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Negotiating the Price of Wedding Photography – The Complete Guide.

Bride and Groom Shoes and details

Wedding planning can be a whirlwind of excitement, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. One of these is finding, and agreeing on terms with your wedding photographer. But fear not, this comprehensive guide is here to empower you with the knowledge and skills needed to negotiate a price of wedding photography that will put a smile on your face.

Understanding the Elements of Negotiation

Before diving into the specifics of negotiating with your wedding photographer, it's crucial to understand the three critical dimensions of any negotiation: setup, structure, and discussion.

The Importance of Setup in Negotiation

The setup phase involves establishing an environment conducive to a positive negotiation outcome. This stage requires you to do your homework about your potential photographer. Research their portfolio, understand their style, and get insight into their personality. This is a sure way to determine if they might be the right fit for your wedding day.
🌟 Top Tip - Only do this with photographers that have made your short list

The Structure of Your Proposal

The structure of your proposal is the next step. This phase requires you to consider the terms of your offer. What are you proposing, and how does it benefit both parties? When thinking about the structure of your proposal, I suggest writing things down your answers to these questions:

  • What is your total wedding budget?
  • How much of it (%) you want to spend on your wedding photography?
  • What are your 'Must-have' photography products and services?
  • What are your 'Id-like-to-have's?
  • What do you want your overall photography experience to look and feel like?

If you feel like you have no clue about the cost of a wedding photographer, read this article: Wedding photography cost

The Power of Discussion

The final phase of negotiation, and the part most people fail at, is the discussion. I want to encourage you to get excited about this part, this is where you find out if you have found your perfect fit, or if your should move on. Talk to your prospective photographer about the details you uncovered in the previous step and ask them for their honest opinion on what you are looking for. As long as you give enough information, an experienced wedding photographer will be able to guide you through their service offerings whilst making your feel valued along the way.
Remember, negotiation is a two-way street. Both parties need to listen, understand each others needs, and work towards a mutually beneficial agreement.

The Role of the Three Universal Currencies in Negotiation

Now that you understand the dimensions of negotiation, let's delve into the concept of the three universal currencies in negotiation - resources, time, and flexibility.

Resources

Resources refer to tangible items involved in the negotiation. In the context of wedding photography, this could be your budget or the package options the photographer offers.

Time

Time, the second currency, is the amount of hours the photographer will dedicate to your wedding. This includes shooting time, editing time, and any additional hours required for tasks like site visits or consultation meetings.

Flexibility

Flexibility, the often underrated third currency, relates to the willingness of either party to adapt and make concessions. This could involve adjusting the photography schedule, accommodating specific photo requests, or even offering different payment options.

"Establishing a connection and talking openly about what you want is the best way to get what you are looking for from your photographer"-

- Warren

Tailoring Your Approach to the Negotiation Approach

With a good understanding of negotiation, you can tailor your approach to securing your ideal wedding photographer. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Establish a Connection: Building a rapport with your photographer can significantly improve the negotiation process. Remember, this person will play a significant part in your special day. You want to ensure that their personality aligns with yours and that they'll work well with your guests.
  2. Define Your Style: Be clear about the style of photography you want. Do you prefer candid shots or posed portraits? Do you want a lot of detail shots or more focus on the guests and events? Clarity about your expectations can help the photographer understand your needs and negotiate accordingly.
  3. Discuss Your Expectations: Be open about your expectations. This includes the number of edited photos you want, the delivery timeline, and any specific shots you desire.
  4. Explore Payment Options: If budget is a concern, discuss payment options. Some photographers may offer payment plans or discounts for off-peak seasons or weekday weddings.
  5. Consider the Entire Package: When negotiating, consider the entire package, not just the price. This includes the photographer's experience, their portfolio, the included services, and their flexibility and willingness to meet your needs.

Remember, negotiation is not about winning or losing; it's about finding a mutually beneficial solution. With these guidelines in hand, you're well-equipped to negotiate with your wedding photographer, ensuring a win-win situation for all involved. Happy negotiating!

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