WHAT ARE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHS WORTH?
Selecting the correct photographer for your individual needs should be one of the most important decisions in the preparation of your wedding. There are many considerations to be dealt with, in addition to the cost. Of course, one needs to work with a budget. So, let's start out by saying that it's difficult to pay too much for something you really like. Yet, the initial price is usually the one obstacle that prevents many couples from selecting the photographer who undoubtedly could give them the best value for their money.
Quite often the difference between the price of the photographer you really like and one who you feel is "within the budget" is miscalculated. Understandably, of course! When wedding plans come down to dollars and cents, it's hard to keep spending "a little more here ... and a little more there." Somewhere along the line, you may feel, you have to give a little. There's only so much money available.
One can and should expect to get an estimate for the cost of wedding pictures on the telephone. At the same time, you should not expect to be given details about sizes and numbers, before sitting down with the photographer face to face.
So, then, how much money should pictures cost? Prices can be as different as the time, talent and technique of the photographers being considered. Certainly, among competent professional photographers in highly competitive areas, or among photographers in their formative years, you can expect to begin at around $1,500. Spending less than that could be a high-risk gamble ... and not worth the "savings."
When considering the cost of a photographer, you really want to know the "ﬁnal" price, more than the "asking" price. It may be good to ask the photographer's opinion as to how much do you think that it would cost you in order to get a complete coverage that would please you and, at the same time, make it worthwhile for the photographer to put forth a total effort.
There are other serious considerations when selecting a wedding photographer. Your primary focus should be on the photographer's ability and/or desire to be ﬂexible. In particular: Does the photographer have a philosophy and "game plan" for what s/he would like to accomplish on your wedding day? Can the photographer adapt his/her approach to include well-executed formal portraiture (as much or as little as your prefer) that doesn't appear to be stiff and/or unnatural?
Is the photographer capable and willing to also capture candid and photojournalistic images as a part of the wedding coverage? Far too often photographers claim to be able to capture photojournalistic images, but instead the images look like snapshots, without any artistic direction, and even more importantly not telling the story of your wedding day. Your wedding is a live event and should be captured in a way that tells the story without disturbing your special moments.
Another important factor to consider, is the photographer a full-time photographer or does s/he do it on the side. Far too many times I've had brides call me desperately looking for a photographer at the last minute, because her photographer couldn't photograph her wedding due to having to work at his/her real job.
Remember, you're going to be concerned with the price only one time ... when you make the decision to hire that photographer. BUT, you'll have to live with the quality of your photographs for the rest of your life!