If you were someone who got senior pictures taken in high school, or even family pictures, you know how expensive the photography business is these days. When I was in high school I didn’t get any super glamorous senior portraits done by a local photographer. Instead I had them taken by whoever the school hired for the yearbook pictures. Not my first choice, but at least I had some senior pictures.
The main reason my parents didn’t let me have senior pictures taken anywhere else was because photographers are extremely expensive. Now that I need to start thinking about wedding pictures, which are essentially one of the most important aspects of a wedding (for some mindsets) I must find something that will not break any kind of budget that I have. With so many photographers competing amongst each other I would hope that there would be a budget friendly photographer out there.
Where to start?
As I always mention, in no way am I an expert on any of this. I am solely in the planning process and haven’t made any commitments to anything for my wedding quite yet. I will share my experiences of what I have found out and some ideas on how to find a photographer. Let’s start with where to look for a wedding photographer.
In reference to my last blog article I talked about how helpful bridal shows are. This is definitely true for meeting with and talking to photographers. They always have a station set up with a table displaying a lot of their work and the prices of their wedding photography packages. This is a great place to look for a photographer. In fact that’s the main reason they are there. They want to branch out and advertise themselves, which is also why they may give out some free deals for their photography. I also talked a little bit about this in my last article because I was lucky enough to win a free engagement session with a local photographer.
Another great way to find a photographer is by recommendation. Find someone who has had family pictures or even senior pictures done. In most cases these photographers do all kinds of occasions and weddings.
Don’t set unrealistic expectations
One of the most important things to do before starting to look at photography is setting a budget. How much do you want to spend on wedding pictures? Yes, they are important, but are they $8,000 worth of importance? Maybe to some people they are, but in my case that’s extremely steep and worth my entire budget. Knowing how much you’re allowing yourself to spend should be done so that you can steer clear of photographers that charge huge prices so you don’t waste your time. Don’t set yourself up for high expectations. When it comes down to it, you may just want to have an album of prints rather than; hundreds of prints, an album and a huge canvas. That’s where plenty of these photography places suck you in. Their stuff is gorgeously displayed which makes it so appealing to buy and spend thousands of dollars on. You don’t have to settle, but it may be wise to explore all options and know what kind of pictures you want. If your budget allows you to splurge there’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know where it stands in your full wedding budget.
Be aware of sitting fees that some places add on for engagement sessions as well as location fees for taking pictures at places such as Maymont in Richmond. Maymont charges for photographers to come and take pictures on their property with a fee of $50.
General photography info
- Something I have found while looking at different photographers is that many of them are using the same equipment and processing. The photographer that I am seriously considering (depending on all wedding factors) has stunning photos and also has the options of printing my pictures into a hardback book. These hardback books have become the new alternative to a traditional album. It’s like a yearbook just with thicker pages (much like what a children’s book is made of) but printed with rich inks and gloss. This was a new concept to me, but they are absolutely unique to each person’s pictures. Some places do offer books that look more like yearbooks as well. These were also really pretty and nicely done. Click here for a price guide to the hard cover books through a local photographer in Fredericksburg.
- If you’re looking for someone who could be extremely budget friendly, I have talked to some people that have had relatives take their wedding pictures or someone that they knew through a friend that is going to school for photography. One person I have talked to is having a girl, who is a student at VCU take her pictures. This is a great idea especially if you don’t want to deal with tons of costs or fees. Plus there also seems to be more control over what you want and can get. Printing out your own pictures is always an option as well as sending them off to be made into a book, if this is really important to you.
- Keep all options open and set realistic goals for what you want included on your big day. I may have had unrealistic expectations for my senior pictures, but my parents and I have learned from that experience. Hopefully this time around I can find what I am looking for.