Friday, December 4, 2009

5 Tips on Booking your Top-Choice Photographer

Booking a photographer:
1. Be flexible with dates early in your planning (and prioritizing, book the most important thing first, whether it be venue or photographer or music) will be a huge help. I really wanted the date 8-8 and then 10-10 and it was a huge disappointment when I couldn't get either because of the church. But now I can laugh it off because it wasn't a big deal! Depending on your date and what time of year you look for a photographer, you may find that it seems like everyone is booked.

2. If your top choice is booked and your date is set in stone, ask for some referrals! Most photographers network within their area and if they are booked on your date won't mind passing on the names of people with similar styles and prices. They know that the referrals will reflect upon them so they will be pretty honest about who they think would be best for your wedding!

3. You aren't booked until you pay a deposit! Almost certainly your photographer will tell you this, but if someone else asks for your date and you haven't signed your contract or paid a deposit yet, the other couple could get it. This isn't a scare tactic at all, and some dates are more requested than others (May, June, July, August, September, October, November are pretty big months. Ask about a vendors' policy for reserving a date if you decide not to book right away.

4. This will be completely irrelevant for some, but if you or your husband (or a significant portion of the guests) are really into a particular sports team (say, for example, Crimson Tide), you don't want to pick a home game or big rival weekend. It seems silly but I have heard people specifically say that they would not attend a wedding on the same day as the Tennessee game, etc.

5. Having an unusually timed/sized wedding? Photographers are much more likely to be available during the week so if you are opting for a weekday wedding you are in luck! Also, civil ceremonies or very small events with a short reception can cost less. Time=money to some extent, and part of the big price tag associated with weddings is the amount of time they spend at your event and the amount of time it will take to edit all of those pictures! When we got married in San Francisco (that's right, we "eloped" and then had a blessing here in Birmingham) we picked a Thursday which opened us up a photographer whose work we loved but A) wasn't local and B) would've been booked on a weekend.

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