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Photography?

Hello!  First, I am not sure where to post this. Secondly,  I want give a preface.  My FI is in the military and when he is in the United States, he is stationed in NY, where I live, but he is from GA.  However, he is currently deployed and he wont be back until the end of the year.  

So, I am taking a three day trip to GA to look at venues with my mom and FMIL.  I have all the appointments set up for them but my mom wants to also look at photographers.  Should you, typically, have your venue before you look at photographers or is this okay to do?

Also, my FI and I want to get engagement pictures taken when he is on leave in GA so my next question is; Can you typically schedule engagement pictures a month out or do you typically book well in advance? 

Thank you so much!

Re: Photography?

  • You are fine to look at whatever vendors you would like, but having your date (and therefore venue) locked down is best. Many photographers get booked up a year in advance but depending on the date you are looking at (engagement pictures taken on a Tuesday afternoon for example) you may have no problem.  Something else to consider is some venues work with selected vendors and your photographer may not be allowed to work at your chosen venue.

    OurWildKingdom
  • justsiejustsie member
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    TickyBear said:
    Hello!  First, I am not sure where to post this. Secondly,  I want give a preface.  My FI is in the military and when he is in the United States, he is stationed in NY, where I live, but he is from GA.  However, he is currently deployed and he wont be back until the end of the year.  

    So, I am taking a three day trip to GA to look at venues with my mom and FMIL.  I have all the appointments set up for them but my mom wants to also look at photographers.  Should you, typically, have your venue before you look at photographers or is this okay to do?

    Also, my FI and I want to get engagement pictures taken when he is on leave in GA so my next question is; Can you typically schedule engagement pictures a month out or do you typically book well in advance? 

    Thank you so much!
    You could look at photographers, but keep in mind that until you have booked a venue you don't have a date per se, and your vendors that you like might not be available on the date your venue has. There isn't an issue going ahead and looking while you are there, but I was able to cross a few people off my list before wasting my time with them by finding out first they weren't available for my date.

    You can get engagement pictures taken whenever. We got ours done in February for our September wedding because where I live it is still cool enough to do them outside then. 
    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • Thank you so much for the input!
  • The great thing about photographers is that you can start to check them out from home in NY. Check out reviews of different photographers & maybe to boards to see if you can get recommendations. Then check out their websites to see their albums they have posted. It will give you a feel for their style of photography.

    When you interview photographer, check on what their availability is to do engagement photos and how much advance notice do they need. Will they be open to even doing on Sundays? If you don't require a Friday or Saturday to do engagement photos you will be better off as that is usually the big money day for them

    Important things to ask, can you get photos on USB drive? Can you get multiple USB drive (one for you, one for each set of parents. Or do they have online photo albums available where family & basically anyone you give the access code to can go online to view the edited photos & even order the photos directly from that site? What is turn around for getting photos? A good photographer (who is a full time photographer) can get them to you in under 3 weeks.

    The option for being able to view & order photos online might be a great option since you have family in NY and his is in GA and both sides will want to see & order photos. This way you don't have to ship proofs everywhere.

    OurWildKingdom
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    We're planning our wedding long distance...and couldn't really look at photographers until we had a date/venue. Because our date was less than a year away when we booked it, we had a tough time finding a photographer that could do our day. So. Maybe don't waste your time looking at photographers that could be booked on your day?

    Likewise, we knew we were going to be in town for a week a few months from when we booked our photographer. I gave her the approximate week we would be looking to book what FI calls "practice photos", and we scheduled our engagement photos about a month before we planned to be there. Photographers are generally available on weekdays, unless they're part-time photographers.

    Most venues don't usually limit your photographer choice. Some do (never saw any), but it seemed far more common to limit catering options, with the occasional "recommended" vendors list that was a little less strict.


    k thnx bye

    OurWildKingdom
  • We booked our photographer without ever having met him.  Our schedules just didn't mesh together so he sent us a video and spent time on the phone with us.  We met him after that for something totally unrelated and I'm happy the vibe I got from him otherwise was real and we are thrilled.  You can do a lot of photographer shopping without being in the same location!
    OurWildKingdom
  • Thank you everyone for the advice!
  • Usually a photographer who is any good or is popular will get booked for dates, so the first thing they will ask you is when the wedding is. Unfortunately, if you can't tell them a date, the experience I have had is they will tell you to come back with a date and hope that they are still available.

    I scheduled my engagement pictures a couple months out, the longer the better. The reasoning as to why is because A) if you're looking for a high peak season like spring or summer, there is a ton of weddings and not enough photographers which means there may not be someone to shoot your engagement, and also B) I know I had a ton of prep work I wanted to do for these photos, such as slimming down about 10+ pounds, growing my hair longer for curls, etc. Plus I had to find the correct shoes with the right dress, changed my dress, etc. so I needed enough time to prepare on my own. Just me 2 cents! It's your day and do it however you want! You go girl!
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Usually a photographer who is any good or is popular will get booked for dates, so the first thing they will ask you is when the wedding is. Unfortunately, if you can't tell them a date, the experience I have had is they will tell you to come back with a date and hope that they are still available.

    I scheduled my engagement pictures a couple months out, the longer the better. The reasoning as to why is because A) if you're looking for a high peak season like spring or summer, there is a ton of weddings and not enough photographers which means there may not be someone to shoot your engagement, and also B) I know I had a ton of prep work I wanted to do for these photos, such as slimming down about 10+ pounds, growing my hair longer for curls, etc. Plus I had to find the correct shoes with the right dress, changed my dress, etc. so I needed enough time to prepare on my own. Just me 2 cents! It's your day and do it however you want! You go girl!
    Most photogs won't shoot engagements on Saturdays for that reason. E pics with sought after photogs are done Sunday or weekdays. 

    And your B ) -- you can of course do what you want, but there's no need to schedule photos around growing your hair out or losing weight. I wanted to look like myself in my e pics, so I didn't need a few months lead time. I did get a haircut so I looked like the best version of myself.

    OP, while you can book a photog without meeting them in person - I HIGHLY recommend against doing so. You personal interaction and comfort level will be very apparent in your photos. Make sure you like the photog and have a good vibe before booking them. 
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

    Pinksatin91016
  • TyvmTyvm member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    A) if you're looking for a high peak season like spring or summer, there is a ton of weddings and not enough photographers which means there may not be someone to shoot your engagement
    @Knottie1450886525 ;I like how this sentence is both true and not true. I had trouble finding a photographer, so I went through all the ones in my area that were 5-star reviewed on WeddingWire, and sorted them by price/ability. When I contacted the ones I liked, they'd be booked, but refer me to other good ones who might not have been on my list. After a few weeks, I had a list of 100+ photographers ranked by ability. There are so many terrible amateurs charging a mint with fantastic reviews. I just don't get it.

    OP, while you can book a photog without meeting them in person - I HIGHLY recommend against doing so.
    If you can't meet them in person a phone call or Skype/video-chat can go a long way. But also, an engagement shoot is good for this as well!

    Also, we liked the idea of not prepping too much for the engagement/practice photos. Like, what do our teeth look like in professional photos without using whitening products? Is this hair/makeup artist I'm considering putting on the right amount of product/whatever for professional photos? HOW DO WE POSE? etc. etc. An engagement shoot is really useful for practicing some details.


    k thnx bye

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