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How to choose your Photographer

This is very topical for me right now. I’m quite sure it is for many other photographers too. I like a practical example when someone is explaining something to me, so let’s use one.

Let’s say I’m looking for a new iPhone. I know that Apple manufacture this product, no one else does. However, this product is for sale via a variety of distributors, not just direct from the manufacturer. As a result, there is a fair amount of pricing variation. For me, because I know this is a mass- produced product, made by only one manufacturer, consistency is a given. In other words, the product and its quality will be the same no matter where I purchase it from. With that in mind, and because I am choosy about what I spend my money on, I will source the best deal to suit my budget, in order for me to purchase this product. I have very little loyalty regarding who I buy from, despite the fact that I absolutely love Apple products and use them daily.

Absolutely. If I’m in the market for anything brand- specific, you can believe I’ll be chasing the best deal, the cheapest price. I’m right there with you people! As a woman who found herself a single mother many years ago, you’d be hard- pressed to find anyone who understands budgetary constraints and the need for them, better than me. This thinking doesn’t work for photography though and here’s why…

Photographers are individuals, artists behind a camera with their own unique interpretations of the things they are commissioned to photograph. No two are identical because we are humans, not products. Yes, I believe we are primarily in the customer- service industry, but the service is most assuredly diverse. At least five of my friends in the industry use EXACTLY the same camera and lenses as me, yet our styles are distinctly our own. Go ahead and google ‘weddings at…..(insert prominent Adelaide Wedding venue here)’ and watch just how different the photography coverage of the very same venue looks on various blog posts. Or Adelaide Family Photographer…Different styles, different angles, different visions. I can certainly see the range, and to me, that’s what makes photography wonderful. It leaves room for artistic interpretation.

If you email a prospective photographer and ask only for their price list, then make your decision based on this alone, you are doing both of you a tremendous disservice. You are missing out on the opportunity to choose based on a genuine connection with that photographer and their style. Potentially, they arrive at your wedding or family session and you actually know nothing about them and vice versa. Maybe you don’t hit it off, perhaps you’re not loving their style? An unhappy experience for all involved.

If you see and love a photographers work, I urge you to go with them.  Don’t choose a price then try and make the rest fit. Photographers love it when clients choose them because they genuinely love their work, always such a personal and subjective thing.  There is such  diversity out there, you are bound to find the photographer for you. If you think I’m appealing to your emotions right now, you can be sure that I am! Decision- making is an emotional process for humans and people will spend money on what they truly value. I can and will find the money for something I really want and/ or value, every time. Brides will happily spend thousands on a gown they wear once, or a specific venue, why would you not do the same for the only lasting, tangible memories of the day long after it has passed- your photographs.

So, when looking for your photographer, make pricing your final consideration. Quality Professional Photographers will charge a premium price because they are offering a premium service and product. This is often what sets them apart. More importantly though, look at their portfolio.  Ask yourself; “How do I want my wedding day captured? What is important to me?” Look at the style of the photographer, what do they capture on the day and how? Do you want authenticity or a more posed style, or maybe a little of both? Are you quirky or traditional? Does this artist and their unique style resonate with you? Then meet with them. Do you hit it off? Do you feel you can trust them completely to spend all day with you and capture your day the way you want?

Couples who choose me, for example, tell me they did so because they liked my portfolio, and my relaxed personality. My style aims to tell the story of the day, so there are less formal, posed photographs and the emphasis is more on emotion and authenticity. My clients will frequently say “We don’t want a lot of posed photos, we want you to capture things as they happen”. They know I value really getting to know my clients and finding out what they want. I assist them with my knowledge as required regarding timelines, locations, best lighting conditions etc. Behind the scenes, I am extremely organised and working to ensure I give my clients the best possible experience on the day.

If you’re going to have professional photographs taken, make it an experience you will enjoy and remember fondly.  We always remember how we FELT about an experience more than anything else.

 

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