This blog covers a topic that most couples do not always stop to consider, yet it is something I strongly believe that all couples should understand. This blog talks about the importance of your wedding photographer: why it’s so important to invest into a professional photographer, the investment gap between photographers, and how to identify and book the photographer that is the perfect fit for your needs and wants on your wedding day.
If you’re reading this blog, then that means that you more than likely are newly engaged and planning the wedding day that you’ve always dreamed of and are currently on the hunt for a wedding photographer who will document this chapter in your lives.
However, finding a wedding photographer is not as easy as it seems and there is so much more to booking a photographer than couples often think about. I’m going to tell you exactly what you should think about and consider so that you can find THE photographer that is perfect for you and your special day!
Every photographer (myself included) is a unique artist, entrepreneur, and individual; therefore every photographer runs his or her business very differently than others do. Certain photographers specialize in different fields, styles, experiences, lighting, wedding types, and the list continues.
Your wedding photography is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day.
Why? Photos are what preserve our memories as human beings and they serve as the catalyst so that we can pass our legacy onto the next generation and the generation after them. Wedding days go by fast and as the days, weeks, and years go by, our memories as human beings begin to fade. Photos are what allow us to relive the moment. Photos allow you to remember how you felt during those important emotional moments. Your groom’s reaction as he sees you in all your glory walking down the aisle. Your bride’s stunning wedding dress. The wholehearted and warm moments of the two of you holding each other in your couples portraits.
Here are three topics I think every couple should know when searching for their wedding photographer:
You should not book a photographer because they are alright, get the job done, and are affordable. You should book a professional photographer because of the quality of photography and the experience the photographer provides for you during this season in your lives.
High quality, full-time, experienced wedding photographers are not cheap. Oftentimes people will set a budget for a photographer when they do not realize the cost behind what they may want. I do not mean to step on any toes by saying this, but many times as people (myself included) we think up a number on how much something is without knowing how much it really costs. It can be disappointing when we come to find out that what we want costs double to triple than the amount budgeted.
One very common question is, “Why does one photographer cost $1,000.00 while another costs $10,000.00? What is the difference?” There are a few different reasons for this. Just like most things in the world, higher quality and premium experiences come with a higher investment.
Think Mercedes and Honda, yes both car brands are safe, comfortable, and will get you from place to place. But why is there such a massive price difference?
Mercedes offers and sells one of the highest quality vehicles, but even better than that, it sells a premium high quality experience and “family” that people want to be a part of. Yes, in the end cars are cars and photos are photos, but the quality of the product varies between brands. Even greater than that, the experience that the photographer offers is actually more valuable than the photos. A photographer may have amazing work, but if you hated working with them, they didn’t listen to you or make you feel loved, and didn’t seem like they really cared about you as people, the photos won’t make up for that failed experience.
On average, a full-time experienced wedding photographer with outstanding work and an amazing experience costs between $3,000.00 to $6,000.00 plus. An amateur, part-time photographer runs anywhere between $1,000.00 to $2,000.00.
There are various reasons, but the top reasons are this: Since we are full time photographers and are passionate about what we do, we have built a business that allows us to support our family and that sustains us long term. For us to be as committed to serving you as we want to, we have to charge a price that allows us the freedom to stay full-time.
What’s the difference between a full-time photographer and a part-time photographer? A full-time photographer is able to invest back into you. Since our art is our business, we do not juggle another job. We can pour fully into you and help prepare you for your big day. A full-time photographer also has more experience handling anything that can happen during the planning process, or even on the wedding day. Full-time photographers have vast experience and therefore (usually) can provide you with a beautiful selection of images and can handle any lighting situation or weather situation that the day throws at them. They are an EXPERT in their field.
Many times, if they are at a lower price point they are new to the industry, are still trying to build up a portfolio, and their business is part-time. They usually have less experience handling weddings and also with a camera, so the experience and the images may not be of the highest quality. If they are a part-time photographer, they will not be able to fully pour back into you because of their full-time job. They are still gaining experience and are not yet an expert in their field.
Your wedding day and everything it will offer you only happens once. That is why it is so valuable to invest into a professional who can provide you with an amazing experience and provide you with a gallery full of beautiful images at the end of it all.
Each photographer (myself included) is a unique artist, entrepreneur, and individual, therefore we also offer different photo styles (the way we photograph and the way we edit), the way we run our business (brand values and the experience offered) and also our personalities as people (do your personalities mesh well?) In short, even though we are all wedding photographers, we all specialize in different styles of photography, offer different experiences, and specialize in different wedding types.
So first, what do I mean by a “perfect fit” photographer? Whether you realize it or not, you are attracted to certain photographs and find other photographs not as pleasing to you. You want to make sure that you book a photographer that provides you with the experience you want and need for your wedding and that you love their work.
As an example, let’s look at my photography brand: I provide adventurous, story loving, and down to earth couples with an experience that allows them to experience and soak up every emotional moment during their wedding day while I document their romantic legacy. For my couples, I’m somewhere between a friend and a guide. Always professional, always on it, always ready to serve and invest back into their story every chance I get. At the end of it all, I provide them with a selection of images that not only fill their mind with beautiful memories – but dreams of the future.
Once you’ve found a couple of photographers and reached out to them, hop onto a phone call with them. Get to know a little bit more about them and ask them these questions:
4. Any other questions you may have. Common questions are investment costs, weather plan, travel plan (if applicable), describe their style, layout of the day, turn around rate, etc.
Well, this is the end for this blog post! I hope that after reading this blog you now know the true importance of your wedding photographer and why it is important to do your research, not blindly select a photographer based off of budget alone, and hopefully have even more clarity so that you can invest in the perfect fit photographer for your wedding day.
I capture the memories and dreams of adventurous couples across the US and beyond. Adventure elopements, destination weddings, micro-soirees - if you have a story you want to share with the world, I’d be honored to tell it.
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