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Marne

Choosing a photographer - what am I looking for?

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This might be a silly question - BUT, I truly don't know the answer. I have not yet chosen a photographer. I am pretty sure I want to use a local Jamaican photographer because I don't want to pay to fly someone in - but when I look at the websites of the local photographers, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking for. I end up focusing on the weddings themselves or the websites themselves. Other than cost, how do I know which photographer I want to hire? What should I look for when I look at their sites? Thanks in advance!

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I think you have to go with a photog who's style you relate to...do you want more traditional portrait type pictures, something really artsy, a photojournalistic style, vintage...

Each photogs pictures look a bit differen and tell a diff story of the day. You have to find one who you want to tell your story. I think the more you look the more you will find things you like/don't like and then you can settle on someone specific.

Good luck!-and PS, you may want to consider flying someone in...in a lot of cases it may be cheaper than hiring a local photog and you may have pictures you're happier with.

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If I can just butt in here, I used Diana and Richard Campbell, from digitalmemeories.com. They work together so one will shoot, and one will prep the dress, area, ect. This really worked out well. She took over 500 photos and gave them to us on 2 discs. We did not have her print any up, we didnt want to hurry and choose, or have the photos get damaged on the way home.

I just took the discs to a local wedding photographer who printed up some of them on portrait paper with the chemicals (old fashioned way, no auto-printers). We even got a 20x24 and they all came out gorgeous! We are glad we did it this way and didn't feel rushed to choose anything specific.

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also i want to add, the one thing we splurged on was our photog, and sadly it was about the same time i discovered BDW so i wasnt totally in the know. the one thing we would go back and change is to have done more research before booking a photog. we booked someone who's work we loved, and didnt look at packages, just total cost. we didnt realize that there are a TON of photogs who will give you all the edited images straight away, rather than focusing on prints and album like our photog did.

 

so we ended up with a beautiful album, and a disc, but no prints to fram or hang because it was just TOO expensive on top of our already pricey package. we ended up paying close to $4k for just a digital flush mount album and about 300 pics on CD. ok yes we did have 2 photogs and the pics are beautiful. BUT we could have got so much more for so much less, with comparable quality images.

 

also dont rule out flying someone in from the states, you could save a LOT of $. just make sure your resort will allow it!

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Another thing that I have heard is that some photographers will give you digital rights to the photos. That's definitely important to us.

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As others have mentioned, look at their work and find someone that you really like their photos. I found when I was looking that some photograhers only have one or two photos from each wedding up on their site, well I'd ask to see a full wedding if I were you, only because you don't know if you will like the rest of the shots from those weddings. When I found my wedding photographer, I just knew right away and fell in love with his work, yet he was $$ but for something as important as this was to us, it was worth every penny.

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As others have mentioned, make sure that you really love their work. This is one of the most important factors in choosing your photographer. If you love the style and the quality of their work, then you can move ahead in finding out more about them, etc. The next thing to consider is professionalism. Do they respond promptly to your emails and/or phone calls? If not, you probably don't want to hire them to photograph your wedding. And, finally, there is the issue of price. I think that this quote by John Ruskin says a lot about making purchases in today's world:

 

“It is unwise to pay too much but it’s unwise to pay too little.

When you pay too much you lose a little money that is all.

When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was not capable of doing the thing you bought it to do.

The common law of business prohibits paying a little and getting a lot.

It can’t be done.

If you deal with the lowest bidder it is well to add something for the risk you run.

And if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better!”

 

It is much better to cut in one or two other areas of your budget so that you can have really high quality images of your day, than it is to pay too little for your photographer, and then be disappointed in the end. Remember, these images will be passed on to your children and grandchildren.

 

Best wishes,

Tod

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