Top ten tips for bettering your wedding photography experience
Tip #1- Finding the right photographer
Having shot weddings all over the world from Rancho Cucamonga, California to Sydney, Australia and a lot of places in between I have seen and experienced a lot. We have shot weddings that only included the bride and groom (no guests) to weddings well over 600 people. We’ve done weddings that lasted a total of only 30 minutes to weddings that have lasted three days. The advice I give below would apply to all the different wedding types that I’ve ever done. I publish this article that will be done in a 10-part series for the sake of all wedding brides and grooms out there in the hopes that it will improve their wedding photography experience.
Finding the right photographer- fall in love with the photographer, not their packages. While it’s undeniable that finding a photographer that fits your budget and gives you what you’re looking for in regards to deliverables is very important it’s not as important as finding a photographer that fits your style and passion. I always tell all of the brides and grooms that I meet in a photo consultation, “You only leave your wedding with two things, your spouse and your wedding photography. Make sure that you have made the right decision on both before saying, ‘I do.’”
Remember that hiring your wedding photographer isn’t the same as buying a car. You can’t sell it if it doesn’t work out to your satisfaction, there are no lemon laws, and you will not have multiple chances in your life to find the right wedding photography for you. Almost all of us have bought a car we regret buying. But after you’ve sold it and it’s gone it usually turns into a funny story of the “bad” car you bought once upon a time. Talk to any bride who’s hired a “bad” wedding photographer. There is no laughing, usually only tears. The moral of this story, take the time to find the right one for you.
Good photographers including us at Jason Lanier Photography do what we do because we truly love it. When we find clients that sincerely love our work we will almost do anything we can to be able to provide the opportunity to shoot their wedding. Flattery goes a long way and as long as we can make the numbers work for both of us, we will find a way to shoot your wedding.
I know I’ve found the right bride and groom when I ask them, “If we can make the financial part work, would you like us to shoot your wedding?” If the answer is, “Yes,” then I know that the vast majority of the time we will find a way to make it work for both of us.
Good photographers should also make sure they are a good match for the wedding couple as this will lead to a much more successful photography experience. I always tell my prospective clients, “You will spend more time with your wedding photographer than anyone else on your wedding day. So make sure you like them before signing on the dotted line.”
Last but not least is certainly the package portion of the conversation. Item #2 on the “Top Ten Tip for Bettering your Wedding Photography Experience,” will speak at length about packages and determining the deliverables that work for you. But the only thing I want to mention about the pricing and package portion in this article is that if your photographer is more concerned with how much money you have and hasn’t even asked you the name of your fiancé for example….you’ve found the wrong one. Photographers should be just as focused and dedicated to finding the right clients as all wedding couples should be at finding the right photographer.
While this advice might seem simple it is also unbelievably true. Being a wedding photographer I can’t help but use marriage metaphors when I speak and write. But finding the right photographer is truly like finding the right spouse. Once you’ve found each other you both know, and saying yes just seems so easy.
For any questions or comments please feel free to email me directly at Jason@jlpros.com.
Item #2- Understanding Wedding Photography Packages and finding what’s best for you will come out later on my blog in October 2010.