I know a lot of you might be scrambling right now, wondering and worrying if your photographer is going to screw you over like this one did to her brides. I can assure you, we're not all like that. We don't all offer you amazing prices and then completely ignore you, only to blow you off at the last minute. AND we don't all blame you like this article here. (P.S. I DON'T agree with that photographer at all. It makes me sad she would do that.)
So here's what I want you to know. There are photographers out there that will work with your budget. Sometimes it can be daunting when a photographer lists starting prices that are THOUSANDS of dollars over your budget. There are a few things I would recommend you do:
1) ALWAYS ask to meet with your photographer before booking. The only time I'd ever say "go ahead and book" someone you've never met in person, is when that photographer has been personally vetted by someone you truly trust and HAVE met in person (think a brother/sister/parent or your absolute-never-gonna-let-you-down best friend).
2) Even if your photographer has been personally vetted by the Pope himself, scour their website and social media like a crazy-stalker-ex-lover. You want to know everything before you hire them. Including if they eat tacos daily for lunch.
3) Ask to see a full wedding. If they can't/won't show you one (even if it's the ONLY one they have) there are usually two reasons for this: Maybe they've never shot a wedding and that's perfectly ok! If you're comfortable with them and trust their judgement, feel free to hire them anyway. This is great for someone with a very small budget. The other, more scary reason, is they may not be completely truthful. I would be wary of any wedding photographer who can't/won't show you a full wedding. You can view almost all of my full weddings here, including my first wedding with super old branding on it.
4) If you fall in love with a photographer who is a bit out of your price range, ask about a payment plan or financing. It's a lot easier to pay large amounts in smaller chunks. Payment plans allow you to do that paying cash, while financing usually requires you to use your credit. A lot of photographers offer this even if they don't actually advertise.
5) Consider your timeline. You might not need a full day package, but if you're concerned about needing extra time, ask potential photographers what their policies are on overtime. You might be surprised with the options out there.
6) Last but not least, please realize there is a whole network of wedding photographers out there. We TALK. We SUPPORT each other. Which means, if your photographer has an emergency, they should have backups. Ask them who they work with on the regular and who they call when they have an emergency. We never wish that something happens to prevent us from making it to your wedding day. But we do PLAN for the worst case scenario.
Please, if you ever find yourself in a situation where you're needing a last minute photographer, reach out. Maybe I can help get you covered. <3