Finding a wedding photographer for your big day can be more difficult than you think. But it is a lot easier if you establish a few ground rules for yourself before you start. With that in mind here are three common mistakes brides make when searching for a photographer:
Mistake #1 Assuming they’re all the same: They’re not. Photographers are a lot like snowflakes — everyone of them is unique. The creative process lends itself to this quite nicely and it’s important to keep in mind when you start your search. You want to find a photographer whose style and personality mesh well with you and your fiance. There’s no sense in hiring a photographer who wants every photograph to look like it went through 20 hours of Photoshop work if what you really value in photography is natural beauty. Similarly, if you’re looking for extremely edgy photographs it wouldn’t do much good to hire a photographer whose style leans in another direction.
When you’re talking to a photographer (or looking at their work) as yourself does the style of these photographs line up with what I want? If not keep searching!
Mistake #2 Limiting your search based on your budget: This is a tough one for a lot of brides. You have a budget and that’s a good thing. But limiting your search by the dollar sign attached to a photographers work is dangerous and here’s why — you are likely to get what you pay for.
Let’s look at this another way. Take the classic value-identifying scenario: Five years from now you’re sitting in your home and realize that it has caught on fire. The children and pets are safe and you have two minutes to grab what you can and run to safety. What do you take with you? A high number of people will answer this question with two words: “My photographs.”
Hiring a wedding photographer is more than just paying a commission to have someone press a button. You’re hiring someone to capture (and, if they’re good at their job, create) memories that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Memories you will one day pass down to your children and show to your grandchildren. You’re making an investment.
Instead of starting by asking “How much,” start by asking “Can I trust this person to document one of the most important days of my life?” If the answer is no, move on. You will never regret the investment you make for a good photographer.
Mistake #3 Asking for recommendations from Facebook groups: Referrals are important. And asking the advice of trusted friends and family members is a great idea when you’re searching for the right photographer. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that referrals from Facebook groups are the same as those from trusted friends. The most significant reason for this has to do with Mistake #1 above. If these people don’t know you, how can they recommend a photographer who they think you will mesh with?
It’s not bad to ask, but take those suggestions with a grain of salt and do your research afterwards to make sure you’re getting what you want!
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