Tuesday, September 27, 2011

On the Subject of Hiring a Photographer

mackall_lint_wedding_001

So I have been receiving a lot of wedding inquires lately. And the vast majority of them have started with this question, "How much_____________" Feel free to fill in the blank. Ahh, the almighty dollar. The almighty, struggling dollar. Times are tough and everyone is looking for ways to save and to get the most out of the money they choose to spend.

When it comes time to choose a photographer for your special event or to record a special moment in the life of your family, there are a lot of factors to consider. And price should certainly be one of them. But unfortunately I think price often becomes the most important factor; pushing it's way in front of some other pretty important considerations. So here is my list of the top factors to weigh and consider when choosing a photographer.

1. Style of Photography
2. Chemistry
3. Chemistry
4. Chemistry
5. Price
6. Availability

Points 5 and 6 are pretty self explanatory, so let me focus on Style of Photography and Chemistry. So obviously you have to love the style of the photographer you are considering. Don't settle. You have to look at their work and say, I want to see myself in these images.

But perhaps the most overlooked, yet vitally important factor in choosing a photographer, is the chemistry between you and your photographer. If you didn't get the point when I listed it three times...I think it is pretty crucial. You have to really like them, to feel comfortable around them. It is a very intimate relationship. As a photographer, it is my job to know you; the things that make you laugh, the moments that might make you cry. I need to be able to anticipate these reactions and at times elicit them from you. I need to be able to make you feel calm and comfortable so that who you really are will come through in your photos. These are the kind of intangibles that have nothing to do with price. And they cannot be determined by looking at a blog or a website.

Sure you can tell a lot from a photographer's blog: their personality, some of their interests outside of photography. But to really know what the Chemistry is like between you and your potential photographer...you have to meet them. For Brides and Grooms this may be the last thing you want to hear. "So I have to meet with all ten of the potential photographers I have picked out!?" After seeing venues, trying caterers, tasting cakes, etc., some couples relish the ease of sitting down to a computer and choosing a photographer based on their website. So go ahead, spend hours perusing websites. Go ahead and narrow down your list based on price range and style. Email them about their availability on your wedding date. That should narrow down your list quite a bit. Then, when you have your top two or three, schedule a meeting with them. Have a cup of coffee or better yet a beer :) See what your chemistry is like.

I love meeting with potential clients. I love what I do and I love discussing that passion with people who are equally as excited about my work. Photography is one of those jobs like acting, or being a rock star. I think deep down everyone really kind of wants to be one. Maybe just a little bit. Photography has a certain magic. With the press of a button we can preserve a memory, capture the essence of a personality, pause time. I think that is the power it holds over us. And when we decide to pay someone to capture these moments for us, we want to make the right choice. No regrets.

So if you are one of those potential clients who has contacted me recently, or you are just now stumbling upon my site; if you like my style of work, and I am in your price range, give me a call. Let's meet. The beers are on me.