Wedding Photography Budget Tips (part 1)
Advice from some of the best wedding photographers in Vancouver
We had the pleasure of interviewing some of the best wedding photographers in Vancouver. We asked them for some commonly overlooked things couples should remember when budgeting for their wedding photos. Here’s what they had to share:
“In terms of budgeting, I would say the most important thing to budget on your wedding day is time. If the photographer has the time to mold a perfect photo they will give you just that. In terms of money budgeting, just find people whose work you like. If they have different packages for different amounts of time that are more in your range, companies will more often than not be willing to work something out!”
“The most commonly overlooked considerations a couple should remember to budget for their wedding photos are:
i) Overtime costs. Many of the weddings I documented ran over time, either because of delay or the couple just suddenly decided to have another hour or two added to the package. Always remember to find out how much per hour the photographer charges and put that in consideration when budgeting.
ii) Extra editing costs. Some studios provide different tiers of editing. Those are commonly divided into colour grade, retouch, and advanced editing. Many packages will include the basics but not the advanced options, so be sure to find out what’s included and the options for additional add-ons.
iii) Traveling cost. We travel to anywhere within the lower mainland at no additional cost, but sometimes we get inquiries from outside of the areas we serve, and there will be an additional traveling cost to get to these venues. The actual cost varies depending on the distance and time involved.”
“Set a wedding budget, and do not forget to include fine-art albums and other prints product.
Many couples who are on a strict budget have a difficult time finding a photographer for two reasons: First, talent is somewhat proportional to price. Second, many couples simply want more coverage than their budget will allow for and will never find a photographer willing to work for so little money, so talk with your fiancé about how important photography is and determine your desired needs. Do you want a photographer there all day or just starting from the ceremony onwards? Do you want every image on DVD? Do you insist on 2 photographers? These are things you need to talk about to help you figure out what price range you are looking for in terms of photographers.”
“Look for value in the photographers’ packages. When value exceeds price, the price alone is no longer an issue.”
“Couples don’t often know what is really involved in wedding photography since many people only see the photographer at the actual wedding and not all the behind-the-scenes work that happens. Without that understanding, wedding photography may seem expensive. Secondly, many couples don’t truly understand the importance of the photographs to preserve their wedding experience. They are giving themselves something that is really for the rest of their lives.
Each couple has differing priorities about budgets for the various components of the wedding but one of the biggest post-wedding regrets is about not having the photography done correctly. Another thing to consider is that when it comes to price, more expensive does not always necessarily mean better photography. Having said that, if the price is too low then that should be a warning sign. Not doing the photography correctly means losing the key powerful and emotional moments of the wedding forever. The real value of wedding photographs after the wedding is priceless as they are completely and totally irreplaceable for any amount of money.”
“Hiring a photographer is a lot like hiring any tradesperson to provide an important service and product. You pay for their experience, equipment, and professional abilities. You wouldn’t buy your wedding dress or rings at Walmart. Why should you low budget photography that is potentially one of the most important and tangible items you are left with when all is said and done?”
“In my experience, the most commonly overlooked consideration is the time frame. Most wedding packages include an allotment of time. It’s important to think about the entire day, and how you want it captured. From the “getting ready” photos to the first dance, most couples underestimate how long they will need their photographer. Another is budgeting for the prints and albums. Even if your package includes digital files, great quality prints and albums do not come cheap.”
“Well, of course, being a photographer, I think photos are one of the more important things to budget. At the end of the day when the flowers have wilted, the food and cake are all gone, what you have left are your memories and your photos!”
“Most brides have very little concept into how long things take. They usually don’t consider the number of hours required and often end up adding extra time to their package. Spending the time early, often with the assistance of a wedding planner, will be very beneficial to anticipate those additional hours ahead of time.”
“Time management is one consideration that can be overlooked. Remember that if photography is a top priority on your wedding day, then the couple should let their whole story be told. That could mean 3 hours or that could mean 12 hours – let the photographers be included in as much of your day as possible to capture those spontaneous moments as well as all the little details. If you have a planner or coordinator, use them to help wrangle groups of people for the family photos, so you can spend more time on making memories.”