HOW TO HIRE THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER & VIDEOGRAPHER
By Jessi Koski of Outlive Creative
There are 12 important variables to consider when hiring a wedding photographer and or videographer:
With almost anything, you get what you pay for. Outlive Creative's philosophy is Quality over Quantity.
There are 3 different "styles" in wedding photography. Most styles are used throughout the wedding day during different times.
1. Traditional Style- A lot of posing and setting up a shot
2. Journalist Style- Hands off shooting, no directing, capturing in the moment
3. Classic Style- Merging the traditional with the journalistic
Outlive Creative falls somewhere in the "classic style". I personally prefer a journalistic approach, however in some situations, "setting up a shot" and "posing" is absolutely necessary. I am an expert at directing singles, couples, bridal parties, and family groups. I know composition, balance, aesthetic and pay major attention to details and expressions. My approach is to position the subject /s in the right location, in the right light, in the right way letting them know how to stand, where to place their hands, where to look, smile or not smile and then offer an opportunity for the subject / s to have "real moments" by talking, walking, or joking - thus creating natural and raw expressions.
The amount of years someone has shot, or the amount of weddings someone has captured does not determine the quality of their work. Experience is important for determining performance sake and putting clients as ease. It is important for clients to know that whoever they invest in, will handle the wedding day like a seasoned pro. Due to our amount of experience, we are experts at reacting, performing, improvising and being creative!
Having had worked for multiple companies of all levels, we know exactly what to do and what not to do! Communication, reputation, image, a consistent brand, responsibility, promptness, and respect for ourselves and all others are what we consider to be good traits of professionalism. Depending on where we are and what is going on, our standard policy is to follow up no later than 12 hours. We have a steady work flow and an advanced client management program where our clients have access to their own portal. Having a booking process, informing the clients of what to expect, and having a contract in place is important and beneficial to both parties.
Despite how skilled or professional we are as a photographer and videographer, connecting with you is important. Before you hire anyone, whether it be us or someone else....It is crucial that you communicate with the photographer or videographer from the very beginning to know if they would be a good fit for you. The photographer and or videographer will be with you for the majority of your wedding day. It is important to select someone you are comfortable around.
Referrals are big on the list. People trust word of mouth more than anything else. We gathered this suggestion from multiple wedding blogs to not trust your venues "preferred vendor list". Some of their "referrals" are shared with the right intention, however much of the time, a vendor list is political and an advertisement ploy. If you receive any referrals from friends or family, be sure to ask them these questions:
1. How was their direct communication?
2. How was the booking process?
3. How did they perform on your wedding day?
4. Do they have contracts in place?
Because we have worked over 100 weddings, we have seen it all working as a photographer, and observing the videographer or vice versa. With the exception of factors that are out of our control, we work very efficiently. We pay close attention to detail so if anything is disrupting an image or film clip, we will move it. We know who, what, where and when to capture.
Reviews are important to read before you hire us or anyones else. You are making an investment and as a smart consumer, it is always recommended to do research on what you are going to purchase. To this date, we have never received any bad reviews or feedback from our past or present clients! We strive to make all of our couples happy which is why we invest a lot of our energy before, during, and after the wedding! You can view our reviews HERE.
No Photo VS. VIDEO
A couples top priority is the photography. The photographers know that and the videographers know that. As a photographer, I know video is just as important. Video captures moving moments which conjures emotions and feelings that are impossible for photos to do in the same way. Because I am fully aware of the value and significance of video, and the amount of work and skill it requires, I respect videographers tremendously! I do whatever it takes to allow them to have what they need to produce an amazing video for our client. It should be a team effort. Also, it is important to have a "creative" video session scheduled in the timeline. Video does not translate how photos do. All this to say, we work extremely well as a team, valuing and respecting one another. As creatives, we inspire, push, and feed off of one another on the wedding day to capture the best content we can for our client!
It is important to be familiar with the payment structure before you book! If you hire someone other than us, be sure to have the payment plan in the contract. A retainer fee of 50% is due upon booking. The retainer is required to secure your wedding date in our calendar. If you pay online, a %3 merchant fee of the total amount will be applied. Otherwise, you can send us a check with no additional fee. The remaining balance is due three months before your wedding. We are willing to offer monthly installment payments instead.
If you are interested in particular deliverables that are not included within the base package, don't hesitate to ask! If you choose to hire someone else and you want an album, or a trailer film...make sure that they can provide you with specific requests first before you commit! You can view our add on's HERE. You can view our fine art products HERE.
Contracts are important to have in place for your protection and benefit. If you choose to hire someone other than us, be sure that they have detailed contracts in place for your safety and liability. This also reflects professionalism and legitimacy!