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September 2011 Weddings

How did you pick your photographer?

Hi Ladies!
My FI and I have our first appointment with a potential photographer for the e-pics/wedding tomorrow! I'm very excited! Any suggestions/ideas of what to ask her or advice on how to choose a great photographer? This is what I have on my list so far:

-price ( I did tell her my budget and she said she could work within that for sure)
- how many photos are included
- who gets the rights
- how many hours will she be there

Any other ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

Re: How did you pick your photographer?

  • If you are interested in getting albums you should find out if those are included, or what they are going to cost.

    We kind of had an easy time choosing because I was in my cousin's wedding back in September of 09 and I loved her photographer, he was so easy to work with, and once I saw how beautiful her pictures came out I knew I wanted to book him.

    Good luck!

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  • I'm like Danielle, my photographer has done several friends' weddings (he's a college friend) and I always knew I would book him, no matter the cost. Luckily he has a very reasonable rate! 

    Ask about the meal - would the photographer need to eat? My photographer stated that he would need to have a meal if the event was to run more than 5 hours - if not, he would need to leave and get some food. 

    Ask how long would she take for the first look pics OR the pics after the ceremony - one of my friends didn't ask and the photographer she hired turned out to have a reputation of taking FOREVER with the pics after the ceremony, it dragged on so long that she was more than an hour late to her reception :( 

    hmm that's all i can think of? be sure you read the contract carefully, of course :)
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  • KOM11KOM11 member
    100 Comments
    We set what we wanted first and then set up apointments based on photogs that meet our wants/needs:
    1. Budget: Under $1500
    2. Number of Photogs: 2 (would take 1 with awesome photos)
    3. Electronic file of all pics and ownership rights
    4. Free touchup on pics
    5. Hours: 6 or more
    6. Unlimited number of photos (some photographers actually put a limit on the number of digital pics they will take - what?!)
    7. Free e-session
    8. What is the backup plan for equipment and the photogs

    I found about 5 photogs that we liked in our area that meet the above criteria (which was difficult, but very doable) and then we went on one meeting and we just clicked with the guys we are hiring. They are new to the business, but not new to photography. Their photography is so natural and artistic and we just knew. I cancelled the other appointments.

    my biggest recommendation though is make sure you are comfortable aroudn them because they will be following you around all day long!

    Good Luck and Have Fun
  • I can't think of any other questions that we asked, but I definitely agree with KOM11.  Make sure you are getting a good vibe from the photographer.  You don't want to run into presonality clashes.  The photographer we hired gave us a sheet to fill out asking us to rank different styles of pictures from 1-5.  That was kind of nice so that she isn't having us do things that we are uncomfortable with or don't like.  She will already know.  And honestly, we chose our photographer because we have yet to see a picture that she has taken that we haven't loved.  She has done friends weddings and we have gotten nothing but good reviews!  Ask around! It helps a lot!
  • Ditto KOM. I spent months narrowing down photographers til I decided on 6 that I like that fit within our budget (some more expensive then others though). We ended up picking the cheapest one because we clicked with her the best. I think that's uber important with a photographer as you want them to be able to capture YOUR personalitiies!

    Questions we asked:

    1) How many years experience do you have as a photographer?
    2) What percentage of your business is weddings?
    3) Are you the person that will photograph my wedding? Or will it be an associate photographer?
    4) Do you offer a 2nd photographer? Cost?
    5) Have you ever been sick or had an emergency the day of a wedding? What is the back up plan in this situation?
    6) Do you visit the ceremony and reception sites prior to the wedding?
    7) Do you have liability insurance?
    8) How would you describe your photography style?
    9) What is your payment policy?
    10) How long does it take to receive photos after the event? Is this included in the contract?
    11) Are we given acess to all of the negatives or do you choose a selection for us to see?
    12) Do you have a tentative schedule/day-of-timeline?
    13) What is the best way to contact you?
  • FI and I only met with a few photogs because I've been swooning over the work of the guy that took my senior pics.  He's kinda pricy but he came with an e-session and a BEAUTIFUL album included in the package.  He also will give us the photos (unfortunatly he charges extra to have them all edited).  Another photog we met with gave us all the pics at no extra charge but uneditied.  And to be honest, I'm not going to want all these pics of me if my face is all shiny or something lol.  But make sure you have a good list of questions regarding hours of service and what's included in the package.  Have fun! This has been my fav vendor to book so far. 
    Hitched! 09.30.11
  • Don't forget to ask if they offer an online gallery for any digital photos, and what their policy on other people ordering them is.  We liked one photog, but they would  only let us order the photos - I am not calling every family member who attended and asking which ones they want and how many and what size AND when can I get the money.  No thanks.

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  • Leggwilliams has great questions! Also, make sure they will have backup equipment if there is camera failure on your big day! And please please please feed your photographer (all of your vendors, really)! You should always be willing to at least give a vendor meal which is typically a sandwich and chips or something. I think we'll end up letting our photographer and his assistant eat off of our buffet while we are eating. Also, as others mentioned, you want to really click with that person. I met with so many great photographers, but the one that we went with, above all, fit with our personality. Good luck!
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  • Our photographer did a friend's wedding last year.  His work was awesome and because he's only been in the business a few years...his price is much less than others that we considered.  He threw in discounts, extra photographer, free edited photos with music on CD for both e-pics and wedding...all rights...and e-pics included.  http://www.williammoorephoto.com (click on the photo in the center to enter his website and see his portfolio.  (Under $1k).
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  • The big sticking point I had about wedding photography before chosing one was that they actually GO THROUGH the pictures before posting them online or giving them to you.  It was very important to me that I had a photographer that deleted at least 1/3 to 2/3 of what they took and edited/touched up each one. 

    I myself am an amateur photographer and it's a pet peeve to look at someone's pictures when there's 2,000+ of them.  Two friends recently had "good" photographers (one flew him from TX to FL for a destination wedding) and one had multiple very BAD pictures of the bride and the other left in a picture of the mother of the bride dancing with her underwear showing! 

    Other than that I think everyone covered it... number of photographers, backup plan, payment schedule, is a DVD included (and are these high res), what albums are included, how many hours, etc.  I am absolutely in love with my photographer- he's been published in national photography magazines, has done a friend's wedding and works with my wedding planner.  He also does workshops for photographers outside of wedding photography and I'm SO excited to have him :)
  • Wow thank you all for the wonderful advice! The meeting went well (thanks mostly to you ladies) and although we liked her, not sure that we LOVED her and am hoping to have some more appointments soon. I really appreciate all the help!
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