Choosing a Photographer for your Wedding – Part 3


Third thing to work around when choosing a photographer is the price of the services. Now since wedding photography is not something standard, it can be like apples and oranges – much harder to compare. For example, you’ve gone through a list of the 10 photographers you’ve liked and find their first quoted price  ranged from 2000$ to 9000$. You may be surprised and consider these extremes to be either very cheap or very expensive. The longer comparison lies in the details. We’d like to dive deeper to explore them here.

The first most important difference is the amount of hours included. The definition of a ‘full day coverage’ varies heavily between one person to the next and that is because it varies from one wedding to another. For example – an elopement wedding may not require more than 4 hours of coverage as we not shooting so many moments of the day – such as family photos, bridal party pictures, reception and most of the getting ready preparations. On the other hand, a 400 people Jewish wedding at the Shaar Hashomayim usually runs for at least 14 hours from his getting ready to the cake cutting. Our current record holding wedding went on for 19 hours – from 6AM to 1AM the next day, a 600 people Indian Sikh wedding. The couple fell asleep for an hour during the clothes swap.

Next, 1 VS 2 photographers – not everyone includes a second shooter. Sometimes, those  who do just get assistants whose photos are only counted on in terms of backup. This is probably the most vague comparison clause as some of our friends shoot alone 99% of the time and they prefer it that way, while others grab 2 assistants throughout the day not only to carry bags  but also to get those candid shots in the background. Which one delivers better results? It’s extremely hard to judge as they simply have different approaches to documenting the day.

Albums and prints – these were the only option back in the day of film photography. Today most photographers who charge under 10’000$ per wedding will shoot in digital. The processing fees attached to film photography are increasing year to year with few people being able to perceive the difference between a digital and analog picture.

When you think  ‘what albums are included?’, the more important question you should be asking yourself is ‘what do I want to do with my wedding photos?’

  • Would you like to hang them on a wall  on a large 40 by 60″ canvas?
  • Would you like to have a small 4 by 6″ album with the best 100 or so images?
  • Would you prefer having a luxurious 40 pages custom designed book with a leather binding and glass cover?
  • Or would you simply want to have them on your phone in an app?

The options are very varied and it’s important to understand what comes in and what you’re comparing with.

Onto the the extras…

  • Some photographers will include engagement shoots in their collections, some charge an extra fee for it.
  • There are video options available from most photographers nowadays – either incorporated in their photography or by adding a videography team
  • Photobooths options are a popular option for the guest entertainment, some will have immediate Social Media sharing capabilities, some print on the spot and others will be given to you a few days after the wedding on an online gallery.
  • Slideshows – a great way to present the most dynamic photos of your wedding  in a few minutes.
  • Online Galleries – although digital pictures were first delivered on CD’s, then DVD’s then USB keys, most people will now deliver it directly online- speeds up the delivery process and allows you to see your photos on your phone, computer, tablet and share them with all their family members around the world.

The fine print…

  • What about the travel expenses? If your wedding is not in the immediate vicinity of the city that the photographer is staying in, they may require some additional ‘travel fees’ – standard in the corporate events community –  with transport, lodging and food allowances.
  • Low resolution VS Web Resolution VS High Resolution and what they actually mean? Originally introduced by some photographers as a barrier to force people to purchase prints from them. In the mid 2000’s – the focus went from printing to digital for most couples – decreasing the amounts of profits photographers used to make per wedding. Most people would be fine with Web Resolution – assuming 2K or 1080p, it’s the same quality of an HD TV and about the same as your iPhone. Today, most cameras used by photographers shoot between 6K and 8K quality – way larger than the most displays.
  • Who owns the rights to the photos? Most of the time this clause does not hold much value, legally it is not possible to transfer the ownership of photos to another person by the Canadian Laws – the person pressing the camera button owns the rights to the images. One thing to check is if the photos get delivered with a watermark or without.
  • Payment plans – make sure to understand when payments must be made when you book a photographer, most will ask for a deposit to reserve the date and have the balance paid on the wedding or at the pickup of the photos and albums. There’s a risk to be giving the complete payment before receiving the photos – some people may delegate your project to later given that they’ve already been paid for it completely.

We hope this series was useful to getting a better idea of points to think about when selecting a wedding photographer!

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