Following on from my article last week on how to choose a wedding photographer, today I’m dealing with a related subject – budgeting for wedding photography. I hope you find the article helpful, and I’d love to know your thoughts – you can comment at the bottom. Please share this post too! 🙂
How much does Wedding Photography really cost?
Everyone wants their big day to be shot by a seasoned photographer who knows how to work wonders with his/her creativity and skills. However, it can be a confusing business trying to allocate a budget for wedding photography, as there are a huge number of photographers around with wildly varying prices, and levels of skill and professionalism. As noted in a recent issue of Brides Magazine , the total cost of wedding photography makes it the 3rd most expensive item of your wedding budget, after the expenditure on the honeymoon and wedding reception.
Wedding photography packages can appear to be expensive purchases, so couples often wonder whether a professional photographer is worth the outlay. The final decision, of course, lies with the couple. However, with my extensive experience as a wedding photographer, I hope to help guide you in acquiring an insight on how to best spend your hard earned money when it comes to photography.
Wedding Photography Packages & Your Budget
While it appears trite to say that you’ll always get what you pay for, it is certainly true of wedding photography (and lenses, actually, but that’s another story). Pick a skilled, professional wedding photographer and you need not worry that your money will go to waste. Research suggests allocating approximately 10-15% of your total wedding expenditure for photography.
You can normally choose from a number of different wedding photography packages (or collections, or coverages, they all mean the same thing) that most photographers offer at nominal rates. These collections vary from basic – which might include a single photographer taking pictures for a set number of hours – to a premium package offering a comprehensive plan for your big day, perhaps with more than one photographer, and/or including a substantial album or any number of other items.
However, be wary of choosing the photographer offering the most “product”. More does not mean better. Some photographers offer a huge number of digital images – 800 or 1000 or more – or several albums, or 2 or 3 photographers on the day. But that does not mean you’ll love what they do. Consider the time spent editing that many images for example – is it going to be done with the same care as a photographer whose work you love who suggests you’ll get 400 or 500 images? Do you really want or need 1000 digital images, or a huge album, or a big box of prints?
It’s far better to choose a more basic package from a photographer whose work connects with you. Photographs you love are priceless and timeless; mediocre photos will always be just that, even if there are hundreds of them in a posh album.
Budgeting for Wedding Photography
With the latest DSLRs and probably some passionate amateur photographers in your family, you might think that it’s rather a good idea to do away with a wedding photographer and replace him or her with, for example, your cousin who has recently done a course in photography. Many people do this, and while it’s not always a bad idea, consider that on average a professional photographer will spend approximately 40 hours on your wedding in all, concentrating on the most important moments, providing you perfectly edited photographs, printing, album design, consultations, planning, visiting venues, and so on.
The most important things you’re paying for however are not the photographer’s time or equipment, but their “eye” for the photographs, their extensive experience, and the fact that you can trust them to produce a set of images you’ll have forever.
How to Save Money on Wedding Photography?
When it comes to making the final decision, just focus on your total budget and the range you have allocated for your wedding photography as well as the importance of your wedding photos to you and your soulmate.
It is not always the case that if you have a limited budget you will have necessarily have to compromise on quality. You might look to choose a photographer you love and cut down on additional services or products that you might not need – you could always order an album later, for example. You could also ask about payment plans, so you can spread the cost over a longer period, which can work well as many people book a photographer a year or more in advance.
Finally, and importantly, always go for a wedding photographer with whom you feel at ease (if you’re uncomfortable it’ll show in the photos), and whose style connects with yours.
Related article: how to choose a wedding photographer
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Budgeting for wedding photography
That’s all for now folks. What are your thoughts on this subject? I’d love to know, please comment below and don’t forget to tick the “also post on Facebook” box.
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