There's more to it than great shots
Photography is one of those services for your wedding that you cannot go without. Especially now that Instaworthy photos are a must! Of course, all photos on social media will be perfect. Because of that, we recommend using more specific criteria when selecting a photographer for your wedding. For instance, their style and personality will be extremely important to you during the day of your event, so you should be sure you work well together. Talk to references and reach out to their social media followers to ask if they’ve used them.
Another criteria that many couples consider is their budget. Photography is one of the more expensive line items in the budget. Compared to video, where you can choose to not have videography, not having photography isn’t really much of an option. We would suggest to spend the money that you can on this service, because having quality photographs that last for years is much more important than any other wedding expense. Photos are the one thing you and your family will look at many times over the course of your lives. We highly recommend investing in a quality photographer.
However, we know pricing can get a bit over the top, so we offer you five tips that can help cut down on that bill in the end!
Wait on buying your wedding album. Focus on getting a better photographer as opposed to getting a package with an album. You can get an album later. Designing your album is a fun activity to do during your 1 year anniversary. This may sound random or odd, but wedding albums are super expensive! The average album runs from $1500 to $2500. So we suggest that you postpone getting your album until after your wedding and honeymoon have passed. Plus it’ll be like an anniversary present to yourselves! It’s a fun way to reminisce on your wedding and relive all the wonderful memories.
Print the photos yourself. Ordering prints from your photographer can really prove to be expensive so you could print them yourself (if your photographer gives permission). Also, if you decide to get prints enlarged for your ceremony or reception, to display during cocktail hour, then you could also enlarge those yourself. But it’s important to keep in mind that the paper quality matters when printing those portraits. The benefit to having your photographer provide these is that you will end up with a higher quality print. However, you can use a high quality print shop that delivers the same quality.
Make your parents’ album using an online printing site. Couples usually get the option of having their own album and choosing an album for their parents to keep. That can get a little pricey considering how expensive albums are. Instead of getting the parents’ albums from your photographer, use a website that offers the same services for a lower price. Websites like shutterfly, snappish or high end album companies like zno area a great alternative for this service. It may take a bit of work and time on your end, so weigh out the cost/benefit and decide where your wedding budget dollars can take you.
Don’t keep your photographer all day and night. There’s no need to have your photographer around every second of every moment. Create an itinerary to track the amount of time that you’ll need them. As a rule of thumb, you’ll need two photographers for ceremony and wedding day. One stays with the groom and the other with the bride. The meetup during baraat, but the bride’s photographer can focus on getting her reaction as she watches the baraat from above.
During the reception there are plenty of opportunities for photos, however there are only so many pictures they can take of people dancing. We suggest you let them go after about an hour of dancing. Unless you have something special planned at the very end of the night, like an exit or vidaai. Then you’d need to decide if you want professional photos of that or if you’re ok with pictures taken by friends and family. OR, how about staging the exit or having the vidaai before the very end? Estimating how much time you’ll need one or two photographers requires some planning ahead. Consider if there will be any down time and if there is, don’t book them for that open time. Booking them for a specific amount of hours will help control the budget.
Ask if they have done an Indian/Desi wedding. We say this because it may make a difference to you. Photographers with experience shooting Indian weddings know what to look for and how things work. They also tend to have higher price points. Knowing this gives you and your groom a sense of comfort working with someone who has that experience. If that experience is not a huge factor, then ask them to work with you on the price. Considering much of the work will be on you to educate them on important moments to capture and that they benefit by gaining experience shooting an Indian wedding. If you agree, be sure to have a meeting with them to discuss customs like the importance of taking shoes off, or covering your head. Also, many guests bring their DSLRs. Be sure to talk to them about those things. These next points aren’t budget savers, but they are important to think about up front. Many have model release contracts, if you don’t want your pictures posted be sure to ask them to remove this on the front end, It is not possible to remove that clause on the back end. Discuss when they will eat or if they want a hot meal served. We recommend they eat during the cocktail hour time, rather than during dinner because you can take photos with guests over dinner.