I thought I’ d try a little experiment and put myself in the shoes of a future bride (not literally) and see what it’s like to find a Central Coast Wedding Photographer for an upcoming wedding.
The first thing I would do and I suspect most couples do is head for Google and search for Central Coast Wedding Photographers, Wedding Photography Central Coast or something similar. With that search I came up with about 460,000 matches!
Ok, from that I thought I’d stick to the first page or two and have a look around at what everyone was offering. It was pretty easy to see that some of the operators are very good at getting their page rank up in google but their websites and photos were less than inspiring. It is interesting to note that not any photographers will advertise their prices on the net. I guess everyone wants a chance to talk about what they offer rather than have ‘everyone’ simply shopping on price?
Some websites were difficult or confusing to navigate, some were very slow to load, some wouldn’t load at all on my iPhone and some are just plain tacky or even ugly. There were a few that kept me interested though. A couple of sites that had me clicking past the home page included those by; Neville Prosser, Vibe Photography, Bella Photo Art and of course, our new site at Impact Images!
I did notice that there are a few Sydney photographers that come up as well as bridal directories. I had a look at the Sydney sites but there was nothing there that held my attention for too long in the first couple of pages in my search. The bridal directories were just painful – narrowing my searches until I ended up with a bunch of links that google gave me anyway?
Once I was into the different websites, I went looking for info and photos to get a feel what sort of photography everyone is doing – what each studio offers that may separate them from the others. Ultimately, I was looking at photos and if they grabbed me, I went looking for info. It was pretty easy to get a feel of the style of images that most photographers shoot and it made it easy for me to narrow down who I would going to call.
Well, I’d call the studios/photographers and try to get some more info and get a feel for them. I’d ask about availability and certainly about cost – I wouldn’t know what else to ask?
That done, I would decide to see two or three different Central Coast photographers that were available for my day to see what they offer in person and personality.
What should you do if you absolutely love the first photographer that you see and so does your partner? My advice would be to at least see one other, just to reinforce that you’re making the right decision. After all, this is a big investment! Once the cake’s gone, the food’s been eaten, the dress packed away and the suits returned, all you’ll be left with are your photos.
Some questions I’d be asking when I met with a prospective photographer include:
- What do you do if it’s raining?
- Do you have any examples of rainy wedding photos?
- What if you’re sick?
- Are you going to be the actual photographer on the day?
- Do I get the Hi Res files – are they colour enhanced?
- Is there an album included?
- How expensive are extra album pages?
- What is the real cost of an average album?
- Have you been to my wedding location before?
- Can I see a complete wedding from start to finish – not just the highlights?
If your photographer can answer all these easily and they appear to know what they are talking about, have a great personality you think will bring out the best in you – I’d be booking.
NOTE: At Impact Images, we try to answer as many of your questions as possible on our website which you can see by clicking here.
What about other ways to find a photographer?
Some other great ways to narrow down your choices when you go looking would be word of mouth referrals. If you know someone that raved about their wedding photographer, I’d definitely be interested. I would however, like to see their photos. Their idea of great images may not be yours. They may like a completely different style than you, for example – 100% photojournalistic rather than directed and natural.
Another great way to find a photographer is with industry referrals. Once you’ve booked your reception venue, church or celebrant, you could ask them for recommendations. Usually, industry referrals are good referrals as nobody wants to jeopardise their reputation by referring someone bad.
No matter how you narrow your search, google them and look around their site to get a feel for them. You’ll know pretty quickly, who is in the running for your wedding photography pretty early on.
One last tip. I found that looking through a photographers Blog Site was a great way to see ‘real’ wedding photos, not just a highlight image or two from the very best weddings photos they’ve taken. With a wedding photography blog, it is easy to see who’s busy, how consistent they are and to get an even better idea of style.
Good luck choosing your Central Coast wedding photographer!
If you aren’t looking for a wedding photographer on the Central Coast, you can easily apply the system above to any location. Chose either an area where you live or where your wedding will be and search with that criteria. If for example you lived in Newcastle and were having your wedding in the Hunter Valley Vineyards I would suggest you search for both Newcastle wedding photographers and Hunter Valley wedding photographers and narrow your choices from there.You will have to be mindful though of traveling fees when searching this way.
If say for example, a Newcastle wedding photographer charges $200 travelling fee to photograph a wedding in the Hunter Valley this may at first seem exorbitant. But consider, you may have to make three or four separate trips to the Hunter Valley if you book a photographer in the vineyards.
1. To meet the photographer – the initial consult
2. To see your images or pick up a disc of images or proof book
3. An album design session
4. Collection of your album or framed enlargements
If the inconvenience and cost of these post wedding trips outweigh the $200 traveling fee, forget the Hunter Valley Wedding Photographer and stick with the Newcastle wedding photographers.