Happy #WeddingWednesday lovely friends!

Normally we use this digital space to offer our readers & fellow wedding lovers some delicious, local wedding inspiration to get them through the rest of the week.  So you might be looking at the title of today’s blog and asking yourself, “wait was this one written for me?”

The short answer: YES! Read on!

We decided to start sharing some wedding photography expertise here, on top of the fabulous real weddings that remind us just how magical our jobs are, because our community deserves it. Plus, after shooting 500+ weddings, we do have a few tips and tricks to share!

And, now that the captain of our creative ship is engaged — yes, Shayla is engaged! — we have some experience actually booking the wedding vendors we typically work side-by-side with.

So for wedding photographers who want an outsider’s opinion, and for engaged couples who was some insider advice, this is for you!

1. DIRECT PRICING

Yeah, yeah, we know — everyone gets a little shudder up their spine when they think about talkin’ money. Or do they?!

Photographers: Most millennials, it turns out, actually prefer to have direct conversations about prices, add-ons, budgets, and such! With so much information available online, the digital clutter can get to be pretty overwhelming.

Having upfront pricing readily available & easy to locate on your website makes all the difference in the world. You probably would prefer to chat & connect with the couples who feel comfortable paying the rates you charge, right?

They feel the same way!

So why don’t we, as a community, save everyone some time and let couples know what we’re working with.

Lovebirds: Running into the same issue we did? Keep in mind that, up until recently, it was a bit gouache to put your pricing front and center on your website. It’s going to take some time for that old-school way of thinking to fully fade out!

Also, wedding photographers are people. (In case you forgot, wink!) Often times, these artists will have multiple price tiers for packages, optional add-ons, and creative compromises.

We’re not saying you should reach out to that dream wedding photographer with 50 bazillion instagram followers & try to talk their prices down. (Definitely don’t do that, haggling is a big no-no when it comes to hiring wedding professionals.)

But, keep in mind there might be options available to you that, at least for right now, aren’t clear on their website.

(Hopefully all wedding photographers will get on the train soon and have their pricing packages easy to access — we can dream, right?!)

2. IT’S ALL ABOUT VIBES

Now, this one might seem redundant because our opinions on prices and vibes go hand-in-hand, but there’s some nuance here!

Photographers: It’s no secret that we live in an intensely performative age. With social media being integral to success as a photographer, everything you shoot ends up being seen and ingested by tons and tons of people.

There are always going to be other photographers doing something like what you’re doing.

Instead of wasting energy focusing on the other photographers in your community, let’s focus on what you do have that’s special. You!

You, and, of course, your prices. Whether you’re on the higher or the lower end of the budget spectrum, your focus should be on finding the couples who are both comfortable with your prices and with your personality. (AKA, vibe compatibility.)

Lovebirds: Did you read the section above, even though it wasn’t technically for you? Good job, you wedding-detective, you!

What we said stands — if you find a photographer whose style you love, but whose prices you don’t love, don’t fret.

There’s always going to be a photographer doing something similar but with a different price point.

It’s true that experience, consistency, and quality are great markers to look out for when researching local wedding photographers in your area. But also remember that the person you choose to hire is going to be there on a very special, extraordinarily delicate, and once-in-a-lifetime day — so you better get along with them!

(That’s why we work with couples who feel like friends to us, it makes everything so much more fun!)

Keep that in mind while you’re on the hunt for your perfect wedding photographer — especially if you’re a bit camera shy. The right photographer for you will be the one who makes you feel comfortable, beautiful, and special. Don’t settle for any less!

3. BE NICE!

Whew! This one we can not over-emphasize enough!

Photographers: Trust us, we know how much love, time, blood, sweat, and tears you put into your business. It is, after all, a whole business resting on your lens!

So much work goes into refining your craft, bettering your style, designing your website, etc., etc., etc.. You deserve a pat on the back for making it as far as you have!

With that in mind, it’s no wonder how frustrating it can be to hear things from couples, guests, and random people on the internet about your art. (Troll commenters, cousins who think they could do better with their DSLRs, and abrasive people in general, we’re looking at you!)

But now, more than ever of course, it’s time to just simply do our best to be nice to each other. Most people simply don’t know how much goes into being a wedding photographer, especially when we all make it look so easy. (Another wink!)

How did that Hanlon quote go again?

Never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

Or something like that.

Lovebirds: Did you read that one too, super sleuth!?

That’s where our advice for engaged couples begins and ends as well. There’s so much happening behind the scenes, even if it seems like all your wedding photographer does is point and shoot their big, intimidating camera at your Aunt Betty.

(In fact, there might even be another blog post on this specific topic coming up soon!)

Keep that in mind when you’re reaching out to wedding photographers. They — we! — are creative people, artists, business owners, social media marketers, website designers, and so much more. Not to mention all of the things we are outside of wedding photography too — parents, spouses, sons and daughters, friends, coworkers, mentors.

So we, the Shayla Cristine Photography team, promise to try our very best to keep kindness and consideration at the forefront of everything we do. We know you’ll offer us the same!

Ps.. you may be wondering who Shay and her beau decided to have photograph their wedding… I guess we will have to wait and see!! xo

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