Last week we looked at the various types of photography studios. Today I want to talk to you about what questions you and your fiancé need to answer before you call or email a photographer. I know there are several wedding websites dedicated to helping a couple find the ideal photographer but frankly the questions that they give you to ask most of my clients couldn’t give a rats behind about!
First things first, sit down with your fiancé and decide what the most important elements of your wedding are to you as a couple and as individuals! Next write your priorities in order of importance. Set a budget range for each one and understand that there are some you will probably go over in budget, where others you could be under or even drop from the list. Now that you’ve done this ask your friends and family if they have any recommendations, find out what they liked and disliked and create a list. If you have no recommendations start with a google search. Decide if you can travel to your photographer, if you’re happy to do a phone or skype consultation or if your photographer will meet you somewhere. An initial phone consultation is a great way to start with any studio because a quick conversation can save both you and the photographer a lot of time if you can tell you’re not the right match right away.
Often couples get anxious when they meet with too many photographers so decide on the number of photographers you will meet with based on their photography style first. How can you make this process easier?
Step 1 – Do you like the photographers images on the website? Is the information easy to find? Read the about us page, as it will tell you about the studio and/or photographer and will inform you as to which type of studio you are looking at. Remember the type of studio you want to hire will depend on the kind of attention and client service you want; not all studios are created equal in this respect. Read reviews from past clients either on their website or a place like wedding wire.
Step 2 – Send an inquiry. Now your inquiry should be somewhat detailed to help the person receiving it give you the best possible answers to your questions and not just vague answers that don’t help you. So what should go into the inquiry?
The wedding date, both your names, how you heard about or found the photographer, a contact phone number and email. Important to include is what you are looking for in terms of number of hours you want the photographer for on the day of the wedding. If you’re unsure, send the photographer the ceremony time, as an experienced photographer will ball park it. Let them know if you are interested in both brides and grooms coverage and what time all the main events for the evening will finish at (most are around 11pm)! Do you want a wedding album, prints for family members, a beautiful portrait to hang on the wall? Are you looking for an engagement session and something to display at the hall? Put your wish list in. And finally you must do the thing that scares you the most, you must be honest about your budget and share it with the photographer! A legitimate photography studio is not going to try and screw you if you tell them what your budget is! What they can then do is guide you towards a suitable collection for your budget or another photographer if your budget isn’t a match.
Now you are prepared to send your inquiry!
Stay tuned for more tips on hiring your wedding photographer.