Hiring Out-of-State Photographers | JayLee M.O.

Choosing your wedding photographer is a big decision. It can feel even more complicated if you are having your wedding in a different state, are planning to elope, or simply fell in love with a photographer’s work who happens to live elsewhere. Hiring an out-of-state photographer for your wedding is entirely do-able and doesn’t have to be stressful. In fact, we encourage it. Here are 4 helpful tips:Destination Wedding Photographers

1. Look at the pictures first. When we look at the hits we get on our website and blog, many of them are from different states. So, when readers get to our site, they see this: Seattle | Phoenix | Destination. Sadly, people may immediately write us off as an option before even looking at the pictures (if they don’t live in Seattle or Phoenix). The initial fear is probably the travel costs. So, we implore you to instead consider taking the extra step, poking around and seeing if the style and photographer’s personality resonates with you. If it caught your eye enough to check it out, it may be worth considering and at least looking at the pricing. Just one extra click…

2. Ask about the cost of packages and additional travel fees. We are huge believers in posting pricing on our website plain and clear for our potential clients to see; however, many photographers ask that you e-mail them for more information (the sneaky sneaks). Either way, you may think about writing the photographer and asking about their regular travel rates and any specials they may be offering. Mention your wedding date, make sure they are available, and tell them the location. Rather than settling for a photographer simply because they live where you live, you may find that the price of an out-of-state photographer you love is equal to or better than an in-state photographer. Is your wedding on a week day? Is the location pretty appealing? Is it during the photographer’s off-season? Is it a destination wedding? Is a passport or swimsuit required? Don’t be afraid to sweeten the deal a little for photographers you love…they may respond by sweetening theirs. We photographers love to enhance our portfolios and most of us love an excuse to travel. Also consider what you get for what you’re paying. Do you get two shooters, an album, a disk of images (etc.)? Think about what you want and discuss this with the photographer to find the best option for you. Make sure to compare and contrast not only cost, but value and compatibility.

3. Consider having a Skype meeting. We have meetings on Skype more than we have in-person meetings. No. Joke. We kind of love it too. It’s a little awkward at first, yes, but then it feels like inviting potential clients over to our humble abode. They can see inside our living room. They get to meet our dog. They get to know us. If you don’t like your photographer(s) as people, don’t hire them. Most of our clients for this upcoming year (almost all of them) do not live in Seattle. They are either having their weddings here (but they don’t live here), or their weddings are out of state. When they come in town to work on wedding details, we try to meet with them for coffee/drinks. If that’s not an option, we keep the Skype and e-mail lines of communication open and available. We really try to work with our clients depending on the situation.

4. Go with your gut. In our opinion, it is most important that you find vendors you trust entirely with your wedding day. Photography is one of the bigger expenses to account for, and one of the most important, because it is how your wedding day will be documented and remembered. After you’ve done your research, ‘met’ the photographers, gotten to know them as people, and considered your budget, sit down and think about your wedding and the way you want it documented. We promise, that will matter more than where your photographers happen to live.

What We Offer: So all of that said, what does JayLee offer in the way of travel?

-Free travel to Phoenix. -Gas costs for a wedding we can drive to (outside of the greater Seattle area). -Flight costs for everywhere else in the U.S. (we cover hotel/car rentals/other costs) for our main packages.

If you live somewhere cool or are having a destination wedding, we most definitely ‘work with you’. Not to mention, our main packages are super all-inclusive (2 shooters, full editing/touch ups, disk of images, engagement or portrait session, designed quality wedding album, etc.), so you get bang for your buck.Um…anyways, that’s about as salesman-y as we get over here…

That said, we hope you consider us, and we are thankful to all of our out-of-state clients for 2012. We can’t wait to visit you and document your love.//Josh + Ali

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