Writing about the ABC’s of hiring a wedding photographer is not unlike theoretical physicist Dr. Sheldon Cooper trying to explain string theory using just three words. It’s just not that simple.
There are as many factors to consider when hiring someone to photograph your wedding as there are letters in the alphabet, and then some. ABC only scratches the surface.
However, there are a few basics any bride-to-be would do well to consider when preparing to hire someone to photograph her most special of days; some ABC’s, if you will.
A = Assume nothing
There is a good chance that hiring a wedding photographer might be the first time you’ve ever hired a photographer of any kind. But just as one would be wise to check assumptions at the door when hiring other professionals (think doctors, plumbers, lawyers, mechanics), so with hiring a professional photographer.
Browse their online portfolio, meet with them to get a feel for their photography philosophy, read through their contract, read through it again, and ask for details regarding expectations, options, pricing, and a shot list. Don’t assume anything. Ask questions…lots of questions. And if they don’t have an online portfolio, aren’t willing to meet, can’t provide you a contract, or tend to shy away from discussing details, walk away…very quickly.
B = Book early
Just as you wouldn’t dream of waiting until the last minute to reserve a location, purchase a ring, choose a dress, or secure a caterer, don’t wait until the last minute to book a wedding photographer. Booking between six and twelve months in advance tends to be the norm. Beaufort Photography Co. suggests you secure your wedding photographer as soon as you set your wedding date.
Think about it this way – the majority of weddings occur on weekends and the vast majority of those occur on Saturdays. And there are only 52 weekends a year. And less than 20 of those are during prime wedding season. So book early.
C = Cheap is usually more expensive
Owning a digital camera a wedding photographer does not make. In no other profession is there so much confusion and competition among anyone and everyone that owns a camera, has a website, or claims the moniker of photographer. You don’t have to search hard to find a “photographer” that will photograph your wedding for not much more than the cost of a latte at Starbucks.
A 2014 survey by The Knot revealed the average cost of a wedding in the United States is just under $32,000, though most couples outside large urban areas spend $10,000 or less on their wedding. The average couple spends approximately 10-15% of that budget on a wedding photographer.
However, surveys also reveal that the single largest regret brides have following their wedding is not spending more on their wedding photographer. In other words, you get what you pay for. And cheaper usually ends up being more expensive in the long run.
Remember, your wedding photographs are your stamp in time. They preserve the memories of your special day. Your wedding photographs will be all you have left of the ceremony, flowers, decorations, cake, drinks, and everything else a year later…ten years later…for the rest of your life. No do-over’s permitted.
At Beaufort Photography Co., our wedding collections begin at $1,195 and the average couple spends about $2,000 on our engagement and wedding photography services. We assume nothing, we book up to 18 months in advance, and we would be honored to photograph your special day. Let’s chat!