As I hinted atÂ in the last post, I actually thought I was on the right track to finding a photographer that fit our needs (those needs being minimal upsell and budget economy).
Unfortunately, I had the audacity to ask for a meeting with the photographer when we were next schedules to be in Jacksonville. That’s when she explained that they work primarily online or over the phone.
Lady, unless you plan to shoot my wedding online or over the phone,
you’d damn well better be able to meet me in person.
Now, I knew this was one of the large national agencies, but I thought I’d been corresponding with the actual photographer in this region. Nope, just the “matchmaker”. If I went with them, I wouldn’t actually be assigned my photographer until a month before the wedding.
I mean, can you imagine not meeting the person who’s going to be all up in your grill for 4 hours or more at the last possible moment? What if they rub you the wrong way? What if you get a creepy vibe from them? What if you just don’t mesh well?
That is NOT the way to get good wedding photos.
So I went back on the hunt for a photographic match for our wedding, only to add a few more items to the Not-So-Best Practices List:
- Not listing prices on your website, or even a starting package range.
- Auto-play music.
- Flash sites that open a new window instead of staying in the current one or otherwise hijack your browser.
- Password-protecting your wedding rate-sheet.
- Being obtuse in email responses.
The first three are pretty common transgressions, almost to be ignored except they truly do make it more difficult to find a vendor to hire. The last two are new encounters, and just as bad when it comes to making commerce that much easier.
Yes, one site really did have a password-protect on their rates page. Not their regular session fees or print packages, but to see the wedding fees you have to have a password. I’m sorry but that’s just patently ridiculous.
Finally, I had contacted one photographer and she was kind enough to send me her 2013 brochure–good job! And I liked the price, so I responded with a question, to clarify whether the stated fee included the disc with reprint rights. “No,” she replied, “the disc is extra.” And that was the end of her reply. Not how much the disc added to the cost, nothing. So I asked the obvious question and have yet to hear a reply.
On the up-side, one photographer I contacted was very nice and has worked up a quote that does fall just within the upper edges of our budget, and she’s local so there’s no issue there. Another one or two I’m waiting to hear back from that also sounded promising.
Feeling like I’m kissing a whole lotta frogs in the search for our photographic prince(ss).
Have you encountered anything else that would fall under not-so-best practices for wedding photographers?