Don’t Be Cheap. Here’s Why You Need To Splurge On A Professional Wedding Photographer

Although you may need to save money on your wedding, there are some elements that you should spend more on.  One of these is your wedding photographs. Don’t be cheap when it comes to wedding photos, hire a professional wedding photographer. Here’s why.

Wedding photos are your lasting keepsake of the day and along with a video (should you choose to have one) are some of the few things you will drag out time and time again to show family and friends or to just reminisce over together.  With this in mind you want them to be utterly gorgeous and a true reflection of the wonderful day you had. A professional wedding photographer knows which photos to shoot and knows how to take them and make them magical, it really is the little things that make a difference and only a true professional photographer can do that.

The internet is littered with bad wedding photographs and of course most of you will be all too familiar with embarrassing wedding videos courtesy of YouTube!  So unless you want the same ignominy of becoming an internet hit because of your bad wedding photographs, it is wise to allocate a larger portion of your budget to hiring a professional wedding photographer.

Chicago wedding photographers, Essence Photo and Video, say there are four things you need to look for in a wedding photographer –

  1. reliability
  2. trust
  3. talent
  4. creativity

These four things are essential when it comes to producing a wedding album that captures all the best bits of your wedding.  These skills may not come cheap but when you compare what an experienced photographer can offer compared to a novice, you will notice the difference.

It can be tempting to ask your uncle to take the photographs simply because he owns a nice camera, and this in itself is fine if he knows how to use it and has experience at taking wedding shots.  However, many who go down the DIY route to save money live to regret it – remember your wedding is a once only occasion, you cannot go back and have your photographs done again if you do not like them!

If you do need to save money though, don’t panic because you can still factor a professional photographer into your day without breaking the bank.  Sit down together and think about the kind of photographs you would like and the style.  Traditional posed pictures are often cheaper because they are easier to take; reportage or fly-on-the-wall photography will require a photographer to be around all day and more often than not there are actually two photographers to ensure all those precious moments are caught on camera.

Most wedding photographers can be hired on a per hour basis so you can hire them to take pictures over a couple of hours during the day.  The most popular option here is to hire a photographer to take shots of you and your maids getting ready including some detail images of your shoes, bouquet and dress and then some formal, posed shots after your ceremony.  You can then ask your guests to take photographs throughout the reception and evening party and share them with you.  Disposable cameras are an option, however most people will have a camera of some kind with them and sending photographs directly to your wedding website is quick and more importantly cheap!

Knowing where to splurge and where to save on your wedding budget is one of the keys to successful wedding planning.  Your photographs need to be the first thing you allocate to the ‘splurge’ list especially if you want beautiful and timeless images.

What do you think? Share your experiences.

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  1. Chantal

    This is a great post and as a wedding planner, I certainly agree that you want to splurge on your photographer, not skimp. What I recommend to couples is to hire a photographer that will give you the disk and you can develop the pictures you want. I have seen so many couples spend anywhere from $5,000 – $10,000 on the photographer and photo album, however, many photographers will charge only $1,000 – $2,000 to shoot that day and give you a disk. What I love about the disk is that you can go into photoshop and crop pictures or enhance the lighting etc. on your own and have gorgeous pictures and save yourself thousands of dollars at the same time.

  2. Sara Lucero

    I completely agree! Within this past month I’ve had a bride tell me she wanted to book me, asked for my prices, picked my 2nd collection, CHANGED HER WEDDING DATE SO I CAN SHOOT IT, and then sort of disappeared for a couple weeks. I emailed her to touch base and she informed me that they were probably going to have a family member do it now. OH no no no… I emailed her back as professionally as I could, but I told her “Your dress will hang in a closet, your flowers will die, and your food will rot… but your photos will live on.” Dramatic? Maybe. Haha! But it seems like that really resonated with her! I sure hope so.
    My advice is to really stress that the photos are the only tangible thing left from their wedding to reflect upon!

  3. Gail

    This is so true! As a professional wedding photographer, it is heartbreaking for me to hear a consultation say “oh.. you’re too expensive” and “a family friend is going to take our pictures”. The end result.. most times, the photographs don’t capture the special moments of the day, low-light photos don’t come out right or worse, they never see their pictures because the family friend didn’t want them to see how bad they actually were. A pro photographer has spent years learning and perfecting our craft to be able to guarantee beautiful heirloom photos that remain long after everything else is long gone. Don’t scrimp on your photography — you’ll regret it!

  4. Jasmine

    As a wedding videographer, I would also second this article from a video stand point. I have often heard people say they are going to splurge on the photographer and have “Uncle Joe” shoot the video. However, after the fact they realize that Uncle Joe was distracted, didn’t know how to operate the camera, or took footage that no one ever got around to edit into a nice video. The key is if you are going to spend a lot of money on the little details of the wedding, it is essentially to capture it with quality photo and video because they will become priceless as time goes by!

  5. rich

    As tempting as it might be to skimp on wedding photography costs – they really are one of the only lasting parts of your wedding day in the days and years following your wedding. Wedding photos only become that much more valuable to a couple as time goes by – to have those memories documented is priceless!

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