So, you have just gotten engaged and you need a photographer for your wedding. If you announced your engagement on Facebook you probably have several offers already. You can find a photographer now days for literally ANY budget. You will find people willing to do it for free (just to get the experience) up to paying over $8000 for a package.
How do you know if you have found that amazing deal?
Shopping for wedding deals is an extremely difficult thing to do because you don’t do it very often. Shoe shopping on the other hand is easy because most people do it all the time. You know when it is a good deal verses just buying cheap shoes. Here are a few things to look for when shopping for photography.
A good professional photographer will have a formal education in photography. In Utah we have the Intermountain Professional Photographers Association that teaches photographers how to create great images. There are national organizations as well such as the Professional Photographers of America and the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International. If your wedding pictures are really important to you, you may want to find a photographer who has a formal education.
There is no substitute for an experienced photographer. You may find a photographer who can take great pictures on a beautiful sunny day. But, what if it rains on your day or is extremely windy? An experienced photographer can get great pictures no matter what the weather because he/she has had to do it many times before. When you are asking about the photographer’s experience as how many weddings he/she has done and how many he/she does each year. If your wedding pictures are really important to you, you don’t want to be only the 10th wedding that photographer has done.
Photography Skills vs Photoshop Skills
Digital cameras have completely changed the world of photography, but not the way most people think. I hear all the time “just fix it in Photoshop”. Photoshop can do a lot of great things but it will not fix a terrible picture. If the image is blurry or the lighting is bad Photoshop can not help. If the posing is really bad or the exposure is off Photoshop can not help. In general if a photographer talks a lot about their retouch skills it may indicate that their photography skills are not the best.
What can I expect to spend?
Everyone planning a wedding will have some sort of budget. Most people look to find deals on most of the things they buy to stay within that budget. My opinion, however, is to prioritize your spending and spend the most on the things will mean the most to you. That is a lengthy discussion for another article.
A deal that seems too good to be true probably is. There are real costs to running a photography business. The equipment and products are expensive and a photographer needs to at least charge enough to cover these costs. If a photography package is too cheap the photographer is either offering a cheap product or they will not be in business for a long time because they won’t have the money to replace their equipment when it wears out.
On average you should expect to pay at least $1000 to $2000 if you want a full wedding package in northern Utah. If that is out of your budget you may want to look at cutting down what is in the package. You will probably be more happy having a smaller package with a good photographer than a big package that you will not like.
If your photography is really important to you, do your homework. Don’t just choose the first thing that seems like a deal. Remember, you will only do this once. It may be worth rearranging your budget to pay more for something that is important to you than spend extra money on something you will forget about later.