Sunday, June 9, 2013

Thoughts on Wedding Photography

When I started looking for a wedding photographer, I was shocked that some of them cost more than what  I paid for my eye surgery!

I don't see photography as an investment, even though I read and heard everything that it was.  To me, it was an expense...almost a gamble!  It does involve a high degree of risk since you are paying the service in full without really knowing how your photos will turn out.  

Investments are when you purchase an asset or item, with the hope that it'll generate income or appreciate in the future to be sold at a higher price.  Wedding rings fall in this category of an investment.  I'll blog more on rings on another post.  

Our rings.

So here are some thoughts of what I conclude about wedding photography.  

First: It's important you have pictures of your big day.  Every photo counts, even the ones taken by your friends on their smartphone!  You'll want to have and see the photos your friends and family took too.

Second: Pick the nicest photographer you can afford, whose services you're comfortable paying at.  

If you aren't okay with what the photographer charges, then:
(1) keep looking or 
(2) cut other things in your wedding budget to accommodate that expense. 

There's a lot of talent at all price ranges.  Ask other brides for references. 

Third: Use a credit card. I say this because you have to pay the service in full before the service is rendered.  You need to protect yourself as a consumer if the service was less than stellar and you can dispute the charge.  

Fourth: Film is beautiful and timeless but it's more expensive than digital photography.  You get more proofs with digital too.  It all depends on your preference but as you compare photographers, the ones that use digital generally charge less because there's more overhead costs to cover film.

Fifth: Check how much the photographer charges for the non refundable deposit, that was a deciding factor for us.  A $250 non refundable was more appealing than the photographers who charged $500 or even $1000 non refundable.  Crazy stuff can happen before or on the day of the wedding so you want to minimize potential losses there.

Sixth: Purchase what you need.  This is a tough one because you don't know how how things will exactly turn out the day of the wedding.

What helped us was asking other couples with how much time they spent taking photos at the ceremony (in our case, the temple) and then the reception.  It also helped looking at proofs of other weddings so that we could have a general idea of what to expect for pictures.  We selected engagements and 4 hour wedding coverage.  It was what we needed and within our budget.

Bridals/groomals: I didn't select this option because I thought it wasn't important or necessary to have to display at the reception.  Plus I couldn't afford more time off work to take pictures, get my hair done, clean the dress again (not cheap) before the wedding and the dress came a week before the wedding anyway.  Nixing this was a good way to save costs on photography. But if you know you'll regret not having them then don't skip it.

Taken on the wedding day.  

Thoughts after the wedding: Taking pictures in a huge heavy bridal gown was exhausting!  I was done after 40 minutes of pictures.  4 hours of coverage is plenty if you are doing ceremony and a 2-3 hr reception.

I also discovered that the pictures that got printed out the most after the wedding were the group shots.  For me, it was important to have photos where I could look back and show people how we and other family looked like when we got married. I loved them all, but these are my two favorites.

My husband and my in-laws

My side of the family

Dave and I are practicing Latter-day Saints so we had our marriage ceremony at the Salt Lake Temple. No pictures or recording of that allowed but the ceremony was simple and sweet.    

More on temple marriage HERE

Love is also simple and sweet!  I really felt that we were in heaven for a moment while we made our promises to each other and God to honor our marriage.

The photos turned out very nice and we were very happy with our choice of wedding photographer.  She was honest, professional, and fun.

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