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Booking a big nationwide photo/video wedding company

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

In mid February 2023, a big photo/video wedding company suddenly shut its doors without warning (Tolman Media) leaving brides and contractors hanging. I worked for that company as well as a handful of others in that category (like the ones named Kapturly, Eivan's, Yours Truly Media, Lily and Lime, Elegant Events Media, George Street Photo, By Design Films whom I'm still working with but occasionally). This abrupt closure has left couples, photographers, videographers, and others uncertain about who will cover the wedding. Couples already paid their retainer fees, or even completely paid off. Creatives were unpaid thousands of dollars (Tolman still owes me for two weddings and two engagement photoshoots). I think that shutdown has happened before to other companies.

Wedding photo/video companies quite often offer very low prices but at a risk:

  • It's a crapshoot who will be assigned to their wedding--the quality is inconsistent because some of the creatives are new while some, if you get them, are experienced.

  • Communication is frequently inconsistent because they have to handle thousands of client inquiries.

  • You're not really sure who will appear in your wedding--there may be last minute substitutions.

  • You're not sure.about the editing of the photos/videos because it's either outsourced or left to some inexperienced creatives (some).

  • The companies pay their creatives less than half of what they get from what the couples had paid.

Sure, you're paying very little for photo/video and if the above experience is fine with you--book a super cheap photo/video package from the many facebook or instagram ads popping up on your feed. Good luck, though! The money you may have saved may not have been worth it further down in the future in hindsight. You get what you pay for.

Instead, I suggest you support your local photographer or videographer--it's more personalized and you have that direct one-on-one contact with a real live person. You can also meet beforehand, do your free engagement photoshoot, ask for reviews from real clients in the area, and be sure that the person you're hiring will do the job well.

You may not hire me--that's fine--I'm doing photography mainly as a creative output. In fact, I can recommend some of my photographer or videographer friends to you.

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