It's a tough market out there for a wedding photographer in Tampa and St. Petersburg. One of the things I've noticed is that people seem to break down into two types when it comes to picking a wedding photographer. Some want a wedding photographer and some want an event photographer. The problem occurs when a person thinks they want a wedding photographer but wants to pay an event photographer rate.
Confused yet? Allow me to explain...
First, lets help you figure out what you really want for your wedding. Are you getting married in a big ceremony with reception? Are you sending out announcement cards? Do you want a wedding album? Would you like professional level prints with retouching? Do you need to sit down with your photographer and discuss in detail what you want on the day of the wedding? Would you like engagement pictures or bridal pictures? If these things sound right for you than you need a wedding photographer.
Are you getting married in a small ceremony on the beach and you want a photographer to come take pictures for a few hours and give you a CD or DVD with all the images (no prints, no retouching)? When you think of your wedding photographer, do you think, "I just need someone to come take good pictures and document the event." You want an event photographer.
In Tampa and St. Petersburg you get a lot of small, beach weddings. Many times these weddings are on a tight budget and can't imagine spending $1000 or more on a wedding photographer. That's when it's good to know that you can hire an event photographer and save money. In my case, I do both event photography and wedding photography but when someone pays for a wedding package, they get much more. If you hire me at my event rate you may never meet me until the day of the wedding. I show up on time, stay as long as you are paying me for, shoot hundreds of pictures, burn them to CD for you and we're done. Because I am a professional portrait and wedding photographer, I'll naturally do whatever I can to get you good pictures.
However, if you hire me at my wedding photographer rate I'll bring you in for a consultation before you ever sign the contract and show you everything I can do for you. I'll help you figure out what you really want from the day. I may show up at the rehearsal dinner and snap some casual pics, scout the wedding venue to determine the best places to shoot and how the light falls. I'll do an engagement session or bridal session with you. If you are purchasing a wedding album I'll have that in mind as I work so that I'm sure to get pictures that will make great backgrounds and decorations. Your book and any portraits will be retouched by hand so that they are magazine quality. The list goes on...
The point is, there's something for everyone. With a wedding package you get so much more in terms of time and commitment from your photographer that you naturally have to pay more for it. With an event photographer you get a bargain price but your photographer probably won't be thinking about your wedding until he's on his way to it.
Booray Perry is a wedding photographer in Tampa St. Petersburg