Nov 26 2009

How to Save on Wedding Photography Without Sacrificing Quality

Published by at 8:20 pm under General

Weddings are, usually, beautiful occasions for the couple getting married as well as their guests. But the cost of a wedding can frequently cause a lot of misery both before and after the big day. Last year, the average US couple spent k on their wedding, with the average in the UK being far higher at a whopping £20k, or k. That’s crazy money when you consider it’s just one day. And with the credit crunch showing no signs of easing, prospective brides and grooms are actively looking for ways to cut costs without spoiling the magic of their special day. Among the drastic measures being taken are asking guests to help with food or music, trimming down invitations to close friends and family only, and the idea of a ‘pre-worn wedding dress’ has appeared in recent years, which was unheard of just 10 years ago. Yet the photography is one area few are prepared to compromise on, and with good reason. Of all the possible expenses you could lay out for your wedding day, its the photography that will stay with you and your family long after the others are just a hole in your bank account. Here are a few tips on how to stay within your budget for wedding photography without having to take a cut in quality.


1. Trust in Google

There aren’t many photographers around today that don’t have a website, and one of the best ways of finding and comparing wedding photographers in your area and price range is through search engines like Google. However with competition being so fierce it’s not hard for prospective brides and grooms to miss out on some really special and talented photographers by not looking far enough when searching. Do not make the mistake of not going beyond the first page of results or the top few sponsored links in Google. By ensuring you take your time on your search you can get the best possible short-list of potential wedding photographers to choose from. Additionally use specialist search terms like “black and white”, “reportage”, etc, as well as looking for wedding photographers from other towns within a couple of hundred miles from you, as most are happy to travel. When my partner and I were looking for wedding photographers we not only searched for things like “Wedding Photographer Sussex“, we also made sure to look for photographers in London, Kent and Hampshire.


2. Be Wary of “Stealth Charges”

Nowadays the vast majority of photographers use digital cameras rather than older film cameras requiring development in a darkroom. Which means that the wedding photographer prices are a lot more simple now too. So I’m amazed that so many photographers still charge their customers an extra fee for each print on top of the booking! I would strongly suggest you forget about these guys and go for someone who will provide a hi-res CD of all the images from the day. Armed with this CD you can then trot down to your high street photo printers and get the prints you want in the size you want at minimal cost.


3. Albums and Extras: Do It Yourself!

You remember the old flowery, faded, peeling wedding albums your aunt insists on showing you every time you visit? Yeah, they’re dead now. These days contemporary photobooks have become hugely popular, and many photographers charge significant premiums to include these with your package. Yet if you’re willing to make a little effort yourself and you have some creative flair, there are many photobook services now where you can design one at home and get them printed at bargain prices. The same goes for things like canvas prints and enlargements – all you really need are the original high res images!


4. Yes, There are a Few Swindlers Out There, But You Can Easily Avoid Them

I have heard so many stories of unfortunate couples who have been taken in by unscrupulous con artists posing as wedding photographers. These swindlers will poach couples with cheap prices and slick sales pitches, receive their deposits or even full booking payments and then never be heard from again. It breaks my heart to hear about this sort of thing. However the good news is that they’re easily avoided. Firstly, ensure that any payment of deposits or fees are done via bank transfer – its the most secure method of payment, and can be traced and reversed in the event of a problem. And be sure to get a proper contract from the photographer which makes clear what you are getting and what you are paying for – this provides protection to the couple. Finally, and probably most importantly, the phrase “constant vigilance” applies here – go and visit the photographer before money changes hands, make sure you see examples of their work and ask questions about how everything will work – a good photographer will put your fears to rest.


5. Dont Go Over the Top!

Now this one may sound counter-intuitive when it comes to ‘credit crunch weddings’ but I feel it’s an important one. In your quest to cut your wedding budget don’t go too far! Like I said, the photography is quite possibly THE most important part of your wedding, especially when you look back. There are a lot of amateurs out there with little experience, talent and lacking in the proper equipment. If you look at their prices they seem like a bargain. But often the real bargains are to be found by going up a level in pricing. Remember that if you don’t look at your photographer’s work and go “wow” what is the point in spending all that money on a professional?

No responses yet

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply