Hiring a Professional Photographer
One of the biggest expenses in the wedding is hiring a “PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER”
I put this in quotes because Hiring someone with experience in my option is worth it.
Topics – Why hire a Professional, Pricing, Connection with the Photographer
Hiring a Professional –
Most people will tell you that your wedding photographer is the most important person you will hire for your wedding. Everything else is immediate… it’s all for one day but your pictures, well, they have to last a lifetime, several lifetimes, actually, since your album will be passed down to your children and grandchildren one day.
Finding the right wedding photographer here in can be tricky. In the last few years there has been a big increase in the number of “wedding photographers” out there and that’s not always a good thing. How do you distinguish the good from the bad? The professional from the amateur? We will discuss this more throughout the episode.
Let’s keep this on the positive.
Why hire, a pro? Won’t your cousin with a DSLR and a Facebook page, good enough?
Creative photography is a lot more than a camera. The equipment matters, of course, which professionals have a better understanding of.
But there are a thousand other aspects to keep in mind – from handling the lighting, to beautifully managing the variation in skin tones, to understanding the symbolism behind a particular ritual or theme in order to decide exactly how it should be depicted – all of these require a great deal of thought and care, which is exactly where the keyword creative comes into play. Also, a lot of the work begins AFTER the actual photos have been taken.
Our goals for the day is simple . First, provide an absolutely incredible client experience from start to finish.
Second, provide our brides and grooms with creative photography that matches the vision our couples have of their wedding day. We match the Style and message is consistent in the weddings we photograph.
Here are a few things that we professionals guarantee for the wedding day.
- There is a significant difference between representing yourself as a professional VS setting clearly defined expectations and allowing a friend or family member to hire you with eyes WIDE open to your level of inexperience. We as Professionals have know our gear up, down and side to side.
- Lighting – It may not be on the mind of a Bride looking for a certain look to their portraits. The locations and venues may not have the best light on the day of the wedding. This should not be a concern of the Bride and Groom that is why hiring a pro with years of experience prepare for, no venue to dark no location that we cannot light up.
- Back up grear, this is a no brainer. We carry at least 2 camera bodies and a back up as well so no shot is missed by a dead battery or if a camera is dropped.
- Insurance yes a piece of mind that you may not even think about. Are we covered insurance should be secured to fill the gaps that contracts and formations may not provide. At a minimum a wedding photographer should carry liability and equipment insurance.
- Some wedding venues require photographers to provide proof of this type of insurance before they may be allowed to engage in business on their property.
- Have a contract with a photographer, keep everything in writing and legal.
Portfolio – Take a look at the work of the photographer and decide if the style of his or hers matches yours, does their work speak to you?
When Planning a Wedding, you’ll be spending more money in your one day of celebration then you probably have ever spent before in a week, a month or even several months.
Wedding Photography is one of those major expenses, Why? Because we are there with you from start to finish, well as long as you need us.
On average, couples in the United States pay 10-15% of their total budget on a wedding photographer. Sound like a lot? It is. But hiring the best wedding photographer for you can be one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the wedding planning process.
- The average cost for a wedding photographer is 10-15% of a couple’s total budget, which is currently around $2800 for the average US couple.
- You can expect your wedding photographer cost to run you anywhere between $2,500-$10,000 depending on the experience of your photographer along with what they’re including in your wedding package.
- Wedding photography packages will typically cover 8 hours, on average. More or less shooting time will influence your cost.
- It’s important to ask a prospective wedding photographer how much extra they are charging for a wedding album if they’ve bundled the cost into their package price.
What if the couple has less than $2,500 to invest in a photographer? What do you suggest, and what could be cut to meet their budget if anything?
The total number of weddings in 2017 was 1,299
Also, the average cost for a wedding in FM is $26,000 which is about $2k less than the national average. Just thought I’d share that since I saw your number in the notes!
When you are holding interviews for potential photographers you are in charge. Besides the wonderful work the reviews, and the pricing. The personality of the person you wish to hire for the day really matters.
The connection you feel in the first 5 minutes are the ones that count, do you enjoy someone that takes care of the whole day or do you just want to make most of the decisions?
Working together and connecting are very important, after you decide you are a good fit for your wedding. Have your list of questions noted above, this is your wedding and it is going to be a very long day so make sure the photographer you hire is one you can spend the whole day with, like a good friend.
This is one of the biggest lasting investments of your wedding day. Therefore, take the time to research and meet more than one photographer (if meeting in person is not an option, ask the important questions over the phone/email)
It’s important that the photographer understands what makes you and your to-be spouse feel confident, what types of backgrounds/environments you prefer, what backdrops you are not as in to, etc. Does lighting matter to you, if so let your potential photographer know
Indoor or Outdoor or mix photos? Does this matter to you?
Compare package prices, hours of coverage, inclusions and exclusions, does that photographer give you full copyright access to the digital photos?
Do they provide files instead of .JPEG, so that there wouldn’t be any compression loss in the photos we receive?
How does your personality jive with the person capturing the visual memories of your wedding day?
All this planning is for one day only, one day you marry the partner you wish to spend the rest of your life with, one day you share this beautiful moment with all your family and friends that you love. Make sure you hold onto those memories and don’t look back and wish you had hired a photographer.
Wedding Photography is about unique moments, it’s about being able to relive the day through beautiful photos, this is smiling at moments you didn’t even know happened, seeing the excitement and emotion on the faces of the your family and friends, and, above all, having a story that you shall take with you forever…
Wedding Vendors Podcast