Wedding tips, ideas & stories, from The Photographer

Posts tagged “reviews

15 Questions for a Wedding Photographer #10; What to look for in a Photographer

I could shoot a wedding with an iPhone if you wanted me to.

15 Questions Brides Want to Know About Wedding Photography #2

One of the interesting parts of being a professional in a field for a while is you get requests from the media for comment on events, or topics relevant to that field. Recently I was asked to answer some questions for an upcoming book geared towards future brides.

I was one of several professionals who were asked questions specifically for wedding photography, so I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anything by revealing my answers, since I’m sure they’ll use others for some of the 15 answers, plus I wasn’t asked anything about catering, or how to preform a traditional religious ceremony.

I’ll be sure to post up link when the book is published, but for now I’ll be spreading the questions and my answers (plus maybe a little extra) out over the next 15 days.

 Question #10

What should a couple look for in a wedding photographer?

 

The first thing they should look for is an actual photographer. Photography is an art, you shouldn’t first talk to a sales person, then meet your photographer after you picked your package. Once you find a photographer who’s work you like, find out if you like the photographer. I tell couples all the time, if you like my price & my portfolio, but don’t like me… Walk away. You’ll be with your photographer more than any other person on your wedding day and if you don’t feel you have a connection, think twice about booking them.

In the era of online reviews I have had less & less requests for referrals from my past couples. While chances are a photographer isn’t going to refer you to a person who had a less than perfect experience, you’ll still be able to get a feel from the little details in the conversation. If someone you know gives you a good review about the photographer they used, look into it even if it’s a little over your budget. Better to pay 10-15% more on a photographer with a personal referral than to have bad photos.

Word of mouth is often the best way to find a photographer. If you have a photographer personally recommended by someone treat it like a golden ticket.

 

Coming up tomorrow

Question #11

What should a couple beware of with certain wedding photographers?

Previous Questions

#9 At what point in the wedding planning process should a couple book a wedding photographer?

 

www.VincentDavidJohnson.com


Online Vendor Reviews

If your vendors had your more upset than bad weather on your wedding day, let others know.

Have you ever been out to a restaurant, only to leave so upset about the food quality, or service that you rushed right to your computer to give a them a bad review on sites like Yelp.com, Metromix.com or Citysearch.com?

While it may be little consolation after having a bad wedding experience, some of these sites actually go beyond eating & drinking establishments and your bad or rave reviews for a vendor may just help sway another unsuspecting couple towards a great vendor as much as it could save them from a bad one. Not to mention give you a little more satisfaction than ranting on Facebook or Twitter.

As a home owner I’m a big user of Angie’s List (a subscriber based rating service). While the site got some hype last year when they started doing medical reviews, I never knew until an issue of their monthly magazine did an article on wedding disasters, that vendors from caterers to photographers are also listed.

So don’t forget after the wedding, post up your own thoughts on everything from your wedding vendors to your reception hall rental. You never know, some vendors check these site frequently and may even be grateful enough to give you a discount on future services (say maybe a photographer throwing in some 8×10′s for free).

Also, if you’re still in the planning stages, don’t overlook using these sites for yourself, or to check on vendors you may already have booked to head off any possible issues that may arise.

On a final note; be wary of what you do put in writing. Especially if you had a particularly bad experience. Stick to the facts and try to keep any emotion out of it. The internet isn’t as wild as it use to be, and liable cases are popping up all over the country. While a vendor might not win a case against you, they could ruin your honeymoon too, if you need to spend money on a lawyer to defend yourself in a liable case. And God forbid if you have to take the vendor to court for breach of contract. If that’s the case, it might be best not to say anything till the trial is over.

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Save $$$ on Your Wedding, the Easy Way: Part 1

As someone who was married with in the last decade, I can tell you without a doubt the best way my wife & I could have saved a few hundred dollars, would have been by not spending $15 each on a handful of magazines and putting those $30 or $50 fancy wedding planner style trapper keepers/scrap books back on the shelf at Borders.

A lot if not most of the info in there can easily be found on internet wedding sites, by bloggers and know-it-alls like me. Also, we forget sometimes the best resources are right in front of us. Chances are you know at least a couple of people who have been married in the last few years. Especially if you are younger. If you don’t know any, chance are some one you know does.

While the popping up of sites like Yelp.com, Angieslist.com & the old tried and true Better Business Bureau BBB.org, are all great tools, nothing beats hearing it from people you know and can trust as opposed to possible fake reviews, or overly picky brides.

Be sure to ask “Would you use them again?” instead of  just “Did you like them?”, as some couples might have a different budget, different taste and hidden factors like their parents might have been paying some of the bills.

Also, if you are at a wedding take mental notes on how the vendors & their services were. Don’t be afraid to ask to see a couple wedding video or album, most will gladly show them off, but don’t assume if they don’t have it yet it’s the vendors fault. I routinely have couples who take between 4-10 months to get back to me on their albums.

In defense of magazines & planning books, they are way better organized than the vast wedding based internet. Lets face it, there’s a reason we say “It reads like a book”. If you really want your books & magazines, look for freebees. Vendors, Bridal Shows and other places have been know to give them away for free to potential clients (aka the Bride & Groom).

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