I bet you usually read this type of articles on wedding inspiration blogs and not really hear it coming from a photographer. Let’s face it, me telling you this, is a bit weird, right?
Well, truth is I don’t really mind weird things, so let’s live a little, have a voice and speak what’s on our minds. So here’s my voice, vulnerable and honest but also loud and clear:
The best feeling I get is when I open emails from future brides, in which they tell me how much they love my work and my personality, how they feel like we could be friends and how important it is for them to have a connection with their photographer. They tell me how he proposed and the dreams for the wedding day.
And then, the worst feeling: when I get emails where the bride won’t even say her and her future spouse’s name or their wedding date or any important detail, but just ask “Hey, what are your prices? I’ll be waiting for your brochure, thanks.” It saddens me deeply when I see people booking their photographer based on budget only. They line up 15 price lists and, after careful consideration, they choose what seems the best for them, financially.
When we were looking for a photographer for our wedding, we had absolutely no money. I found this photographer on the web and asked her a few questions. Her response made me LOVE her. She was so warm and so friendly, and I just knew we HAD to have her. We had no money to pay for her services, but I knew it would work out in the end. We booked a cheaper location, we cut down on the flower budget, because my choice for her came from a place of peace and safety. I wanted her because she made me feel at ease around her, because she gave us an experience, always available to chat, always encouraging me to share my expectations. During the day, she and her husband fit in perfectly, they were like family and our guests absolutely loved them. She was patient (because the whole day I was extremely nauseous and not at all in the mood for pictures), understanding and extremely funny. She knew me and what I needed, so she acted accordingly, therefore making me feel like our story was so important to her. We absolutely LOVED her! So, at the end of the reception, we went up to our hotel room, counted the money that our guests so lovingly offered us and we paid our photographer. We haven’t regretted the decision once! We watch the pictures often and we always brag with the experience we had and the service we’d been offered.
Back then, I had no idea I would once own my own photography business. But I did know that no matter what I’d do in life, I will want to make the people around me feel just as special as she had made us feel.
So please, from one bride to another, do not make your choice based on price. You will invest so much on the venue, food, flowers, gowns, but all of these will be forgotten if you don’t have the story of the day beautifully immortalized on camera.
Also, do not make your choice based on Portfolio alone. In a world where there is absolutely nothing new on the market anymore, where we, photographers, use the same shooting equipment, same editing software, same presets and get similar results that you sometimes have a hard time distinguishing between, what makes a photographer stand out? What makes him/her the RIGHT photographer for you? To have someone capture your story in a beautiful, raw, authentic way, you need:
- a person who truly cares about you, who is interested in your life and puts everything that she/he learned in practice;
- someone who takes time to get to know you and who uses that in making you feel comfortable, yourself and at ease during a shoot;
- someone who will invest in preparing you for the big day, offer you a hand in what you might need;
- a person who offers you an experience during the time leading up to your wedding, not just a collection of pretty pictures at the end.
This photographer is not booking 40 weddings a year. They are booking a few selected ones, so that they ensure they treat you like a VIP and give you the time and attention that you deserve. They will make you laugh and really get the best out of you.
So please, when you have to choose, choose with your heart. Check out what kind of person they are (Instagram is awesome if you wanna stalk them a bit and find out more haha), watch posts on their blog (so you get a full picture of how they shoot an entire wedding-as opposed to watching just the gallery) and give them a call, set an appointment and let them reveal who they are. See if you connect, if they make you feel special, if there is a click. And if there is, then trust me, you will not regret it for a second!