Meeting with potential photographers before choosing one is extremely important for the success of your wedding photography. You both must enjoy each other’s company, and usually that can’t been determined without a face to face meeting. You are going to spend a lengthy amount of time with your wedding photographer: from before the wedding, the day or two over the wedding weekend and more after. But there is information that usually doesn’t get disclosed during that initial meeting. Photographers are trying to sell you on them and their product, so they aren’t going to talk about why wedding photography in general is so expensive, or what “shoot and burn” is. Here are a few of the things that usually are not spoken about…
1. Why is Wedding Photography So Expensive?
This is a common questions among brides. And it is true, high-quality wedding photography is expensive! But what most people don’t think about is all that goes into the art of wedding photography. Not only are you paying for the years of experience but most photographers are carrying around over $15,000 of gear on an average wedding day. Not to mention the expense of all the editing programs and the computer gear they have back in their studio- and there is the studio too! Most wedding photographers only make minimum wage for the first few years of their career. There are second shooters/assistants to pay for, marketing, the expense of running a business, insurance and then list goes on…
2. What is “Shoot and Burn” Photography?
“Shoot and Burn” is a phrase used to define photographers who shoot the wedding and burn clients a CD of the images without any post-processing. It is usually is very cheap, but you may pay the price in the quality. Lighting mistakes, cropping of heads, distracting elements- all go unfixed. If digital files are important to you, and photography is important to you, you need to be ready to spend a few more dollars- you will thoroughly enjoy the quality. A full-service studio can do so much more at a very high quality
3. What is a First Look? Do I Want One?
A first look is when the groom sees the bride for the first time before the ceremony. A lot of photographers will stage a special moment where the groom is turned with his back to the bride and the bride walks up on him. It can be a very special moment for both the bride and groom. Usually it does not take away from the equally special moment at the ceremony when the bride walks down the aisle. The other benefits of a first look are having more time before the ceremony for photos, as well as not taking up cocktail hour time. It also can alleviate the common wedding-jitters.
4. How Far in Advance Should I Book My Photographer?
High-end wedding photographers can book up more then a year in advance. The closer to your wedding day it gets, the more likely you will not have the pick of the crop. Ask vendors in your area, especially wedding planners, and find out more info about bookings, but generally a year from your wedding date is a safe bet. Here in Crested Butte there are a lot of photographers but also a very short season. I recommend brides book their photographer immediately after they have chosen a date and venue. If your desired photographer is booked, don’t panic, ask them for recommendations.
5. How Do I Chose a Photographer when there are So Many To Chose From?
The best way to weed out those who you are not interested in from those photographers you would love to have photograph your wedding is to first google search “wedding photographers in X”. See who is listed at the top. Then start to ask other vendors. Look for blogs. Those who are serious will have put the time into marketing themselves and getting their name out there. Client referrals and testimonials are also very helpful. Ask to speak directly to photographer’s past clients. Ask your venue who they suggest or who they have worked with before. Ask your florist. Post on Facebook. This is a great opportunity to use social media to find out more. If you are getting married in the Gunnison County check out the Gunnison Crested Butte Wedding Guide. Once you have your search narrowed to your top selection ask to meet them in person. It is important for you to feel comfortable with your photographer- it will get your the best photos!
Please visit my website, Third Eye Photography, for examples of my work, client testimonials and more info!