Wedding photography is one of those crazy things that many times cost an exorbitant amount of money, yet brides are perfectly fine with blowing ten percent of their budget on. When I first got engaged, I kept telling myself that in NO WAY was I ever going to justify spending more than $300 on wedding photography, because anything more just seemed ludicrous and down right inappropriate. I mean, COME ON! They’re just pictures; you get a couple of hundred photos to flip through once every few years and a few nice ones printed out and framed for your walls or whatever, and that’s it. There was no way that justified such a huge investment and such a considerable chunk out of my wedding budget.
Here’s the deal, folks—wedding photography for $300 doesn’t exist.
Once my eyes were ripped open by the reality of wedding industry prices, I decided to change my game plan. I still wanted a good deal and was unwaveringly going to stay within my budget, but I was going to have to be realistic. That’s when the mister and I sat down and started thinking about what we wanted in a potential photographer, especially now that we realized hiring one would end up being more of an investment than we’d initially anticipated. For the amount of the average going rate for wedding photography, we wanted a good product.
Some of the criteria we considered were:
- Reasonably priced (Obviously.)
- A photojournalistic style (with all of the DIY efforts we’ll have going on, we want pictures of the details!)
- Fairly new to the business (This one may seem odd, but we felt like photographers who are newer to the wedding industry might be more apt to work within our budget and might have a fresh, energetic style)
- Easy to get along with/work with (This person would be with us for the duration of our entire wedding day—needless to say, we wanted someone who we were comfortable being around.)
- Positive feedback from past clients (People always talk themselves up in an effort to get your business. We wanted to make sure that whoever we were interested in had clients who were pleased with their services.)
- A CD/DVD with hi-res images and permission to have our photos printed wherever we wish (This was a big one for me—being forced to order prints through a photographer undoubtedly jacks up the price. This isn’t to say we didn’t want some high quality professional prints made, but we wanted the option to get them printed wherever.)
After we nailed down the criteria, we were ready to start researching potential photographers. We looked both at photographers near my hometown (which is where the wedding will be taking place and where we’re currently living) and our college town, which was where we were living during the time we started our photographer search. There were a few really great options we came across before ultimately settling on a photographer that filled all the criteria we were looking for, and more.
Up next, our journey to finding our perfect photography fit!