The Scoop On Investing In Your Wedding Photographer
So you might be thinking..
“HOW ON EARTH WILL I EVER PICK THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR ME!?????
I mean I just want someone to take pictures at my wedding or event? Right?”
I have discovered in my 15+ years within the art industry and 10+ in weddings, that “JUST pictures “is not all you want or need to be stress free and have stunning images to remember this extremely important and special day by.
I have some advice and tips on this topic that I think can help you be knowledgable in picking the best photographer for your budget and style.
1.) You want someone prepared, fully present, and organized to capture that incredibly magical day in your life.
A day set aside to signify & celebrating the start to rest of your different life! A life not alone but a life as a team! Marriage is something meant to last, meant to open yourself up to love & the opportunity to work through something with all the energy & hope you have to offer. Something to make the world a safer place, a refuge in the storm. Your wedding day is so important & you will have this ONE time to capture the events that unfold. I encourage you to invest in a photographer that WILL get that shot, that WILL be ready to go with the flow without freaking out, that WILL be able to produce beautiful images to help you remember. To cherish.
2.) You have heard it before. I’ll say it again. Not all “photographers” are professional or experienced in this digital day and age.
This is a digital world and anyone with the funds and passion for digital photography can buy themselves some great gear but not actually know what they are doing. Pointing, clicking, and letting an automatized setting in a camera is not professional and is not going to give you consistent quality results. The camera is just not THAT smart. yet… They might get lucky but when things get tough they might not get the shot.
You really want a professional photographer to capture your important and sentimental day- one who has training and experience, who has mastered his/her technique and style. Someone who is able to produce quality images in any lighting and fast moving situation. You want a dedicated photographer and an artist -not a hobbiest to remember your incredibly non repeatable day.
Unless of course you are on a super tight budget… then yes you may just want that – and that is ok too but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to ask a professional for a discount. Please ask if your situation is limited. I like to help when I can.
3.) Expect to invest at least 15% of your wedding budget and expect taxes to be collected for photographers running their business legally.
There are many charts out there to help with investment strategies for budging your wedding, but in general a large chunk is spent on photography.
It’s the one thing you will have left after the day is over to remember it when the memories fade. So no matter how you look at this- it’s an investment. You are spending this money now for the future. Expect high costs for photographers with experience and business costs, also great photographers never stop learning so as you invest so do they. Photographers who have education and continued education are serious about growing their business and investing in it and their clients. Those with more experience are going to cost more as in any other industry. Expect higher pricing for photographers that offer services to make your wedding run smoothly, who have higher priced equipment and gear back ups.
These are all great questions to ask your photographer.
So you are super lucky to live in a day and age and a city that has access to film again! Phoenix is growing in film photographers! There are access to labs locally and film too!
I actually have my degree in FILM photography! There wasn’t access to digital cameras when I went to college (unless you were SUPER rich!) Film was the go to. I spend the whole first 4 years shooting in the lab with the chemicals, and darkrooms, and film scans. lol.
That being said as digital cameras became affordable and film because harder to get in my small town, many of us did not have access to labs ourselves and film also became super expensive, well it sort of disappeared a few years into my career. I ended up switching to the digital world. I shoot with high end pro-canon gear. I am a platinum CPS member as well. I have three digital 5D MK series cameras, 6 lenses, and plenty of lighting equipment.
I liked to freedom and flexibility of being able to change my film speed on the fly. It helped a lot with going from dark to light situations and also cut my costs meaning I offer packages starting as low as $2500. If I still shot film primarily I would be starting closer to $5000.
I do offer film on rare occasions but the cost is significantly higher. I own three film cameras with lenses. Please just reach out if you are looking for film for your portraits.
The Ups of Film:
The most wonderful things about film photographers is that they are legit. They know what they are doing. There is no faking being an artist. They have to know how to master their camera, understand lighting, and speeds.
Film has a beautiful nostalgic feel and look. Different films also offer different styles/results. Talk to your photographer about to style & look you want to achieve.
Film is worth the extra cost if you love the look!
The (Possible) Downs of Film:
The process can take longer. Expect more time set aside for portraits you want shot in film.
The cost of film is much higher. Expect $6k + for your wedding package.
I would also think that many film photographers would have a second shooter on digital especially for the reception. So not everything is shot on film (not always the case)simply talk to your photographer about when film is used.
Some consumers are not educated on film styles. Often there isn’t as much detail or dark tonal ranges for certain types of films.Basically this goes to say make sure you have seen your film photographers portfolio, understand the look they shoot for & film they use. Make sure you LOVE the look and style. It’s different than digital and while I think it’s beautiful and unique you might not.
There is more risk. If the photographer messes a setting up you could potentially loose a whole roll. We simply cannot check the back of the screen to make sure we caught it right. However if you have researched and hired a skilled photographer you are in good hands!
Ultimately you have to decide what is important and wise for your situation. I say educate yourself and consider all these important aspects before you choose.
I really believe I have what it takes to ensure a stress-free, beautifully remembered, cherished and beloved day.
I have experience to capture that moment when things get busy, I have education and continued education to perfect my art and ensure proper photographic methods, I am constantly striving to master my skill. I have the personality for high energy events- which means I know what to do even when you can’t remember what’s going on,.. and why should you? I It’s your wedding day!
It should be fun and stress free.
I have 110 weddings under my belt, 600+ clients, and 10+ years of experience in weddings & small business, I have a degree in film photography. I have education in graphic design & event planning. I have insurance, I have legal contracts, I pay state taxes, I have professional gear. I have a lot going on in my mind… haha.
My collection pricing reflects my education & experience, talent & eye for beauty, shooting time, planning times & help, organization, advice, vendor locater & insight, editing time, on-line presence & viewing, guest access, prints, canvases, wall mounts, guestbook, albums & much more!
However I understand in our current economy that money is ALWAYS something to be considered and to be wise and diligent with.
Sometimes it’s not wise to spend little and get little but sometimes it IS!
I offer al la carte build your own style collections, so you can afford a great photographer now and purchase extras later. But at least the foundation is there and the most important memories are recorded.
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