5 Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for Your Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer

Just Married Bride & Groom | By Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer | White House Wedding Photography

Hiring a Fort Lauderdale Wedding photographer can be challenging for any couple getting ready to tie the knot. This is because many couples have no idea of what to expect from a professional photographer.

Often, couples are caught up in the joy and excitement of getting engaged as they begin planning their wedding. As a result, they may have no knowledge or concept of what it takes to hire a photographer to create everlasting memories of their wedding day.

To further complicate things, the wedding photography industry in Fort Lauderdale and the rest of the world is not regulated. So any joe can buy a camera and start selling wedding photography services to anyone without good photography and business skills.

Hello! I’m Antonio, an award-winning wedding photographer, and owner of White House Wedding Photography. As a wedding photographer, I have encountered many unprepared couples searching for their dream wedding photographer in Fort Lauderdale. I don’t want this for you!

Rest assured, your wedding photography will be one of the most essential aspects of your wedding. Long after your wedding, your photos will be cherished and reminisce over for generations.

So, before you start searching for your Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer, you want to make sure that you have an excellent understanding of some of the mistakes to avoid. Below I give you five mistakes to avoid when looking for your dream photographer. So let’s get on with it – shall we?

1. Avoid Sticker Shock When Looking For a Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer

One of the most common questions brides and grooms usually ask about wedding photography is, why does wedding photography cost so much? This is natural, right? We live in a world saturated with instant photographs from our phones. 

However, professional photographers use expensive professional equipment. Plus, it takes a lot of practice and learning to gain the skills required to be an outstanding wedding photographer. Furthermore, a lot more goes into being a professional photographer and running a successful business, a topic for its own post. 

Ok! I didn’t mean to wander out into the everglades, haha! Perhaps you are wondering what sticker shock is? Sticker shock is when you herd what it will cost you to hire the photographer of your dreams, and you almost fall out of your chair in complete shock. 

To avoid getting sticker shock, you want to know the going rates for a Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer. In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, wedding photography prices can range from $499 to $7000 and higher depending on the photographer’s skill level and experience. 

According to The Wedding Report, an organization that tracks wedding costs nationally, the average price of a wedding in Fort Lauderdale is $28000 to $47000. So, before you start searching for a photographer for your wedding, make sure you have a budget. 

Your budget doesn’t need to be a hard-set budget. You can have a little wiggle room. The standard recommendation is to budget between 10 – 12% of your overall wedding budget on your wedding photography. 

Now here is the thing – once you have a photography budget, don’t keep it to yourself. Wedding photographers want to know where you are financially to decide if they can work with you. I’ve talked to many brides and grooms looking for their perfect wedding photographer but didn’t want to share their budget with me. Don’t do that! 

Telling a Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer that you don’t have a budget is one of the fastest ways to get rejected. Photographers really want to help you, and having a budget is a good negotiation starting point. If I don’t know your budget range, I don’t know what offers I can present to you. 

So, before you go searching for your dream Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer, get a grip on pricing and what you are willing to pay. Don’t let your eyes pop out of your head, and your mouth drop to the floor as you tumble out of your chair in complete shock when you hear the cost :). 

2. Avoid Hiring a Rookie

Regardless of the size of your budget, you will want to avoid hiring a rookie Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer. As I have said before, the wedding photography market is flooded with people claiming to be photographers. Still, not everyone who makes such a claim really has what it takes.

They may be able to dazzle you with beautiful photographs and their fancy cameras. However, do they have the processes and systems to ensure your investment is protected and you receive what was promised? Are they friendly and easy to work with? Will you enjoy been around them on your wedding day?

Yes, you want beautiful photos, but you also want an unforgeable experience. I can’t count on both hands the number of brides who told me about the horrible experiences they had with their wedding photographers.

Here are some things you can do to minimize the risk of hiring a rookie:

  1. Ask your families and friends for referrals.
  2. See what others are saying about their experience with your prospective photographer.
  3. What are they promising, and at what cost? If it sounds too good to be true, it may be a red flag. Many amateur photographers or hobbyists have no clue about the actual value of wedding photography, especially if it is not their primary source of income. 
  4. Do they have real wedding portfolios?
  5. Will you get a contract, and what is in it? The contract should have terms to protect your investment in cases of a natural disaster or any other circumstances out of your control and prevent you from having your wedding on the scheduled date. Your contract should also clearly state what will be delivered and when it will be delivered. 

These are just a few things that can help you steer clear of hiring a rookie Fort Lauderdale Wedding Photographer. 

3. Avoid Hiring a Wedding Photographer that is Aloof

Wedding photographers who are hard to get a hold of and are unresponsive should be avoided. Planning one of the most momentous events in your life is too demanding to deal with wedding photographers’ aloofness. You want photographers that will respond to your messages promptly.

They should have multiple means of communication, such as text, social messages, mobile phones, etc. Your prospective wedding photographer should be warm and friendly. Above all else, they should be available for you from your very first contact to long after the wedding.

The bottom line is that you want a wedding photographer with exceptional communication and people skills. Someone who will provide you with all the information you need to hire the best Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer for your wedding. Someone who will put your mind at ease so that you can enjoy your wedding day.

4. Avoid Waiting Too Long to Hire Your Prospective Wedding Photographer

The best wedding photographers are usually fully booked up to a year out in advance. Nothing can be more frustrating than finding the perfect Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer to learn that they are not available for your date.

Many popular wedding blogs will tell you to book your wedding photographer within six months of your wedding. However, I will tell you that six months is cutting it close, especially in a metro area like Fort Lauderdale.

You should hire your photographer as soon as possible, typically right after you book your venue. I have couples who booked me directly after they got engaged. Trust me, you will not regret it. On the other hand, waiting until the last minute to hire your wedding photographer is a sure way to book the least desirable and set yourself up for disappointments and regrets. Just don’t do it!

5. Avoid Hiring Your Prospective Wedding Photographer Before Meeting Them

This may sound like a no-brainer. But you would be surprised to learn that quite a few couples will hire a Fort Lauderdale wedding photographer without a physical or virtual meeting. I understand that today’s grooms and brides are busy with life and have unlimited access to information for planning their weddings.

Nevertheless, hiring your wedding photographer is a personal thing! Because out of all the vendors you will hire for your wedding, your photographer is the vendor that will be the closest to you and your loved ones for the longest time on your wedding day.

Your photographer will often be with you from the moment you start to get ready until your grand exit at the reception. They will see you at your best and at your worst throughout the day.

Meeting with your prospective photographers, either physically or via a video or phone conference, is one way to ensure that there is some chemistry between you and them. If you are not getting some good vibes, you should listen to your gut feeling and move on to the next prospective photographer.

6. BONUS – Avoid Hiring Multiple Wedding Photography Companies or Individuals

Yes, I understand that in some traditions, a wedding event may be more than one day. In such a situation, you may need more than one photography team. However, hiring 2 separate wedding photography companies to cover one wedding can cause headaches and confusion. Remember that each photography company or each photographer will have their own photography and business styles.

Think about it, you will have two different contracts to sign, two different deliverables, two different teams to manage. Do you really need this headache? Suppose you absolutely must have two separate wedding photography companies. In that case, I recommend combining them into one team with one contract to minimize duplicates and confusion.

Have wedding Photography Questions?

This brings us to the end of this post – if you have wedding photography questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Helping couples get the photos of their dreams on their wedding day is my specialty, and I would be delighted to help you. 

Have questions? Let’s connect here.

If you like this post, you may also be interested in the ones listed below:

5 Reasons to Hire a Profesional Wedding Photographer

Things You Will Want to Fin Into Your Wedding Budget

Tricia and Fitz Fort Lauderdale Wedding at The Crystal Ballroom

South Florida Wedding Photographer And 10 Mistakes To Avoid

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