We get it, trust me. There are well over 2,000 photographers in Tampa Bay offering Wedding Photography Services. How can you possibly choose?
Well. We have ways. Oh yes, we have ways.
Right off the bat, you're likely getting a name from a friend, or searching the internet. Both are useful tactics. Also, get lists from your other vendors of who they like to work with. Most venues have "Preferred Vendor Lists". One caveat here, some are paid lists, so... you're not necessarily getting the "best", you're getting a list of advertisers. Ask, most places are honest about it. A true preferred list is much more valuable.
Once you've found some photographers, sit down, spend some time, and really look at their work and their websites. You will be spending a lot of time with this photographer, and a LOT of money for what they do. I'd think that warrants more than a cursory glance at their work, don't you?
Here's my best advice on finding a wedding photographer that fits what YOU want:
- Like the work you see any prospective photographer showing. If you don’t like what you see, move on. What they show is supposedly their best, it won’t change for your wedding.
- Don’t overdo the research! Narrow down to 10 photographers whose online presence and work you like. Any more and you will go nuts.
- Contact each of those 10. I’d bet about half won’t respond. Why? I have no idea. I respond even if we’re not available, that’s the professional thing to do. So, in this way you find out who is professional and worth your time, and who isn’t.
- Now you’re probably down to 2–5 photographers, maybe at most 3. Set up face-to-face meetings with them all if you can. If that’s not possible, at least talk on the phone. Make an appointment for this so there’s no distractions or anything to end the talk abruptly.
- Decision time. Using all the information gathered, pick one. In all likelihood, you have 3 great choices, so you really can’t go wrong. Just remember, as each day passes, other brides are doing the same thing, possibly for your date.
- Trust in your decision. You did the legwork, let your photographer do their job. Work with them, and give your suggestions and ideas, sure, but don’t try to change them into something they’re not. See #1.
And, there you are. Sure, this is simplified, but, this is a serious process and your choices will greatly impact your Wedding Day. Choose wisely and do the research and you will be rewarded with not only amazing photographs that fit your style and preferences, but a wonderful experience working with a vendor who understands and "gets" you. That's what we strive for with each of our couples.
Thanks and have a great day!