Wedding photography is a very important decision for couples. Every couple will have their own priorities and therefore you will get a lot of different opinions on the topic of photography. As a wedding professional myself I work very hard to provide my clients with the best service and best value for their money. I know that when it comes to entertainment, you really do get what you pay for. I am positive that this is also true with the wedding photographers.
As a DJ and MC I attend conferences and seminars, I spend a lot of time on the phone helping plan events, I am constantly answering emails and keeping on top of social media, practicing several times a week, etc. Music, insurance, equipment, software and licensing are not cheap. DJs that take the time to do things properly and run a reputable business are generally worth what they charge. You’re not just paying someone to show up and play music for a few hours. It’s very similar with photographers as well. Their equipment and supplies can cost tens of thousands of dollars and dedicated professional put in a lot of time and effort to cater to their customers. When you’re selecting a photographer, you’re not just paying someone to take pictures. You’re paying someone to help coordinate your day, organize people, capture memories that you may not even see coming, their talent, their equipment, their training, the countless hours of editing after-the-fact, and so much more.
My recommendation is to put your money where your memories are. Do your research and select professionals that suit your style. Communicate with your vendors so they know exactly what you are expecting. You should be very comfortable with your chosen wedding professionals. If your expectations are clearly outlined, then the right people will do what they need to do to meet, if not exceed, those expectations.
Speaking of exceeding expectations, Brianna Hillier, owner of Hillier Photography says she is willing to just about anything for her customers. Ihad a mini-interview with Bri and here is what she had to say.
Who are you, and what is your business?
My name is Brianna Hillier and I own and run Hillier Photography (http://www.hillierphotography.com). We specialize in family and wedding photography. All of our photographers are trained and professional.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I prefer to be called Bri, but most kids at weddings call me the girl with the candy. I always carry Rockets in my camera bag. I am very outgoing and love what I do. Family and friends are extremely important to me, I don’t advertise my business at all as I have so many amazing people in my that life chat about my business to others.
How long have you been in business?
I have been a registered business for 7 years now and all my families have been long term and become amazing friends. I absolutely love watching families grow, get married and have families of their own!
How did you get started?
I decided to pursue my dream when I was 19 and enrolled in Fanshawe College Photography program. While I was in school I registered my business fairly early. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I knew this what I wanted to do.
What is your favourite part about your job?
I love KIDS! the crazier the better! On wedding days I always look for the kids that are break dancing or being silly. Kids always make adults laugh and have a good time. I also love raw moments that the bride and groom don’t know when people are watching and they’re just in that perfect moment of happiness.
What sets your business apart from your competitors?
They’re many great photographers in my area, I think what sets myself aside from others is my personality. I am their 100% for you, if you need me to go under your dress and cut a whole in your spanx to pee I’m your girl (true story!) I have also redone brides hair, gone over and beyond in delivering wedding photos. I am pretty much your go to girl! Word of mouth is very important to me and I love seeing on wedding sites my brides and grooms talk about how amazing I was and what crazy things I have done for them to make their day even more special. I truly think its my personality. Anyone can take amazing photographs, but customer service is extremely important.
What is the most important thing a potential client should consider when comparing photographers?
Education, personality and skill hands down! In today’s society everyone has a “nice camera.” But the question is do they know how to work that camera, do they know how to pose you so your “flaws” aren’t showing, can they take control of a wedding and get everyone organized? It’s not just about their skill in taking a photo, they’re is so much more about being a photographer. You really need to get a long with your photographer, be comfortable in asking them tough questions, and not to be scared to ask for something. Also ask to see a full gallery of someones wedding day. Many photographers will only post a few photos of their best work. Education is huge, I really believe that a photographer should have training! Would you hire just someone with nice tools to fix your car or would you hire a licensed mechanic?
What are some important questions for a potential client to ask a photographer?
-What size photos will I receive on my USB?
-Are you a licensed business?
-What happens if you are sick?
-Do you back up your photos after you photograph a wedding?
Anything else you’d like to add?
Wedding photography is a big investment, but its something you will cherish forever. It’s not something you want to rush into deciding. Word of mouth is very important and so is having a good vibe from your photographer. Trust your gut! If you are uneasy or uncomfortable talk to your photographer and get to know them a bit!