Do your homework when choosing a wedding photographer!

I’m about to go on a rant here (which I try to NEVER do on my blog…but this is very necessary)

I’m hearing so many horror stories lately of wedding photographers (even one that was drunk and got arrested at a wedding last weekend!!!) so I finally decided to blog about it. Number one rule that we all know in life is…”You get what you pay for”. If someone charges half what the market is, there’s a reason for it. If they are “giving away the farm” in order to get your business, that’s a huge red flag! People are always going to charge as much as they can for their product based on competition, craft, equipment, longevity in the industry, reputation etc. It’s simple supply and demand that we all learned in economics. However, with this economy and people losing their jobs, it seems that everyone has become a photographer as their backup plan. I actually read a blog last week of someone suggesting looking on Craigslist to find a wedding photographer. WOW!

So here are some things to consider…coming from me, a person on the other side that has been in this business a long time. We all see a LOT of people come and go out of this business every year. For you that means if they are new to the biz…they may not be sticking around for long. You just better get ALL your goods and services from them AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. This is actually a big deal right now. Companies are pricing their packages really low because they are having a hard time finding work, and then they can’t pay their vendors and end up going upside down in business.. Our local news station did a story on this about 6 months ago. One of our well known local photographers was not providing the couples with their album. Some had waited almost 2 years for it!

So what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen to you?
1: Make sure your photographer is a part of an organization. They will back you should you ever need anything. (Our local org is http://www.ppsnf.org/)
2: Google them.  No news is good news, but if you see any negative feedback, follow it up! You do not want to have to beg to get your images and album from your photographer.
3: Ask to speak with several of their clients. Brides are very honest (which I LOVE!) so just ask them.
4: Ask other photographers! People ask me about other photographers all the time. We have a TON of really amazing, very talented photographers here. But we also have people that you should steer clear of. So just ask around.

And as a followup, I’m going to leave you with this article one of my fellow photographers had on their facebook this week. It’s a story about a photographer going to prison for not providing couples with their images. This is a real situation that is becoming more and more common. Scary but unfortunately true.

http://www.ppsnf.org/
http://www.pdnpulse.com/2010/01/wedding-photographer-jailed-for-cheating-customers.html

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