When you start to plan your wedding, there are a million and one things you need to consider. You might type in your overall budget into a wedding planning website like the Knot
but if you are like most people, their wedding budget calculators don’t quite reflect your own priorities. Oftentimes, when couples come to me and inquire about my wedding photographer pricing
, they already know I’m not the cheapest option. I’m a firm believer that your wedding budget should reflect your priorities, and if great wedding photos are important to you, I don’t think you should choose the cheapest option anyway. That’s why today, I’m going to share 4 important questions you should ask to make sure the photographer you want will be worth your money.
First, do you love their wedding photography style?
When you start your journey to find the perfect wedding photographer to capture your wedding, before you look at their packages and pricing, ask yourself: do I love their photography style? I talk a little bit more about choosing the right Detroit photographer here, but since we are talking about wedding photographer pricing, let’s dive a little deeper into style. You can probably tell the difference between a “light and airy” wedding photographer and a “dark and moody” wedding photographer, but before you sign the contract, you need to know that they did more than slap on a preset (a preset is a fancy photographer word for filter – in case you don’t know!).
For myself (and many other professional wedding photographers I know!), we have worked tirelessly to perfect our craft. That can only come from constantly trying new things and pushing ourselves to get better on every single wedding day. A luxury wedding photographer should uniquely capture you and your significant other. Yes, we all have our “style” but you want a wedding photographer who will take the best photos of YOU.
How important is a luxury wedding photography experience?
And before you say – I just want nice photos – let’s explore what this really looks like.
When my couples hire me, I make the effort to get to know them personally and treat them like I would a friend. Charging a higher price also ensures that I don’t have to take on 30 brides a year to pay my bills, which means when I show up to your wedding, you are always getting everything I have inside of me! I make the effort to connect with your family and friends on your wedding day and treat them like my own.
For each couple that hires me, I become personally invested in their story and their wedding day. I take the time to help you create your timeline, making sure we are allowing enough time for me to confidently capture the images you want. I’m with you on the wedding day, of course, but I’m also there in every moment leading up to it.
Last but not least, it also means that I get you your images and sneak peaks back fast – so that you can get those gorgeous Detroit wedding photos up on your wall ASAP.
Is your wedding photographer experienced enough to remain calm in chaos?
Let me tell you a little secret: wedding days don’t always go as planned. When looking at wedding photography pricing, consider their experience. I feel confident that I can handle all situations thrown at me (and I can do it all while keeping you calm and stress-free!). If the weather takes a turn, I can create magic out of nothing. I know how to adjust your timeline on the fly when things don’t go as planned (and I can make those decisions quickly because time is PRECIOUS on a wedding day). Bad lighting won’t phase me. I can run your whole day, keeping rowdy guests and large wedding parties (including drunk groomsmen) in line, to make sure you only remember the good in your wedding photos.
Lastly, are they legit?
I’m not going to break down all of my expenses or list what kind of camera and lenses I use because it would probably be incredibly boring (but if you are interested, just ask
!). I know you don’t really care what kind of corporation structure I have, or what I pay for in marketing and software expenses.
But here’s what you should care about: does the photographer you are hiring run a legitimate business? A professional photographer has done “all the things” to make sure that you not only have an amazing experience with them but also to eliminate as many risks as possible. Because here’s the truth: you are only going to have one wedding day. Even the best gear can fail, and you need to make sure that the person you hire has backups for their backups.
Setting your Wedding Photography Budget
I hope these questions have you thinking about the kinds of decisions you need to make when choosing how much to spend on your wedding photographer. I firmly believe from the bottom of my heart that everyone deserves wedding photos that they love. I also know that at the end of the day, an exceptional experience with a wedding photographer who goes above and beyond for you might feel more like a luxury. So while I can’t give you an ideal number for “wedding photographer pricing” I can tell you this: your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime moment. It’s likely too important to hire a brand new photographer or to find someone who doesn’t charge what they are worth and are on the edge of burnout (if not when you hire them, by the time your wedding day comes around).
I’ve been on both sides of the spectrum here too! I’ve been a bride looking for places to save money (read this post about how I wish I had hired a wedding planner
), and as a wedding photographer that didn’t charge enough and got a little too busy, way too quickly (luckily I learn fast!). Although it seems like a dream job (and to me, it really is!), there is high turnover for a reason. There is a lot of pressure to show up on your wedding day and get every moment right. When you look at wedding photographer pricing, make sure you book someone who you trust to do just that!