So you are getting married and you are on a very tight budget. You need money for the hall, the dress, the food, the flowers, the cake and of course you need a photographer. Or do you? Your Uncle Bob just got a new Canon Rebel and is interested in getting into photography. He offered to shoot your wedding for free! What a great savings that would be. Right? Think about it.
Are you willing to trust someone who has never shot a wedding and has an entry-level camera with no back up camera to shoot the most important day of your life?
No, maybe you should check Kijiji to see if you can find a photographer who is looking to start a business and needs some portfolio pictures and will shoot it for $300. How bad could it be? You just want a few images of yourself and your spouse. Right? WRONG! It can be very bad. It can be fine. Who knows? Are you willing to gamble with the most important day of your life?
Why are experienced and talented wedding photographers so expensive anyways? I don’t think most people realize how much time is involved in shooting your wedding. Besides meetings with the bride and groom, there is the preparation before the wedding and the editing after the wedding. For example, my last wedding shoot was 8 hours but besides that 8 hours, there was a meeting before the wedding and the wedding rehearsal. Then there is the editing of about 1600 images. That’s about 30 hours. After that is done, there is the album to do and pay for. It takes a lot of time. Plus it takes a lot of equipment. You need to have a back up for everything in case there is an equipment problem. And equipment problems do happen. Trust me, Uncle Bob or your Kijiji photographer will not have back up equipment or experience.
So getting back to your budget. What can you do? You can hire your photographer for fewer hours. There are pros and cons for this. The pro is that it will cost less. The con is that you won’t have your entire day documented.
You can forego the album. Not all photographers allow you to do that. If they do, then you will save some money. The con is that you won’t have a beautiful book to share with people or have for a keepsake. You can of course, design the album yourself but will you get around to it or will your digital images remain on the DVD. (That is if you get one in your package.)
There are many horror stories from people who went the cheap photographer route. Read this one:
Finally, the one most important thing to consider when hiring your wedding photographer, beyond her experience and knowledge is, “do you like her?” Is this a person that you would enjoy spending a day with? Is she fun or uptight and nervous? Does he crack corny jokes? Does she seem genuinely interested in you and your wedding. You will be spending the day with your photographer. You need to like and trust this person. Remember this is your one and only wedding. Do it right.