Today's Monday Wedding Madness comes from a bride who is inquiring what the difference is between hiring an individual photographer for your wedding vs. going with a national company.
"I have been looking into photographers for my upcoming wedding and am confused with my options. I've looked into wedding photographers who run their own business and studio companies that employ multiple photographers. I have heard both good and bad about the companies and was wondering what the difference is? It's all confusing to me!"
First lets define what we are going to call the Individual Photographer and what we are calling the National Company.
- Individual photographers are photographers who run their own business and photograph their own weddings. Think of your local photographer. (Jasmine Norris Photography would fall into this category).
- National Company would be a company that has multiple photographers who they use to photograph their weddings. (The Pro's, Wedding Bug, George Street Photo would fall into this category).
Now lets dive into the pros and cons of each.
- the person you meet with will be the person who will photograph your wedding which gives you a more personalized experience
- you are able to see examples of their work
- you communicate directly with them throughout the wedding planning process
- tends to have slightly higher prices
- depending on your photographer you may not have a wedding coverage guarantee, if something happens to your photographer they may not be able to find you a replacement
- tends to be a little cheaper since they pay their photographers/workers a flat/hourly rate
- guaranteed wedding coverage, if something happens to the person who is supposed to photograph your wedding they will provide you with someone else
- you do not meet with the person who will be photographing your wedding, but with a wedding coordinator
- depending on the company, you may not be able to choose your photographer
- the example images that you are shown may not be from the photographer who will photograph your wedding
- no personalized experience, most times you won't get to talk to the person who is photographing your wedding until a few weeks before your wedding
The most important advice that I can give you when looking for a photographer is to read reviews and look at their work. If you do decide to go with a national company make sure you are able to see an example of a full wedding from the photographer who will be photographing your wedding. If they refuse, go elsewhere.
Ultimately the decision is up to you! You will have to weigh the pros and cons of each and choose one that fits your wedding the best. Happy wedding planning!
* I would like to note that your experiences will differ with your location. For example a national company might have amazing reviews and photographers in one area and the majority of customers are satisfied, however they may have bad reviews and unsatisfied customers in another area. Same thing with the individual photographers, you may have a ton of great individual photographers in your area or you may not have any. This is where online reviews and word of mouth comes in. Research your photographers (and other vendors) and make sure they provide what you are needing.
Monday Wedding Madness is a blog series that occurs every Monday and answers the questions you have about wedding photography. Have a question you would like to have answered or something that you wish you would have known before your wedding or are you a wedding professional who would like to contribute? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.