6 Tips For Hiring A Photographer That Sucks!
Reasons To Hire A Professional Photographer
By Jeffrey House Photography
Who doesn't want a photographer that sucks?
We could give you a long list of reasons to hire a professional photographer, but today, we're helping you find a terrible photographer. I know this might seem a little strange - a little out of the ordinary, but I promise you're going to thank me later!
A bad photographer offers a lot of unique value - they overcharge you, they give you deals that are too good to be true, and they deliver inferior products and services that will haunt you forever. So, how can you find a photographer like this?
Okay, okay - I think you've figured out by now this article isn't really designed to help you find a photographer that sucks. But we are going to give you 6 tips to help you avoid actually hiring a bad photographer.
1. Don't Hire A Friend Or Family Member To Photograph Your Wedding
Many couples have a friend or family member with a nice camera and they love to take pictures. I bet they'd even be interested in photographing your wedding if you asked. This isn't a slam to your friend or family member. I'm sure they take nice pictures, but there are enormous differences between taking pictures and wedding photography. There's also a huge difference between wedding photography and the business of wedding photography.
I have a friend that is also a professional photographer. He specializes in portraiture and two years ago he was asked to photograph his cousins wedding. He was reluctant because he's never photographed a wedding, but eventually he agreed. I spoke with him after the wedding and asked him about his experience. He said it was the worst experience ever and he will never photograph a wedding again. Let's not forget this is a professional photographer with a lot of experience photographing people. He's got a strong technical background, he's artistic, etc., but he still felt completely lost photographing this wedding.
He couldn't get over how much pressure he felt to perform and it made him feel completely overwhelmed. In fact, it made him so nervous he missed some important moments and he had many images that were improperly exposed. As a portrait photographer, he works in very controlled environments, but the conditions at weddings change frequently and dramatically. By the time the wedding was over, he was emotionally and physically drained. He spent 9 hours running around trying to capture every last detail and every significant moment.
He remarked how happy he was once the day was over and he could finally breathe again. Then he realized he had a couple thousand images to sort through, review, and edit. This took another 3 weeks.
While it's admirable that your friend or family member is trying to help you out, they have no idea what they are subjecting themselves too. Many relationships with friends and family members have been strained, and even ruined, by circumstances just like this. The moments that take place during a wedding are very special and very unique, but once they're gone, they're gone forever. You can't stop the wedding to make sure you capture it, you can't stop the wedding and recreate the moment, and you can't go back later to re-create it. That's why they call them once-in-a-lifetime moments.
2. Avoid The "Cheap" Photographer
It's very tempting to hire a photographer that costs a fraction of the price, right? You reach out to several different photographers and you're quoted $2,500, $2,900, and $3,000 to photograph your wedding. Then you come across another photographer that promises to deliver everything those other photographers are offering, but they quote you $1,000! Are you kidding me, what a great deal!
Or is it?
This has been a rising issue for many years - the "cheap" photographer. They make these wonderful promises and offer you a low price. They paint this beautiful picture for you and make it very hard to say no. Part of you is probably a little skeptical - Is this one of those deals that's too good to be true? Unfortunately, it is.
We always recommend that you use a site like www.costofwedding.com to research the different details of your wedding. They are an independent website that provides you with the real costs associated with weddings in your area. This is great because for most couples, this is the first time you've planned a wedding, so how would you know what's considered a fair price?
Once you research the fair price, you have a good staring point. If another vendor or professional gives you a quote that's remarkably lower, it should be a huge red flag. Most couples that gamble by taking the low price end up heartbroken and regretful.
3. Price, Price, Price
If price is the only thing you care about when it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, don't expect your wedding photos to give you a lifetime of memories.
Would this be the same as hiring a cheap photographer? It's not, but let me explain why. "Cheap" photographers are focused on deception. They convince you that they will deliver you the same products, services, and quality as the "expensive" photographers, but at a fraction of the cost. You might hire this photographer because you can't justify the extra cost for the same end result. Unfortunately, you won't understand how they deceived you until it's too late.
What about choosing a photographer solely based on price? When price is your only focus, you're saying, "I want 8 hours of coverage and the most I can pay is $1,000." When you find a photographer's price that meets your requirements, you hire them with little regard to their quality. Rarely, if ever, are brides happy with their wedding photos under these circumstances.
4. The "Facebook" Photographer
Social media offers a lot of great benefits, but hiring business professionals is not always one of them. The "Facebook" photographer sets up a business page and then promotes themself as a "professional wedding photographer." They might have a presence on sites like Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram, but these "professionals" usually don't have a professional website. Why? Because they cost money and there's a huge difference between liking wedding photography and being in the business of wedding photography! Generally, they use a free website service, but this should be pretty transparent. It won't have a professional web address, the website itself will look unprofessional, and it's a huge red flag you're not dealing with a true wedding professional.
5. I Don't Need To Edit, I Get My Pictures Right In-Camera
No matter how perfect an image is "in-camera," it always requires post-processing to bring it to the next level.
Capturing well exposed images in camera will make editing easier and faster, but again, it does not eliminate the need for editing. Most photographers with this belief, don't like photo editing or they aren't good at it. Many photographers dislike it so much they outsource it to a third party.
Personally speaking, how a photographer produces and post-produces their images is largely how their reputation and brand is defined. The post-production process is just as important as production. It "finishes" the images. If you don't believe in editing or complete basic editing techniques, it's not a finished product. Our editing includes fixing skin imperfections (blemishes, pimples, etc.), removing lint and hair from attire, removing obviously distracting objects, etc. The images we deliver you should be as perfect as possible.
Most wedding photographers spend the majority of their time in post-production. An average 8 hour wedding will generally take 30-40 hours to edit. "Cheap" photographers will often ignore editing and this is one ploy they use to extend those low prices. Photographers minimizing the importance of post-production probably aren't the best option for your wedding.
6. I Don't Use Contracts, But Don't Worry
Whether it's a wedding photographer, DJ, videographer, florists, wedding venue, etc., never hire anyone that doesn't work with a contract. This is a recipe for a true disaster! If you work without a contract and the wedding vendor doesn't make good on their promises, you have absolutely no way of protecting yourself.
A good contract should clearly list all fees including taxes for the products and services you'll be receiving. A complete list of products and services you'll be receiving in exchange for the stated price should also be clearly identified in the contract. If your wedding vendor doesn't provide you with a product or service noted in the contract, you now have it in writing and can have it legally addressed.
Make sure that you receive a copy of the signed contract. It should be signed by you, your partner, and your wedding vendor. If you're uncomfortable with a part of the contract or don't understand a part of the contract be sure to address this with the vendor prior to signing it. Most vendors are more than happy to clarify information or adjust the part of the contract you're uncomfortable with.
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