Ahem…the REAL guide for how to choose a wedding photographer and videographer. Because here’s how it normally goes:
“‘Hi! My fiance and I are getting married on June 4, 2022. Are you available for that day? If so, what is your pricing?’
‘Hi! Congratulations! Yes, I am available on your wedding day. Attached, you’ll find all the pricing information you need. Hope we get to work together!’
Attachment: Generic, static PDF pricing guide”
Ya’ll, this is NOT how you find the right photographer and videographer.
But YOU have done nothing wrong. You are going with what you want to know when you inquire for photo/video services–if the vendor is available and if they fit into your budget.
It’s the vendor’s response that’s the problem, and right off the bat you are not getting what you need (we’ll discuss what you need in just a sec). Already, you are receiving less for the amount that wedding vendor is charging. In translation: poor value. Value = Benefits you receive in relation to price.
I talk a lot about what value means in another post, and how it compares with pricing. I won’t go that far into detail today, but if you’re interested in learning more about value, head on over and then come back!
How NOT to choose a photographer and videographer.
Before we get into how to choose a photographer and videographer the RIGHT way, let’s first talk about some things you should know even BEFORE you inquire:
1. If you don’t like the style you see on their website, move on.
Don’t even inquire. You have other options, and the best photographers have a set artistic style that won’t change based on request.
2. If you don’t like things they say or what they stand for, again, move on.
You want to LIKE your photo and video team, remember?! You have to hang out with them all day long, and the last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable before you even reach out. Portfolio should never be the only deciding factor.
3. If you talk with them and you find out you don’t like them, cut the cord.
I said it already, but I’ll say it louder: YOU SERIOUSLY HAVE TO HANG OUT WITH THEM ALL DAY LONG. You want good memories, not tainted ones!
4. If they just send you pricing in response to your inquiry, run Forrest. RUN.
So, how to choose a photographer and/or videographer? And what is it that you really NEED?
The best wedding vendors are the ones who will ask about YOU.
(P.S. You won’t get this info from the Knot.)
The best vendors will ask about what’s important to you.
They will find out your greatest desires.
They’ll learn about how your wedding day will reflect all that.
They will show you how they can help make your desires a reality.
And the best part? You don’t even need to know the answers before you chat. They will come to the conversation with the right questions to ask.
Which means, instead of sending you pricing right off the bat, they’ll want to talk with you.
On this call, they won’t talk much about the services they offer. Instead, they’ll want to ask questions about YOU.
And only AFTER that call, they’ll take all the information they gathered from you and show you how they can help.
That’s what you NEED…someone with the experience to guide you in the direction of your desires. Someone who isn’t just trying to shove pricing in your face and see if it sticks. Someone who will LISTEN, find out what’s important to you, then give you options based on your responses.
Here’s how to know you’ve found the right photo and video team:
1. You love their style.
Because in 50 years, you should still WANT to look at your pictures!
2. You are comfortable talking with them.
You need to feel cared for and understood.
3. You notice that they guide you with ease and care toward articulating your needs.
This is a BIG deal. You have got to find that working with them would be VALUABLE. Remember, value is the relationship between how much you benefit and the dollars you spend. Value is much different than price!
4. You know your memories are in good hands.
Yes. You must feel confident that 50 years from now, you’ll be able to look back on your photos and video, saying, “BEST. DAY. EVER.”
So if you came here wanting the typical, cut-and-dry robot response about how to find a run of the mill wedding photography and videography team who will give you some pretty pictures, this isn’t what you came for.
THIS is how couples with the BEST RESULTS choose a photographer and videographer who serve them incredibly well with what they actually need to fulfill their greatest desires–for the rest of their lives and into future generations.
And if this leaves you wondering how you should know the difference between value and pricing, go read this.