The 7 Biggest Mistakes Brides Make -
When Hiring a Photographer for Their Wedding and How to Avoid Them
MISTAKE #1 – Picking a Photographer Based on Price $$.
The saying is true. “You get what you pay for.” This is especially true in the photography industry. If you want good photography, you should decide to work with a photographer because of the overall value you receive, NOT because they are the lowest priced.
Here’s why . . . Value = Quality + Service + Price
It is impossible for any company in any industry to offer the cheapest price, have the highest quality, and provide the best service all at the same time. You can get high quality and super service, but you can’t get both and still get the lowest price.
Just like in any business, you would hire the best people and buy the highest quality product – consequently, you have to charge more for your services.
Total value is all three. Quality, Service and Price!
The most common problems YOU WILL have when you pick a photographer who only offers the lowest price are:
1. Dirt cheap photographers don’t stand behind their work. If they make a mistake or worse yet, ruin all the pictures, then the problem is beyond fixable. Or you may have pictures that are okay, but you hoped for more. In that case, there isn’t a lot they can do. The end result is you get what you pay for. A little money saved up front can cost big in the end. There’s a little saying “What cost are you really paying for - photographs you don’t like?”
2. The second problem with a photographer who offers the lowest price is they tend to also offer the lowest quality. Your wedding photos are one of your most important and valuable investments you will make in your lifetime. The value you place on choosing the right photographer will show for many years. It is a long term investment. Why risk so much and throw away such great memories for a few pennies saved up front?
3. And the third reason why hiring the cheapest photographer is a problem is that you may have to sort through the proofs yourself and insert them in an album so your family and friends can look at them. A lot of times, if you want an album, they either charge you extra for that service or they may not even offer that service at all. Cheap photographers do not offer beginning to end service.
To avoid buying on price alone we suggest you choose two or three photographers and rank them in the order that is important to you such as Quality first, Service second, and Price last. AND ONCE YOU FIND A GOOD PHOTOGRAPHER . . . STICK WITH THEM! You’ll be glad you did and you will have peace of mind in doing so.
MISTAKE #2 – You think all photographers are the same.
Every photographer is different. No two are really the same. Every photographer has different equipment and has different skills, abilities, and most importantly different style. They also have different employees that all bring a complete mix of abilities to their product.
Photography is art and craftsmanship combined. Most people who hire photographers don’t truly understand that despite all the technological advances being made, photographers still use the same quality work habits and techniques as they did 25 - 30 years ago.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, photography is not just picking up a camera and clicking the shutter. It takes craftsmanship to turn out quality work.
Photographers have to know how to capture the right moment, how to compose properly, how to expose properly, how to use light, shape and form in order to get the most flattering and artistic results and poses.
Communication is the key to hiring the best photographer for YOU!
• Ask what style of work they do – ask to see some samples.
• Ask to see the wedding contract. Some will make big promises and do something else – because their contract backs them up.
• Ask to see samples from recent weddings.
• Ask them who will be photographing your wedding.
• Ask them how long it will take to see the images AFTER the wedding.
• Ask them if they retouch or enhance the final images.
• Ask them what it will cost and exactly what do you get – how many images are included.
• Ask them how many weddings they’ve photographed.
• Ask them (this is a good one) what their philosophy is on wedding photography.
Wedding photography is not a generic product. Ask these and other relevant questions and it will become obvious who the right choice will be for you. You will notice a marked difference in attitude, quality, creativity and experience. Remember, this is your special day. Do you want to hire an amateur to take experimental photos or a pro who will create a masterpiece?
MISTAKE #3 – You have several photographers competing with each other for your work.
You may think this is a good way to do business. And it is to some extent. But here is why it usually isn’t a good way to deal with photographers. A good photographer has enough loyal customers that they don’t have to deal with price shoppers.
Once you find a good photographer it is important to stay loyal to them. If you flip-flop, most photographers won’t be motivated to keep YOU as a customer.
Price is important. But price should not be more important than good quality and good service. This is what some people like to do. They try and get everyone fighting for the same piece of pie. This might be an OK short term strategy because you save a few bucks. But, when you need a favor, or super fast service – not one of these photographers will bend over backwards to help you. (And if you have been a price shopper in the past, they probably will charge you more!)
Every photographer expects to bend over backwards for their clients every now and again. Provided the customer is loyal, the photographer will do all he can to help. All good photographers are loyal to you if YOU are loyal to them.
MISTAKE #4 – You think having the right equipment is all a photographer needs to do the job right!
Many photographers own wonderful equipment. However, that doesn’t mean they know how to use it properly. You can have all the “latest greatest whiz bang lenses and digital wonder cameras,” but if you don’t know how to use it properly, you are no better off than anyone picking up a camera and pointing and shooting.
Compare this to your cell phone. Studies show that half the people who own cell phones don’t even know how to program speed dial, let alone the more advanced features. The same thing happens in the photography industry. Many photographers have tools that have a lot of bells and whistles, but if the photographer has little or no technical and creative know how, he may as well be from fifty years ago.
Make sure the photographer knows how to use his tools to the very best of their capabilities. You risk not only pictures that could have been outstanding, but worse, yet, utter let-down because of lack of technical knowhow.
MISTAKE #5 – You don’t give the photographer enough time to get the job done properly!
Mistakes happen when you rush!
Or when there are not enough instructions. You concentrate so much on getting all the details organized; you forget to tell the photographer.
Be organized! Be organized! Be organized! And communicate all the details to your photographer, and also let him know any special needs, shots, or relevant details so you will not be let down.
Before the wedding, get them involved. Let them know what your hopes, dreams and plans are. Who knows, he may have some really cool ideas that might just thrill you, or some useful tips on making sure your plans go smoothly.
You can save time, money and headaches from the very beginning by communicating with your photographer. You should think of your photographer as one of your wedding planners. Consult with your photographer.
The time you start looking for your photographer is also an important consideration. You can’t expect very many good ones to be available if you start shopping only a few months before your big day. Most of the better ones are booked way ahead of that, often a year in advance.
MISTAKE #6 – You hire an amateur, friend or relative, or unqualified photographer and expect top-notch wedding photographs.
You may have seen a top notch wedding photographer in action at the wedding of a friend or relative. A really good wedding photographer makes it look so easy, almost effortless. There is a very simple reason for this. Experience.
The biggest mistake any bride can make is asking a friend or relative to capture their day and when the results are not there, the responsibility and ill feelings can be crushing. Most, if not all, untrained wedding photographers simply cannot handle the stress and responsibility that goes along with capturing a wedding. The pace, the stress and the speed is way too much for them, let alone being creative.
There is nothing wrong with hiring an amateur, as long as you have realistic expectations, and know you are going to be getting amateurish photographs. Even a professional photographer in a different field such as commercial photography will have a rough go of photographing weddings. Weddings are tough. Bottom line. And the only thing that makes it flow and seem almost effortless is experience. Do you want to give your photographer the opportunity to practice on your wedding?
Or do you want someone who is so qualified they can handle anything that is thrown at them and they come through at the end with dynamic pictures?
Of course a photographer can’t guarantee wedding pictures because of the very nature of weddings. A wedding is an event. Once your wedding is over, it’s over. You have your photographs as your memories, so ruined photos won’t matter much even if you get all your money back.
MISTAKE #7 – You don’t ask for references.
This is easy to solve. You can ask the photographer for actual names and ask to see actual samples from recent weddings, but let’s face it; this is almost too embarrassing for most of us to do. There is an easier way. All you have to do is ask around.
So, there you have it. I hope that if you made it this far, you will have learned something in your quest to finding the right photographer for you.
This is the easiest way you can hire the best photographer for YOU!
Contact Myles Studio Photography for a fun and stress free wedding day
Revised E-Book From the E-Book - by Mark C. Reimer
Wedding Pictures Copyright© Myles Studio Photography, Inc. 2012