So its getting Official, You have your Venue and Date, and your officiant is pumped and ready to go, Now what? Depending on who you ask, where you go from here can be overwhelming so the rest of these blogs are really in no order other then what most people feel are important or think about first. So lets get Shot!
Most feel Photography is one of the most important aspects of a wedding. Brides dream about all the stunning images that will be taken and looked at for years to come, Grooms have fun and look back at all those images and remember how much fun, how stunning his now wife looks and all the great moments they both shared together on there special day. So they better be good. Here are a few tips and tricks to getting great images on your special Day.
Picking the right photographer for you is key. STOP LOOKING AT PRICE! Yes, I said it. Not because photographers should charge a lot of money to capture your day, but because you should be looking at other things that are more important, like there work! Yes, everyone is on a budget, and im not saying to break the bank, go tons into debt and all that. But what I am saying is, there is no reason to talk about price, if you dont like the images they are producing. Don't settle for what you don't like, because it is the only thing you can afford. Your average photographer will cost between $2000 and $5000. You may ask, "why such a difference in price?". Well, there are several factors as to why, It might be experience, your location (photographers cost more in NY, then they do in Medford OR.), what your package includes, etc. If the first think you look for is the price, that might be the only thing your happy with. As they say, You get what you pay for. With that Said, don't discount those photographers who are priced lower, just keep a few things, Lower priced photographers may not have insurance, may not have the top end gear, etc.
Preferred photographers vs non-preferred vendors, what are the differences and pros and cons to each. Preferred photographers are great because they may know your venue like the back of their hand. They know great spots, they know how the venue runs and are connected to the staff. You know they are good because the venue wants them there more then others, and they are backed by the venue themselves. The downfall to your venues preferred photographers is they do tend to be more expensive, over worked, and may default into standard poses and locations so your wedding might look the same as the wedding that was their that morning, or the night before. Vs with a different photographer, you might be able to find an awesome photographer for a cheaper price, will think outside the box, and may not be over worked.
Things to keep in mind, Some venues set limitations on outside vendors, more so with photographers then any other vendor. Preferred vendors get access to the more photogenic areas of the property, They may or may not get more time with you to photograph images, as well as may be granted permission to use certain amenities the venues have to offer. With that said, these aspects should not matter! If you have a great photographer, they should be able to photograph anywhere and make your images look stunning.
Personality is Huge with photographers! If your lead photographer is not as outgoing as you would expect from you DJ or MC, pick a different Photographer! Depending on your package, you are going to be with your photographer for between 4 and 12 hours of your day. Your going to want someone who is fun to be around, interacts with you, cracks jokes you find funny, and should get along with both you, and your family, your guests, and your vendors. You want someone who is there for you and not just there for the money. With video-ographers, Its hard for them to talk and interacting with you while working, because if they are recording, and talking with your guests, you will here their conversations over your you saying your vows, or "I Do's" etc. But your photographer should be having fun and capturing your moments vs anything else. You need to be conferrable with them in every moment, So pick a photographer that is right for you!
Why do Photographers Cost what they cost? Since I am a photographer myself, I can dish the dirt and be honest. Your lower priced photographer has on average of $500-$3500 worth of equipment. Your mid priced photographers have $3000-$10000 worth of equipment, and your higher priced photographers have between $15000 and up worth of Equipment. Photographers have marketing costs like paying commissions to venues, lead websites, etc. But most of all its the hours upon hours work photographers do. Typically a photographer will take about 100 image per hour of coverage time. If the photographer is with you 8 hours. take 800 images (most promise this amount, and take double then edit down), If it takes 1 min per image, and a photographer took 1600 images, that is 27 hour of editing hours for your wedding, plus the 8 hours of coverage, meeting with you, answering e-mails, talking on the phone, walk throughs, Rehersal time, etc. You looking at give or take 40+ hours of time for your wedding. Then add in cost of gas, materials, staff, utilities, incidentals (DVD's, Flash Drives, Gallery costs, insurance, etc.), Plus Taxes, Credit card fees for accepting them, etc. It really does all add up. Some might say the above is TMI, But I say, why not be honest, why not inform people so they know and are aware of what goes into it.
Lastly, there is a 3rd option, and that is using a Friend or Family member as your photographer. If I can stress one thing most out of everything, I stress this........ DONT!!!!! Their are a few reasons people go with this option, First and foremost, To get the cheapest deal in price. 2nd, to help the photographer gain experience and images for their portfolio, and 3rd to get the cheapest deal in price, LOL. Here are some cons to having your friends or family members photograph your big day. Now dont get me wrong, I have photographed some friends and family member's weddings. But there was a line drawn between business and personal. If you have a friend or family member photograph your wedding, you could run into issues of that person not enjoying themselves and feeling taken advantage of or the opposite, what happens if they enjoy themselves to much and have a few drinks, what will your pics look like? will moments be missed because they are talking to family instead of taking pictures? What happens if you dont like the images? Most of the time price is a concern, but if your Friend is a pro, think about it from a different point of view. If your a teacher and your boss asked you to teach for half the price, would you agree? Yes, your friend wants to help you out, But they also have to pay bills. Also will they put the same effort as they would a reg client? Is there more pressure on them, do you want them to have your wedding day on there mind?
All in all, no matter the option or situation, Pick the photographer that is best suited for you and your big day. Look at their work, their reviews, their personality and have fun in this process. its a fun one! If you go with the photographer that provides great quality and a great experience, no matter the cost, it will be worth it. In 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, etc. You will look at those images and hopfully be happy with them.