I bet there is at least 10456 wedding photographers in Arizona, probably more, so how do you choose?! This person is going to be with you all day long! They will be capturing the most important day of your life so you better have the same taste in photographs. Cameras nowadays are absolutely incredible, most amateurs can create okay images with these babies, which gives you more options! But with so many options, how do you choose the right wedding photographer for your big day?
Here are the top 3 things to consider when choosing your wedding photographer in order of importance: Photography Style (their photos make you happy when you see them), Personality (you get along with them/they are quick to respond to you), and Cost (they are within your budget).
There are a few approaches, which I would define “approach” as how the photographer sets up the shot and poses you. This is the composition and posing of the photographs
I took all of these photos, but mainly identify with lifestyle photography so that is a majority of what my clients get back in their galleries.
The style is how the image is captured (camera settings) and edited; what the image actually looks like in the end.
Here is a photo from PPA-Professional Photographer’s Association that I am a member of. The difference is slight, but you know it when you see it side by side. A photographer does a lot more than just clicking a button, we pose, we move furniture, we create interesting composition and find the best light.
Believe it or not, your photographer will be with you more than any other person and probably is more involved in your planning than any other vendor unless you have hired a wedding planner. Mind. Blown. Huh.
I have this last because in the end, your photographers style and personality is way more important than their cost. Yes, you should have a budget, but if they are slightly above budget you could work out a payment plan or find a way to lower a budget on something else for wedding or earn some extra cash to afford them.
I wondered for a long time why photographers would call their pricing page “Investment” since you are not getting a monetary return on what you pay. But now I understand, because the rest of your purchases from your wedding will fade or get thrown out, but your photos will show your love everyday in your home. They are your first family heirloom to pass down thus they grow in value overtime.
As you research you will get a feel for what a good range is. You can look on a local site, for Utah ksl.com is great or another review site like weddingwire.com or theknot.com. More expensive doesn’t always mean better. Decent photographers range from $2000-$4000 in the SouthWest, experienced and high end photographers are usually $5000-$15,000+.
Photographers are independent business owners, they are not required to get any certifications or set their prices a certain way. We have the flexibility to determine our own worth. That being said, the quality of some photographers for what they charge is not worth it. Maybe they have a couple great photos, but they don’t understand basic exposure and lighting. Ask to see a full wedding gallery to see what quality you will actually be getting back. You can see mine at http://photos.kacilouphotography.com (just email me for the password)
There are a few different ways photographers can price their services and products. Just be aware upfront of the total costs, is their collection all inclusive or will you be charged for addons or overtime? Will you be charged for travel? Is there taxes, shipping, or any other fees? Here are some common methods:
1. Wedding Coverage + Digital Downloads and Print Release
They show up, take your pictures then send you a USB or link to download your images so you can print them whenever and wherever you want. While this seems like a great option since you have control, I take it you probably don’t have a professional printing lab or know the right color correction, resolution, dpi, different finishes or everything about designing your gallery or album. Wedding photographers deal with all that everyday, they should be helping you get the right products for your home. Usually new photographers price this way.
2. Wedding Coverage + Ordering Session for Prints
You can choose your coverage, then after the wedding they will meet with you to order prints. Ask for a print pricing sheet in advance so you are not surprised, some photographers price the prints for their time and the wedding coverage payment just covers their cost. Usually they do not include digital files unless you pay a premium price for it.
3. Wedding Coverage + Downloads with Products or Print Credit
This is where a photographer will present 3-5 collections that include a variety of coverage and products. For example their first collection could include 4 hours of coverage with an 11×14 canvas. While their last collection includes 12 hours of coverage, 2nd photographer, engagement session, an album, canvas, and prints.
When will you receive your images or products?
Do they charge for retouching?
Do they have a in person meeting with you to look at all the images?
How many images will you be getting?
I hope this was helpful! There are already so many choices you have to make for your wedding, a great wedding photographer should be a top priority besides the venue but I’m a little biased since I am a wedding photographer ha. But I’ve been a bride too! Our wedding photographer choice is a big regret…don’t let that be you!
August 17, 2017