Finding a good photographer is a competitive process, not only for the wedding photographer, but for you as well. If you’re wedding falls under mid-week days or Sundays, or during colder seasons, then you may find the best choices of professionals who are available on your wedding date. But if your wedding falls under those sought-after days and seasons, like Friday and Saturday evenings and summer and fall seasons, you may have to start your search early in order to have a good number of quality choices.
Photo by Lushfolio Photography
However, before starting your search, know first the most common mistakes that bridal couples make in the process. After which, we’ll share to you the search strategy that helped wedding coordinators and brides search for their wedding photographer the easy and less-stressful way.
The Four Common Mistakes
1. Lack of Plans
Despite all the reminders that searching for a wedding vendor should begin as early as a year in advance, many people start calling their prospect photographers in less than two months before their wedding day. Starting your search that late will leave you with very few choices and may require you to spend more than your budget. To avoid this, make a timeline, schedule everything accordingly, and strictly follow everything you’ve written on it.
2. Making Decisions Out of Emotions
While it is necessary to feel you’re welcomed and comfortable with the photographer before hiring them, you should not let your emotions take control over everything. If you let your emotions govern your intellectual judgment, you might find yourself signing up for an agreement that is just outside of your budget, or a photographer who temporarily made you feel good as you negotiate with him but in the end do their job poorly. If you know that you have the tendency to do such mistake, it would be wise to tag along a friend who is practical and you think can give you reasonable opinions.
Photo by My Dream Wedding
3. Making Instant Decisions
This is a common problem to couples who have been searching for the perfect photographer for months and have grown bored and tired with the process. After talking to a number of photographer for, say, six months, it’s perfectly normal to get tired of doing the process over and over again. However, it isn’t a good decision to choose a photographer who you’re not completely sure with, but just for the sake of getting things over, you settle with them. In order not to fall into this mistake, set a limit and compare the features that each photographer has to offer.
4. Being Fixed With the Budget
There are couples who takes the pricing of wedding photography very seriously to the point that this becomes their primary deciding factor. According to Singapore studio houses and professional photographers, most of their clients spend a bit more than their budget to get exactly what they want for their wedding photography. It’s almost impossible for you to get all the services and benefits you’re looking for without being flexible with the pricing. Consider quality over quantity and pricing when choosing a photography package.
Photo by La Belle Couture
The Search Strategy
1. Rank Your Priorities
If you’re working with a professional wedding planner, one of the first things they help you with is ranking your priorities. They will provide a list or break everything down like this: dress, venue, entertainment, flowers, drinks, food, videography, photography, etc. Then, you’ll be asked to rank these things according to their importance. By knowing which to prioritize first, searching for vendors would be much easier, and you’ll know what to do first and what to skimp on. For the photography? Brides usually rate it as one of the most prioritized.
2. Analyze the Situation
Before talking about choosing the “right” photographer, it’s important that you set a budget first and know what services are available for you. The best way to do this is to spend some time evaluating packages through vendor websites. You can find tons of details online, and be able to figure out quickly what’s available for your price range. You may also want to check out packages that are both higher and lower than your budget, so you can discuss extensively with your fiancé the wide range of choices available for you.
3. Do Initial Phone Screening
Though it’s strongly advised to meet the vendor face-to-face, doing an initial phone screening helps a lot in saving time, money, and effort while you’re still in the shortlisting process. Ask basic questions during initial interviews through the phone. Aside from confirming the availability of your wedding date, ask about their specialty, photography style, types of equipment used, whether or not they provide albums, number of hours they stay to cover an event, and how long they’ve been in the business. Apart from gathering information, you want to know how the photographer treats prospect clients and shows interest to discussing things with you.
Photo by Kinici Photo
4. Visit Your Shortlisted Choices
After the initial phone interview, you now have a fairly good idea of the studio houses to visit. Call and set an appointment with your shortlisted choices, and make sure you meet them all within a week so you can be sure that you don’t lose your date. While discussing things with a photographer, ask to see some of their recent wedding collections and samples of packages that you’re interested in. Then, discuss your wedding plans further and ask them how they will cover your wedding. Notice their personality and feel if they are comfortable to work with. Do the same process to every photography house you visit.
5. Decide at Home
Be fair to the photographers and to yourself. Never decide while you’re still in the process of knowing each photographer. Make sure you get home, discuss with your fiancé the information you’ve collected, and check for each photographer’s credibility before deciding who to hire. If they give you a copy of their contract, read and understand the terms before signing it.
Photo by Z Wedding Design
Searching for a wedding photographer is an extensive and critical process, and may even cost you more than expected. However, you know that all the hard work is rewarded once you find the right professional. Keep in mind that this is wedding photography that we’re talking about. Ten, twenty, or fifty years from now, it’s the photographs that will always remind you of the most special day of your life.
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