Storybook Wedding Photographer M. Couturier

Booking at the Last Minute

It seems as if I and many of my photographer friends have recently received a pronounced increase in last minute inquiries of availability.  The past 3 weeks or so we have had an average of five people per week calling to see if we were available to photograph their wedding that would take place sometime in the next 7-30 days.  Over the years we’d all get two or three calls like this per year, but 5 or more in one week is very odd.

Unfortunately we’ve had to disappoint all of these callers.  For many years our average booking was made between 1-1/2 to 2 years out from the wedding date.  In the past two years it has slipped down to about 9 months on average, with some even at 6 months, but still quite a few at the 1.5-2 year mark.  It is very unlikely that we (or our friends) are going to be available within 30 days of the wedding.  It is possible, but quite rare.

I’m just curious what has caused this rash of last minute calls.  Did Oprah do a show on weddings recently and suggest doing this?  Or a nationally distributed bridal magazine?  Maybe it’s an internet dare or hoax, I don’t know.

Some advise to avoid being disappointed though…

If you have your eye on a photography studio that you like and are in hopes of them photographing your wedding, I would contact them as soon as you can to see if they are available for your date.  That availability can last as long as it takes for them to get the next phone call.  Only a serious commitment (contract and retainer in hand) is going to lock in that date with your name on it.  Business is business.  We all get tons of people calling us every week asking us to pencil them in only to never hear from them again, so the standard procedure for photography studios is to not hold dates without written commitments, first-come-first-served, etc.  Promises don’t help make the payroll or light bill.

I’m not sure who started this fad of calling at the last minute or what the benefit is supposed to be, but if you want to be sure of who you are getting, I wouldn’t risk rolling the dice on something as important as your wedding photos.

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Storybook Wedding Photographer M. Couturier