I often get inquiries from brides about my wedding photography coverage and pricing. After I tell them my packages and what they include, I sometimes get a response such as this one: “Well my fiancé’s mother has a friend who will do our engagements, bridals, and the entire wedding day for $300.” Others list a price and ask, “Would you be able to shoot our wedding for that much?” As much as I wish I could help you out, I cannot do an entire wedding package for that amount. There is so much time, effort, and money, not to mention passion and creativity, that goes into my business to get you the best product, and I won’t compromise the quality and my standard of my work to give you less than my best.
Why The Photography Is So Important
I don’t mean one bit to be condescending, judgmental, or even upset. I’m literally not even personally offended that that particular bride chose a $300 option over myself. I understand that everyone has a budget, I most certainly had a tight one when I got married. But if I may get on my soapbox for just a moment, I want to tell you what I tell the majority of my non-booking inquiries who say that they are going with another option just because of price:
“I truly wish you the best of luck.
Whatever you end up doing, just make sure that you LOVE the work of whomever you hire. The only tangible things that last from the wedding day are the ring and the photography/videography; the dress goes in a closet, the cake gets eaten, the flowers die, but the photos last forever, and not just for you, but for generations. I promise if there’s one area where you want to splurge/save for, it’s the photography, because 30 years down the road you want to absolutely love your photos and have your festivities documented by someone who can offer you both high quality images and experience.
So whether you choose me, a $300 photographer, or an $8000+ photographer, find someone with the style and quality that you love. You get what you pay for and I promise it’s worth it, and you’ll look back glad to have found the quality rather than settling for the cheapest option at the time. I’m even happy to recommend some incredibly talented and higher end photographers than myself if you’re interested, because I want you to be completely thrilled with your photos.”
You read that correctly. I am so passionate about you loving your photos, having your precious moments brilliantly and beautifully preserved, that I would rather refer a different photographer – that I know will provide stunning quality and a great experience – to my brides than have them book an inexperienced photographer, or a family member or friend with no experience that offers only a “nice camera.”
“Some wedding photographers cost only a few hundred dollars, while others can charge a small fortune to do essentially the same thing right? Why do wedding photography prices vary so much? We know you might think they’re just “taking pictures” and with technology today almost anyone can do it. We’re here to tell you… YOU ARE SO WRONG! And you shouldn’t choose just anyone to shoot your wedding, it’s time to do your research and find the right match.” –SnapKnot, Comparing Wedding Photography Prices
Finding the Right Match
Again, I was on a tight budget for my own wedding, and with the help of my Super-Mom we managed to pull off a beautiful reception that was both fun and elegant; people still tell me that ours was the most fun reception they’ve ever been to. The dress, the reception, the food, flowers, and invitations were all under budget, and by doing many things ourself we saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The photography was the most important monetary investment for me, so I searched for a photographer that was in my budget, had a style that I liked, and who would be able to truly capture my husband’s and my personalities and love for each other. We found Rob Higginson Photography, and let me just say, he nailed it.
Unfortunately for the world, Rob is no longer in the photography industry as he chose to pursue a different career, but we will forever be grateful for the incredible pictures that he gave us. We cherish them. Our photos match us perfectly; we will love the style even 30 or 50 years down the road, we love the minimal editing that enhances but doesn’t detract from our story and makes us feel real, and we love that he caught the in-between moments of giggles and kissing (because let’s face it, we were little firecrackers about to pop at this point). Rob was also great to work with: he had an established business, payments were easy, he understood customer service, and he had contracts and systems set up to protect himself and us as the bride and groom. In short, he was an experienced, quality professional that valued and cared for our pictures just as much as we did, and do.
It’s so important to find a wedding photographer that will take care of you, and it will take so much stress out of the planning process if you know that you and your memories are in good hands. So whomever you choose, make sure that you love their style (and I’m talking, your heart flutters when you see their work), make sure that they are professional (they are experienced, can provide high quality equipment and consistent quality of work/editing/style, they have a business license and insurance in case anything should go wrong), and they understand customer service (you can easily communicate your needs and have them understood).
The Bottom Line
Let me end with this: just because a wedding photographer is cheap does not always mean that they are not good. And likewise with this disclaimer from SnapKnot:
“With all this said, just because one wedding photographer has higher prices, that does not mean that they are automatically better. It is still up to you to do that research, meet with each photographer you are considering so you can evaluate their skills.” –SnapKnot, Comparing Wedding Photography Prices
Your wedding photography is extremely valuable, and I give you my word that you won’t regret taking the time and or money to find the perfect fit for you and your fiancé!
If you’d like a breakdown of photographer’s pricing reasons, feel free to visit this fantastic article!
Why Wedding Photographer’s Prices Are “Wack”