Hiring a South Florida wedding photographer to beautifully capture your amazing wedding will be no doubt a momentous task. And it is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are so many mistakes that some couples will make when they hire their dream wedding photographer. I don’t want this for you. I want you to find and hire the perfect photographer for your wedding.
I have said perhaps a million times that hiring a wedding photographer is problematic because it is personal. Furthermore, wedding photographers can be costly. According to WeddingWire, the average wedding photography cost in Miami is $2000. But just exactly what will you get for that $2000? Will it be 4 hours of photo coverage with some low-resolution digital files, or will you get the works? Who knows?
Given the challenges of finding a photographer whose photos you will love, a photographer with a warm and inviting personality, and a price for your pocketbook, you need the inside scoop. This is where I came in. In this post, I will share with you 10 mistakes to avoid when hiring your south Florida wedding photographer. So, here we go!
The general timeline for planning a wedding is between 14 and 12 months. Most couples will book their wedding photographer immediately after booking their venue. If you plan to book a top wedding photographer in South Florida, you should start your research early.
Don’t wait till the last minute to start looking, and when I say early, I mean as soon as you book your wedding venue, you should be booking your wedding photographer. However, it is totally ok to book your wedding photographer before your wedding venue, although I would highly recommend that you book your venue first. Because the venue will set the stage for the photos – pick a photogenic venue.
Top photographers are usually booked up a year in advance. So, if you want to hire the best, start doing your research early. Make a decision on your photographer and plan to hire them as soon as you secure a venue.
Set a budget before you start looking at photographers. The last thing you want to do is find a photographer whose work you love, only to figure out later that you can’t afford that photographer.
Save yourself the pain and frustration by first setting a budget. And be upfront with the photographer when you talk to them about what your budget is. It is irritating for us photographers to talk to a bride or groom who is playing budget hide and seek. Just tell us what you can afford!
Because there are so many wedding photographers, knowing how much to set aside for your wedding photographer can be mind-boggling. I mean, wedding photographers are not displayed on the shelves at your local grocery store. Or are they? Ha-ha!
You will need to do some homework to determine what your budget should be. To learn more about setting your wedding photography budget, check out my Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide Post. It has an entire section dedicated to the wedding budget.
Ensure that you commit to doing your homework on finding and hiring the wedding photographer that is best for you. Just because your friend told you that Pablo, her boyfriend is a photographer doesn’t mean they are suitable for your wedding. Plus, in today’s South Florida, it may seem like every second person is a photographer.
Here is what you should do:
Nope, no way! You don’t want to do this. If at all possible, do not skip doing an engagement session with your wedding photographer. In some cases, like destination weddings, doing an engagement shoot with your South Florida photographer may be out of the question. But in all other cases, ensure you get an engagement session scheduled before your wedding.
An engagement session allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera and your photographer. It also helps the photographer learn what works best for you and how to best direct and work with you to draw out the sweetest expressions. So, don’t skip this.
Your wedding photographer has photographed hundreds and perhaps thousands of weddings. They have seen and experienced almost everything you can imagine at a wedding. Furthermore, you hired the best photographer because you want beautiful and timeless photos. Don’t sabotage yourself by not listening to your photographer. They got your back and have your best interest at heart.
Of course, it is your wedding too, and if the photographer is suggesting something that is not jiving with you, by all means, please say something. I would rather you tell me that you don’t feel comfortable doing something instead of ending up hating the photos when you received them.
Have you ever gone to the store to purchase something, and the people that worked in the store acted as if they didn’t want your money? Ok, this may have been a lousy analogy. But what I’m trying to convey to you is don’t hire your photographer and then ghost them or be aloof with them.
Creating beautiful wedding photographs is personal. The more you can tell your photographer, the more prepared your photographer will be to create some beautiful photos for you. Plus you will have a lot of fun too!
Giving your photographer a few (5-8) photos that you like is quite alright. It becomes a problem when you go Pinterest looney on your photographer. Don’t send your photographer a Pinterest gallery of photos that you want your photographer to capture. Remember that you hire your photographer because you like their work and personality. Trust your photographer and follow their instruction, and you will be delighted with your photos.
This is a big one! A good wedding planner will know how to work with professional photographers and ensure that they get the photographer’s input before finalizing the wedding day timeline. Creating beautiful wedding photos doesn’t just happen by pointing the camera and clicking the shutter button. It takes time and good planning.
One of the steps in working with couples is a final consult before the wedding day. This consult is usually done approximately 45 days out from the wedding day. The consult allows me to get all the essential information on how the couple sees their wedding day unfolding. Once I have this information, I can prepare for the wedding day photo coverage. Part of my preparation for the wedding day coverage is working with the Planner or the person who will be creating the wedding day timeline.
There is nothing more frustrating than been told that you only have 5 minutes for group photos. This is even more so when the bride and groom have a big family.
The key takeaway here is to keep your photographer in the loop. Don’t finalize your wedding day timeline without the photographer’s input.
OG! This one is just downright disrespectful. Especially when the guest photographer shows up and has no respect for the hired photographer’s working style and preferences. It is ok if you have a family or friend who is a photographer and is attending your wedding as a guest and will take some photos. As long as he or she doesn’t impede the hired photographer’s ability to photograph your wedding.
If you will have another professional photographer photograph your wedding, you must let your photographer know about this upfront before the contract is signed. This way, your photographer can decide if they would be a good fit for your wedding.
Do not have your photographer show up to photograph your wedding and discover another professional photographer is there to photograph your wedding too. This will create conflicts, which will result in you not getting the best service and photos.
I get it! My wife constantly reminds me that it is the couple’s wedding, and they have the right to experience it on their terms. And I really agree with my wife. But I can’t help but get frustrated when a wedding runs late because someone didn’t adhere to the timeline, and now I am crunched for time.
Creating beautiful photos takes time, plus lighting is crucial for quality and consistency. A wedding that is running 10 to 15 minutes behind schedule is no biggie. The problem starts when it is 30 minutes, 45 minutes, and an hour or more late. And yes, I photographed a wedding that was an hour late because the officiant was late. Needless to say, the couples session was less than ideal!
You are paying good money for your photographer. Don’t ruin your wedding day experience by not sticking to the timeline and forcing your photographer to create magic on the fly!
To wrap it up, weddings are complex events that take a lot of time and money to plan and execute. On top of that, you only get one chance to get it right. There are no do-overs! Avoid these mistakes when you are hiring your South Florida wedding photographer, and you will have the wedding photos of your dreams.
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