Three reasons for paying more for (better) wedding photography
Updated: Sep 12, 2020
With the current economic situation, buying stuff that amounts to hundreds of dollars requires more financial prudence than ever.
And, there are certain things we don’t have to acquire if we don’t need them, especially purchases that risk breaking the bank.
In my position as a professional photographer though, I would like to argue for the case of not cheapening out on wedding photography, since it is for the one life-changing event that will happen once in your life.
Controversial opinion? Not so in my view.
Pro photographers like ourselves are doing what we love full-time, which means the bills we have to pay depend largely on the weddings we shoot month by month.
I would gladly say we are in this field for the passion of it, but even passion demands buying resources that support its continuing cultivation - as a test, think of something you love to do that needs not a single monetary input.
Whatever we have to do to get our business running -- marketing, accounting and customer relations, you name it -- many of us are operating with skeleton crews to achieve the most desirable outcome: top quality wedding photography for the most deserving moments.
As for the marrying couple, what's all these for your benefit at the end of the day?
Well, here are three reasons for paying more for better wedding photography.
1. You want a photographer who can capture memories in the best way possible.
Shooting sharp images that artfully captures the mood of your wedding is absolutely important since the pictures we produce could evoke positive memories years later as you gaze at them.
Fulfilling this task means we need to buy (or rent) cameras, lenses and other equipment that would best enable us to accomplish the job. Add to this the photography workshops we attend to enhance our expertise and skills.
As such, you can be assured of having photographers who are ready to deliver the results.
Yet, it is not just doing better for our current clients, but for the future couples we would shoot for.
2. You want a photographer who’s eager to push his/her standards further.
There is evidently a difference in work quality between ‘budget’ photographers whose fees are below $1,000 and those who charge at a mid-range price near or within $2,000+.
At least, based on my own observations.
Of course, there are exceptions and outliers - also, I wouldn’t want to judge the intentions of budget photographers (and, given the absence of an official minimum fee based on local industry standards) since I used to be one of them. The circumstances involving ‘budget’ fees vary between different photographers and the good ones are probably shortchanging themselves.
That said, I believe it all comes down to the willingness to push one’s standards, especially when he/she is charging what’s seemingly a hefty fee. By charging higher, a wedding photographer would spare no effort to ensure his work is worth, for instance, a $2,600 fee.
It may come across as brutally honest but the adage still rings true: if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
3. You want a photographer who’s more than just concerned about shooting pictures.
Wedding photographers who have been in this field for quite a while will realise that excellent client service trumps even over photography skills.
If a photographer is simply preoccupied with only covering the event from 6am to 10pm, receiving his payment of the end of the evening, and not caring anything more until the delivery of the final product, he is functioning with a mercenary mindset.
For the majority of couples who are friendly with reasonable expectations, they deserve our earnest attention which can sometimes go beyond just operating the camera.
And it’s not just what happen on the actual wedding day but also before and after the event. From meeting our clients to sending them processed photos, all these entail care to details of their wedding, an awareness of their sensitivities, a readiness to intervene during shoots (if it’s within our means and rights), and keeping our promises of fulfilling deadlines and producing positive results.
It may sound as if excellent client service is only attainable with a higher fee; yet, the truth is, a client’s willingness to pay well for our services signifies a solid trust in our expertise, a sentiment we must not take lightly.
So, make acquiring a good wedding photographer one of your priorities for preserving memories of your biggest day.
Feel free to meet us to understand more about how we work. Seriously, this is less about the money but more about how we can best meet your needs.