs alone can be tens of thousands of dollars.
Add to that the years they've spent honing their Craft.
Then the time after the photo shoot to retouch the images.
All of these things take time, skill, and monetary investment.
If you don't have just one of those things it becomes impossible to produce professional results.
Compare Apples to Apples
A Toyota Camry and a Porsche Cayman are both cars. They both have seats, and four wheels, and a radio.
Both can take you to the same locations.
But if you've ever shopped for anything of significant investment you know there are a few more things to consider beyond base criteria.
For instance if you had a family of four, only one of those vehicles would fit your needs.
The same is true with photographers. Some specialize in types of photography that may not align with your needs, While some are extremely versatile.
I specialize in dynamic portraiture, that means you won't typically see photos of newborns and small children, or landscapes being displayed in my portfolio.
What you will find is magazine quality portraits for Small Business Owners, Models, High School Seniors, Bloggers, Entrepreneurs and Couples in various stages of marriage.
Meet and Great
We live in a time where methods of communication are abundant. Don't be afraid to reach out, ask questions, and schedule a consultation. Work with your photographer to achieve a mutual goal.
Communication is key.
See Their Work
This seems like a no brainer, but, make sure you like the work that the photographer produces. In addition to selecting them for their expertise, you also select them for their style.
Show it off
You've done all the work in creating the right outfit, scheduling the perfect time of day for a shoot, making sure your hair and makeup are flawless only to get the photos and put them in an album to leave on the shelf. Or even worse to put in a Facebook album to be forgotten by the time you take your next selfie.
In our day and age its all too easy to swipe to the next image and double tap to like.
Displaying your photos lets you fill your space with loved ones and memories. It lets you tell stories and make your space uniquely you.