Welcome back to the journey of finding your perfect wedding photographer. We hope you did your last week’s homework. If you happen to come across this post and have no idea which homework we are talking about, make sure to read Part 1 of this series: Research.
Last week, we left at step 3: making a list of potential wedding photographers. By now, you should be able to define your style of wedding photography. This time, let pick it up with step 4.
- Step 4: know your budgets, and give it some room for a possible expansion. If you keep it fixed and find only those who are within, chances are you will miss out the perfect photographers. Remember, you are looking for the perfect photographer, not “within my budget” photographer.
- Step 5: look at their websites for:
- Prices: some photographers list packages right on their website, while some give it to you after you contact them.
- FAQs: you will find information about their service (sometimes, price lies here).
- A particular wedding that you really like. Most likely to be the one with the similar setting to your wedding.
=> Tips: show them that you really care about them and their service. They have many inquiries, so make yourself stand out from the rest. Be sincere and honest. This is the first condition for negotiation.
- Step 6: email them.
- Ask if they are available, of course. If they are not, ask if they can refer someone with a similar style.
- Ask for prices if you couldn’t find on their website.
- Give them as many details about your wedding as possible. This helps them give you the most accurate and best quote.
=> Tips: don’t use the same email template for all of them. Specifically tell them what you like about their works. This is why we told you to do things in step 5. Let us repeat: “This is the first condition for negotiation.” Also, it is easier for you to organize your email inbox after you contact several photographers. Imagine you get 10 responses and you use the same email template, how can you differentiate them?
- Step 7: pick the ones with the prices that work your budget (which can be slightly higher as we said earlier).
- Remember: DO NOT compare their prices against each other. You have to use many other factors to compare them, which you will learn in Part 3: interview.
=> Tips: make sure to give them as many details as possible and ask them if you want such and such, what the best quote would be. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with them. But don’t expect them to change their quote significantly either. These are the tips and advice to negotiate with the photographers.
Now, the list might have 2 or 3 photographers left, or even none! If there is none left, you have 2 options:
- Raise your budget. There is a reason why all photographers you like are completely out of your budget: the style/service/quality you look for is something other photographers cannot do.
- Repeat step 3 (in Part 1). This time, remember to utilize all resources and expand your search.
We will let you do all steps above and come back next week with Part 3: Interview.