What are the four "P's" you ask? Photography, personality, professionalism and price. Each of these facets is like a leg of a chair--without all four you cannot count on the chair to hold you! Shopping for a wedding photographer these days can be overwhelming and tricky. Thousands of new "photographers" have descended into the Twin Cities area with newly purchased digital cameras. Digital has made it look like anyone can photograph weddings. Nothing could be further from the truth, and here is why:
What to know about wedding photography: the four "P's":Let's get started!
Number one is obvious: Photography!Quality is essential here. A lot of websites are going to show off gorgeous photos, but the real question is: Just how many shots did it take to create this masterpiece? Anyone with a cell phone can get lucky and get the right angle after a few tries, that's why it's important to see a large portfolio. It's important to know how many pictures, out of the thousands taken, turned out. When we say quality is essential, we mean consistent quality. Another important aspect about the first "P" is lighting. The vast majority of photographers share outdoor photos in the perfect location on the perfect day. But let's be honest, this is Minnesota we're talking about. While we do have those perfect days a few times a year, it's important to have a photographer who knows how to work it in some less than desired conditions. In Greek the word photography means "to write with light." Make sure your photographer really knows how to work their skills--in and outside--to know you won't end up with flat or distorted pictures due to lighting.
The second "P" is personality.Be forewarned: You may find yourself scared, crabby, and overwhelmed when the big day finally roles around. No bride wants to feel that way on her big day, which is why "P" number two is so important! Anyone can take candids without interacting with you. Looking back though, these pictures will look like basic snapshots later. That's why we think it's important to hire a photographer with personality! Who wouldn't want someone fun, engaging, cooperative, calming, and humorous following them around on their day? It's the photographers job to blend in with your loved ones without being overbearing. A great photographer is a problem solver, which should help calm those nerves of yours on the big day! It's important to pick someone who is going to help you make your wedding everything you've hoped for.
"P" number 3 is professionalism.Professionalism is another important feature to look for when selecting your wedding photographer. You want to make sure you’re working with a photographer and company who will treat you right. I hear horror stories every year about brides who had photographers back out on them or stop responding to phone calls. Working with a studio that has been around for a few years is something to keep in mind. We certainly don’t want to tell you not to give the new guys a chance, but be sure it is someone you can fully trust to make your special day run smoothly. Something we like to suggest is that you talk to past clients or references. Get the inside scoop from an outsider to know exactly what (and who!) you’re working with.
The fourth "P": Price.It’s human nature to want low prices. John Ruskin once said, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.” This has become a bidding war since digital photography came along. Friends and family all want to shoot the wedding, and there are new photographers with great deals popping up everywhere. New and experienced alike can charge some high prices. We tend to think that higher prices mean higher quality, but this is where things get tricky. Be sure to refer to the first three “Ps” to make sure your price matches the quality you’ll receive. Remember, in the long run, photography is likely the least expensive item you’ll buy for your big day when you divide how long you’ll have it by the price you've paid for it. Think of it this way--for every thousand you invest, you’re paying about 6 cents a day. You’ll have these pictures forever, so one more cent a day isn't a huge price to incur for photos you love.
So be sure to pay attention to the four “P’s”, Photography, Personality, Professionalism, and Price, when choosing a photographer to capture your happily-ever-after. All photography courtesy of Appleye Photography.