So you got engaged! The Wedding count down has officially begun!
I have to hire a wedding photographer! Now what!!??
Well first off, I am a professional wedding photographer here in Riverside, and secondly, let me just say congratulations on your engagement! Thirdly….OMG!!! What are you going to do!!?? There is just so much to plan and the time from here on out is going to go so much faster than you thought. But this is also the fun part, choosing locations, participants and vendors. (My personal favorite was the cake tasting…but that’s just between me and my new muffin top.)
So some of the things you want, you and your sweetie may have decided on a long time ago, or maybe just you decided and you are going to take this opportunity to fill them in. Venues, Caterers and floral designers I cant really help you with (well depending on where you are getting married, I might be able to) but finding a wedding photographer I know all about. And lets face it, after the last chicken dance is over, and the final tantrum from your bridal party has been thrown (I kid, I kid) what do you have left at the end of the day? Hopefully your spouse, and your memories of the day that will exist in photos.
So this is a not so comprehensive guide to finding a professional wedding photographer in general, how we like to approach the day and whether our style and approach to wedding photography is a good fit for you. So a few things you are going to want to consider are:
- Body of Work
Body of Work
Firstly, you are going to want to take a look at their body of work. You may already have a wedding photography style that you like, without even really knowing it, so don’t be afraid to discuss what you want in very basic terms. Most every wedding photographer has “a style” and finding one that fits with your vision is going to be important. However, it is also important to be realistic about your location. If you want the light and airy look in a field of flowers, please get married in a field of flowers or a venue that has a field of flowers nearby. This may seem like a “no brainer” but I have several colleagues who get emails to this very effect after booking a historic brick venue downtown, they are upset that the historic venue of dark oak and velvet couches, does not have a light airy feel to the photography. But if your photographer knows this about your tastes they can often come up with a plan! Perhaps there are some locations very near the venue and some light and airy photos down town will fit the bill.
Be open about what you are hoping for and do not be afraid to ask questions. An honest photographer will let you know what to expect with what venues and locations you have chosen.
So this is probably a bigger deal than you may have originally thought, but consider that your wedding photographer is going to be by your side during your wedding, probably all day long depending on how many hours you have booked for.
We are going to be with you when you are getting ready, on the way to the ceremony, for family portraits, bridal portraits, during your first dance all the way through to your exit if that is what you want. So I can highly recommend if at all possible we schedule a time to get together. Weddings are highly uncontrolled events so it is going to be important that we are on the same wavelength and that I understand what is most important to you and that you know I am on your side.
So if at all possible take 30 min out of your day, meet for coffee or a skype session and get to know your potential candidates. Let them know all about your day, potential awesomeness and potential rough spots so we can work together and formulate a plan that is going to give you what you want. We have families too, we get it….ooohhhh do we get it.
If you have specific expectations about what you want from your wedding photographer, it is important to let us know. I cannot stress enough how important is it for you to read the paperwork that we will both be signing. It outlines just about everything in respect to your day and what you will be receiving. If you have specific questions about verbiage or what it means, please ask. This document is representing the terms that you and I agree too, and that is not to say that contracts cannot be changed or altered for custom quotes or specifications. However, you won’t know if you need that, until you go over it with your sweetie. What may not be important to you, may be important to them, so make sure you review it together, it protects us both and ensures our mutual happiness!
Everyone has a budget for everything. Lets face it, it is the smart thing to do. Weddings are expensive and can get out of hand financially very quickly if you are not careful. Which is one reason to make sure you review all of your contracts with a fine tooth comb, and also to decide which is most important in the hierarchy of wedding planning.
For a few, it may not be photography. (I know I know… I find that odd as well.) For some, they just want the ceremony and a few portraits, for others they do not want to miss a single solitary thing and for others they would rather spend $3000.00 on chair covers and forget the photography all together (true story)
So it will be helpful to decide for yourself and your budget where you and your sweetie are on that spectrum. Many photographers like us, will charge an hourly rate for a quickie wedding. So if you are doing a one hour elopement at the courthouse with friends, you don’t have to pay for all day coverage. By the same token if you don’t want to miss a moment you can book us all day, and an associate as well. We try to be very flexible with our clients needs, everyone is different and we hope to try and accommodate that.
As far as our rates, I can honestly and proudly say that we are not the cheapest, nor are we the most expensive professional out there. Our rates reflect the amount of experience we have, commensurate with the amount of work we put into our product after the fact. There is a misconception among a few who think that a professional just shows up, shoots for the allotted time, and then they are completely done. When the reality is that for every hour of shooting, there are several more hours of editing behind the scenes. So the price you are quoted is never for “the day of”, its more like for the “day of” plus an additional week or two of work depending on how much coverage and how many photographers you opted for that day.
So all things considered, do your homework, review your options and decide what is really important to you. If having beautiful wedding images to hang on your walls and pass down to your children is important to you and your family, then hiring a professional is going to be a key factor in that decision making process. If in your research you are still interested in professional photography for your big day, we invite you to take a look at a few of the weddings we have shot here
And if you have questions for us or about the process, by all means give us a call at (951) 534-7457 or drop by our main website at www.mypurephotos.com and leave us a note via our contact page.
We do love chatting with our potential clients and hearing about your big day, so don’t hesitate to call or email us!
All the best,