Many brides see the packages or prices that a wedding photographer has set up on their web pages or price sheets and assume that those are the set prices. However, as with most service based small businesses there is usually some wiggle room associated with those prices. The wiggle roomvaries with the economy and service availability. When contacting a wedding photographer let them know your budget and your minimum requirements. The trick is to be specific when telling a photographer what you want. We’ll go into more detail on that in a minute.
Having said all of the above, there is a limit to the amount of flexibility a photographer can offer. A wedding photo shoot that lasts 8 hours could mean from weeks to months of editing. In addition, there are other business expenses that have to be covered including taxes, employee’s pay, utilities, office rental fees, etc. The point is that while most wedding photographers will be more than happy to help reduce costs, they can only do so to a certain extent without losing money. This is their livelihood so when asking any wedding service provider to cut their rate, just ask yourself, “Am I being fair? Is this a fair compensation for the amount of work being provided?” Hopefully, your wedding photographer is asking himself the same questions.
Now that you’ve found a budget and narrowed your selection to a couple of photographers you like, how do you go about finding out which one can meet your budget goals? Be specific. Decide on the number of service hours you’ll need and what types of services (printed images, high resolution DVD’s, online galleries), and then take that information, along with your budget and present to the choice photographers. Allow them to respond to see if they can meet your budget, or see what they can provide within your budget. Once you have the photography service, you may be able to make purchases of extras such as the photo books, printed images, or high resolution DVD’s later, after the wedding. I keep images online for my wedding couples for 2 years. At any time they can contact me to order books, images, or high resolution DVD’s from those images.
Pinching pennies is never fun, but as you are willing to be up front about your budget, while being realistic, you can have the wedding photographer, and the wedding photography, of your dreams.
Justin Gilbert of Captured Art, a Pensacola, Florida Wedding Photographer