The tree is lit up, the presents are wrapped and if you’re part of the 25% of lucky couples, you – my dearest bride-to-be; will be getting a bright new shiny ring around your finder for Christmas. You’ll cry, you’ll have a beaming smile and you’ll start daydreaming about your wedding day. A few days later, when the planning starts, you’ll head over to Google and type in one simple phrase… find me a wedding photographer!
Toronto wedding photographers are typically some of the first wedding vendors to be booked. The months of December, January and February are known in the industry as ‘engagement season’. It’s the time when a huge percentage (around 40%) of couples get engaged and shortly after booking a venue, photography is the next on the to-do list.
So how do you find a wedding photographer? Truthfully, there are a million ways. If you really want to get candid, though (and if you frequent this blog, you’ll already know that being candid is our specialty) let’s discuss some of the things to avoid doing when trying to find the best Toronto wedding photographer.
Don’t get a budget without doing a little research first. The average couple, in Canada, budgets between $2,500-$3,000 for wedding day photography. This gives an average package; full coverage and digitals but rarely extras like albums or prints. If you want an above average package, you have to expect to pay an above average price.
Don’t automatically choose the ‘cheapest’ photographer or the one who is offering a ‘special’. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a photographer has a really low pricing point or has lower pricing AND includes albums, second shooters, etc, your spidey sense better start tingling. Something is fishy with that. Photographers who are offering discounts or incentives, especially at engagement season, may seem appealing – but truthfully, it should be putting up a red flag. This is prime season for photographers to be booking – so why, when the demand is high, would you purposefully sell yourself for less? There’s only one reason…
Don’t confuse quantity with quality. Some photographers may have okay photos but use the power of marketing to win you over. They’ll offer discounts, incentives or throw in “extras” for you if you book sooner rather than later. Never confuse the quantity of goods in a package with the actual quality of the images you’ll be receiving. At the end of the day, regardless of albums, prints or other extras… do you LOVE the photos? That’s what’s important. Don’t be swept up by marketing.
Don’t underestimate the importance of experience. It’s understandable to want to save money; it’s human nature. We always look for the “deal”. So many wedding blogs out there encourage newly engaged couples to book with newer, less experienced vendors in order to save some money – but the value that comes along with experience is something that truly is priceless. An experienced photographer will be able to provide you with consistent and high quality images regardless of the difficulty of the situation they may face. An experienced photographer has a plethora of gear as well as knowledge to adapt to new lighting conditions or last minute changes without it affecting your images. For a once-in-a-lifetime day, hiring someone with experience will provide you with not only awesome images but peace of mind that you made the right choice.
Well there you have it folks, a few of our favourite and completely candid words of advice for those of you trying to find a wedding photographer. Once you set up a few interviews, don’t forget to read our comprehensive article about questions to ask your wedding photographer (and what the answers really mean) before heading to your meeting.