I saved Price for one of my later topics for tid-bit thursdays simply because I believe that price should NEVER be your deciding factor when it comes to any vendor for your wedding, or really any aspect of life. I am a full believer in, “You get what you paid for.” However, I feel there are areas where you can save money, but within reason. For example, look at clothing lines. In the past I purchased a button up shirt from two different companies at the same time, just to test this out. Company A was a value store with cheap prices, Company B was much nicer and quadruple the cost (at least!). Company B shirt still feels and looks just like new! Company B… lets just say I don’t wear it anymore. Now this example doesn’t pertain to every clothing line, for example; Hollister, Nike, etc. Shirts with logos stamped on them is nothing more than a CHEAP shirt with a cool logo.
Same goes for wedding vendors. I actually just posted a link on my facebook to a wedding venue’s blog about not skimping on photography. They weren’t even a photographer, and they were describing the importance of photography on the wedding day. So I will be quoting a lot from that blog, or rather paraphrasing the blog post. But if there is only one area that you spend a lot of money on, let it be photography. In the past I have heard brides say they were going to go with an aunt, uncle or cousin, friend to photograph their wedding. Or they found someone who had the same package for literally a matter of a few hundred dollars. Let me just say first, your aunt might capture a couple good pictures, a 600 camera might capture a few good pictures as well, but let me just give out a warning: There is a reason photographers in this area START at just over 2000 dollars. If you were driving around and needed gas and the price was 3.55 EVERYWHERE then in some shady corner lot there’s a run down gas station charging 1.00 are you really going to trust the gas you are getting is even gas at all, or good quality for your car? I think a lot of times, price becomes such a huge concern that some people don’t take a step back and think, “Wait, if Photographer A & B are 4000 dollars, why is Photographer C only 500?” You will NOT get the same quality or even close to the quality of pictures from Photographer C as you would from Photographers A & B.
1. You will never have this chance again!
Your wedding only comes once. Are you willing to risk the pictures from your big day to a friend or relative who enjoys taking pictures of their kids? What if they turn out bad? Are you willing to risk your friendship or your feelings toward your relative if they turn out bad, or what if they lose them? So lets say your pictures are very mediocre and you are unhappy with them because you went with a friend, family member or very cheap photographer, 20 years from now when you are looking at those pictures are they going to make you happy flipping through them, or is the only thought running through your head going to be, “I wish I would have spent a little more.” A wedding day is not cheap, that’s for sure. So why skimp on the one thing that will be the thing that remains after the wedding day is over?
2. A wedding photographer can anticipate what is going to happen next.
Working around weddings all the time, a good wedding photographer is accustomed to something of things that could happen. For example, I’ve been asked numerous times if I have a shoot list for a wedding day. My answer is No! I do not, I let the moments happen because sometimes some of the best pictures come from setting up a pose rather than the pose itself. Sure I get the important pictures with your parents, grandparents, etc. But following a list limits the ability to capture fun candid moments. If I’m looking down at a list and your two year old cousin is dancing around, or your grandpa kisses your grandma on the cheek, I won’t get it. So I do NOT let a list limit those “kodak moments.”
3. A GREAT photographer can turn even the simplest wedding to a glamorous.
As a photographer, our responsibilities are SO much more than to just snap pictures. Think of your photographer as the “creative director” of your wedding day. You’d be surprised by how many pictures that look candid are actually posed. It’s the photographer’s job to create that posed picture into a candid moment. But so much more than that a great photographer has the knowledge and experience to capture and edit photos to make them so much more than just pictures, but rather still moments in time that are everlasting. When I am told that a friend or family member is going to be the photographer I cringe because there is a reason that a photographer commits to working at their job full-time… because wedding photography is full-time job alone!! A photographer’s job does not end with just the wedding, a great photographer is not only good at capturing those precious moments, but they are also great at editing, and editing quickly without losing quality. I always say that wedding photography is my full-time job and families and seniors are kind of my on-the-side job. 🙂 A lastly a great photographer has great customer service. And finishing your pictures 6 months or a year after your wedding is NOT good customer service.
These are only a few factors that play into price. I mentioned this before but even a small photographer can bring up to 10,000 dollars or more of equipment at any given wedding! On top of insurance, marketing, equipment, family, etc a photographer does not make a killer living charging only 2000 per wedding. I know it may seem like that, I thought that too when I first started. One of the reasons I started photography was because I felt I could provide the same quality at a cheaper price. After just six months in the business my prices quickly changed because I was literally losing money.
So in conclusion and in my opinion do not let price affect your decision of your photographer (or any wedding vendor for that matter). This is your ONE big day where the quality of work means so much more to you that the investment into all those memories being captured are of the utmost importance. When I started photography, I did not start with the thought I could make a lot of money. I would not have even touched a wedding if I did not feel I could provide the quality. Was I nervous? Sure. I still get some butterflies at weddings, every photographer does. And if they say they don’t, they are lying. 🙂 And to bring by the clothing example above; do you want the shirt (photographer/pictures) that is going to curl up, wear out, and lose it’s luster after just 4 washings (a few years), or do you want the shirt (photographer/pictures) that will seem like new for many washings (years) to come? Is it worth it to you to spend double or triple the price of a cheap photographer? Something to think about. Enjoy your Thursday! Friday is just around the corner!!