Do you know the #1 question every Bride asks me to start with?
“How much are your wedding packages?”
But if you ask any married couple “How much did you pay for your wedding photography?” you are liable to get one of two answers-
“We paid more than we could afford, but it was well worth it” or you get…
“We went cheap and found out that it was more expensive in the long run. Very few of our wedding photos are worth seeing.”
So which bride will you be and why hiring that “Cheap Photographer” is more likely than not to cost you more in the long run than it would have been to hire that full time Professional Wedding Photographer to start with.
Your wedding photographs are going to be more than just “pictures”. These are going to be your keepsake memories you will want to see throughout your lifetime. Anniversaries, birth of your children, just because. Each of those are special times to remember your special day.
The #1 thing most couples complain about after their wedding photographs arrive is….
“We wish we had hired a professional wedding photographer and spent more than we did. We thought it wasn’t that important at the time, but boy do we regret that now.”
Think I’m kidding? Ask any married couple that “went cheap” and see what they have to say.
When families come to me for their Family Portraits, I hear it all the time about how they wish they had better wedding photographs. Sadly, I wish it could be different for them, but you can’t “undo” what has already been “done”.
Cheap Photographers are Cheap for a Reason
Most amateurs who enter into the Wedding Photography “business” usually aren’t well equipped in terms of the proper cameras and lenses needed to properly capture your wedding day. They usually have little or no experience in photographing weddings and don’t understand many of the “things that can go wrong will go wrong” part of the normal wedding day.
Many show up in a sweat shirt and shorts and have no idea about proper decorum. Sometimes this is there very first wedding…EVER!
Risking your wedding day photographs on a “cheap price” usually means you get something you would rather hide than share.
You want to look great on your Wedding Day, but….
Making you look good on your wedding day is not something that happens by accident. Putting you in a proper pose and hiding the things you wish you could hide takes years of experience to do. Proper posing, angles, proper lighting, and all the nuances needed come from education and experience.
Rarely does someone offering you a “cheap price” going to have what is needed to make that happen. Those amazing photos you see on Pinterest and in the wedding magazines don’t happen by accident and I can assure you, few if any are from “cheap photographers”.
Plan B. What “Plan B”?
Every wedding I have ever attended can have things go wrong that you have no control over. An outdoor wedding risks weather that isn’t going to be pretty. It rains, a quick storm comes up. Something may happen you didn’t plan on. Uncle Charlie gets a bit too tipsy. Cousin Charlotte dances on the tables. Things happen. I once saw the cake table get knocked over, but because I had captured images of their cake prior to that happening, I was able to give them a flawless image of them cutting it- as if nothing ever happened.
A Professional Photographer is prepared and instinctively knows what to do and has everything needed to assure you perfect wedding day photographs.
Things like “cameras fail” or a flash unit dies. A “cheap photographer” rarely has available all the backup equipment needed. If it rains, are they prepared to set up a “portable studio” and still give you top quality images? A true Professional Wedding Photographer can and takes these things in stride.
This ain’t my full time job, lady…
Rarely do “cheap photographers” depend on their photography as the sole means of supporting themselves or their family. They have little invested in their photography and many do it as a “side job” to make a little extra money. Risking your wedding day photography on them means you don’t really have a “professional photographer” but someone who is less invested in providing your 100% of the skills needed to properly photograph your wedding day.
Most are “unlicensed” and haven’t paid taxes or met any other requirements of having a real photography business. Often times, couples discover that getting their photos back in a reasonable time is impossible. Many wait until Christmas for their May wedding photos simply because the “cheap photographer” doesn’t realize how long it takes to properly edit and prepare your images for you. They DO have that “full time job” thingy going on too, you know.
Rarely do they use professional editing software, have professional editing computers, and often times not even professional level cameras and equipment. All of this will show in your final photos and often you find yourself in that “I wish we would have…” category.
But that’s a LOT of money just to snap a few pictures…
Sure it is. But it goes far deeper than just taking a few pictures!
For every 8 hours a professional photographer actually takes your photographs, there is usually another 50-60 hours spent behind the computer editing them, designing your album, and preparing your images properly for printing.
Plus there are several more hours discussing your wedding day, developing your “shot list” of photos you MUST have, and building a timeline so you wedding day isn’t overloaded with photography and you get to the “fun stuff” you want your wedding day to be.
The last thing you want is for your “cheap photographer” to be engaging in “on the job training”. And even if they have photographed “a few weddings”, that doesn’t mean they know exactly how to make sure your day is perfect and will help you every step of the way and still give you great images. Professional wedding photographers do far more than “take a few pictures” on your wedding day, but will help you start to finish of your special day.
So where are all the photos we really wanted? Like the one of….
Often times I hear couples tell me they don’t even have a photo of their first kiss as husband and wife. And the rest of them look better from the Iphone images they got from friends. Missing photographs that are important to you is what can happen when your “cheap photographer” does your wedding. They never got taken.
A Professional Wedding photographer knows where to be and when to be there. They know how your day flows and understand that it moves FAST. Very fast. There is no “second chance” to get it right. It’s either done right then, or not at all. You will also see photos of things that happened on your wedding day that you didn’t even realize happened. A Professional photographer knows where to be to capture those important memories you may actually miss without great wedding images.
Recently a couple called me wanting to do a 1 year Anniversary session. Great! But they wanted it in their wedding attire. I asked them “why?” and their answer was another of the “we hired a cheap photographer” and none of their images really reflected their wedding day. They wanted to get something that would show their love and devotion to one another and they felt this was a good way to try to do that. They mostly wanted a photo they could place on their wall in their home and that wasn’t possible with what they had.
Yes, it was made to happen and they found out that hiring that “cheap photographer” was the worst mistake they made in planning their wedding day. 10 years after the fact is too late. Often times, so is 1 year.
So what is your alternative?
Hire the Professional Wedding Photographer.
And that doesn’t mean finding someone who photographs fashion or does “headshots”. Rarely do they know either how hard a wedding day can be and are in some cases worse than the “cheap photographer”.
And if your “Digital Dan” cousin with his brand new, fancy, and “wonderful camera that takes great pictures” offers to photograph your wedding for next to nothing….
Well, expect next to nothing you can use for your wedding day memories.
If you want to avoid making the mistake of hiring a “cheap photographer”, give us a call. I promise no pressure and answers to your questions so you can make a great decision that you will love instead of being one of those couples who “regret hiring that cheap photographer”.
I will even send you a Wedding Planning Guide to help you along the way so you don’t miss the important things of your wedding day- a $25 value absolutely free!