Arghh! Wedding photography is so dang expensive! WHY!?

With most wedding photographers I know charging between $3000 – $6000 hiring a good wedding photographer isn’t cheap. From an outsiders perspective it looks like easy money, right? Do one days work and frolic in your pool of dollars!

From my experience as a wedding photographer and looking at the schedules of my friends in the industry most wedding photographers are working far longer hours than those done by a 9-5 employee. In a recent survey photographers spent an average of 65 hours per wedding. This includes time spent shooting, editing, meeting clients etc. Atop of these hours there is time spent marketing, blogging, answering emails and running a business.

Add to this the fact that the average wedding photographer shoots around 20 weddings per year and suddenly the figures start adding up to a modest income.

Of course there is also the argument that wedding photography is a luxury rather a necessity and the prices don’t need to be justified. But that’s a whole other can of worms and one I’m going to refrain from opening… only after flashing it in front of your face of course!

How do I find a kick ass wedding photographer?

Whoop! Bam! Splat! Yep, that was the sound of your wedding photographer kicking some booty. No doubt you want to find the Chuck Norris of button pushing, who wouldn’t want a little Chuck on their wedding day?!

At the end of the day photography is very subjective, the style one person loves will be to the dislike of the next. A great place to start is to look at a lot of photography and start to define what style of work you enjoy. Do you like work which is highly posed or more candid? Do you prefer strong, saturated colours or a more muted look? Defining what it is you actually want in your wedding photographs means you can view the work of potential photographers with purpose and direction.

After that it becomes about finding a suitable photographer. Word of mouth is always a great place to start. Wedding blogs are fantastic for checking out other peoples weddings and of course there is good old Google to help you on your way.

Why on earth would I need a second shooter?

Surely one photographer can take enough photos in an entire day? Why would I pay for a second photographer? These points are valid. A second photographer is not necessary. As a wedding photographer however, I never shot without a second photographer. Here’s why:

  • A second photographer captures a unique angle and will undoubtably capture moments that would otherwise have been missed.
  • I always felt comfort in having a second photographer capturing photos on their equipment. In the event of memory card failure or a stolen camera there is a backup. I like to think of it as reducing the risk, images are spread across more cards and are carried by different people so if something goes awry all the eggs aren’t in one basket.
  • It makes it far easier to capture both the bride and groom prep. In some situations  when time is limited or the bride and groom are getting ready in locations far from one another it becomes a necessity to hire a second shooter or choose to only have photos done of one party.
  • Don’t make the mistake of looking at second photographers as less capable or photographers in training. I only ever hired experienced wedding photographers to second shoot for me and even after years of running my own business would still second shoot for others on occasion. In this sense it’s actually a cheap way of having another fully fledged wedding photographer capturing your wedding.

Book now! Don’t delay! 

You know how the spiel goes, opportunity is limited, be one of the first 50 callers and receive a free set of steak knives. When it comes to booking your wedding photographer it is actually really important to get in early. How early? A lot of popular dates book out at least a year in advance so as soon as you find a photographer whose work you love and personality you click with lock them in!

Ask for recommendations

If you find a photographer you really love but they are booked out or out of your budget don’t be shy in asking for recommendations. The wedding community is close knit and most of us know some really great vendors who we would love to recommend. It doesn’t matter whether you’re after a wedding photographer, photo booth, band, venue or celebrant, ask around and you’ll find some really amazing vendors you would never have heard of!

Now, it’s time you went off and started looking at wedding photos! Best of luck and I hope these few tips make your job that little bit easier.

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