"Why? Why?! Because dealing with Bridezilla on the ‘most important day of my life!!!’ has its costs. And let’s not forget the mother. And the mother-in-law. All who have their own little insights into how you, the tog, should get the shot. And the more booze you begin to pour into the wedding party the more likely some moron who got a camera once for Christmas is going to start following you around critiquing as you go.
None of this happens when you’re shooting for a magazine. None of this happens when you’re shooting a natural disaster. None of it even happens when you’re shooting a Bar Mitzvah. It’s unique to the wedding.
In all seriousness though, I do have to say thanks to the WW photographers that posted on the thread about this topic a couple of weeks ago. FH and I have had a lady take our family pictures for several years now, and they are wonderful. When we first got engaged, we didn't even think about looking for a photographer and just knew we were going to use her since her prices were way less expensive then others in our area. After that thread, I started to get nervous since she has minimal wedding experience. After comparing her wedding portfolio to that of other photographers, there was a huge difference in quality. I talked to FH, and he agreed, so we booked a different photographer this weekend that was quite a bit more money, but whose work was fantastic instead of mediocre. Thanks to the WW photographers for saving FH and I a ton of heartache after our wedding!
Our photographer is my biggest wedding regret, and it hasn't even happened yet. I think he sucks. If we booked someone new, we'd be out $1000 on top of the higher fee we'd have to pay for a better photog, and it's not in our budget. He doesn't do any post-production work except on the 20 photos he puts in the album. Le sigh.
Thank you Rosie for your comment. I have been thinking about a photographer that is a lot cheaper than the rest and I haven't been comfortable with this idea at all. I think we will just hunker down, work more ot and get one we know we will be happy with.
I just want to add one correction to this fabulous article.
I'm doing a study on post-processing and editing since I teach it...
The average 35% of all professional photographers take 1 week or longer in front of the computer, while 21% take 1-2 weeks. That's the largest group that exists. so that means the 1 out of 5 photographers sits in front of their computer editing your photos for 1-2 weeks straight.
Now this doesn't mean that those that take 1 day to edit deserve any less than those that take 1-2 weeks. quite contrary. THey have mastered their skill. the vast majority of these photographers have been in the business 12-20 years and most of them 20+ years. So their expertise as photographers has taught them how to use their camera correctly, and how to use their time efficiently.
I had total sticker shock too, but I'm confident that I SCORED on my photog. He seriously knows what customer service is all about, he treated me like I was his client even before we booked him..he has over 40 five star reviews on yelp and definitely has no shortage of work but he is so humble and easy going while also being professional. His portfolio was my favorite that I looked at. Can't wait to see the moments he captures at the wedding!
We're paying a LOT more than what we expected on photography, but I think it's completely worth it. I wanted my photographer to capture moments and emotions. As you can see from my profile picture to the left, that's what she does! Totally worth it.
The other thing I would add is that people seems to expect so much more of their photographers these days than they used to. It used to be that people wanted to preserve the memory of their wedding, some formals, and perhaps the reception. Now you have the engagement shoots and bridal portraits before the wedding. You have the couple riding around town getting pictures of them in their wedding finery that have absolutely nothing to do with the ceremony or reception. And you have the TTD session the next day.
And no more just sticking the photos into the album you buy from the discount store. Now you've got a high quality album for the couple, and two to four more albums for the parents.
All of this is fine for those who want it and can afford it. However, for those who are economizing, you need to think about how much of this is important to you. If you are willing to go back to just pictures of the actual wedding, and just get them on a disk with reprint rights, it is possible to bring down the costs considerably.
My album was $1600! (yikes - hubby wanted it and so we got it). It will out live our great, great grandkids I'm sure. It was worth it, though. It's amazing...unbelievably awesome. We had some books made on mpix for parents. Obviously absolutely NO comparison.
There's definitely a reason, number 1 is equipment, 2 is time, and 3 is skill. Of course number 3 is where you can save money by going with someone less experienced but as a wedding photographer myself I know what is involved, and it is a lot. My fiancee and I are getting married in November, and we are looking for a wedding photographer since I can not shoot my own. There is a lot to consider.
Check out www.dcmproductionsllc.com and contact them if you are looking for decent prices and great quality and service.
This was a great article Analy! Who would've ever guessed it would've cost $5,000 to keep a website up and all.. that's just insane!! It was a very entertaining and informative article though thanks for posting Analy
I had a bride call me yesterday, and some of the contracts that they'd been offered, required the couple to carry insurance for them, if their gear was damaged in a natural disaster the couple was responsible for replacement, and they had to carry liability insurance for the photographers! Obviously the people that they had spoken with previously were not prepared to be a wedding photographer. I love those calls, when you can collectively laugh at what other "Photographers" have laid out on the table.
After reading these boards every now and then and always seeing many brides talk about the fact they don't want to pay a lot for wedding photography it is nice to see this post. It is nice that at least a few brides on these boards understand that wedding photography (and video if you have it) are the best things that you will take away from your wedding.