Yes, we're biased. We want you to pick us
Let's just get that out of the way. Do you remember when you called in about your cellphone plan and someone tried to tell you how great it would be if you added voicemail to your package? Can you imagine their response if you said something like, "I think I do need voicemail, but I'm going to get it from another provider." They just assume that because you are talking to them, you are going to want to work with them. Sometimes this isn't true and hey, we're totally, A1A cool with that.
Wait a second... you're telling me I should shop around?
Heck yes! Do you know that the wedding photography industry is completely unregulated? There are some organizations that attempt to regulate it by offering professional memberships etc, but there is no real regulator. That means anyone - including us - can throw up a website and claim to be "The number 1 most sought after best ever in all of the land wedding photographer in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the Planet Earth." For real. People can totally do that and no one can really call them out or stop them. So we're telling you to shop around so you can discover who is legit and who is not. (hint - we are def. legit)
Wedding planning is one heck of a stressful endeavour. At least that's what I've been told.
It's strange, the stress of wedding planning really seems to vary from person to person. What is stressful for some is a whole bucket of fun for someone else. One thing I've noticed is that the people who claim to be not-stressed are the ones who are able to be confident in their decisions. They do this by researching, deciding, and then committing.
You want the best time ever. We get that.
It's no joke. It's an important day. There are many dynamics at play. You've been thinking about this day since you were a little girl. The photographer of your dreams is out there, you just need to know where to look. First things first:
Hour 1: Google Search.
This is what you've probably been doing ever since you realized you need to book a photographer. Google is the best place to find someone you want, but it can also lead you down a rabbit hole and leave you with a whole lot of decisions to make. Commit to picking 5 photographers and stick with it.
Hour 2: Emails.
There is no point in investing a ton of time researching a photographer if they aren't even available for your wedding day. Besides, what if you fall in love with someone who is not available or way outside of your price range? Email the 5 you selected, request availability and pricing and move on.
Hour 3: Research
Assuming you've heard back from everyone you reached out to (side note, we aim to respond immediately to all inquiries. We believe in super fast communication) Now you can really dive in to their portfolios. Most wedding photographers will have a gallery of their best work which can be prrreeeety impressive. What about the rest of the stuff? Are you able to view an entire wedding on their blog or are they only showing a 'highlight reel'? Look for testimonials - google reviews and Facebook reviews are crucial. Sure, you can fake a few of them but a photographer that is bonafide will have many positive reviews.
Hour 4: Ask for advice
You've picked your favourite photographer who is available and inside your budget. Now it's time to bring in the big guns. Ask your wedding party and your mom and your sisters and anyone else in your life whose advice you feel would help you. Word of mouth is huge so maybe they've attended a wedding this photographer has shot? Maybe they don't like the way some of the photos look. Any advice is great, but it's just that. Always go with your gut instinct.
Hour 5: Sit down and chat
Critical moment here. Schedule a time to meet for coffee and chat. You absolutely must do everything you can to meet your photographer before you book. We've booked many clients we haven't actually met but there has always been a tremendous amount of communication and at least 1 Skype or face-time. You need to click. You need to feel confident with your photographer. You need to think, "Hey, I could totally see myself being friends with this person." A wedding photographer is going to put you at ease when you're feeling stressed. Most people I know are not professional runway models and aren't that comfortable with a camera in their faces. A good photographer will put you at ease.
Hour 6: Review and book
This is kind of the boring part. You need to go over the contract/agreement and make sure you understand it all. If you don't, ask the photographer to clarify. What does image rights mean? What does printing rights mean? You also need to know what is included. Are you scheduling an engagement session or do you have to pay extra? What about albums? Can you email anytime leading up to the wedding with a question or are you limited to one consultation. It's boring, but it's important.
You've done it, Yay!
Well done, in what takes some couples literally months to choose you've done in only 6 hours. You can now feel comfortable with your selection of One Blue Fish Photography (I kid, I kid!) and know that you are going to get some really great wedding photography. There are some really really amazing artists in and around Halifax and I would say anyone on at least the first 3 pages of google is definitely worthy of checking out. Good luck with the rest of your wedding planning and remember to enjoy every moment of it!