Most brides wonder how much they should spend on photography. Budgeting is definitely not the most enjoyable part of wedding planning, but I hope this post will make it seem a little easier. I am asked about a budget for wedding photography quite frequently, and my first piece of advice would be to define your priorities. This will help you nail down a budget. Each part of a wedding is important, but defining which aspects are most important to you will help decide how much should be spent on each category. Therefore, I have learned to ask this question:
“How valuable are your wedding photos to you?”
Having been a bride myself, I understand the inner struggle. You don’t want to underfund a category of your wedding only to regret it later. You also don’t want to spend too much, only to later find out that there was a better and more reasonably priced option. Add to those thoughts the plethora of talented photographers with varying photo packages and prices, and you can feel quite overwhelmed.
When it comes to photography, it may help to consider the following:
- The experience of the photographer
- Evidence of their skill and proficiency (What do you think of their past photos?)
- Cost and budget
Would you want to have a recent cosmetology school graduate cut and color your hair the day before your wedding? On the day of your wedding, you will feel more at ease if you have an experienced veteran behind the camera.
Will I regret a decision to spend less if my pictures do not turn out the way I envisioned them? Would you be more confident about the results of a reconstructive surgery if your surgeon were the chief of surgery and had thousands of happy patient testimonies? Or would it make no difference to you if your surgeon were just starting out and had no one to speak of his or her proficiency? Make sure you check a photographers’ past work. You don’t want a meticulously planned event that is only marginally documented.
Is spending a bit more money to ensure beautiful pictures worth it to you? An investment of time and energy is worth an equal investment of finances.
Unfortunately, the day of your wedding is too late to change any of your decisions. So try to be honest with yourself during the planning process. Your wedding will be much more enjoyable if you have complete confidence in your photographer. There are many issues you do not want to have to worry about on your big day. You want someone who will show up early, put you at ease during pictures, deftly navigate family politics, and juggle unexpected events and hiccups- all while taking beautiful photos! Sadly, not all photographers will satisfy those expectationsHere are four quick tips to help you find the right photographer:
- Ask to see a full gallery from a previous wedding they have photographed.
- Make sure they listen to you. The right photographer will want to get to know you and will be an enthusiastic supporter of your love story. They should prioritize your vision above their own.
- If the price seems too good to be true, listen to your instincts. It is rare to find Nordstrom quality at Forever 21 prices. Finding a deal is exciting, but be wary of a number that is much lower than every other option. A quality item usually comes with a quality price tag- just like in your closet.
- Look for signs that someone is brand new to the industry and try to stay away. If they are offering an unusual number of incentives (free stuff), run. They are probably trying to lure you in. A high-quality product does not need to be incentivized. A photographer who is confident enough in their craft to stand by their pricing is a good sign. It shows that they have been in the industry long enough not to be intimidated; they know their product is worth their price. Most likely, they are top quality and will make sure you are happy and taken care of in the most professional way. This is the kind of photographer that you want.
I truly believe that knowledge is power when it comes to finding the right photographer for your wedding day. If you want to talk about our packages and how we can help capture the best day of your lives, please let us know. If you’d like to dive a little deeper see my article on Finding the best wedding photographer.
About these images: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains is Beaver Creek a mountain oasis from the hustle of city life. After a beautiful ceremony at the Beaver Creek Chapel, the couple celebrated with friends and family in an al fresco backdrop with a marquee tent and lush summer flowers at the Ritz-Carlton at Bachelor Gulch. The bride and groom were both arrested and rested in each other’s eyes during their ceremony and throughout their beautifully curated reception. It was a joy to share this beautiful time with this lovely couple in such a gorgeous setting. It was also a pleasure to work with Callie Hobbs Photography assisting her on this stunning day.