I hear this question all the time…usually when standing in a group of strangers and weddings come up and they do not yet know I’m a photographer. So, I want to tackle this conversation head on and hopefully bring some clarity to our industry.
Maybe you’ve recently gotten engaged and started discussing the wedding budget. For many couples, the first phone call is to their dream venue to discuss pricing. They quickly discover the price tag to feed their entire dream guest list just created a little bit of sticker shock. Follow that by the phone calls to other vendors and suddenly the budget you originally started with looks like it may need not be enough. This is the normal experience.
In this video I debunk the myth that “photographers hear the word wedding and up their prices.” It’s not true. It’s important to understand what you are paying for when you talk to photographers. There’s a lot that separates a brand new photographer from an experienced one. (See post on how to compare photographers.)
First of all, the term “expensive” is so relative. I hear people describe a $2,500 wedding photography package as “such a steal” and the next day “sooooo expensive.” Lauren Grove, blogger at Every Last Detail researched the industry and found the average bride spends $3,520 on wedding photography. I have close friends who are brilliantly talented photographers and their collections start at $15,000 so clearly there are some things that separate one photographer from another.
I can’t stress enough to you the importance of investing in an experienced photographer. When it’s all said and done, the photos are ALL that’s left. Whether the guests ate steak or tacos, the food will be consumed. Whether the center pieces were roses or hydrangeas, the flowers will have wilted. All that you will have to show for your wedding are the pictures and the memories. I’ve heard many couples regret the arm and leg they spent on some details of a wedding day, but I have never in my 10 years in the industry heard a couple complain about investing in a good photographer.
I believe it’s more important to higher an experienced, professional photographer for 4 hours than an amateur for 8 hours because you usually do get what you pay for in this arena. An experienced photographer is going to produce beautiful images regardless of the venue, the lighting, or the weather. They are prepared for different situations. A hobbyist or amateur is still learning the ropes, and your wedding day is not the time or place for schooling. Below in this video Sophia explains what you’re investment covers when you hire a professional.
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