I hear the question a lot: Why is wedding photography so expensive, and how to I find the right one for my wedding?
It’s so hard. As a wedding photographer, who had to put together a wedding relatively quickly (one was scheduled, but we had to move it up) because, oops, I got pregnant, I understand how hard it is to find a photographer you can trust with the pretty much one day that it has to go right. The photographer we had chosen and paid for, was unfortunately not available on our new wedding date, and I now had two months to find a replacement after wedding season had peaked. What I learned, and what I know as a wedding photographer myself: wedding photography is rough. It incorporates pretty much all aspects of photography: portraiture, obviously, but also concert, sports, still, and newborn photography. Let me explain, having done all of the above, you are working in low light conditions, with moving targets, kids, staged elements, and a ton of people, hopefully moving around a lot to music.
If you’ve never used a DSLR in low light conditions, with moving targets, it’s tough to describe. You have to thoroughly know your craft, how the camera operates, and be quick to adapt to ever changing conditions. Too slow an exposure: blurry image. Too high an ISO: grainy image. Too small an aperture range: not enough depth of field (detail in the fore, middle, and background). Not focused properly: looks like your great aunt Mildred took it with her I-Pad. And then lets talk about I-Pads and all the amateur photographers out there. I have had so many “down the isle” shots ruined because someone with good intentions thought they could get a better picture than the professional hired to do just that. to say it’s a juggling act is the understatement of the century. It takes someone who knows the ins and outs, and the flow of a wedding, to really do the job any justice.
Additionally, none of this even touches on the time spend editing. Or the time spent learning, and working for free, or peanuts, or the cost of equipment, or travel, or software, or advertising, or continuing education. Its hours and hours, and years and years of learning, that every client is paying for. It’s expertise, and know how.
SO! When looking for the right wedding photographer for your big day, its wise to look at as many pages and galleries as possible, in and around your area. To reach out to any photographer whose work you are drawn to, even if you think they may be out of your price range. They can often work with you, or at least point you in the right direction. Ask family and friends, and plan! Look in advance, since many photographers fill up a year or two in advance. And understand that you want these images around for a long, long time. I know the cost of weddings can get incredibly expensive. I do. But keep in mind that if you pay for something that you can't use, or don't like, you are throwing bad money after good. I hope that helps!