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Luxury Weddings

How did you choose your photographer?

I've reached out to a few photographers, and 4 that I like are still available on my date.  They are all about the same price for what I want.  I'd say 2 are cutesy/style me pretty style, and the other two are more cutting edge editorial style.  I'm not sure which style I prefer.  How do I decide?  Just meet with them and see who I feel most comfortable with? 

Also, do you think it's important to be getting 2 shooters versus 1?  We will be having a smaller wedding (80 people) if that matters.

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Re: How did you choose your photographer?

  • I would ask each for a full wedding or two that they shot.  Looking at all the photographs from one wedding will give you a better idea of what you'll get than just looking at their "featured" (AKA their best shots) pictures on their website.

    For me there were two things I really wanted:
    1. To have personal printing rights to all our photographs. 
    2. A second shooter.

    The second shooter is important to me because I like the different angles that the second shooter can capture, particularly at the ceremony.  I also like that we'll have getting ready photos of the girls and the guys.

    As far as actually picking one, we went with the person we liked the best that was in our price range and met the two criteria above.  I figure I'll be spending A LOT of time with this person during one of the most intimate days of my life, I better get a good vibe from them!
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  • We first came up with a list of what we wanted out of a photographer and a package.  We really wanted a second shooter and right to all photos, we also wanted an engagement shoot done as well.  Once we had that we began meeting with photographers, we met about three or four.

    After meeting with them it came down to which photographers pictures we liked better and who's personality we though we clicked with better too. I am so excited about our photographer!!!! We didn't really hav a budget we were working on we just chose the person we liked the best and who was going to do the best job.  It's not like we're spending $20,000 on him either, his packages were very reasonable.

    Our guest list is about 120,  we still wanted two photographers, they wil be able to capture different things going on or capture the same thing from different perspectives. I would like for pictures of me coming down the aisle during the ceremony but at the same time of my FI's reaction to seeing me the first time.

    Anniversary

  • A second shooter was really important to us as well. In addition to everything said in PP's about ability to provide more artistic variety, it was also for logistical reasons. We will obviously be getting ready in different places and wanted to make sure we had pictures of both of us. Based on our timeline of the day, the only feasible way to get shots of both of us was to have 2 photographers.
  • KDM323KDM323 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 500 Comments Name Dropper
    I wanted 2 shooters and rights to all of my photos.

    Then I started looking online at different "styles" of photographers in my area (NJ/Philly).  I found a few that I liked and set up appointments.

    I really like my photographers work in person when I met with him...and I liked HIM.  He was easy to get along with and I could see he had a real passion for his work.


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  • I agree with pps. Our coordinator set some meetings up for us, and after all the logistics it really came down to who we liked as a person. I absolutely LOVE my photographer. Our personalitys clicked with her's.
  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers

    I'm going to agree about liking the photographer. This person will essentially be spending your whole wedding day right there with you. I'm just now starting to look for a photographer and that's a huge requirement for me.

    I remember at my sister's wedding her photographer took amazing photos, but he spent the whole day bossing everyone around. He even yelled at me because I was trying to bustle her dress and he said we didn't have time she needed to do her exit from the church and I would have to bustle her dress later because he wanted to make sure he got a shot of her getting into the carriage before it started raining. So yeah let's send her out in the rain with her satin dress dragging through the mud, but that doesn't matter as long as you get your shot.

    Ok that's my rant about picking a photographer who you think has a personality that clicks with yours :)

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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I had to completely wing it, cross my fingers, and hope for the best! Since we got married in Australia, all I got from the resort was a list of 3 to choose from. The list was limited because of the location in Australia and then the photographers having to travel to the island. So, I browsed their websites, chose one I thought was the best fit for my style, and contacted her. I ended up only having one shooter because of the weight and space restrictions on the helicopter to get to the island. I got SOOOO lucky, though. She was amazing, my pics are amazing, and we still stay in touch.

     







  • I based mine on style, quality of photos and turnaround time. We got teasers (like 12) by 1:30am. The rest were like 4 weeks after the wedding. I know someone who waited 10 weeks. I would have died waiting that long

  • Our families have both used our photographer for other pictures (of their children, etc) so it was a bit of an obvious choice, but we also compared his work with other photographers.

    I wanted to have the rights to all photos, and every photo take on that day given to me on CD/DVD (not just the special edited ones that the photographer chooses.)  They were not the cheapest, but also not the most expensive we researched. I went more with personality, someone I knew we could trust, photo quality and that sort of thing.

    Ask your friends for recommendations - that might help as well.
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  • We went with one photographer because we have under 100 guests. We chose someone who does weddings but is also a photojournalist (he shoots for the Washington Post, Forbes, and a couple big magazines). I don't like traditional wedding photography, and I'm not even totally sold on having a lot of portraits of me. So he was the perfect fit. A little pricier than some others, but also a lot less than some photogs who force you into a big $8K package that you may not want.
  •             I looked at a bunch of websites and photos, looked at the packages to make sure they included rights and second shooter. Then I emailed the ones I liked best, and picked the ones we felt most comfortable with.
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  • For me it wasn't too hard as it could have been because my family has used these photographers for years. When I first started to look for photographers, they were always #1 on my list but I still wanted to browse a little, with friends recommendations.

    When I finally reached out to my top choices and got their prices and looked through their portfolios, I ended up going with the photographers that my family has always used. I honestly just loved the quality of their photos more than the others, I knew already that they were trustworthy and reliable, they've been to my venue many times and I loved the package they put together for me! 

    Definitely look into whether or not they have been to your venue before, this will make a major difference in the way your photos come out. Take a good look at the package that they are going to offer you and make sure you are getting the most for your money, and having a 2nd shooter there is definitely a major plus!! Good luck! 

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  • I would decide what style you and FI want first (the cutesy or edgy). Then I'd meet with both and ask them to walk you through a wedding album in person. You'll get to see their work and, more importantly, you'll get to "interview" them. 

    I had two shooters - we're still waiting on our pictures, but I'm really glad we did it. One shot the women getting ready until the ceremony and the other shot the men getting ready. We previewed a few of the pictures and I couldn't be happier we chose to do it that way. It tells a fun story of when stuff finally comes together.
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    cap816 said:
    Oh, and another piece of photographer advice:  I'd ask them to either refrain from taking photos of you without makeup on or to not use those in any online blogs or paper albums.  Our photographer created an amazing video montage sneak peek that we could email to our friends and family, but the first few images are me without makeup and I don't want to for other people to see that!!  
    I agree to a point. I didn't want anyone to see the photos of me getting dressed. They are personal and intimate. However, I do not wear makeup on a normal day, so I would not be offended if someone snapped a pic of me without makeup on. In fact, I felt like an alien with it on. So, the part about the makeup or my thing about getting dressed is truly personal preference.

     







    southernbelle0915
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I agree with the other posters about style and a second shooter and rights to photos.

    One piece of advice I got, which I took and hope is/was wise, is to not skimp on photos. This is the record of one of the most important days of your life- don't jeopardize it.  

    I had a choice of going with some photography companies with great, reasonable packages and nice, perfectly adequate photos at a price I was comfortable with, or spending an extra grand for a photographer that could do really artsy stuff and thankfully, that my Fiance and I clicked with. I went with the more expensive option because I really wanted my photos to be a little more artsy and "not like everyone else's." I am frugal by nature but nobody I talked to ever said they regretted splurging on photography. In fact, people who were frugal on photography regretted it.

    We just took engagement photos and I'm dying to get them back. I feel like I made the right choice with our photographer and I can't wait to see how things came out!  
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    I agree with the other posters about style and a second shooter and rights to photos.

    One piece of advice I got, which I took and hope is/was wise, is to not skimp on photos. This is the record of one of the most important days of your life- don't jeopardize it.  

    I had a choice of going with some photography companies with great, reasonable packages and nice, perfectly adequate photos at a price I was comfortable with, or spending an extra grand for a photographer that could do really artsy stuff and thankfully, that my Fiance and I clicked with. I went with the more expensive option because I really wanted my photos to be a little more artsy and "not like everyone else's." I am frugal by nature but nobody I talked to ever said they regretted splurging on photography. In fact, people who were frugal on photography regretted it.

    We just took engagement photos and I'm dying to get them back. I feel like I made the right choice with our photographer and I can't wait to see how things came out!  

    I agree with this, but I have to say that I spent a lot of money on the photographer for my first marriage and I have to basically throw away all of that money! I actually still have the prints and album in my garage because it pains me to just throw over $10K worth of work into the trash can. I'll never ever want to view those photos again, but one wonderful thing that did come out of it are the many pictures I have of my grandparents who are no longer with us. I pulled all of those photos and gave them to my mom. We'll cherish them forever. So, if nothing else, spend the money to capture moments with your biological family.

     







  • tammym1001tammym1001 Akron, Ohio member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary 5 Answers
    That's a good point jells2dot0. The most recent family photo that we have is at my sister's wedding 6 years ago and her ex-husband is in it. I wish we had some without him so I could display them. Not that I think me and FI will get divorced, but I'm going to have each of us take pics with our families by ourselves :)
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  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    @tammy- yeah, no one goes into it thinking that. If I had, I would have been a fool for spending six figures on a wedding for a crappy marriage! Our photographer specifically mentioned that she wanted to do this for us, as we were lucky enough to have grandparents still alive. It was good advice worth passing on :)

     







  • Ladies, what are your thoughts on photo books?  I am willing to pay a premium for the photographer’s talent, but I am wondering if it’s worth it to get the more expensive packages they offer that come with the photo books?  I have seen some and they are very high quality binding and pages, with the layouts professionally done with graphic design expertise. However the prices for these books (like a large 10”x13” book) is like $1k-$2k+ depending on whether you get it as part of a package or a la carte.  I know I can make my own photobook on shutterfly for $50 (we will of course be getting a package that includes all rights to the photos), but it will obviously look amateurish compared to what I would get from the photographer.   However I’m doubting that it’s worth spending $1k-$2k for a nice book that will ultimately just sit around on my coffee table. 
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    Ladies, what are your thoughts on photo books?  I am willing to pay a premium for the photographer’s talent, but I am wondering if it’s worth it to get the more expensive packages they offer that come with the photo books?  I have seen some and they are very high quality binding and pages, with the layouts professionally done with graphic design expertise. However the prices for these books (like a large 10”x13” book) is like $1k-$2k+ depending on whether you get it as part of a package or a la carte.  I know I can make my own photobook on shutterfly for $50 (we will of course be getting a package that includes all rights to the photos), but it will obviously look amateurish compared to what I would get from the photographer.   However I’m doubting that it’s worth spending $1k-$2k for a nice book that will ultimately just sit around on my coffee table. 
    After my first wedding, I had an album made by my photographer. From what I can remember, it was around $2500, maybe more. It was gorgeous. It really told a story. I think I only ever looked through it once- the day we got it. Now, it sits in a box in the garage, along with the prints, waiting for me to get the courage to throw it out. I feel like I'm wasting a ton of money. I obviously have a different perspective being a second time bride and hopefully none of you have to face that! Anyway, this time around, we opted out of an album. I have two CDs- one for web viewing and one for prints. We chose to have several prints professionally touched up by the photographer (some already were, some were not) and had her order the prints in the sizes we specified. We created a large wall gallery in our living room with our favorites. We enjoy lookin at them every day. The other remaining prints are scattered between other rooms in our home, our offices, and our parents. All in all, we spent around $900 for the professional, touched up prints, and maybe $150-$200 on misc frames for them.

     







  • @Jells2dot0 Like you did the second time around, I was pretty much thinking we would get the CDs and just frame the ones we like...after seeing some books after meeting with photographers, I wondered if I would regret not getting the book.
  • Jells2dot0Jells2dot0 Cowtown mod
    Moderator Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @Crazy- I do not regret not getting one at all.  

     







  • We actually ended up choosing one company that has photography, videography and entertainment services under one production company.  We really clicked with the owner, and the company had been personally recommended by a trusted person who used to be in the business.  He showed us a ton of examples of their work and we loved it all.  They also do a TON of events at our venue.  I also really liked that since it is all one company, we know that our DJ and photographer and videographer will all be in sync with each other.
  • My photographer wrote an article for Huffington Post about how HE chose his photographer (got married in another state and didn't know anyone in the profession) and how he boiled it down to three simple steps. I got the link for the article here for you if you wanna give it a read hope it helps http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ge-masana/finding-a-wedding-photographer_b_3381680.html
  • We met our photographer at a bridal show where she showed us a bunch of samples of her work - which we loved! We had also met with another photographer who was more of the editorial style. We liked them equally, so we went with the cheaper one (and bonus, she has another shooter with her). Also we looked at the packages they both offered & we got more with her package - free engagement shoot & free photo guest book :)
  • Personally, I minded my budget and found someone who did amazing work who I wouldn't have to give an arm, a leg, and a baby to. I think the most important thing is to decide what is important to you and not compromise on those things. It was important for me to have to photographers, rights to my pictures after the wedding, and a few other things. Then meet with who ever you're interested in and if you guys gel jump on it. I don't know how to say this but don't be afraid to negotiate if you find a photographer that you love who has packages that are laced with stuff that you don't need ask if they'll dump it...that may also decrease the price.

     Happy Hunting!

  • Like pp have said 1. Pick who you click with.
    2. Option for release.
    3. Two photographers.
    My photographer was recommended by a friend. My photographer gave me the name of a trusted printing service he uses that is not restricted to pro's only. ( so I can have prints or a book printed.)
  • I wanted someone who wasn't very intrusive and constantly in people's faces, so my wedding party/groom/guests/etc would feel comfortable. I also really wanted a second shooter, so those are the main things I focused on. So aside from their styles, maybe consider what you value in a photographer and see who best matches that?
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  • I wanted someone I could build a relationship with... I mean as a bride I am paying them a good amount of money to get pictures of this "day" that I have dreamed about since I was little... So having a relationship and clicking with them was key to me.

    I researched so many people and they all charged so much and also by the hour.  They charge more for a disk and blah blah blah... So when I came across with the person I ended up booking I knew his team would be the one because when I contacted for a price he sent me sample pictures (including ones from a wedding at the same venue) and their first statement was along the line of... Our day starts when you start so if you have a bridal breakfast we will be there and we will not stop until you leave that night because this is your day and we are here to make your happy..  They also do not charge extra for a disk of pictures (so many prints come with the package) they believe they are paid to take the pictures but the pictures are of our event making them belong to us.... I love that they did not try to nickel and dime us..
    AND the required a facetime meeting right after booking just we could get to know both of the people that would be working with us and they have planning sessions to go over the "must have" pictures...  I know I can trust them to give us everything and more 
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  • Our photographer was recommended by our venue and our coordinator. But what really made us choose him was talking to him on the phone and that he invited us to his home to look through his work. He was so wonderful and we loved his work. I could tell he is super passionate and really wants to capture the emotions and love of the day, which is very important to me. He also said he works pretty quickly so we can enjoy our wedding instead of standing around posing for pictures. 

    Ultimately, I know he is going to be a great person to have around who really knows how the day should flow and will keep very calm. Plus I liked that he would give us all the information of who he uses to make albums and give us high resolution digital files with full rights. That was really important to me. 
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