What To Expect From A Professional Wedding Photographer.
If you’ve worked in the Toronto Wedding Industry long enough you begin to hear the rumblings and misgivings of past Brides and Grooms who often wonder aloud… ‘If I had only known then what I know now!’
What you should expect from a Professional Wedding Photographer. A practical step by step walkthrough from First Contact – Interview perspective. That moment in time when you take the opportunity to sit down with your top Wedding Photographer(s) hopefuls that may eventually photographing your Wedding.
Following this submission I will be penning a new Article on how to save your Wedding Photography from hitting a brick wall should you have hired or retained a ‘Bad Photographer.’ But it is my intention that this Article helps to set you off on the right foot so you never need to refer to my second Article. Stay tuned for that S.O.S blog post to follow!
1. First Contact. A Professional Attitude,
Your gum chewing, slang spewing, non-apologetic Gun Slinger need not apply here. This is the guy whom you do not want to even open the door too. Do have Fido ready to do his or her job.
What your looking for here in your Photographer is a Professional attitude. A smart, concerning individual who is at your doorstop or on your Zoom call to provide you with a Professional attitude that would very much reflect your Wedding Photographer’s continuous professional development.
In my humble opinion a Professional Wedding Photographer should be clean cut, well spoken and there to represent your needs during your Wedding day.
2. Consistency In Pricing. Wedding Photography Packages.
If I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a hundred times. It’s called Click-bate. Your Photographer states that his/her Wedding Photography Packages start at $99.00. You think great, let’s talk to this guy. Only to have the same Photographer sit down with you and reiterate his Packages in fact start at $4,999.00. Yep, it’s that WTF just happened moment.
Oh sure, that same Photographer will most certainly sit back on his heels and state that yes his Wedding Photography Packages do in fact start at $99.00 but that Package only sends his best Buddy over to your Wedding with 2 hours of coverage. Certainly not the level of expertise or competence that you were expecting.
Once again if it seems to good to be true then it probably is. Beware of this unscrupulous animal!
3. Check Those Google Reviews.
While you may not always be able to call up your Wedding Photographer’s past Customer Reviews due to current Privacy laws and the fact that you just really don’t want to bother one of the Photographer’s past Customer’s from years past you can always look for tattle tale signs that his Google Customer Reviews are in fact legitimate.
Start with the names of his/her’s past Customer’s. If it’s Madonna, Hewy Lewis or Elon Musk then we might have another red flag here. Such names as Madonna, Hewy Lewis or Elon Musk might certainly rank your Photographer’s website higher in Google’s search results but dollars to donuts, that Photographer has never even met any of those 3 people.
Read the actual Reviews. Does a Review start off mentioning – Best Wedding Photographer ever, yet a paragraph or two down the page (in the same Review) this same Photographer is now being praised for his work during a Maternity Session somewhere in Southern Alabama when his Office is located in Downtown Toronto? It’s the little things like that which will give away your prospective Wedding Photographer’s to be no more then a fraud or Charlatan! So be careful with this guy!
A reputable Wedding Photographer will usually promote a series of well balanced Google Business Profile Reviews that properly illustrate his past work and interactions with his or her Customers.
4. It's Not All About the Price!
A Professional Wedding Photographer is acutely aware of his Wedding Photography Package rates. Or at least he or she know about them. Yet it’s not the be all and end all of any initial discussion or negotiation with any new Customer.
Yes we all have to eat and pay our Mortgage but it shouldn’t be the most circular always back to the square one point that dominates any conversation or negotiation.
As in any Business there is a place and time to discuss money. But constantly bringing up the money part again and again is most certainly a red flag. Is this Photographer only in it to make as much money as he or she can?
Any good Wedding Photographer first intentions should be servicing his Customer’s and their needs. Not lining his own Bank Account for his own personal profit or gain.
5. Great Listening Skills.
Now this one I can’t emphasis more. Great listening skills is an absolute must. Your Wedding Photographer must be able to listen and properly assimilate what your telling him or her.
Imagine such important pieces of informations such as the date of the Wedding. When the Wedding is to start or finish or better yet the address of the Church getting screwed up right from the start. That Photographer if he doesn’t end up at St. Mary’s Immaculate Catholic Church in Mississauga, Ontario might end up at St. Martin’s Catholic Church in Barrie, Ontario. We’ll, he or she might have been close enough. Mississauga and Barrie are only an hour’s drive in two completely different directions.
Great listening skills are most certainly a must for any great Wedding Photographer!
6. Fact Checking & Follow Up Skills
This one may very well be a Part 2 of it’s earlier point of what to expect from a Professional Wedding Photographer but this point as well is so very important.
When is the start time of the Wedding? 9 a.m. or 11 a.m?
What is the name of the Minister or Wedding Officiant conducting the Service?
The use of ‘Flash Photography,’ inside the Church?
Once again a Professional Wedding Photographer will take notes on such important factors. Tuck them away for safe keeping even if it’s just a note in his Smartphone but he will have them readily available at a moment’s notice.
And if your Wedding Photographer was not sure then without a doubt there would most certainly be a good deal of fact checking and follow up days before the Wedding.
After all it’s your Wedding and you want everything to go right, right! And that my friends is the difference between an Amateur and a Professional Wedding Photographer. Anything less then run for the hills. This Wedding Photographer is most certainly not for you or your once in a lifetime event such as a Wedding!
Blair is a Toronto based Wedding & Portrait Photographer who lives his life through the lens one frame at a time. Always chasing that perfect image whether it’s a beautiful afternoon Wedding or a long overdue Family Portrait Session.
He is a free spirited Creative who is truly invested in savings his Customer’s their hard earned cash in an already over priced Toronto Wedding Industry. His motto in life is really quite simple. Grab life by the horns and enjoy. Our time on this Big Blue Marble we call Planet Earth is short enough!
Hence his approach to Professional Photography. Do a great job for your Customer and you’ve accomplished something in Life. Life is just too short to be sitting on the sidelines and waiting for that perfect opportunity to dance!