Hiring a Wedding Photographer? Know This.

Whether you’re looking to hire a photographer your friend used, one you’re related to, or a pro who has been doing it for 10+ years, you’ll want to remember these 7 important hiring and planning tips.

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1. BUDGET FOR YOUR WANTS.
It’s always a good idea to plan all of your most important vendors first while your budget is fresh and flexible. Then find ways to cut costs in other details of your day you’re not as concerned with. If having quality memories are a high priority you’ll want a wide budget range you can choose from to spend on your photographer. This way, when you do find the perfect one, you can seal the deal immediately!

{After all…you can’t go back and re-shoot your wedding day!}

2. EXPERIENCE LEVELS & EXPECTATIONS.
The old saying goes, “you get what you pay for,” but there’s certainly nothing wrong with looking for a good deal to try staying within budget. Just keep this saying in mind when setting your expectations for your service and final product(s).

A wedding day brings A LOT of variables which a newer photographer may not be prepared to handle physically, mentally, or yes, emotionally. Of course, mistakes and difficulties can happen to anyone. The difference being a seasoned artist will, usually, be able to recover or fix it later.

This tip boils down to just keeping your frame of mind in the right place. A pro will have a more flawless outcome, while an amateur is going to have a few extra slip ups. It’s great to “help someone build their portfolio,” but be sure you’ll be content with whatever the final results may be.

Now, whether they’re a pro or an amateur these next tips are a must!

3. GET MORE THAN ONE PERSON’S WORD.
Even your best friend’s referral can be wrong. (A story I’ve heard SO many times…) So take a little extra time to do some research.

– Look for positive reviews, even if they’re not all for weddings. (Check popular sites like Facebook, Google and\or their website.) If they have no reviews to show ANYWHERE, be cautious. It’s possible they stopped allowing reviews on social media for a reason…

– Talk specifically to multiple past clients. People LOVE to help others. Reach out (whether you know them or not) and just see what they have to say. Even ask several people from the same event so you can get various viewpoints. (Bride, mother of groom, bridesmaids and etc.)

These little extra steps will make sure you didn’t miss something masked by a friend of the business, or lack of media.

4. CONSULTS ARE YOUR FRIEND.
Take the opportunity to chat in person or on the phone with a couple artists you love. It gives you a chance to get to know how different artists work, the personality of each, and the general price range you can expect of photographers you prefer. In a nutshell, you’ll find which pretty picture will also give you a great experience. (Or on the other hand, be leery of anyone who won’t take the time to chat with you before booking!)

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5. THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDIN’!
Ok, it may not be in the pudding, but it is in the work. Always ask the artist if you can see a full wedding portfolio. Have them put together a highlight gallery of a wedding from start to finish. If they can’t or won’t do this simple request – take it as a red flag.

6. PUT IT IN WRITING.
Oh, it’s your best friend’s sister shooting the wedding? Well then, no big deal….just kidding, it’s still a big deal. Get everything they say they’ll do, or include, in writing. Most everyone sets out with good intensions. Unfortunately, when problems arise, there are a few folks who will abandon what they promised in order to make their life easier, or keep easy money.

Yes, a contract will likely hold you to a few standards, as well, but over all it’s there to help protect both parties. Please don’t think you’re saving yourself a headache by skipping a little paperwork!

7. A TRIAL RUN.
Along with a million other reasons I won’t get into now, your engagement session can be an EXTREMELY useful tool. In the case of choosing a photographer, think of it as a preview to your artist’s methods and business standards.

If things really don’t go well take it as a hint. (ie. photos not being delivered, poor quality of work, poor communication and etc.) Never feel pressured to stay with an artist you are currently having a bad experience with. You’d be better off losing a little deposit/session money than to have someone you can’t trust shoot your wedding day!

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Now let’s hear from you. Any tips you’d like to add? Just drop them in the comments.

Looking for your wedding portrait pro? Find general info and galleries by Noel Photography and Design with the link below. If you think we’d be a good fit let’s plan a consult! I’d LOVE to check off the list above with you. 😉
http://www.noelportfolio.com/experience-your-wedding-day/

Until next time…
Happy Creating!

Jen

New Years 2018

If I’m being honest, 2019 is hitting me like a freight train. I feel as though yesterday was January 1, 2018, and I was planning the fantastic year that just happened. While I wish it would have went just a little slower, it all added up to way too much fun, a list full of new and returning clients that my heart is bursting over, and the start of many new personal and business ventures that I can’t wait to share with you all throughout the new year.

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A QUICK NOTE.
As always, I have to start off with a THANK YOU, and not just out of habit. It’s been a long time dream of mine to run a creative business, and the fact I have such a strong support system through clients, community, friends and family is something to obsess over. So thank you. Every year. Every month. Every day for your business and support. It’s all of you who help to make small businesses successful.

ON THE HOME FRONT.
The beginning of the year started off like a whirlwind. My sister tied the knot to the love of her life in January. During which, for the first (and hopefully only) time, I took on the challenge of shooting and participating in a wedding at the same time! Let me tell you folks – it’s was as wild as it sounds. But their day was absolutely beautiful, and it pumped me full of steam for the rest of the year.

As some may know, this was a huge year of learning for me after being diagnosed fructose intolerant at the end of 2017.  I can’t begin to explain how this flipped my life upside down. But to give you an idea – fructose is in everything. Literally. It’s been a long, emotional, and continuing process, but I’m finally getting the hang of what to do to feel better – and I am so thankful!

My sweet other half, Shayne, and I celebrated 3 years in October, and we finally had an opportunity to move closer to our careers. We are still on the hunt for a home to purchase and call our own, but for the time being we are pretty tickled to be closer to our work community, and friends! (PS. If anyone is selling 10 acres of property, or a rural home, outside of Hebron we’d LOVE to chat. 😉 )

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WHAT’S COMING FOR NOEL P&D.
After a crazy year of portraits and projects I am so excited to have re-structured my collections for 2019, and re-designed a lot of the website (still in progress.) (www.noelportfolio.com) All in hopes to better the experience of each client.

In a nutshell, clients will know exactly what to expect from each session, and have a range of creative and time-length options to choose from. As a huge added bonus to this re-structure, the turn around and delivery should also become lighting fast! As part of my new collections, most session images will now be delivered in an online gallery which can be downloaded instantly to your devices. Talk about easy!

*(There are a lot of details with each session type, so be sure to check them out online, or contact the studio for questions!)

HERE COMES THE NEW YEAR.
Thank you all once again for making me your creative of choice. I pray 2019 will be full of blessings for you all, and I look forward to seeing you again soon. Wishing everyone a (belated) Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

XO- Jen, Noel Photography and Design