“I took the cheap Photography route” by Lauren of Every Last Detail

A friend of mine through the great little website of Twitter (ever heard of it?), Lauren, has this excellent blog called Every Last Detail and on there she posts all sorts of wedding related things.  Today she posted an article she wrote about wedding photography.  I got her permission to repost this information for you all to read and hopefully learn from.

Now, mind you, we’re not in Florida nor are we in places like Santa Barbara so wedding photography pricing will be different in the Central Valley.  I’ve tried to price my business accordingly.  I hope one day to work with each and everyone of you.  Now, go on and read her post or check out her blog… it’s pretty amazing. :)

Hi, my name is Lauren, and I took the cheap photographer route. And I’m here to prevent you from doing the same!

Last week there was a blog post going around Twitter that caused quite a bit of hoopla among photographers and wedding professionals. If you haven’t seen it, in a nutshell, a new bride wrote a post on her personal blog regarding her search for a photographer and the cost associated with photography. Right now, there are over 100 comments on the post. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting such a response, but nonetheless, I highly recommend reading some of the responses. It’s incredibly educational, and says just about everything that I always try to say about photography.

One of the reasons why I’m always talking about the importance of quality photography is because I made a mistake that I hope to prevent other brides from making. I took the cheap photographer route. I attribute this to the fact that when I was planning my wedding, I had no clue. The only resources I used were The Knot and Brides.com, because that’s all I knew about. However, when using their budget recommendations (which was all I had to go off of), their recommended photography percentage was way below what I was realistically seeing for photographer pricing. I didn’t have anyone to tell me what the “norm” pricing was for a good photographer. I was counting on those resources to help me, and they didn’t. So, while we wait for these resources to catch up to 2010, this is my warning!

I’m in no way a photographer, but I want to pass along some tidbits that I wish I had known as a bride. One of the first things that I tell new brides is the normal cost for decent photography, because I myself had no idea. Here in Florida, photography packages usually start at $2000, and that’s that bare minimum. It varies everywhere, and of course it also varies with the photographers and their experience. Keep in mind that photographers are not just taking photos of you on your wedding day. They also have to edit the photos (which can take up to 30 hours), design the album, answer your emails and phone calls, and carry out all of the other administrative duties that owning a business entails. (There is so much more, but I’ll leave that to the photographers to explain!) Most of all, bottom line: you get what you pay for. It really can’t be said any differently.

Needless to say, I’m still pretty heartbroken about my lack of knowledge when I chose my photographer. I wish I had known about so many things when I was planning my wedding. Now that I look at amazing work from photographers every day, I know that my photos could have been so much better. But you live and you learn, right? There’s always our vow renewals to make up for it!

[Disclaimer: Don't get me wrong when I say "cheap photographer". I paid more than what would normally be considered "cheap". But when you consider what was included in the price (my 12 hour wedding day, engagement session, bridal session, album and prints), and then when you see the pretty much unedited images, then yes, it was indeed cheap.]

If you have any questions about choosing your photographer, please ask! I don’t want anyone else to feel the way that I do, and this is one of the many reasons why I write this blog and why I entered the wedding industry. I want to help everyone have the absolute best wedding possible!



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