I hope you came to this page because you were searching for a cheap wedding photographer, I also hope I can get you to change your mind about what you need for one of the most important days of your life. Now, before you turn away, I understand that not everyone has $5000 or more to spend on photography and that honestly is not the reason for the post. I mainly just want you, as a bride, to be better informed about your choices for a quality wedding photographer.
Free Wedding Photography is good, right?
You may see ads or even attend a bridal show in your city and a wedding photographer will offer to shoot your wedding for free or maybe you are in a Facebook group for brides and you see some looking for the cheapest price possible and photographers responding and offering everything for their wedding for next to nothing. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Yes there is always a catch and ALWAYS fine print! The free photography is usually their base package and in order to get what you may really want in wedding photography, you will have to pay to upgrade. Again, nothing wrong with free, but make sure everything you are being offered is in writing and if you need anything else, you know what the additional costs are.
Good is not always cheap and cheap is not always good
I’m going to share a few stories and hope you learn from these brides. The first bride hired a wedding photographer that offered to shoot her wedding for free and the bride only had to pay travel expenses for the photographer. Well, come wedding day, the photographer was late, missed some important shots, and took over 3 months to deliver the images to the bride! (photographer is only part time and not booked every weekend so there was time to do the images, especially since they were posting work that was shot AFTER the bride’s wedding) There was a huge lack of communication and at the end of the day, the photographer even tried to blame the bride for what happened!
Bride #2 Booked a wedding photographer who she thought would attend her wedding, but instead, the photographer that she booked with hired another photographer to shoot her wedding for them instead. Nothing wrong with that on the surface, but the bride was not aware that she would have a “subcontractor” wedding photographer, especially since she thought she was getting the person that she signed the contract with and paid. Oh, did I mention that the subcontractor wedding photographer did not show up? Yes, photographer was a no show and I just happened to be there helping a fellow vendor and was able to capture the wedding images for the bride and groom.
Bride #3 got a good family friend who was just starting in the wedding photography business and would shoot their wedding as a gift. Sounds nice, but do you REALLY want someone practicing on YOUR wedding day? The pictures they got back showed the photographers’ lack of experience and there are no do overs on such a special day.
Be an educated bride
Again, you can find a good photographer in almost any budget, but make sure you do your homework. Don’t focus only on price because so much goes into wedding photography. (but seriously, $800 for two photographers and all day coverage should send all kinds of red flags to you and let you know you have found a cheap wedding photographer) Ask a few questions – How much experience does the photographer have? How many weddings have they shot? These days equipment doesn’t really matter as almost anyone can purchase the latest and greatest camera, but how well can they shoot with it? $2000 for a set of pots and pans means little if the cook can’t boil water and great cooks can work with a set of pans from Walmart. It’s not the camera, but the person behind the camera.
Also consider, if you do not get good, quality images from the wedding photographer that you hire, no other photographer can “fix them” later. Speaking for fixing….Make sure your photographer knows more about their camera equipment than they do Photoshop. Nothing against Photoshop because I use it myself, but that is just to highlight an already good image and not fix a bad one. Also, make sure they show you at least 3 complete weddings, from start to finish and not just the pretty highlights and details.
Get it in writing
Get a contract for everything they promise and make sure it is all in writing. What is included and what is extra? You don’t want to get sticker shock after your wedding because you thought something was included and it wasn’t. To sum it up, focus more on quality over price. As I said, there are some great photographers in almost every price point so ask questions and make sure you are comfortable with who you hire for your wedding. Instead of searching for a cheap wedding photographer, focus more and search for an experienced one that will give you good service and quality images. If you are looking for a experienced wedding photographer, You can see samples of my work on my gallery – Nathan Hamilton Photography and please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to serve you!