Wedding Photographer - Finding the right one!
Expert advise on hiring a wedding photographer!
Let's start with pricing and how it relates to your wedding photography.
When you start your search for a wedding photographer you might have a budget in mind to work with. A wedding is an investment and staying within a budget is critical to having the perfect wedding. A big part of your wedding day budget you might not realize is your Wedding Photography. Unlike many other wedding vendors, a wedding photographers job doesn't end when your wedding day comes to an end. A professional wedding photographers work is just beginning.
Here are some things that go on behind the scenes most people don't realize. These are the steps that take place at Couture Bridal Photography, but most truly professional wedding photographers and studios follow these same practices:
- Wedding Photographer backs up images to multiple hard drives and off site cloud services.
- All photography equipment is cleaned and inspected, batteries charged, and put away for the next wedding.
- Every one of your wedding day images taken during a wedding (usually 1000's) is gone through to find imperfections and put together to tell a story in chronological order.
- Editing begins by correcting white balance, applying our unique editing recipes, and fixing and removing blemishes. This sometimes takes several weeks if done in-house like we do.
- Your Wedding images are then uploaded to your online gallery and placed onto a hard drive.
- WE finally back up all the completed images to multiple hard drives and the cloud.
- WE can finally delete the memory cards used on your Wedding for another.
- Wedding photo book design starts to present you with a layout for approval and changes.
Please take into consideration a professional wedding photographer won't likely do this work on an old laptop computer, but on a high-end, likely heavily modified PC or Mac computer loaded with thousands of dollars in software.
So the cost of providing you with superior service and products along with the security that none of your images are lost or damaged is expensive. Asking a Wedding photographer how they edit and store their images may be an indicator of how much of an investment they have made to become a "Professional Wedding Photographer".
Why are you paying between $2,500 - $8,000 on Wedding Photography?
The reason your paying anywhere from $2,500 to $8,000 for your Wedding Photography is based on the skill, value, equipment and quantity of Wedding Photographers at your Wedding.
Having a photographer come fully equipped to photograph your wedding day and have the ability to create incredibly sharp, well lit, and composed images is expensive. Here at Couture Bridal Photography our photographers have at least 2 of the highest performance camera bodies currently available, a collection of our favorite lenses, a myriad of lighting tools, and enough batteries to go several days. This doesn't include the years learning, practicing and attending Photography workshops, so those of us that take Wedding Photography seriously invest highly in learning and evolving as artists.
The biggest factor in operating a truly professional Wedding Photography studio is the business side, which is something many brides and grooms might not realize. We professional Wedding Photographers must file taxes, carry expensive business liability insurance, Maintain and replace worn or out of date equipment, pay for internet services, marketing, advertising, and website maintenance and updates.
Time is also factor. Like having repairs made to your car or home. Mechanics and electricians charge an hourly rate for their time. The cost of parts is sometimes a separate fee, and the mechanics or electricians time is billed as labor. The hourly rate is where the electrician or mechanic can provide his or her expertise at cost where they can pay their overhead or operational costs to provide a service and make a small profit. Professional photographers similarly apply the same logic to their hourly rates. Keep in mind a mechanic or electrician will be in higher demand regardless of supply and demand where Wedding Photography is specifically a weekend venture and not daily occurrence.
Why Price shopping is the worst thing you can do!
Shopping for a wedding photographer by price is equivalent to shopping for a heart surgeon to save your life by price. You may be able to find a heart surgeon willing to save your life for cheap, but what does that say about the heart surgeon?
- Is he a good heart surgeon?
- Is he an experienced heart surgeon?
- Does the heart surgeon have the right equipment and tools?
- Does the heart surgeon have the insurance needed in case theres a mistake made?
- Where did the heart surgeon go to school?
- Where does the heart surgeon meet his patients? Starbucks or an office?
These are questions you need to ask when meeting with potential wedding photographer.
- How many weddings have you photographed?
- How long have you studied photographer for?
- Where did you learn wedding photography?
- Are you insured?
- Can I contact some randomly selected past brides?
- Can I see a complete wedding from beginning to end?
- What kind of cameras do you use?
- What do you edit your wedding photos on?
- How do you back up images?
- Do you use artificial lighting?