So You've Gotten Engaged..

So, you decided to say YES! Congratulations!  You and your partner have settled on a date and informed your venue.  What now? Photographer!  The second most important vendor to book is your photographer.  When booking a photographer, the most important thing a bride should look for is style.  Be sure to have a photographer that has a style that you LOVE!  Each photographer has their own style of work, don’t be afraid to ask your photographer what they believe their style is.  If you’re wanting someone to capture the bright and romantic feel of your day, maybe hiring a photographer who says their style is “dark and mysterious”, isn’t the best idea.


Upon the wedding, I try to meet with my clients as much as I can!  One of the first things I make to address when meeting a client for the first time, is asking them how they’re doing! I want my clients to know that I truly care about how they’re handling their wedding planning and how the process is going.  I love weddings!  This may be your first wedding, but I’ve been to at least sixty- I know and understand how stressful it can be, that’s why I’m here to answer any questions- even if they’re not photography related.  Besides this, I want to know what you expect to get from the whole experience.  I want to make sure that my style matches what you envision and that I can provide exactly what services that you’re in need of, even if that means less money in my pocket.  I’m not going to steer you in spending more money on a wedding package, if you only require 6 hours of coverage.


Now, if there is one thing I cant say enough… DO NOT cheap out on your photographer!  In this industry, you get what you pay for.  If you find a ‘professional’ photographer that is pricing a 10 hour package for only $1000.00, run!  This is a day that you are going to want to remember for the rest of your life, so paying for a cheap photographer is going to give you low quality memories.   This is the biggest mistake that I see brides make and hear them regretting, when they ask me to edit their images (taken by another photographer).  Remember, when you pay three thousand dollars for a photographer, you’re not only paying for their 10 hour day and dinner during the reception.  When hiring a professional, you’re paying for their professionalism up until (and after) the wedding, the endless days of editing, thousands of dollars worth of equipment, deliverable costs, printing supplies, backups, software, business insurance and finally (but not limited to) education and training.  When hiring a photographer, you want to hire someone that spends time with you and has communication skills, the last thing you want to worry about is having your photographer not answer your emails after your wedding. 

During the big day, you’ll know you’re in good hands when you have a photographer who is clear with their directions and makes you feel comfortable.  In their camera bag, they have thousands of dollars worth of equipment to make sure you have the best quality images.  After your big day, your photographer then spends what feels like never ending days, editing your images to perfection on the top of the line editing software’s.  Once your images are done, your photographer then has to provide them to you either online, hard copy, or both! Either way, it not only costs them time but money.  The cost of deliverables, such as USBs, CDs or online galleries are all expenses that your photographer has to take care of as well.   Lastly, a professional photographer also stays up to date with the latest training and equipment.  Most photographers have paid big money to provide you with the latest technology and editing techniques.  Be sure that when booking a photographer, you’re not just hiring someone with a “good camera”.


At the end of the day, a good photographer is going to leave you with a higher bill. A budget friendly tip that all couples should think about when booking a photographer, is to try and find someone who gives you the images digitally- rather makes you buy prints.  With todays day in age, more wedding images are viewed on your Facebook wall rather the walls of your home.  It’s a sad fact, but it’s true.  By hiring a photographer who is digital, you’re not always free to print whatever size of image you’d like! This is what makes my company different, I give you the printing rights; rather paying me to print the images that you’ve already paid me to take.


Listen, there are hundreds of photographers in your area, in fact, anyone with a camera considers themselves to be a photographer.  If you’re trying to decided on a photographer, don’t clink on the first link you see.  I recommend meeting with a selection of photographers first, to see which one best meets your expectations as a future bride.  Developing a relationship with your photographer is super valuable as it’ll help relax yourself during the shots.


“Hey! Luv your pics, shared the gallery with Aunt Sherry on Facebook. Grandma xo”. Oh, how we love social media.  In the photography industry, the use of social media has increased RAPIDLY!  It’s amazing how I as a photographer, can post your wedding gallery online and within MINUTES your entire family has seen it!  Social media sites like: Facebook and Instagram are beneficial to you as a bride as you can see your entire wedding with one link and share it with your friend list with another!  It’s an advantage having a photographer that provides a sneak peek gallery or an online blog of your wedding- to keep all of those pushy aunts towards!


The request that I most frequently receive is getting asked if I’m okay with breaking tradition. My answer, OF COURSE!  It is YOUR big day, not mine!  Lets put a twist on your day to make your images stand out from the rest, on a positive note!


One thing I always find myself reminding my brides is asking them to provide me with a shot list.  The number one thing to make sure you inform your photographer of, is what you want photos of!  We like to think we know it all, but sadly we don’t.   Make a reminder in your calendar to give your photographer a shot list including the images that you know you’ll want, that we wouldn't know about (For example, your aunt flying in from BC!). No worries about putting things like "Brides Flowers" and "First Dance" on the list, we will already have those covered!


Finally, your wedding is over, a year has passed and your flipping through your album full of wonderful memories.  You look at your partner and think WOW!  We had so much fun on the day of our wedding!   Those are the type of memories that you want to remember, not how stressed you were over the photographer you hired because they had lack of communication with little direction on how to pose for your images.   Remember to have fun and enjoy the people around you, not the details. Your photographer will be there to capture all details and emotions throughout the night. 

Chelsea MasonComment