For many people their wedding day is just one day. For others, it lasts several. But one thing is certain, in today’s society almost all weddings cost THOUSANDS of dollars.
In order to address HOW to pick a Wedding Photographer, we need to touch on WHY you would want one.
For myself the answer is simple. Cost. If I were investing THAT much money for a wedding, I would want PHENOMENAL QUALITY photos of it.
But there are other reasons.
You not only put enough money of what can easily be a year’s salary to some people, you also spend months to years (and some plan it for perfection their entire lives), would you really want to trust your special day of photos solely to your guests?
Sure the world of digital cameras, phones, and tablets are so advanced that they often match that of some* pro equipment. But there is something to be said for the countless hours of experience, training, and education in the Wedding Photographer profession.
I believe it’s a good idea to have other cameras at weddings for the moments the Wedding Photographer isn’t hired for, like how your personal family is having a good time at the couples’ event. Couples LOVE to see those photos. Or ones a guest may snag of the couple that the photographer didn’t catch. Those are rarely of the couple during the ceremony, but happen a lot during the reception. I like the unplugged ceremony concept.
Those are just a few reasons WHY to hire a Wedding Photographer.
Here’s some helpful tips in HOW TO PICK a Wedding Photographer.
1) Understanding price is half the battle when coordinating your wedding. And at times, it can be a give and take game if you’re on a slim budget. Let me break down price for your typical Wedding photographer:
Most of us are there for your entire wedding day: say 8 hours.
What you don’t see is it may take nearly 2 hours or more to prepare, pack, and load our gear for that day. And as many of you have seen, we haul A LOT of gear.
Another time expense you don’t see is editing. This has always been a point of contention between clients and photographers-“why does it take so long to get our photos back?”
Here’s your answer. Say I take 1,000 photos of your wedding day, spend 10 minutes on each. That’s 10,000 minutes=166ish hours. Pretend I spend every minute of a full 8 hour day editing your wedding photos, That’s still a minimum of 20ish days. Now granted, out of 1,000 photos you probably get 200. But I still spend time to see if I can save them. Even at 2-5 minutes you’re still looking at 4-10 days using the same math formula (# of images x # of minutes spent on each image/60 minutes in an hour/8 hours in a day=How many days to get your images back). This formula is relative as you will not spend EVERY minute working on photos.
~Now let’s get back to price.
Say we stick with the 8 hour wedding day and 20-8 hour days of editing. And let’s say we pay a photographer $10 per hour for their time alone. That’s already $1,680. Here, I’ll even low ball the time of the 8 hour wedding and 4-8 hours of editing = $400.
That doesn’t include travel, if we have to rent lenses, lights, stands, ladders, or other expenses to achieve the photos you want.
~Wedding photographers try to make between a $100-500 margin to make up for all the education and other things they had to pay for to get to where they are. And then somewhere in time it will eventually be a profit.
2) So after you understand why Wedding Photographers charge what they do and how you can fit one into your budget, if you’re on a tight budget, consider hiring them for less time or some photographers offer discounts for getting married on Fridays or Sundays.
3) Find a style of Wedding Photography you like. Candid clean edits and shot? Tack sharp close ups? Aerial? Lots of bokeh or sharp backgrounds? Natural light, fill light, fog lighting? Not only do these questions and more determine the equipment a photographer needs to have with them and know how to use regularly but it also helps you not be surprised when the photos come back, and you get exactly what you wanted.
4) View their portfolio!!!!!!!!! Their work speaks leaps and bounds and will determine if the price is worth it!
5) Verbally SPEAK to each photographer you really like! Not just to price hunt. You will weed out a few simply from their phone etiquette and customer service/satisfaction.
Hopefully these lengthy tips have tuned you in to the world of Wedding Photography and can help you find a great quality photographer for a decent price when the time comes.
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