Mistakes to avoid and money to save.
Money is always important when it comes to spending it, right? So here are a few tips on how to avoid problems and still get good results within your wedding photography budget.
First and foremost – Don’t under any circumstances have a friend or a friend of a relative who is not an experienced professional photographer shoot your wedding day, even if it’s for little or no cost. It’s a mistake that can linger for a long time.
Why? Because wedding photography is a demanding form of photography that require a complete knowledge of how to work under pressure, with difficult lighting situations and maintain constant attentiveness all while keeping the bride and groom relaxed and looking their best.
It is NOT a job a friend with a camera unless you’re willing to accept: important moments missed, a low amount of proofs or finished images, hurt feelings if you’re not happy with the results and no recourse if it all falls apart.
Think of it this way: Would you want an amateur to make your wedding gown or bake your wedding cake? No, the risks are too high.
Second – Buying more time than you need. Do you really need a photographer, a second photographer and videographer at the location you’re getting ready at three hours before the ceremony? No, this is a waste of time. And money. Unless you absolutely must have dozens of photos as you get your hair and makeup done, your gown hanging, your flowers and your bridesmaids dressing, forget about it. One hour and one photographer is enough for the”prep photos.”
Third - A second photographer. Good idea with a large bridal party of more that 8 on each side and more than 200 guests. Bad idea if your wedding has 75 or less guests, a bridal party of maybe four, and the ceremony/reception is in the same location. One experienced photographer can give you all the photos you’ll ever need.
Finally – remember this adage – “you get what you pay for”. Someone offering full day coverage for $299 is going to hurt you.
With a limited amount to spend here are some ideas to help you get the photos you want.
Less than full-day coverage; Do you really need eight hours of coverage? Maybe you only need two, four or six hours and starting the clock at the ceremony maximizes coverage of the most important parts of the day.
Why? Because the ceremony is the main part of what the day is all about – you and your husband exchanging vows, professing your love for each other and sealing it with a kiss. Portraits of you and your husband are lasting images of that moment in time. Ditto for group photos that include family members. All this, plus your entrance and first dance, usually takes place in the middle four or six hours of the wedding day.
A photographer maybe willing to do less than a full day. If you’re getting married prime-time like May-June or September-October it could be hard to find someone willing to do this, but if you’re having an off-season wedding, it should be no problem.
DIY Album; If you arrange to either buy the digital files from your photographer, or they’re included in the price, consider making your own album. You can save here if you’re dedicated to the task and have the know-how. There are many on-line services offering dozens of styles of photo books and albums.