5 Common Mistakes
(Our advice on picking your photographers and what is commonly overlooked.)

2014-07-15_0005Andrew and I are the first to tell people that we KNOW we are not for everyone. We are not for everyone’s style, budget, and even personality. We are also the first to tell you that not EVERY couple that just got engaged is a potential client! We believe that OUR clients are people who love our style, love WHO we are, how we provide our service, and we just HAPPEN to be in their budget too!

So with all of that being said.. I want to share what I feel is the most commonly overlooked factors in picking your wedding photographer. We want you to be able to make the best decision and not have regrets afterwards! We may not be the photographers for you necassarily but we can maybe help you make your final decision.

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1. Professionalism
I get it. You scroll through.. You like their pictures and they are affordable.. So you contact them and you just want to check it off of your list. Done. Booked! You think to yourself… The pictures are going to be good and that is all that matters. NOT. Unlike any other business.. You can hire a photographer who actually is hardly running a business. They are not professional in the way they handle their business (insurance, taxes, etc). Not that this always determines professionalism but let me explain why this matters. Do you want to hire a person who owns a camera and basically has a hobby that pays… or hire a business that is insured and ran like an actual business? So, how do you know if someone is a real professional? Look at the details. Read the contract and ask questions. Hopefully they have a contract! Ask about insurance. Do they talk professionally? How do they dress? Do they seem to know their stuff and provide assurance to you in what their task is. I know all of this seems minuscule but you want someone who is professional AND takes nice pictures.

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2. Organization
This is so important. The organization of your photographer  can determine your entire wedding day. A photographer who loses your contracts and shows up on the wedding day knowing no ones name and nothing about the day is going to make it a lot harder. Usually what happens is the bride and groom end up spending a ton of time away from their guests because the photographer didn’t have a plan in place. To give an example of what organization looks like (we are not experts here but this is what we do) ..We send out questionnaires, make timelines to ensure communication, and bring a binder with all of the information on the wedding day. We have a plan in place and our couple knows exactly what to expect from us. The best part of an organized photographer is they respect your time. Because they are organized they get you to your reception on time and they planned everything before so time never got away from them. This factor gives you the most peace of mind in your decision.

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3. Price
Inquiry after inquiry asks “What are your prices?”. It is so easy to price shop when you know you want to stay with in your budget. I get it. I struggle with this myself. I always buy cheap dress clothes, $10-$30 an article. Guess what? Every year I have to buy new clothes. The buttons fall off or they rip. If I would just buy the expensive clothes that LAST longer I would save myself the frustration. Photography is kind of the same. You always get what you pay for. So there is a photographer you love, that you know you could completely trust on your wedding day, and you would feel like you won something by getting them. THEN …(dun dun dun) there is a photographer that you kind of like their work, it’s not bad, and they fit your budget, but inside your heart you kind of want to tell them twenty things they need to do because your worried and not rested that they will photograph your day the you want it to be. You don’t get all the butterflies when you talk to them and you feel like you have to settle because of price. Can I tell you something? Some of the things we budget for in weddings is just not as lasting and important as photography. Like my cheap shirts that fall apart.. Photography is something that should last forever. You don’t want to look back at your images in twenty years and see work that was mediocre and trendy for that time. You also don’t want to look at your photos and think about all the awful memories from your photographer. You want to look at them and think of the moment and how it is true to time because it is YOU. Timeless photography is worth investing in… More than adding those extra flowers, details, lights, favors, etc.. Those will fade but your pictures are the one thing you will have as a heirloom to pass down to your grandchildren. Besides all of that, you deserve awesome pictures, and feeling like a princess, and like you have won something.. Pick the photographer that makes you feel that way. It is different for everyone so be true to yourself.

2014-07-16_0099(Can you tell he has personality in that picture? haha! )

4. Personality
Oh man! I wish I could say this from the top of the world. Your photographers can be your friends… Or they can be that guy that shows up on your wedding day that you somehow have to try and smile “for real” at. If your personality clashes with the photographer you are so not going to look comfortable and YOU in your pictures. We believe every couple deserves to have authentic images and that a photographer is key in producing that. Andrew and I believe by choosing clients that have personalities that click with us.. We are guarenteeing authentic images on their day. Why? Because we like them and they like us. We meet at the consult, and then for a timeline, maybe another date night, the rehearsal, and even other events… By the time their wedding day rolls around we know what makes them laugh, cry, and what their heart is after. Our presence on their wedding day doesn’t interrupt or annoy them but rather compliments them. This is key in getting those relaxed and real images! Not to mention.. you get friends for life!

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5. An Experience {Not a transaction}
Does the photgrapher make you feel like they just want to swipe your card and send you on your way? Or do they make you feel like you matter and your story matters and they want to be a part of it? When choosing a photographer it is important to know what the experience is going to be like ahead of time. So they had an ok website and you liked what they said in the consult and you booked them. Then they stopped responding to emails and really don’t touch base with you until right before the wedding. They leave you asking questions. Then after the wedding your waiting…waiting ..waiting and there is no communication on when you will receive your images. Or maybe there is but it is not clear. This is the story we hear on repeat. People who love not just what they do but love serving people are going to be focused on providing an experience. The best photographer will clearly communicate, answer questions, and even pleasantly surprise you rather than disappoint you! So, dig deep and try to figure out if they are about YOU or if they are about swiping your card. You will know by the gestures they make, how the talk to you on the phone, and even in the services and products they provide.

Thanks for reading! We hope this helps in your journey! Congrats!

Sharing, serving, and celebrating,

Andrew + Chrissy