About to make the leap on booking your wedding photographer but not quite sure if they are right for you? Have multiple photographers in mind but can’t decide because you love their work equally? I’ve been there and it’s a tough decision to make. Getting the right photographer can make the world of a difference in the outcome of you photos, so I wanted to help you with that decision by make a little guide on how to be prepared for when you meet up with your photographer.
Here are 5 tips that can help prepare you for your wedding consultation to make sure you are 100% confident that your photographer is right for you.
- Let us buy your coffee.
I can’t tell you how many time I have arrived for the consultation and the bride & groom are sitting there waiting for me with their drinks. Don’t beat us to the punch. Most likely, we asked you to meet with us so it should be accustom that we purchase your coffee. We want to be your friend and get to know you a little bit before you decide to invest in us. We understand that you will be investing a lot of money in us to capture you day so we’d like to treat you as much as you can. It’s the least we can do. And who knows, if we know you coffee order we might pick you up a coffee on the morning of your wedding.
- Have your questions ready.
I’m the kind of person who will go into a meeting with a list of questions I want to ask in my head, but completely draw a blank when faced with the question “Do you have any questions?”. Then after the meeting, I remember all of the questions I meant to ask but never did. Sound familiar? If yes, I have a super secret tip just for you! (okay, it’s not that secret and should be common sense) Write down your questions! If you want to know what you’re getting with your photographer make sure you are prepared to ask the tough questions. Most of your questions should be answered during the consultation but there might be some questions that go unanswered and its important to us photographers that you feel confident in us and what we have to offer. We will be asking you a lot of questions to get to know you, your fiancé and your vision, so don’t be afraid to fire some back at us. Some example questions are “Do you offer prints/albums/canvases?” “Do we get an engagement session?” “How long have you been photographing weddings?” “Do we get print release?” All these things are important for you to know so you are confident in who you are hiring!
- Know your vision.
Some want to keep things simple and modern, some want big and traditional. Whatever your style is, make sure that when you are looking for a photographer, their style matches up with your vision. If your wedding will be more traditional, in a big catholic church and a grand ballroom, an adventure photographer may not be the best fit for you. Even if you love their work.
Do you want a rustic barn wedding? A big glamorous wedding in downtown St Paul? A boho forest wedding? Want to elope in Duluth? Outdoors? Indoors? What kind of photos do you like? More candid photos? More posed portraits? Lots of details? Are family formals the most important to you? What are your colors?
Knowing what you like and what kind of photos you like plays a huge part in finding the right photographer. Not every photographer is the same and each have their own strengths and weaknesses. For myself, I like to focus more on the candid moments and real emotion, so if you’re wanting lots of posed portraits, I probably won’t be the best fit for you. And that’s OK! There are lots of photographers out there that will fit your style better and I can help you find them. Making sure your vision is in line with the photographers work will have a huge impact in the outcome of your gallery. Your photographer can be left feeling uninspired if they are out of their element at a wedding that doesn’t flow with their style of photography. You get out what you put in. What you put into your wedding day really reflects in your photos and can take a good gallery to a great one so make sure all your vendors mesh well together.
- Ask to go over the contract in detail.
Going over the contract with your photographer in person is super beneficial. You want to know exactly what you’re getting into. They can address any concerns you have with clauses and clear up any questions you have. You don’t want there to be any confusion on the rules your photographer has for you. What are their precautions if something were to happen to the photos? (God forbid) What would happen if an emergency happens and the photographer can’t make it to your wedding? All of these things should be outlined the contract and are vital to know. Most importantly, make sure you agree with the terms before signing. We want you to be on the same page as us and understand the process.
- Bring a checkbook.
After all your questions have been answered, your worries are at ease and you are confident that this is the photographer for you, it’s time to sign the contract. Most professional photographer require a non refundable retainer fee to hold your wedding date upon signing your contract. This will be approximately 50% of your package total. This number varies from photographer to photographer but 50% is generally the industry standard. This insures that the photographer does not double book themselves and you don’t change the date on them. This is a retainer fee to lock in your date and not a deposit. Photographers are busy and need to plan out the next year or two in advanced so making sure that your date doesn’t change is super important. Most photographer will charge a fee if it is required to change your date, since they have been blocking off your contracted date and sending potential clients elsewhere. Paying the retainer fee once you sign your contract locks you and your wedding photographer in and you are one more step closer to making your wedding a reality.
I really hope this simple guide helps to make your wedding consultation go smoothly!
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Thanks for reading.
– Brianna. 💕