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digital negatives were really important to me. i love photo projects, so having my files is wonderful.

 

is barcelo a place with strick vendor rules? it rings a bell. you want to look into that. there are ways around it. you just want to be aware of possible issues.

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Originally Posted by Evan Baines View Post
Can't say on the after-package average, but the average couple in the US spends about $2500 on photography, +/- $500 depending on who you talk to. This includes both the couples who spend $500 on the Craigslist budget-type photographer and the couples who spend $10,000+ on Joe Buissink.

Here are some questions that aren't on many brides' radars that I think can be useful:

1. If the photographer offers digital files, ask for specificity on what form they will arrive in. "Digital Files" can mean edited or unedited files, RAW files out of the camera or downsized JPG's that won't look good past a 4x6 print. Ask about what reprint rights you will be granted.

2. If the studio you are considering is pushing "two photographers" as a competitive advantage or upsale item, you should be seeing two portfolios. Many photographers use untrained spouses or photo-students working for free/peanuts as second shooters, and these seconds are sometimes nearly worthless. You should be able to judge for yourself the quality of the second's work and decide based on that whether they represent real value.

3. Ask if any of the portfolio work on their site was shot as a second for another photographer. Many wedding shooters get their start working under someone else. This is normal and good. However, you deserve to know if your photographer has actually experienced the hot-seat with all of the responsibility and additional concerns of being the primary. This is not to say you shouldn't consider an experienced second, but you should be aware that you are taking a calculated risk and the services should be priced accordingly.

4. Ask if any of the portfolio work on the site was created in a workshop or "model shoot." Many of the images on photographer's sites now are created in workshops led by top shooters in the field. These workshops often feature professional models, who are placed and posed by the workshop leader. Often times, the participants in these workshops are able to obtain images that they would not have the skill to create on their own. Professional development is great, but you should be sure that the images you are seeing are comparable to those you can expect under "real world" conditions.

5. You should see at LEAST one complete wedding album, and preferably more than one. Even a monkey, given a typewriter and enough time, will write Hamlet. You should see both excellent individual shots AND a high sustained level of quality throughout the day.

Hope this helps!
these are very good tips!

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Originally Posted by Evan Baines View Post
1. If the photographer offers digital files, ask for specificity on what form they will arrive in. "Digital Files" can mean edited or unedited files, RAW files out of the camera or downsized JPG's that won't look good past a 4x6 print. Ask about what reprint rights you will be granted.

2. If the studio you are considering is pushing "two photographers" as a competitive advantage or upsale item, you should be seeing two portfolios. Many photographers use untrained spouses or photo-students working for free/peanuts as second shooters, and these seconds are sometimes nearly worthless. You should be able to judge for yourself the quality of the second's work and decide based on that whether they represent real value.

3. Ask if any of the portfolio work on their site was shot as a second for another photographer. Many wedding shooters get their start working under someone else. This is normal and good. However, you deserve to know if your photographer has actually experienced the hot-seat with all of the responsibility and additional concerns of being the primary. This is not to say you shouldn't consider an experienced second, but you should be aware that you are taking a calculated risk and the services should be priced accordingly.

4. Ask if any of the portfolio work on the site was created in a workshop or "model shoot." Many of the images on photographer's sites now are created in workshops led by top shooters in the field. These workshops often feature professional models, who are placed and posed by the workshop leader. Often times, the participants in these workshops are able to obtain images that they would not have the skill to create on their own. Professional development is great, but you should be sure that the images you are seeing are comparable to those you can expect under "real world" conditions.

5. You should see at LEAST one complete wedding album, and preferably more than one. Even a monkey, given a typewriter and enough time, will write Hamlet. You should see both excellent individual shots AND a high sustained level of quality throughout the day.

Hope this helps!
Thank you SO MUCH! These were great tips that we will definitely be keeping in mind.

-row-

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Originally Posted by O'Driscoll Photography View Post
In addition to what's already been listed above, I think you should make sure that you pay attention to things like professionalism and customer service. Does the photographer return your emails or phone calls in a timely manner? If not, that's usually a good sign that they probably aren't the right photographer for you. Is the photographer an active member of professional organizations such as WPJA, PPA, WPPI, etc.? These organizations encourage professional development and growth via conferences, seminars, competitions, etc.

Do you like the style of work that you see displayed on their site? Can you see yourself in their images? If so, then that's a good sign that at least in that area they are a good fit for what you're looking for.

Best wishes,
Tod
Thanks for the extra tips! I'm now wondering if there is any risk at all to hiring a local photographer or going with one from a different province/state/country. Is there a certain governing body that oversees all that? I would assume a deposit is made through Paypal or something similar and the rest paid the day of the event. What guarantee do I have that they'll show up? I almost want to laugh at myself. It's probably a really silly thing to think/ask about, but I'd rather ask and look silly than let it pass and be sorry later.

-row-

-row-

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Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
is barcelo a place with strick vendor rules? it rings a bell. you want to look into that. there are ways around it. you just want to be aware of possible issues.
I think they had a strict rule about not allowing Outside Photographers for a long time. It has since changed and they only charge for the day pass for the photographers.

I'm also a member of the unofficial barcelo forum that has a weddings-only section. A lot of the newer brides that are getting married there now have apparently been able to bring outside photographers, so I'm really hoping their information is correct undecided.gif

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Originally Posted by bride2010 View Post
Thanks for the extra tips! I'm now wondering if there is any risk at all to hiring a local photographer or going with one from a different province/state/country. Is there a certain governing body that oversees all that? I would assume a deposit is made through Paypal or something similar and the rest paid the day of the event. What guarantee do I have that they'll show up? I almost want to laugh at myself. It's probably a really silly thing to think/ask about, but I'd rather ask and look silly than let it pass and be sorry later.


-row-

there are many local photographers that are popular on BDW. I felt comfortable hiring a local because I knew their reputation from all the girls who hired them before me.

I did pay with paypal, but there was a % fee to do that.

I ended up switching my photography over to videography with the same company & flew in a photographer.

I would be nervous to hire someone in another country if we didn't have the internet where you could find out their reputation. because if something went wrong it would be so hard to do anything about it. but, after browsing around the forum & seeing other's experienced I think you will feel comfortable hiring a local photographer if that is what you decide to do.

glad to hear barcelo changed their policy. i hate the no outside vendor policies.

PS. you might be interested in multi-quote. click the MQ button for every post you want to quote. at the end, click the quote button. then you can reply in one post.

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Originally Posted by bride2010 View Post
Thanks for the extra tips! I'm now wondering if there is any risk at all to hiring a local photographer or going with one from a different province/state/country. Is there a certain governing body that oversees all that? I would assume a deposit is made through Paypal or something similar and the rest paid the day of the event. What guarantee do I have that they'll show up? I almost want to laugh at myself. It's probably a really silly thing to think/ask about, but I'd rather ask and look silly than let it pass and be sorry later.

-row-
As far as payment goes, wedding photographers require a retainer, which holds the date, and the rest is due at a later date. As in any relationship (business or personal) it is crucial for you to be able to trust your photographer. This trust is built as you correspond with him, and get to know him and his work. In my own business, I am always happy to provide references from past clients upon request.

As far as whether you should hire a local versus flying somebody in, that is really a decision that only you can make. I think you should base that on looking at the photographer's work, how they interact with you, etc. Many brides choose to fly somebody in, while others hire a local.

I have photographed weddings all over the U.S., as well as in Kauai and in Mexico, and oftentimes I don't actually meet my clients in person until just a day or two before their wedding. However, we have been communicating via phone and email for months prior to their wedding, so we both are very comfortable with each other, and we know each other quite well by that point.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,
Tod

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Originally Posted by Morgan View Post
PS. you might be interested in multi-quote. click the MQ button for every post you want to quote. at the end, click the quote button. then you can reply in one post.
LOL...Thanks for the tip!msnwink.gif

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Good news: You have the time to be picky since your wedding is in 2010. Before you make any major decisions.... why don't you lurk around at the photographers that advertise on here... and then google some in your area. Decide what style you like and go from there.

I am a fan of photojournalism, where they capture more candid shots that the traditional ones. I found this style to be more expensive, but figure out why in a hurry! You can definately tell the difference between someone who has talent and someone who just has a nice camera, IMO.

 

Make sure you get what you pay for!

PS... in case you are wondering, I chose Elizabeth Medina. She lives near RM too so check her out!

Other photographers I spoke with and loved were

Del Sol and Jeremy Gilliam... both are on this site as well as tons of great options!

Cheers!

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