The following article was written by a friend and fellow photographer from Canada. I hope you enjoy it.
Why Hire a Professional?
One of the biggest decisions that every bride faces is how to budget for her big day. Websites and magazines provide checklists to help you allocate your budget for all of the details of your wedding, large and small. Every one of your friends who just got married will also be more than happy to give you wedding planning advice.
While these budgets can be a great place to start, nothing is set in stone, and you have to decide what is most important for YOUR wedding. For many brides, photography is THE most important thing for their wedding. All of the details of your wedding are important, but your photos are the only permanent record of your wedding day. Here are a few tips to help ensure you have budgeted enough for your wedding photography.
- Do I need a professional?
My uncle can do it for me.These days anyone with a camera thinks that they are a photographer, but a professional has the experience, equipment, personality, and backup equipment to ensure that your photos are stunning and safeguarded.
- How much is too much?
A few years ago, you could hire a great wedding photographer for $2000-$3000. These days, people are spending more on their photographer, and it’s not unusual to pay $5000+ for an amazing professional photographer for full day coverage with an album and disc. Why is it ‘so expensive’? There is a difference between amazing photography and poor photography. The talent of a true professional photographer can be the difference between ho-hum photos and stunning images of your most important day. Wedding photography is one field where you do get what you pay for.
- How much coverage do I need?
Gone are the days of stiff portraits after a traditional ceremony. Many brides now want documentary-style coverage of their wedding. However, not everyone wants photos of getting ready. Or, your budget might not allow for hiring a pro for the whole day. Rather than hiring a mediocre photographer for the whole day, consider spending a bit extra and hiring a professional for less time.
- Do I get a disc of images?
To some brides a disc is important, to some it is not. If you are a bride who values having a digital archive of your photos and the ability to print what you want, check to see if the disc is included, or if there is an extra charge. If the initial package price is low but there are fees after the fact, this may affect how a photographer will fit into your budget. Also, understand that there is a difference between a disc of high-resolution files that you can print to a large size, or downsized files (or low resolution) that can only be used for the web or small prints.
- Do I need a wedding album?
You may have intentions of printing off wedding photos for your friends and family, or putting together your own wedding album. However, many brides find that after the wedding life gets busy, priorities shift, and the disc of wedding images gets put on the shelf. Also, technologies change and that disc will eventually be obsolete or may deteriorate. A good quality album will safeguard your memories for years. You should ensure your budget has enough room for a professional wedding album.
- Can I personalize my wedding with photography?
You can combine other items from your budget, such as a guest book, thank you cards, and even invitations into your photography budget. Ask your photographer to do custom extras with your engagement and wedding photos.
- Shouldn’t I get a discount for getting married on a Sunday or in the winter?
A photographer works just as hard on a Saturday in the summer as on a Sunday in December. You shouldn’t necessarily expect a discount if you’re not getting married on a Saturday.
Article Written by Shandro Photo in Edmonton, AB
10 Ways YOU Can Make Your Wedding Photography Better
I know, I know; that’s my job right?
Well yes and no.
Here are 10 things that YOU can do to help us create those fantastic images we both want!!
1. Plan in time for a “photo walk”. It’s that 20 minutes or so after your formals, but before your reception starts. We need this 20 minutes of alone time with you and your new husband to create some of those relaxed romantic portraits that everyone loves. It’s from this session that 90% of our enlargements are made, where your thank you card shot will come from….this is the number one way to ensure great images. Give us the time to take them. So please, plan it into your schedule.
2. Plan in a realistic amount of time for your hair and makeup. This is the number one time line killer at weddings. Remember, that they will likely have more to do than expected with all the girls there, and Mom’s too. Everyone will want a little touch up done, which can easily put you behind schedule. Nothing adds stress to your day like running behind.
3. Don’t overdo the makeup. This is especially true for those of you that normally don’t wear much. You want to look like you would normally look to go out for the evening. Many brides think that they need more makeup for the “pictures”. This simply isn’t true. Some makeup is fine, but you don’t want to appear drastically different than normal. Same goes for sun taning. The day before you get married is not the time to get a tan; and the spray on kind will make you look orange.
4. Drink responsably . Sounds silly, and we aren’t trying to sound preachy here, but moderation is the key, you don’t want to get so sloshed that you can’t remember the day. (Or the night). We have had many a bride that did or said things they certainly wouldn’t have had they been less intoxicated. No one looks really good when they’ve had too much to drink. As a corollary to this, you should make it a point to eat something, as it helps you hold what alcohol you do drink, and keeps your energy level up all day too.
5. Make sure all your important family members know they are supposed to go immediately following the ceremony for the formal photographs. If all the players are there, we can do the formals in less than 25 minutes for most families. However, if we have to hunt down Uncle Harry…then all bets are off.
6. It’s your party, ENJOY it!! We see lots of brides that are obsessed with getting to “see” every single guest that they miss their own reception. That’s a shame, especially considering the money you are spending on it!
7. Here’s a big one. During your first dance, and parent dances…LOOK AT EACH OTHER!!! This is the time you have been waiting for. Go ahead, get emotional, get mushy, and forget about all the guests. Forget about me. If I need you to look into the camera I’ll ask trust me, but what I REALLY want is you two looking into each others eyes on this most special moment. Same goes for your parents dances. Remember this is a HUGE moment for them too, so acknowledge the stature of the moment by sharing it with them…look them in the eye…you won’t be sorry!!
8. Be on time. This goes without saying of course, but like I said above, nothing ups the stress levels quite like running behind. Some things just seem to run late, and that’s no problem; however a little pre-planning in these problem areas can ensure that your day runs smoother and your blood pressure remains much lower. I know several of these tips have centered arround time, but it truly is the number one mood killer. You can’t stop and smell the roses….when you’re running late. The first thing that gets cut when you are behind is always the photo time, which should be the one area that is never touched.
9. Delegate all the tasks for the day. That’s why you have bridesmaids!!! Their whole job for the day is not to party, but to help you!! Sure they get to party….but job number one is to make sure that you are attended to. The less stuff you have to worry about on your big day the better. Delegate and relax.
10. Plan your exit strategy. This avoids you incurring overtime charges from your DJ and caterer, and brings the event to a nice emotional closure. That way you can get out of dodge, and the guests will know its over, and not feel obliged to stay, and by doing #9 above, all your stuff will be attended too while you whisk off to your honeymoon!!
11. Ok I know this is an extra, but Schedule an engagement portrait session. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with wedding day images. Truth be told, an engagement session not only results in some great images that you might want to use to build a custom guest sign-in book out of, but it allows you to get comfortable in front of the camera. It also gives both you and the photographer a chance to learn how to work together. When the big day comes around you’ll be more at ease while having your photos made.