How much should you spend on wedding photography?
Wedding photography is one of those things that people say you shouldn’t go cheap on. Is that really true? What makes one photographer more expensive than another, or why should you even pay for a photographer when you have friends/relatives with good cameras and love taking photos?
Think of it this way – aside from family and friends, your wedding photographer is the only person who will actually be at your side for the entire day (unless you engage a wedding planner). Since you’ll be spending that much time together, it’s important to think of them as a valued partner who helps to ensure that your wedding is successful.
Photography often makes up less than 10% of the total wedding budget. However, your wedding photos will remain with you long after your special day. Imagine if you went cheap on the photographer and ended up with a poorly-shot set of photos – it would be a constant reminder of that decision you made.
So yes, it’s definitely worth spending the money for a professional photographer, especially because there are no do-overs!
What exactly are you paying for?
We’ve all heard those horror stories about photos that turned out to be absolutely terrible. You’ll want someone whom you have absolute trust in, and in turn, works their butt off to get you the best photos. Here’s what separates a professional photographer from the average Joe with a camera:
Wedding photography is not something that anyone can learn overnight. Many photographers start out by shadowing a more experienced one as a second shooter, and the more weddings they’ve done, the better they will be at knowing where to position themselves, how to read body language, how to compose the best shots – all the little things that make for great photography.
Experienced photographers would be able to identify the various intricacies of your venue, problem angles, best lighting spots, etc.
Time and effort
At the end of your wedding day, you can be sure that your photographer will be as tired as you are, perhaps more so. They’ve been on their feet shadowing your every movement the entire day, carrying camera equipment, constantly anticipating and moving to get the best shots, and often sacrificing a proper meal because that’s the time to take photos of your guests.
Your photographer’s job doesn’t start and end with your big day. It’s highly advisable to meet up with your photographer to discuss the agenda, and identify the key moments you want them to capture. Sometimes photographers may even recce your venue beforehand.
Also, a lot of the hard work starts after your wedding. Even the most amateur wedding photographer will spend a lot of time (days, maybe even weeks) processing your photos, and the more time they put into it, the more you will see it in the final product.
All this time and effort is built into the quote, so it’s not simply a matter of paying them $2,000 for 10 hours of actual day shooting.
Though not the biggest factor, premium-priced photographers generally have higher grade equipment, or perhaps multiple cameras/lenses that help them get the best shots, and lots of back-up gear just in case.
Respect the profession
It’s easy to be dismissive of photography in this age of smartphones, where everyone carries a decent camera in their pocket. High end digital photography equipment is also more accessible than ever before. However, there are many intangibles that are included in the price of a professional photography package.
We realise that most couples don’t have an unlimited budget, but there are usually other items that can be reduced without any of your guests knowing the difference. But having a professional photographer who goes to all lengths to ensure that s/he gets all the important shots – now that is something worth paying for.
We hope this article gives you a better understanding of wedding photography, and a greater appreciation of why some cost more than others. Head over to our photography catalogue to start browsing! We’ve curated some of Singapore’s best wedding photographers, so you know you’ll not only be getting quality photos from a respected professional, but also a package that’s more transparent so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised by hidden fees later on.
To help you with your selection, we also have a guide on the questions you should ask to be sure that the photographer is right for you: Top 10 questions to ask your wedding photographer