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How to Choose the Best Wedding Photographer… For YOU
By Taylor Young
If you have done a recent internet search for wedding photographers it’s likely you’ve been completely overwhelmed by the myriad of so-called, “professional wedding photographers.” It seems as though every person who has received a digital camera for Christmas is deciding to become a photographer. And the easiest choice when looking to get into the profession is of course, wedding photography. You don’t need a studio, there are lots of people getting married all year long and normally, and this isn’t true with just the photography, anything revolving around a wedding costs a lot of money. So there is the potential to make quite a lot of money in a very short amount of time.
These are all good things for the budding wedding photographer. But it’s not so good for you, the prospective client. I’m sure if you talked to enough of your friends who have already been down this road and hired a wedding photographer you’d find out that quite a few of them were unhappy with most of their photos. If not unhappy, then they most certainly will be luke-warm on the subject. The simple fact of the matter is, just because someone says they’re a professional wedding photographer doesn’t mean that you are going to get professional results.
All that means is that they have chosen photography as a career and instead of having a normal day job and doing photography as a weekend hobby, they decided to make most of their income from it. I know many amateur photographers that are far better than most pros, they just, for some reason, haven’t made the commitment to do it full time.
So, having said all of that, how can you find a wedding photographer that is going to give you everything you want on your special day?
Follow these guidelines and your chances of success will increase exponentially:
• Narrow down a list of your favorite photographers based on their online portfolios. A good place to start looking is in the local online classified ads. Sites like: Findaweddingphotographer.co.uk and Gumtree.co.uk are good places to start. Be careful with online searches, just because someone is listed on the first page of Google doesn’t mean they are the best, or most affordable, it just means they have a lot of links to their site.
• Try to find a photographer that is just building up their business. They will often be more flexible, more affordable and give you a better service. In other words, they’re more hungry and will want to please you.
• Call each one, don’t email them, and discuss pricing, packages, etc. Try to get a feel for how they communicate on the phone. If they don’t have good communication on the phone they aren’t going to have good communication in real life and the photos are likely to suffer.
• Make sure they give you a free engagement photo session. When you do your session take care to weigh up how professional your photographer is with you and how he/she treats you. Don’t go for them if you don’t like something, or feel there’s something off.
• Only book if there is a small, non-refundable fee. The standard is about 10-25% up front with payments made later until the balance is paid.
• Research Google Places and other online review sites that list testimonials from past customers. These can be faked so make sure you look out for repeatedly misspelled words in different posts, or continuous grammar mistakes. Anything that makes it look like the photographer did the reviews themselves.
• And finally, if at all possible, choose a wedding photographer that one of your friends, or family members has used in the past. There is no substitute for that kind of word of mouth to guarantee your photos turn out as you want them to.
For more information, please visit my website: Wedding Photographer West Sussex
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