Making Memories CLICK
This weekend I was at the Bingemans 'Wedding Dreams' Bridal Show in K-W, and I was dumbfounded by the number of excellent photographers on display there. Being fully addicted to the beauty of great photography, I was naturally compelled to ask a million questions. And brides...
What are your prices?
In my opinion, there is no point to interviewing someone who's minimum rate is $3000 if my budget for photos is $2500. That's why pricing will always be important.
From what I saw this weekend, package prices for professional photographers begin at approximately $1000 and go as high as $4500+.
Things that can affect the price are the number of hours of coverage, number of locations, number/size/type of prints you order, popularity of the photographer, the date of your wedding (is it a Saturday in the middle of wedding season or is a Tuesday night in the winter?) and more.
How do I compare pricing?
Photography pricing can't be compared at a simple glance. A photographer who advertises services for $1800 may actually cost the same as one who advertises $2500. It all depends on what you're getting for the cost. For example, the $2500 photographer may include additional coverage and print options that you would have ordered at extra charge from the $1800 photographer.
You have to look at what is included for the prices you're seeing. Price may also be effected by experience, reputation, and the level of demand there is for that photographer.
Pricing is usually presented in one of (or a combination of) three different methods.
• By the number of hours of coverage. Many basic packages include four to six hours.
• By the package. There are often 3-5 packages to choose from.
• 'A la carte'. This is where you piece together what you want from a list of options.
What type of training/accreditation can a photographer have?
There are several ways a photographer can learn his/her craft. For example, they may:
• Be trained at college and then start out on their own.
• Learn by becoming an apprentice under another 'big named photographer', learning the tricks of the trade by accompanying them to weddings and being taught all of the different techniques.
Photographers may also be able to boast that they have been accepted into a well-known professional association. Some of these associations have extremely high standards, require applications, peer critiques, competitions & testing, copies of their contracts and pricing, and a lot more.
A few of my favourite organizations are:
• PPO (Professional Photographers of Ontario)
• WPJA (Wedding Photojournalist Association).
There is no surefire way to decide which of these qualifications are better. Each photographer has his/her own own professional story, style, specialties, and approach to photography. Some are beautiful portraits, some look like they walked of the page of Brides Magazine and others were more daring with a bit of an edge.
How far ahead do I need to book a photographer?
Depending on the photographer, weekends can fill up rather quickly. For a single photographer operation, there are only so many Saturdays in a year (52, to be exact & only about 35 in the wedding season). Anyone in demand could end up needing 12 to 24 months of advance notice. Whether you have 3 weeks or 3 years, though, it's always call to check. Cancellations do happen.
What type of new artsy options are available these days?
So many different options on the styles of photos.
• Digital vs. film photography
• One vs. two shooters
• Albums in traditional leather bound style vs. contemporary window leather albums and striking red coffee table books.
• Proofs on CD, DVD, in a box, or in an album
• colour vs. black and white
• portrait/posed vs. candid/photojouralistic
• black & white with painted/digitally added colour
• unique locations such as photos standing in water, in the middle of the road, pumping the gas tank of a vintage car
• traditional beautiful outdoor locations such as parks, gardens, etc.
• inside photos in your church/chapel/reception hall
• photos can be created with different effects - borders and rendering
• different types/sizes/colours/makes of albums are available - including albums imported from the Netherlands that are made of aluminum and glass
• so much more...
Would it be cheaper to hire a friend of the family who is particularly handy with a camera?
Cheaper? Likely. Better? No comment.
When the day you've been planning for months has come to an end, the only thing you have left to remember it with is your photo album or wedding video. While I don't doubt that everyone has a friend who's handy with a camera, it's never as simple as it seems.
Let's fact it, if just anyone could be a photographer, then photographers wouldn't go to school, train with other experts, compete with peers in competitions or form groups so that they can compare & share techniques.
If your photo budget is extremely strapped, try hiring a photographer at one of their smaller package prices. Attempt to cover additional time by allowing your friend to compensate with his/her own camera and add throw-away cameras to guests' tables. Bear in mind, many guests take the cameras home with them.
If preserving your memories is a priority, consider cuts in other areas of your budget to compensate so that you have the money you need for the things that matter most to you.
Should a couple preserve memories in video?
Absolutely, a video is a terrific addition to your library of memories. Just remember that you need room in your budget, and that you still want to document the day with photographs.
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