Choosing Your Columbus Ohio Wedding or Event Photographer
Shopping for a wedding photographer is not like selecting a DJ or a wedding cake. Your cake will be eaten and the DJ's music will drift off never to be heard again. Your photographs will be the one thing left to enhance the memories of your once in a lifetime day. But in the selection of your photographer, you're often at the mercy of a super-salesperson and/or your own emotions or budget. You should attempt to not make PRICE the main determining factor, because there's NEVER going to be a second chance. This article was written to help you ask the right questions and look for the right things in selecting the photographer who's right for you. Read on to learn how to be an educated shopper for wedding photography.
Beginings: Intially a bride has to prejudge the competency of a wedding photographer. This can be acheived with a preview of the photograper's work. Are the photographs done in a style that appeals to you, do they give you a sense of being there or evoke some feeling or emotion in you? Then, an email or phone call is appropriate. Your initial communication should begin with the availability of the studio to photograph the wedding on your specific date. You should also learn the name of the photographer who will be doing the actual shooting on your wedding, Also ask for a possible range of the costs involved. You should find out on the telephone how the photographer handles posed and unposed pictures. Then decide whether or not you agree with or are interested in the studio's philosophy of how the wedding photography should be conducted. That is - photojournalism, candids, portraits, groups, etc. Just one concept? A combination of several? An appointment should be made to meet with the photographer who will be photographing your wedding, to see his work and discuss the details. Without doubt, this meeting should include both the bride and groom as well as any parents or as many of these people as can be assembled for the consultation, who may be helping with desicions and/or finances. Without all these people in attendance it would be virtually impossible to come to any conclusions that would effectively work for all the principle parties involved. At that meeting the first assessment you should make is whether or not you feel at home with the photographer. If you're going to spend a good part of the most important day of your life with this person, it should be someone with whom you know you'll enjoy sharing that time. Then, you should see some of the photographer's work. If you see a picture, or a series of pictures, that you really like, you should ask:
1. Who are these people?
2. Did you, personally, take these photographs?
3. May I call these people for a reference?
After all, it's one thing to see some beautiful pictures, but it's equally important to find out if the bride and groom ENJOYED working with this photographer. It's also a way of knowing that the photographs you're being shown were actually taken by the person you're speaking to. You want to be sure that the work you're admiring was made by the photographer who'll be at your wedding. Another result of this meeting could be to allow you and your photographer to begin a one-on-one relationship. In that way, neither of you will be strangers to each other on the day of the wedding and you'll be more relaxed in front of the camera.
Details that could change your wedding pictures.
For the most part, when I meet with new clients, their questions pertain to prices, sizes and numbers in general. Below are some considerations for more important questions:
1. How do you feel about the bride and groom not wanting to see each other before the ceremony? ---What are the alternatives? ---What are the advantages of the bride and groom meeting prior to the ceremony on the day of the wedding?
2. Do you have any goals for approaching each wedding?
3. How many hours will you be with us on the day of the wedding? ---Beginning at what time? ---Until when? ---Is there an extra charge if the wedding runs a little overtime?
4. What can I do to help you perform your duties to the best of your ability?
5. Do you use an assistant or second photographer?
Ask to look at a WHOLE Wedding. If you're still interested in the photographer's services at this point, ask to see a complete coverage of a single wedding. That's a lot more telling than seeing a selection of beautiful highlights from many different weddings.When looking through the album or disk, evaluate the work by placing yourself in the position that this could have been YOUR wedding coverage. Ask yourself if the photographer has actually captured the individual characteristics and personality of each of the important persons in the photographs. Has the photographer caught the individual's actual feelings of the moment, or are these just pictures of people standing and looking self-consciously into the lens. Do they look natural? Or even better than real? And, in fact, is that what you and they really want?
Get Specific! Now,consider these details
1. What kind of proofing options do we have for our initial look at our wedding photographs?
2. How can people who live out of town be accommodated with ordering, paying and delivery? Can the pictures be posted on the internet?
3. How much for the extras? --- Duplicates? --- Ask to see the specific style of album you will be receiving. --- Are alternate choices available? At an extra cost?
4. How long have you been in the business?Some bottom line considerations!
Finally, let's consider a few topics of conversation that could/should help you make your decision.
1. Do you have any particular philosophy about your approach to photographing weddings?
2. What would you plan to do at my wedding that would make my wedding photographs unique and personal to me? --- Can I tell you who I want in my pictures? --- How will you find them?
3. With whom will I be dealing after the wedding?
4. What's your payment policy?
Be Prepared To Make A Commitment!
By now you've probably spent a good deal of time with the photographer. His time is money, the same as yours. Keep his (and your) expenses to a minimum by going to the meeting with the photographer prepared to leave a deposit to confirm the date. Before you do, however, you may want to assure yourself of a few more last-minute details. Find out the photographer's policy if the date of your wedding is changed and he/she's not available on the alternate date. Find out, too, what the policy is for an unforeseen cancellation of the date. At this stage of the game, if you've really taken the time to get into some of the above questions, you SHOULD REALLY know whether or not this photographer is for you. If the photographer IS for you, if the photographer IS available, and if you're convinced that it's worth the price...then make the commitment and rest assured that this is undoubtedly one of the best and most intelligent decisions you've made in planning your wedding!
How Much Should Pictures Cost?
It's difficult to pay too much for something you really like. Yet, price is usually the one obstacle that prevents many wedding clients from selecting the photographer who undoubtedly could give them the best value for the money. Quite often the difference between the price of the photographer you really like and one who you feel is "within the budget" is miscalculated. Understandably, of course! When wedding plans come down to dollars and cents, it's hard to keep spending "a little more here...and a little more there. Somewhere along the line," you feel, "you have to give a little! There's only so-much money available!" Yet, within the framework of the entire wedding day, it makes good sense to evaluate the money spent on photographs in relation to what's being spent on flowers, food and music. Although everyone knows that the pictures are the only thing you have after the moment has passed, some people still feel that they have to put the money "where it shows". Later, In the privacy of their own hearts, many of these people are often disappointed with photographic memories that give them nothing but heartaches...and there's no remedy!
You're going to remember the wedding day through the eyes, heart and talent of your photographer. When making the decision as to who that photographer is going to be, realize that often times you're talking a relative difference of pennies! On the other hand, if you're unhappy, regardless of the "good deal" you're getting, you could lose everything! What's the "going rate" among wedding photographers nowadays? The price difference is as great as the time, talent and technique of the studios being considered. Certainly, among competent photographers in a highly competitive area, or photographers in their formative years, a good wedding coverage can be found around the thousand dollar category. Spending less than that would probably be a high-risk gamble. Other photographers may begin somewhere around a thousand dollars and go upwards from there. When considering the cost of a photographer, you may find that studios sometimes approach this matter in one or two different manners. Whereas some photographers have basic "packages" of an agreed number of photographs for a specified dollar amount, other studios might have a predetermined charge for their services and allow you to buy whatever amount of pictures you want. Still some photographers allow you to have ALL the pictures that are taken. There is a set fee that includes EVERYTHING! There are, of course, benefits to all of these approaches. In the first instance you have a good idea right from the start how much money you're probably going to spend...and you're locked into that minimum. That's a double gaurantee, both for you and the photographer. Studios that offer you their "a-la-carte" system are taking a chance (along with you) as to how much money you'll be spending.The studio that offers you ALL the pictures may scare you at first with the high price, but you may want to know that up front and KNOW that you will not be spending more. Realize that at the same time you're preparing your budget, you will probably want/need to spend extra money for albums and portraits for both families. In any case, you're probably going to spend more than you originally planned, but you'll be doing it because you like the pictures so much, you WANT to buy the extras. The bottom line, as you know, is not necessarily how much you end up spending on photographs. Instead, it's how much pleasure you get from them over the years. Wouldn't you agree, that at a time as important as your wedding day, it's better to invest a little more money for photography than you had planned...instead of a little less then you should? Don't risk your memories of a once-in-a-lifetime event on a gamble? You're going to be concerned with the price only one time...when you buy. You're going to be concerned with the quality of your photos, for a lifetime of memories. EMAIL