A great wedding photographer tells YOUR story through their images. The last thing you want is to look back on boring cookie-cutter style wedding photos that were supposed to bring you back to that place, that emotion, that special moment in time. When choosing your wedding photographer, you want someone who can tell that story. So take the time to find the right photographer for you.
We would love to tell your story.
The following is some great advice I wanted to share from a former photographer and contributing writer at MaryThis.com
The style of a photographer affects everything. One photographer may pose you as a couple before taking shots and the other may document you interacting with each other from a distance. There are “traditional” wedding photographers, there are wedding photojournalists, there are those who process their photos in a muted-color, very “Martha Stewart” style and there are some who love the edgier look of a high-contrast photo. These styles and many, many more exist out there. There is no right answer. The right answer for you is the photos you like the most. If you see a photo on a photographer’s web site that you think you’d hang on your wall, that’s a good sign they’re a good fit for you.
It’s true that on your wedding day, you’ll probably spend more time with the photographer than you will with your new spouse. So it’s pretty darn important that you get along.
Pick someone you’d be friends with otherwise, someone who gets you and who you don’t mind spending lots of time with. If you feel uncomfortable around them, head for the hills. This chemistry between photographer and client really is key – key to great pictures (no one looks beautiful when they’re tense!) and to happy, drama-free memories of your wedding day.
I am not arguing that experience doesn’t matter. It does matter. But sometimes clients put too much emphasis on this when searching for a photographer.
You absolutely need a photographer who knows their equipment inside and out and has photographed weddings before. But they needn’t have been shooting weddings for years; in fact, I know some really talented photographers who are in their first or second year in wedding photography. Sometimes they have the freshest ideas, and they haven’t gotten too comfortable in their routine.
Sure, you don’t want to pay someone good money, then have them show up with a dinky point-and-shoot camera. But one of the overarching truths of photography is this: a camera does not make a photographer. Many wedding couples think that since their Uncle Bob bought a big honkin’ SLR, that he’d be a good candidate to photograph their wedding. But they’d most often be wrong. A good wedding photographer is someone who can take a stunning picture with a Polaroid camera if they need to. The tools help, but it’s the photographer’s eye you’re paying for.
In the end, it’s going to come down to what’s important to you and what you really want from your wedding photographer. Sit down with your fiance and discuss these factors before you start shopping, and you’ll know what you’re looking for once you get out there. Good luck!
Important: Price vs. Budget
Your budget says a lot about the type of photography you are going to get in return. It also says a lot about how you value the importance of those images after the wedding day is over.
These days, you can randomly check Facebook for photographers and find plenty of them offering their full day wedding photography for less than $1,000. However, what it comes down to is quality. If you are not so concerned about the quality and your budget is very small, then great! But if that matters to you, and you want beautiful images to last a lifetime or maybe even to order a large print or canvas to hang on your walls, you will want to be leery of anything under $1500 for full coverage.
Let’s face it, weddings are a luxury; the celebration of the marriage itself.
As for photography, next to the actual marriage taking place, wedding photography is probably the most important part of the planning because it is what you will keep in the end. Not the flowers, not the cake, not even the dress… the memories, documented for generations.
Why Is Wedding Photography So Expensive?
The reality is that there is a lot that actually goes into making great pictures that you’ll cherish forever. It’s much more than just showing up to take the pictures and then handing you a CD. There is actually quite a bit that takes place before, during, and after your wedding, that contributes to the final result.
Before the Wedding
Professional photography is definitely an acquired skill. Most photographers spend years learning how to master their camera equipment, lighting scenarios, image composition, and different posing situations that work and what to avoid.
During the Wedding
During the wedding, your photographer will arrive many hours before the ceremony to capture the details. Often this includes the bridal party getting ready (hair & makeup, putting on the dress, etc) as well as the groomsmen and groom getting ready. Also, as the ceremony and reception areas are set up, the photographer will capture the details of the decorations, table settings, etc. Of course, the photographer will then take photos of the ceremony and reception, as well as any send-off.
After the Wedding
This is the component of the process that is probably the most misunderstood, as it is the one that the couple has little-to-no exposure to. Your photographer will spend many, many hours selecting, processing, enhancing, and tweaking your images after the wedding day. An average 8-hour wedding will require several weeks’ worth of work on the part of the photographer.
A Photographer’s Expenses
An independent photographer is running a business. Businesses have expenses and they take hard work to build and maintain.
* Equipment. High-quality camera bodies cost thousands of dollars. Lenses can cost thousands more. And with taking thousands of frames per wedding, even a good camera will need to be replaced every couple of years. Then there are flashes, light meters, tripods, camera bags, and other miscellaneous gear.
* Taxes. Your photographer pays taxes on every dollar they make, just like everyone else. So if the fee is $3,000, much of that will go to Uncle Sam.
* Insurance. Many wedding venues require photographers and other vendors to carry liability insurance. Photographers must also ensure their own camera equipment. Each of these types of insurance costs several hundred dollars per year.
You should never feel pressured into paying more than you want to pay for wedding pictures, but neither should you assume that higher prices are simply a scam or a ripoff. Once the cake is eaten and the flowers wilted, your photos (and your marriage!) are what you have left. A good photographer will provide you with photos that are worthy of becoming part of your family’s history.