Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Photographer Questions Part I: Pre-meeting

Here are some things that I think should be established before actually taking time out of your day to meet with a photographer.

1) Price. What is your price? How much are albums? How much for x, x, and x.
2) Time. How much time do we get?
3) Availability. Duh.
4) Mileage. Is your venue within their range or are they going to charge you for travel.
5) Work. This can be in the form of their blog if you haven't seen it or some recent slideshows. If at all possible, get a full album because the pics on their site, slideshow, and blog are all cream of the crop and doesn't get you the overall representation of their work.
6) If you're brave, Negotiate. I have negotiated with photographers before even meeting with them over the phone or over email. It can be done so it doesn't have to be done later.

1-3 you will most likely get in the initial email back from the photographer, but sometimes you don't. Some like to talk to you to get a sense in which case negotiations become a lot easier.

Don't waste time. Get the facts.

Calling you out!

I went off on a rant before about someone's professionalism here and after the meeting I am 100% we are not going with them, so now it is time to reveal who the vendor is. Drum rolllllllllll please....and the winner is: Zenia Photography. So I got to admit, I wanted this to work, but it just couldn't. I even got a little sneaky and ran a test. I emailed her with another email to see how long it would take her to respond now that she is off her "baby vacation" and she responded within two days. So not bad, not spectactular, but reasonable. I hear she is a nice person. I her she is girly. If that is your thing, then she is your girl. But don't expect lightning responses. Except to wait. Except to be left hanging. Beware. I warned you.

Also her pictures on her site are nice. Nice enough to warrant an interview. Then you see the whole thing and it falls apart. You can never judge a book by its cover, always ask for a full album to see everything!

Friday, December 12, 2008

I need help

I am starting to think that this is really becoming Mission Impossible. Our projections have us going past our budget by a long shot and even guests not showing up can't help us. It is all those extra things that are independent of the guests. So I started reading WeddingBeePro, yeah don't give me shit, and found that the avg wedding cost $15K in states. Ok this number is probably alittle inflated for Cali, but still, maybe 20K. So that is what we are trying to aim for. So this wed coordinator was trying to get vendors together so that she could do 15K weddings. I think I need to enlist her. There are things that I don't know, that my married friends don't know (esp my married friends) and that most people don't know that only the pros know. I have no qualms with paying the wedding coordinator 1-2k if she saves me 4-5k. I'll take that deal any day. Maybe it is time to give this person a call to see if she is remotely local to SoCal and have her start revamping our budget and expectations so that we don't spiral out of control.

Who needs a DJ when you got an iPod

So begins the search for the next vendor who would like to suck the money out of my wallet. This next vendor is the DJ. The guy who spins music or rather hits some buttons to play music from his computer. Can't I do that? Can't I just jack some mixes from the radio and mix them together to make one long ass track? I think I can. I think I can set it up so it looks like there is a DJ. Move the MC duties to someone else, like a cousin or friend or something. But then people wouldn't be able to get their requests in like "I Like Big Butts" or "Ice, Ice Baby" or "Rumpshaker" or the classic "Hoochie Mama".

I think the DJ is going to be more than I hoped for since we are pigeon holed into using a list. Well that is what happens when you got a cheap place, got to play by their rules.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

About F'ing time!

Seriously! Seriously? Seriously!

Yeah I know who I sound like, but seriously. I thought you died. I thought you went to heaven. Heck maybe you went on a world wide vacation. You don't email. You don't blog. You don't even phone. Where on earth could you go? Yes I know you are preggers and congrats to that, but you aren't giving birth or anywhere close to it, so why are you MIA. This is the modern world and you have a blog and a website so you must have a computer and an email program. Do you check it on a daily basis? I bet you do. I bet you check it 3, 4, or even 5 times a day. You are a professional right? Not an amateur I think. You will charge me money if I choose YOU, so shouldn't you impress me? Is business really that good? You make that much money that you don't want mine? I know you said that you won't be accepting new clients till Dec, but does that mean you don't respond till Dec either? I wrote multiple times on multiple dates. I even called. I feel like a stalker now. If I didn't like your work so much I would openly bash you twenty times over. Post after post about lack of professionalism. Maybe you should read the post about 3 old. Learn a thing or two. Take a hint. Improve.

Get this! I call and you don't call back. You email. Seriously? The only thing I got from calling you was that I learned how to pronounce your name. So you write, woo hoo! 9am meeting? At your place? Seriously? So now you don't write, don't call and I have to drag myself out to YOUR place early? And on a weekend when I should be sleeping in! Not even half way? You that lazy? Must be since you don't call or write.

3 months I have been in pursuit. Seriously? You better not f'ing disappoint.


Monday, December 1, 2008

Photographers going Dirt Cheap

I've got this phatty list of wedding photographers ranging from out of budget to in budget. I have left out the way out of budget because if you need that list then you are reading this for humor. So the question is where to you do find the dirt cheap photographers. Those photographers who will charge you less than $100 and hour. Where else do you go for cheap stuff? The Goodwill of the internet of course: Yes, hop over to the classified ads king of the internet and go to "For Sale" and search for "wedding photographer" or "wedding photography" and someone may pop up. Hey, if it don't work one week then try again next week. I did this a while back after I had exhausted my resources and didn't do it again until this week. In my search for camera equipment a wedding photographer with the right keywords popped into my RSS reader and the pictures looked good enough to warrant a look (I may also add that her price was pretty darn low also). So if you ever need to find someone cheap you might want to look at Craigslist.

Just another tip is that if you are looking for super cheap, check out your local photography, art or community college and post a listing outside the classroom door and some student who wants to build a portfolio may contact you. If anything they might give you a free shoot.

Also I don't recommend having a friend shoot your wedding unless A) you are dead ass broke and can't afford new shoelaces for your shoes in which case I don't know why in god's earth you are having a wedding that will put you in the hole FOREVER B) your friend is a studly photog who is offering his services as a wedding present in which case I want to befriend them on Facebook so hooooook it up C) your friend is a half stud who has done a wedding before and will willingly take the job knowing that he can't have fun at the wedding with his friends and will sacrifice his whole night of getting wasted on your dime for you D) well there is no D, so those 3 reasons are the only way I would let a friend shoot my wedding and so should U!