Why You Should Think of Your Wedding Photography as an Investment
Wedding photography - where do we start?! It can seem overwhelming when you've never had to hire a wedding photographer before so we're here to help with some advice from Fine Art Curation member Marina Claire & Co. From overall budget, to what you're paying for - read through and send to your significant other too to learn some practical thoughts...
"Often wedding planning can come with a lot of sticker shock moments, this is understandable as many have never planned or paid for a wedding before. One of the items that can have the heftiest price tag for a wedding is photography. An experienced photographer is an investment. Your photographs are one of the only things you really get to keep and see frequently after the big day is over. Flowers wither, the cake is eaten, your dress will be preserved and boxed up. But photographs live on. You’ll see framed in your home and your families homes. You’ll flip through photo albums with your children one day, recounting stories about how you met, anecdotes about different family members and so on.
While it can feel like you’re dropping thousands of dollars on just one day, with photography, you’re actually making an investment in your future memories. Printed wedding photos are often passed down through families for 200 or more years if preserved well. Obviously you want your wedding moments to be captured well, but what actually goes into the cost of making this happen?
First and foremost, any photographer and many of your other wedding vendors are artists. You’re commissioning them to create something unique and beautiful just for you. You hire a photographer to document your day with their own unique perspective and artistic vision. However wedding photography requires a unique skillset that can take years to master. Not only is a wedding photographer responsible for capturing images that tell the story of your day, but they need to be able to handle anything a wedding may throw at them, sudden weather changes, nervous brides, large family portraits, timeline hiccups and an array of lighting situations are all things a photographer may need to navigate. An experienced photographer will put in time to make sure they’re prepared for your wedding. They should take time to visit or research your ceremony and reception locations to get familiar with the set up and lighting.
They will work with you and your planner to make sure they have a good understanding of what you are envisioning for your special day and how to photograph you in a way that makes you comfortable. After the day is done, they’ll spend days or weeks culling, edited, archiving and delivering your images. In addition to time and knowledge comes the cost of materials and gear. I may arrive to a wedding day with $10,000 of gear in my bag. The cost of equipment, second shooters, insurance, software, travel and continuing education all play a roll in overall cost. Since you’re here reading this article on Wedding Sparrow, you’re probably attracted to the aesthetic of film photography. The cost of film gear vs digital can be huge. Buying and developing film can create hundreds or thousands of dollars more in costs for your photographer. Every click of a film camera can cost about $5-$7 per photo when all is said and done. But I personally feel it is so worth it for the timeless, true color and romantic feeling of the images it produces.
You can find photographers at almost any price point and overall cost can range greatly. However, the saying that you get that you pay for is usually true. Just because someone is an expensive photographer, doesn’t always mean they will be astronomically better than someone cheaper, but usually lower cost equals less experience and lower quality gear. I always recommend getting insight from your planner or other trusted vendors or friends about who reputable photographers are. A good rule of thumb for your wedding photography investment is about 10-15% of your overall wedding budget. This should ensure you’re working with the caliber of photographer who can do your most precious memories justice."
Photography: Marina Claire & Co