My top three things I always tell potential clients are:
1. Make sure you like the personality of your photographer. They will be the one service provider that will be with you the entire day!
2. Really LOOK at their work. Can you see yourself in their shots? Scrutinize their photography. If you don’t LOVE it, then keep looking. You want your heart to melt when you see their work. And look at an entire days worth of shots, not just the best ones. You would be surprised at how easy it is to get a few good shots and the rest are terrible.
3. Price is important, but remember, these photographs will be your heirloom! If you need to take small amounts from other categories to beef up your photo budget, do so. It will be the only thing you have left after everything is said and done.
Here is something to consider with price:
For coverage only, no albums. This is based on my experience in Los Angeles only, so please no backlash from other states. 🙂
The majority of photographers fall into this budget range. The photographer will be okay and if they are really talented and good, they may not have a bunch of experience: 1-3 years. If they have a bunch of experience, they may be doing 50-100 weddings per year which means you will not get the best personal service before and after the wedding. You can also find very experienced photographers at this rate but they are only charging you for their time and you will have to pay for prints later. These are the more traditional photographers. These are just facts.
The photographer will be a good solid investment however they may only have 3-5 years of experience. You can find some artists at the $3,000 range. Mostly photojournalists who will shoot and give you the files and that is it.
More experience and camera understanding and more artists and portrait journalists than traditional photographers. You will get better service as these shooters tend to stay in the under 40 weddings a year range.
These photographers are a more full service breed. You start to get into artwork that you will want to blow up on huge canvases in your home. These are the word of mouth, better photographers who average 25-35 weddings per year.
These photographers do only a select number of weddings per year and have a solid following. You will get impeccable service and photography at this rate (at least you SHOULD!) 🙂
These photographers are celebrity wedding shooters. Strictly word of mouth.
There is my 2 cents.
My biggest concern outside of killing myself to get “the shot” is to make sure my clients are enjoying their day. I am known to cry at the ceremony and laugh out loud during the reception all while shooting away trying to capture every definitive moment throughout the time I am there. My clients become my friends and I love every one of them. It is as important that I want to work with you as much as you want to work with me.
Copyright © by Jen O’Sullivan http://www.jenosullivan.com
Southern California Wedding Photographer, Jen O’Sullivan is a boutique wedding photographer who specializes in portrait journalism.