So many people ask me - "Why are photographers so expensive?" It doesn't seem that hard, right? I mean, everyone has a camera these days. It's true- Grandma is constantly snapping photos of your head chopped off, Mom is sending you selfies of her at work, your friends are Instagramming photos of their food and your boyfriend is sending you photos of your cat while you're at the gym. Everyone DOES have a camera these days- but are those the kinds of photos your drool over in your feed? Are those the images that evoke emotion when you look back at them later? Probably not. I can't even begin to count the number of times I have heard, 'thanks, but no thanks- turns out my best friend just got a camera and I think they are just going to take the photos for us.' Only to see my inbox filling up after the fact with requests for a follow-up session to get some more professional shots.
By no means am I trying to toot my own horn here, friends. There are so many people out there with a good eye, but how many people have years of experience under their belt to deal with those difficult lighting situations? To help build out timelines that are logical and successful? To help pose you in ways that are flattering and natural? When it comes to professional photographers, you really do get what you pay for. And what is that you pay for exactly, you ask?
You are paying for the experience that person has worked hard to accrue. Photographers attend workshops, take classes online, practice and practice with different kinds of gear in different kinds of situations. We work hard to gain the experience we need to make you feel confident in us in ANY situation. I have been working in the wedding industry since 2011 and I have been in ALL KINDS of lighting situations, dealt with all kinds of personalities and worked with MANY different vendors. I know how to throw together a timeline, how to keep people calm and how to make the day run smoothly so that YOU can enjoy yourself and I can provide you with the best images possible. Below are some examples of various situations I've been in that are tricky in all their own ways. Find short blurbs below each!
2. Gear & Insurance
Yes. Gear. Every photographer has their own level of gear geek-ery and that gear is what can help give you peace of mind at your event. A good photographer has multiple lenses, multiple camera bodies, back up lenses, back up bodies, memory cards, flashes, tripods, external hard drives, a good editing system and dependable computer... The list goes on. This gear is not cheap, my friends. And the better gear you have, the better your images turn out and the more dependable and "safe" your files are. Plus, this gear needs love. It needs special bags to travel in, it needs to be sent in for yearly check-ups and cleanings. It needs to be taken care of and occasionally replaced. A good, clean, dependable toolbox is essential to a successful, stress-free day. On top of all of that, a good photographer is INSURED. Both personally while at your event as well as carrying protection for their equipment should something happen. All of these things add up and are rolled into that bottom line price you pay for a safe, professional experience.
3. Consistency & Style
You hire a photographer because you love their style and because you can spot their "look" from a mile away. It takes time to establish and perfect a style and you want to feel confident that the images you will receive from your big day match that style you fell in love with. Take the time to look through MANY examples of the photographer's work and be sure that the style really speaks to you. Ask to see samples of FULL galleries that they provide to their clients after the big day. Nobody wants surprises here and this will get you excited about your photographer capturing your day just as you'd imagined.
I don't care how far into wedding planning you are at this very moment, you already know that being detail oriented is INCREDIBLY important. Your wedding photographer should care just as much about those little details as you do and should know how to capture them in a way that tells a story. Details are one of my very favorite things about each and every wedding I shoot. These little details are what make every day unique and I am SURE to build in time to capture them. Below is just a smattering of various details from many weddings over the years, but you will find a solid collection of detail photos in every one of my wedding collections.
Many people think that the bottom line is way too high for the number of hours they receive face-to-face contact with their photographer, but there is so much more that goes into creating beautiful photos for you. The initial client contact, sub-sequential meetings, organization and planning of the event, conducting the session(s) and the final delivery are only part of the whole process. We photographers spend hours upon hours behind the computer editing, smoothing, re-touching and perfecting your images. We spend time designing albums, sending images to print, blogging, creating galleries for you to share with friends and family. All of these things take time and energy. All of these things are equally as important as what is happening in our personal interactions and should be valued.
There is so much that goes into being a professional photographer and it's easy to forget when you aren't in our shoes. When you are out there sifting through the pages upon pages of Google reviews for photographers in your area, take these things into consideration. In the long run, your peace of mind and the final images you receive are well worth it!