Is the photographer the right place to trim budget?
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 is hard to keep spending “a little more here…and a little more there”. Somewhere along the line, you feel, you have to give a little! There is only so much money available!
But be careful about being too cautious about the price of wedding photography.
Keeping things in focus
Yet, within the framework of the entire wedding day, it makes good sense to evaluate the money spent on photographs in relation to what is being spent on flowers, food and music. Although everyone knows that the pictures are the only thing you have after the moment has passed, some people still feel they have to put the money “where it shows”.
Later, in the privacy of their own hearts, many of these people are often disappointed with photographic memories that give them nothing by heartaches…and there is no remedy!
Let us face it! You are going to remember the wedding day through the eyes, heart and talent of your photographer. When making the decision as to whom that photographer is going to be, realize that often times you are taking a relative difference of pennies! On the other hand, if you are unhappy, regardless of the “good deal” you are getting, you could lose everything!
The going rate
What is the “going rate” among wedding photographers nowadays? The price difference is as great as the time, talent and technique of the studios being considered. Certainly, among competent photographers in a highly competitive area, or photographers in their formative years, a good wedding coverage can be found around the thousand-dollar category. Spending less than that would probably be a high-risk gamble.
Other photographers may begin somewhere around a thousand dollars and go upwards from there. A true specialist, one who has a reputation for consistently delivering the best, might begin at two or three times that amount and go upwards to five thousand and more.
Packages vs. freeform pricing
When considering the cost of a photographer, you may find that studios sometimes approach this matter in one of two different manners. Whereas some photographers have basic “packages” of an agreed number of photographs for a specified dollar amount, other studios might have a predetermined charge for their services and allow you to buy whatever amount of pictures you want.
There are, of course, benefits to both approaches. In the first instance, you have a good idea right from the start how much money you are probably going to spend…and you are locked into that minimum. That is a double guarantee, for both you and the photographer.
Studios that offer you what is know as their a-la-carte system are taking a chance (along with you) as to how much money you will be spending.
You may feel more comfortable with either one of them. The both have merit. Still, be prepared that regardless of the method used, you could easily spend much more than you originally planned.
Understanding true value
The bottom line, as you know, is not necessarily how much you end up spending on photographs. Instead, it is how much pleasure you get from them over the years.
Wouldn’t you agree, that at a time as important as your wedding day, it is better to invest a little more money for photography than you had planned…instead of a little less than you should? Why risk your memories of a once-in-a-lifetime event on a gamble?
Besides, if you should spend $1000 for your wedding pictures, that is only an investment of five cents a day if you make it to your 50th anniversary! Only twenty-seven cents a day on an investment of $5000!