Our all-inclusive venue generally includes a photographer. We looked at the work of the photographers, and weren’t excited about any of them. There was one we like, but he didn’t fit our criteria. We managed to negotiate the photographer out of our contract, and they agreed to give us $2000 back. So, off we went on a journey of finding the perfect photographer.
We met with one that my fiance’s cousin used last year. We liked her work and she was our first choice. Unfortunately, her prices went up and out of our reach. After this meeting, we realized that we need to venture over to Craigslist. The key to finding a photographer on Craigslist involves a few steps.
1. Know your criteria, and do not settle for anything less.
2. Select the correct region. You don’t want to accidentally be looking at a photographer in Fiji… unless you’re going to Fiji. If that’s the case, please take me with you.
3. Look at their website right away. If they don’t have a website, be wary. If the website makes you cringe, they aren’t the right photographer for you.
4. Don’t hesitate to look at prices before looking at photos. You do’t want to fall in love with someone’s work, only to realize that you could never afford them. If they don’t have their prices on the website, send them an email. It’s alright to blunt and to the point. Tell them what you want and when you want it.
5. Email them to set up a meeting. Make sure they bring more work for you to see. Before the meeting, discuss with your fiance what questions you want to ask and what you want the answers to be. Remember, don’t settle for anything less than what you want.
6. Think about it overnight. Don’t book a photographer in the heat of the moment just because they have the contract with them and say that they can’t hold your date until you pay them. Unless they are really in high demand, they most likely will not get booked over night.
7. If you decide you want them, set up a time to give them the deposit and to sign the contract. From here, they will tell you want you have to do next. This may be setting up a time for an engagement shoot or setting up the schedule for the wedding day.
In case you need some examples of photographer criteria, here is what we were looking for.
- Cannot exceed much more than $2000
- Must come with a second photographer
- Free engagement photo session
- CD of the photos with rights to use them
- 8 hours or more
- Able to have the second photographer at an area that has been set up as a photobooth
- Good use of angles and colours in the photos
- A coffee table book is a bonus but not mandatory as we can make our own
I hope these tips help you. Remember that these photos are of the biggest day of your life. You want them to be amazing so that when you look back at them in 20 years, you can still say that you love the pictures and the memories that they reignite.