This is a tough question and I find that there is no right or wrong answer. Will you choose depending on cost, experience of the photographer, style of photography (yes, there’s more than one!), personality or depending on wether or not you have a family member or friend that “takes pictures”? Trust me, most of the time, couples choose based on cost, the cheapest, not realizing that they are underestimating the value of an experienced wedding photographer, the style that will really make them happy and the value of getting an EXPERIENCE, rather than someone who JUST shows up to take photos.
Trust me, this post is not to convince you that it’s worth spending thousands and thousands of dollars on wedding day photography. This post is to help you think about what is important to you and why wedding day photography could cost more than your budget will allow. I honestly believe there can be a good balance between cost, experience, style and personality.
This is what Google had to say about how much to spend on a wedding photographer:
“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” Jan 8, 2016 Interesting, isn’t it!? On average, couples can expect to spend 10-15% of their total budget on a wedding photographer.
So, here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself when choosing YOUR own wedding day photographer;
1. How important is wedding day photography for US? No matter how “simple” you may think your wedding will be, it’s still YOUR wedding day and you want make sure you are left with beautiful memories by someone who knew what what they were doing.
2. How much wedding day coverage do we REALLY need? You may be surprised to know that -if well planned- with just 4 hours you can get Ceremony, family and portrait session coverage, without sacrificing quality. Some photographers offer this, so don’t be afraid to ask. Coverage can go from 4, 6 to 8+ hours. Hiring for less hours could allow you to hire that one photographer you REALLY want without sacrificing quality by hiring another for more hours but with lower quality work. In genera, coverage is continuous, meaning there are no breaks! Except for more than 6 hours, some photographers will just get a break during dinner time – and its well deserved! 😉 (This is why a wedding day timeline is very important)
3. Do I want an experienced photographer or someone that just shows up to take pictures? Really think about this one. I’ve had EVERY.SINGLE.FRIEND of mine regret having asked a friend or family member to take their photos, just because they didn’t want to spend “a lot of money” and later only be totally disappointed and sad that they don’t have a single decent wedding photo. An experienced photographer will know how wedding days flow, knows how to treat friends and family members, they know how to direct during family and portrait sessions. They have the ability to help and guide you when it comes time to build a wedding timeline (I love doing this!) they have social skills and know how important this day is, they have developed the ability to anticipate special moments and captures them as they are happening.
What an experienced photographer offers is AN EXPERIENCE from start to finish, not just a service without any personal connection, so don’t skimp! Really!
In the future I hope to add my own two cents about a few more questions that I’ve been asked in the past, so if you have any others, feel free to email me! 😉
I was second photographer at this beautiful wedding with Anna Wu and as you can see, it required an army!
Don’t minimize the importance of your wedding day photography. It WILL matter when day the has passed and you want to look back at those beautiful memories.