When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer

Maumee Wedding Photographer

When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer?

Michigan Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyCongratulations on your engagement! I’m sure by now you have heard that statement about a million times. After all, it’s not just exciting for you to be engaged, it’s also exciting for all those around you. But I bet you didn’t know that planning a wedding would be so much work!
Maumee Wedding PhotographerThe very first thing that needs to be done when planning a wedding is choosing the date or potential date. The next thing you should do is make a preliminary guest list. Knowing how many people are on your guest list will help you prepare your budget. Obviously, the more people that are on your guest list, the more you will need for your budget.

The next thing you should do is find the perfect venue or venues for your ceremony and reception. Remember that there are thousands of brides and grooms getting married every year in our area. Keeping an open mind and having different choices will prevent you from being disappointed if your dream venue is unavailable on your dream wedding date.

Now it’s on to finding the perfect wedding professionals and the rest of the planning. When do you hire which ones? If you search online, you can get an assortment of answers. What is the right answer?
Urban wedding photography in Industrial spaces in downtown Toledo

There are No Right or Wrong Answers

The truth is, there are no right or wrong answers. However, there are right answers for you. What do you value most? What is important to You? If finding the right pair of shoes is more important than your wedding cake, then you should find those shoes first.

The most important thing to remember is that you are not the only bride or groom looking for wedding professionals. There are hundreds of brides and grooms just like you that are also searching for their dream team. Most wedding professionals book their services with the first bride or groom that contacts them. If you don’t book early enough, you risk the chance of not getting who you want.
university of toledo wedding cakeI’m not just a wedding photographer. I also photograph other life cycle and corporate events and even have a portrait studio.  There are days when you can find me photographing school events.   Back before the Walleye, I was the official photographer for the Toledo Storm.  Therefore, I can easily be booked two years or more in advance for some of these events.

Many other photographers are also event photographers. Even if someone is exclusively a wedding photographer, they may also be planning things for themselves. Some take family vacations or go to seminars and conferences to learn more about photography and business.

These things also get scheduled months in advance. Therefore, our schedules also matter when it comes to our availability to photograph your wedding. But, if we know you want us for your wedding date, even if it is a year and a half from now, we can adjust our plans accordingly and be there for you.
Artistic Ohio Wedding Photographer

What is Important to You?

Basically, this all boils down to what you feel is most important. If having your dress and decorations are the most important thing, then take care of those things first. However, if you have your heart set on working with specific wedding professionals, then you absolutely should book them as soon as possible.

Most wedding professionals require a deposit and a signed contract to hold your date. Obviously, coming up with all of the deposits at one time can be an issue for some. However, right now it’s bridal show season. Many of your favorite wedding professionals are having specials that can save you money.

My Bridal Show Special not only saves you money but also has a lower deposit requirement. If you book my Complete Wedding Collection, you save $200.  This package includes all day wedding photography and my photo booth for your entire reception.  If you book My Kurt’s Kustom Keepsakes green screen photo booth, you save $100. No matter which package you decide, if you book my services you only need to pay a $200 deposit instead of $400 which I normally require.  The deposit will go toward your package total amount.pink wedding shoes

So When Should You Hire Your Wedding Photographer?

Now is the time to ask yourself what do you really want. Do you want someone to capture all of the aspects of your wedding day that you have worked so hard to perfect? Do you want to save money? Are you not willing to risk not having the professionals that you spent hours finding? If you answered yes to any of these, now is the right time to hire your wedding photographer.Wedding at the Stables on Obee captured by Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyFor more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at: www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Kurt to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!

What to Consider when Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

What to Consider when Choosing Your Wedding Photographer

behind the scenes with Toledo Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyWhen choosing your wedding photographer, there are a lot of things you should know. Obviously, you want to know how long the photographer has been in business, how many weddings have they done, what past brides are saying about them, and are they insured. But did you also know you should find out what you are getting for your money?

Shopping for the best wedding photographer can be stressful, and everyone charges differently. Many offer a second photographer in their packages. Some even have an associate photographer shooting weddings while they photograph another wedding. Many offer prints or digital files, and sometimes both. Some include albums while others will even give you a free photo booth or save the date cards just for booking their services! This must be so confusing for you to try to figure out!
fall weddings at Wildwood MetroparkThe truth is, photographers will price their services accordingly to what they need to make to stay in business. This varies greatly.  It may depend on if they are full-time photographers supporting their families.  Is this is a side job for them to make extra money? They also take in to account things like their overhead which includes insurance, payroll, equipment, taxes, and advertising when figuring what they charge per wedding.

So What Do You Get for Your Money?

How did you meet your bridesmaids photo ideas
The bride is a school teacher.  She personalized this image by having her bridesmaids hold little chalkboard signs with how they met the bride.

Something to consider when searching for your photographer is how many digital images will you receive?  Most photographers will give you all your photos.  However, others may only let you see a couple hundred of the photos that are taken.  This saves them time from editing them. How many photos did they take? How do they choose what they show you? What do they do with the rest? Does it cost more to get all the digital images?

You also need to know which pictures you get if you are considering having an album as part of your wedding photography package. Make sure you ask who decides on what goes into the album. Do they give you a chance to decide, or do they pick all the images for you? How many pages will it have? How many photos are included on each page? What size is the album? Do they design it for you before or after you see your images? How much for upgrades or more pages or even a special design of the pages? You will want most of these questions answered before deciding on a photographer.

So what are you paying for exactly?

Fun Wedding Photo with a Dinosaur
Wedding Photography Fun with A Dinosaur Chasing the Wedding Party

First off, you are paying for the photographer’s time and talent on the day of your wedding. That’s a given. Usually, the more experience they have, the higher the price. But, that’s not always the case. I’ve seen award-winning photographers who are very experienced and very well liked by their past clients charge far less than some newer photographers. Again, this all depends on what the photographer feels they need to make to stay in business. It comes down to what is right for them.

You are also paying for all the other things that go into preparing your images. We spend hours editing and organizing all the photos that are taken at your wedding. It is nothing for me to take anywhere between a thousand and 1500 photos at every full wedding that I shoot. It can even be more than that depending on where and what you and your guests do.

Then we give you a USB drive, or prints or whatever is included in the package that you choose. Plus, if you order an album, that takes several more hours to lay it out. It also takes several hours to create the DVD montage of your images and to upload them to your online viewing gallery. If you order prints, then we spend more time getting the images ready, placing the order and we take care of the shipping costs. Your wedding images require a lot of post-production work.

Why offer a second photographer?

Downtown Toledo Wedding Photography by Kurt Nielsen PhotographyThere is a big debate in the photography world about having second photographers.  Did you know that having a second photographer is actually a newer trend? While I have several that I can call upon if needed, I have never actually used any of them. In fact, I have only really wished I had a second photographer once. That was the wedding when I had over 30,000 steps on my Fitbit! I didn’t need a second photographer, but at the end of the day, my feet wished I had used one!

What do you get with a second photographer? Did you know that many photographers that have second “shooters” do not even give you anything from the second photographer? So, why are you paying to have them? Who is their second photographer? Do they use the same one all the time or are they scrambling at the last minute to find one?

Many times, the second photographer is used so that the main photographer can take a break. The two photographers may even take turns shooting, especially at the reception. Not all photographers that have second photographers in their packages are this way.  It is a good thing to find out before you pay the extra money in case the second photographer is not needed.

Apples to Apples

Choosing your Wedding PhotographerWhen it comes to choosing your wedding photographer, make sure you are comparing Apples to Apples, and not Apples to Oranges! As I said earlier, every photographer charges differently. In the end, you need to feel comfortable with the person or persons who will be with you the entire day. That means you need to not only like them enough to have them around all day, you also need to trust that they know what they are doing. You want to feel that what they are giving you is the best value for what you will be paying them.

If any of these things are not a good match for you, it will show in your photos. You will be stressed out and worrying if you made the right decision. Don’t let a bad decision create more stress than you will already have on your wedding day. A good photographer will help take that stress away!
Side Cut Metropark Wedding Portraits by Kurt Nielsen Photography
For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website at www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Kurt to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!

5 Things Wedding Photographers Wish You Knew BEFORE Contacting Them

Perrysburg Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen Photography

5 Things Wedding Photographers Wish You Knew Before Contacting Them

Wedding Photography by Kurt Nielsen Photography at the Toledo Loves Love MuralCongratulations on Your Engagement!

Now that the planning process has begun, it’s time to start your search for the perfect wedding photographer! Websites like The Knot and WeddingWire make it easy for you with their contact forms. Or do they?
Happy Bride at the Toledo Club by Wedding Photographer Kurt Nielsen PhotographyGenerally, these websites pretty much make your message say the same thing. “I found you on this website. Could you send me some info?” Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. In order to give you a proper quote, wedding photographers need a few details about your day.
Weddings at the Historic Church of St. Patrick in downtown ToledoThe very first thing we need to know before anything else is your Wedding Date.   We simply won’t be able to be your photographer if we are already booked for another wedding or event. Any other discussion about your wedding day would simply be a waste of time for both of us. That doesn’t mean we won’t give you referrals and help you any other way that we can.Stone Ridge Golf Club Wedding PhotographerThe next thing is something we as your potential wedding photographers don’t necessarily need to know, but you most certainly do. You need to know your budget. More importantly, where we are concerned, you need to know how much you have for your photographer in your overall budget. There is nothing worse than finding a photographer you absolutely must have only to find out you can’t afford them.

I post my prices directly on my website. Many other photographers post theirs as well or at least a starting price on their websites. Doing a little research can help you weed out the ones that are not in your price range.

A good place to start looking is on WeddingWire. They allow us to post our starting price range and our most popular package pricing.
St. Rose Catholic Church Wedding Photographer - Kurt Nielsen Photography

When Do We Start?

By the time you start looking for wedding photographers, you should have already booked your ceremony and reception venues. Many of these have multiple events each day. You probably discussed your start and end times for each venue.

Many venues, especially churches, adhere to strict rules about the times you are allowed to be there. It is therefore utterly important that we know these details.

Another reason this is important is that I like to arrive at least an hour before the ceremony begins. That would be my start time unless you want me earlier for the getting ready photos at the salon.

Many photographers have different packages that include a specific number of hours worked. Knowing the ceremony start time plays a big role in figuring out how many hours our services will be needed.
Tamaron Wedding Photographer

Timeline for Wedding Photographers

The fourth thing we need to know is your wedding day timeline. Of course, you probably won’t know this the first time we talk. We will probably even be instrumental in helping you plan this. However, you probably already know what is important to you that you want to be photographed.

Knowing things like when dinner is served and if you are planning on having your first dance before or after dinner is key to designing a timeline. Are you cutting the cake before or after dinner? Will you be doing an anniversary or dollar dance? Are you playing the shoe game or the dash for cash?  If these are important to you, we will need to add them to your timeline.

What does your timeline have to do with your quote?  It matters for the number of hours your photographer will be needed.  For example, say your photographer starts at the salon at 10 am.  Cocktail hour is at 5:30 and dinner will be served at 7 pm.  Your photographer will be finished before cocktail hour is over if you choose the 8-hour package.
Bowling Green Country Wedding Photography

Location, Location, Location!

Yes, I travel!  Are you having a destination wedding? Is your wedding local but outside of the Greater Toledo Area?  You may have travel fees added if this is the case.

Travel fees also vary greatly by each photographer.  Some charge per hour for drive time, while others charge by the mile.  Is your ceremony more than a couple hours away from Toledo?  Does it start early or end late?  You may be charged for overnight accommodations fees if one or both of these apply.

As far as local locations for the bridal party and romantic wedding photos, I don’t charge for travel.  However, your timeline will need to include travel to each destination where you want portraits taken.  Your photographer can let you know how much time they need at each destination.

Always add extra time for traffic and other delays.  Remember, your photographer counts this in their timeline as well.  Include the travel fees from your photographer in your photography budget.
Wedding Grand Entrance into the ReceptionAre you ready to start contacting potential wedding photographers? Do you know your wedding date? Do you know your photography budget? Where will your photographer begin and at what time? Have you planned the events you will be doing and when they will be?  Will your photographer need to travel to get to your wedding or reception?

Knowing these little details before contacting your photographer, or any of the other wedding professionals, will save you time and headache.   We can help you better when we know what you want us to do for you.

Good Luck and Happy Planning!
Summer weddings in Toledo

Want to Learn More?

For more information about Kurt Nielsen Wedding Photography, including pricing, please visit my website: www.kurtnphoto.com.

To contact Me to schedule your FREE Wedding Consultation, please call the studio at:

Kurt Nielsen Photography
5431 Schultz Drive
Sylvania, OH 43560
419 885 7153

Feel free to make comments below and/or share this blog post on your favorite social media site. Pin your favorite images to your Pinterest board!

Read what other brides are saying about me on The Knot
and Wedding Wire!