This article is a follow-up to my introductory email series on how to choose a great wedding photographer. Sign up to learn the most important questions to answer before you choose a photographer.
Now you know more about what style of photography you’re looking for, as well as the kind of service and printed products you value most. Here are two quick thoughts on budgeting for wedding photography and how to ultimately choose a photographer.
Your wedding budget should reflect what matters most to you. Many couples put a high value on hosting an elegant reception dinner to honor their most important guests. Other couples prioritize a live band, unique location, open bar, or all of the above.
The common thread linking these elements together with photography is: how do you want to remember your wedding day? Do you daydream about snuggling with your spouse in the future to leaf through your custom-made photo album, reliving the day as you remind each other of your love? Do you like the idea of displaying large-format canvas prints in your home, so your friends, and someday your children, can enjoy your love story for years to come?
There are only a few things that remain after a wedding day is done: your commitment to each other, a few mementos, and your pictures. Consider photography an investment in your future. You don’t just want the facts of the day recorded - you want the feelings and every special moment put into print, to make it easy to remember and enjoy the significance of it all. Photographers who deliver these kinds of experiences and products generally charge more than those just starting out, but many couples find them a worthwhile investment. In Western New York, this level of photographic service will often start at $3,500 and up.
When my wife Joanna was in college (before she was my wife), she was talking with an older woman who was well respected in the community. She told Joanna: “Don’t choose a guy because you work in the same place or seem to be heading in the same direction now. Careers can change quickly and often. Instead, choose someone you like!”
That deceptively simple advice has served us well in our last 5+ years of marriage. The circumstances of our life have changed, and that will continue even more in the future. But we’ll always have a best friend in each other, and for the rest of our lives we’ll get to experience, and hopefully enjoy, everything that comes our way together.
Your choice of photographer isn’t quite as important as your spouse. :-) But it’s good to keep in mind your photographer will be with you on your wedding day more than almost any other person. They’ll offer suggestions on how to look your best and keep you on schedule. A good photographer will reassure you if things get a little stressful or crazy, and they have the honor of recording your most special and intimate moments throughout the day so you can enjoy them later. You want to work with someone you trust and enjoy.
How do you know if you click with a photographer? It’s fine to get to know someone on Instagram or Facebook, but the best way is to meet in person. Almost all photographers will be happy to do a free initial consultation. You’ll sit down together, go over their work, answer your questions, and most importantly, get to know each other. It’s a critical step - don’t fall in love with a photographer before you meet in-person! Choose someone you’re sure you like.
Are you interested in learning more about Kniley Photography? Read about my style and core values in photographing weddings, or contact me using the button below. Thank you!