On your wedding day, you want to live in the moment—which is why it’s so important to hire the right photographer and videographer to capture everything at the ceremony and reception (and of course all of those first kisses as a married couple).
With camera prices lowering and YouTube tutorials abundant, there are so many people taking up photography and videography and opening up their own small businesses. Although an increased number of photographers and videographers is great news for brides and grooms planning a wedding, you may find it difficult to navigate through a wide range of quotes.
When you’re looking for the perfect photographer or videographer for your big celebration, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the best deal for the best service. Here are a few tips to remember when pricing these professionals.
Always, Always Know Your Budget
Before you even begin calling up anyone, you need to have a good idea of how much you’ll be able to spend. The average cost of wedding photography is around $2500-$3000—or around $1500 for videography—but ideally, this should come out to about 10 to 12 percent of your overall budget. This percentage could probably be expanded if you are getting married in the off-season, you aren’t inviting a lot of guests to the wedding, or if you are planning on DIYing part of the decorations to help save money.
Once you have a number in your head that you feel is about right, start browsing portfolios on the web, Facebook, and Instagram and request quotes from your favorites.
Ask About What Packages Your Photographer/Videographer Offer
Although every photographer and videographer is different, they will typically charge by the hour or offer a few packages to choose from.
For example, the cheapest package from a videographer or a photographer might include five hours of work (which may or may not include engagement photos) and photo editing. The middle package might include eight hours of work, plus an additional person with a camera to capture things behind the scenes. The third and most expensive package might include unlimited hours, plus a second photographer, and possibly even printing services.
When asking about package prices, write everything down and try to get as many quotes as you possibly can so you can do a proper compare and contrast.
Be Honest When the Package Price Is Too High
The most important thing to remember when having quote conversations with your photographer or videographer is to be honest when it comes to your budget. If you really love a certain person’s style but they are charging $4,000 when you can only squeeze in about $2,500, you don’t want to take up too much of their time or offend them with a low-balling offer. However, if you are honest about what kind of budget you have, they might be able to come up with a smaller package that will fit more easily in your wedding budget.
But, you have to remember that they are running a business, and if that’s their going rate, then there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Although it may be tempting to spend the majority of your money on beautiful photographs or the perfect wedding video, you still have to make the rest of the wedding happen on your budget, so be cautious when booking.
Be Wary if the Price Is Too Low
Just as you should tread lightly if someone’s prices are too much for your budget, you should also be cautious if the photographer or videographer’s prices are much too low for the market. Ensure that the photographer or videographer has an established website, social media following, and legitimate Yelp or Google reviews or customer testimonials on their page.
Although it’s possible that you are getting an exceptionally good deal from a very talented professional who is just starting out, you want to be sure that the person who is capturing your wedding is professional, prompt, and can actually get in there and get the memories you want to capture. You only get one chance to get that first kiss, after all!
Ask About Extras
When pricing photographers and videographers, you really want to be sure to ask whether or not extra things such as lengthy travel to the wedding venue, bridal portraits, boudoir photos, or an engagement photo sessions are included. If they aren’t, ask how much extra the services would be and if they would charge by the hour or just add it to your existing package. In other words, you want to get a clear idea of what kind of cost you’re looking at from the time your photographer or videographer turns on their camera to the time you get a link to download your photos or a Vimeo video of you walking down the aisle.
Be Sure You Connect
Pricing for wedding videographers and photographers may vary, but you should also think about how well you connect with the person (or team) capturing your wedding. Are they mispronouncing your fiance’s name or mixing up the family tree? Do they not understand your style at all and suggest things that you absolutely hate? Even if the price is right, they might not be the right professional for you.