Let’s be honest. Weddings are expensive! The initial phase of planning a wedding is filled with sticker shock, counting numbers, budgeting, and researching for the best possible deal. The initial response to the price of wedding photography is almost always shock when researching the price of wedding photographers. When I entered into the business I couldn’t believe what the rate of wedding photography was and I didn’t understand it until I opened my own business.
Higher priced photographer does NOT equal a better photographer. As I speak as someone who deeply cares about my bride’s budgets, here are my biggest tips to not “Price-Shop” photographers but “Talent-Shop” your wedding photographer! I promise that if you talent-shop rather than price-shop your photographer, you will NEVER regret it. I often speak to married couples who regret not shifting their budget around wedding photography and it is my goal for you to walk away from your wedding with no buyer’s remorse.
As the quality, consistency, and experience increases with a photographer’s career, so does the price. The expression “You get what you paid for” was probably first said by a bride with wedding-photographer remorse. (Don’t fact-check me, just take my word for the history of that phrase 😉 ). Every photographer can have an excellent wedding photo published on their Instagram account, but as a bride you want to look for consistency. Is every photo they’re posting the same high-end quality? Are all their wedding photos similar in style, yet in a way that portrays each individual wedding in a uniquely artistic fashion? As a film photographer, my final product is high-quality because I have picked a higher-quality medium to serve my brides with. I deeply desire to give my brides the highest quality for their wedding photos. Film has certain costs (such as the film itself, lab scanning) that digital photographers don’t have. However, when wedding photography is concerned I believe my job is too important to cut corners in costs when it comes to serving my clients.
I offer separate wedding collections with different things included for several reasons, the most important being that I want your wedding day to be tailored to your specific and individual needs. For example, my most popular and recommended package includes 8 hours of coverage by me and a second photographer. Some brides pick to have me at their wedding for a shorter amount of time and without a second photographer for various reasons. If you’re having a shorter wedding day, you don’t need a photographer there longer than you will be there! However, if you want your full wedding day story captured, you set you and your photographer up for a complete success if you book exactly the amount of hours you want captured! Cramming individual wedding day moments into shorter amounts of time will result in a stressed wedding day. When looking at a wedding photographer book for exactly what you want, rather than cutting hours (corners). You’re going to want your FULL wedding day story captured because there are moments that you will treasure for the rest of your life. These priceless moments are worth the cost of capturing.
3. The Final Product
Aside from your new last name and best friend (aka SPOUSE), wedding photography is THE ONLY thing that will outlast your wedding day. After the cake has been eaten, the guests have left, your dress has been hung in the closest, your wedding photos are the only thing you will have left. That’s why wedding photography is so important; they allow you to re-live the priceless moments that changed your life forever. That club-level dance battle that happened in the middle of your reception, the look on your groom’s face when he saw you for the first time, the tear and twinkle in your father’s eye when he passed your hand from his to your groom’s. You want those moments captured in the highest quality possible because the higher quality pictures are, the more lifelike they become each time you look at your photos.
Hiring a competent and qualified photographer is extremely important because these photos will be passed on for generations after you. A good photographer can capture precious moments, but so can an iPhone. A GREAT photographer will capture your wedding in a dazzling way and make them more stunning that you even remembered in the blur of the moment. It’s crucial to hire a photographer that has the same vision as you, offers high-quality service, and who will capture your vision and most important moments in a way that makes them truly shine.
Hire the best photographer with the best quality and I promise you won’t have buyer-remorse with your wedding photos. Hire someone who you connect with on a personal level and I guarantee your wedding photos will become your most prized possession.