Hello lovely readers! As a follow-up to our previous post, we’d like to share with you our second recommendation of what not to compromise on with your budget.
Next to catering, we find Photography and videography is an important part of your wedding day. Many of you can probably relate to the struggle of getting that one great selfie when you’re feeling a new outfit, or that group shot on girls’ night out. So, on the big day when your hair has never looked so amazing, your makeup has never looked so flawless, and you are dawning the most amazing wedding dress you could ever dream of, great photos are a must!
But as we all know, it’s not just about capturing you when you’re looking your best, it’s also about the cherished memories you’ll get to keep of family and friends and those candid moments of your big day.
There’s probably been a time or two since getting engaged that you’ve heard “The day will fly by in the blink of an eye”. This is one reason why we believe hiring a great photographer and videographer is important. They’ll be the ones capturing all of those jaw dropping and tear-jerking moments you’re experiencing during your big day – not to mention all those little moments you didn’t get to see or even realize were happening while you were basking in the joy of becoming Mr. and Mrs.
When going over your wedding budget, it may be appealing to allow your cousin Sally to shoot your wedding because she did it for her best friend and they love their photos – and because Sally wants to give her service as a wedding gift to you. Perhaps you were cruising Craigslist and came across a photographer who is offering less than half the rate of the professional wedding photographer you received a quote from. This is not to say either option is a bad choice! Sometimes we have really skilled relatives who do amazing photography, and some photographers on Craigslist are legitimately trying to build a reputation, have tremendous skill and may not have the budget to advertise themselves yet. That being said – there are still some risks involved when you don’t hire a professional. Aside from quality, with Craigslist, you need to beware of scams. With a friend or relative shooting, they may get distracted by other friends or relatives and miss vital shots or moments.
When hiring a photographer/videographer, it is important to verify quality.
When reviewing their work, you should feel a connection to their work. Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, and what may appeal to others, may not appeal to you. Some things to look for are how touched up the photos are, if they appear grainy, if they are over exposed and the photographer uses lots of blurs to make the photos look “artsy”. Remember that these photos are yours for the rest of your lives. They are likely photos you will proudly display in your home and may share with your children or grandchildren one day.
If photography and videography just aren’t in the budget and you’re looking at a more cost-efficient means, here are some tips to avoid potential issues and assist you in finding someone you can feel confident about.
First – This may seem like common sense, but we just have to mention it – NEVER provide any personal information or security deposits to a photographer you find on Craigslist or similar sites until you have met with them and feel comfortable. If they are telling you “We only have one spot left” or “We are booked 2 years in advance so you need to commit ASAP” and pushing you for a deposit before they will come to meet with you, beware.
Second – Ideally, the photographer or videographer will have a website with their information, portfolio and potentially have client reviews. If they do not have a website, you should ask for their portfolio and references. You wouldn’t hire an employee without reference checking, so hiring a photographer should be no different. If you feel comfortable with their references, ask to set up a meeting with them to view their portfolio with their original work.
Third – Most importantly, TRUST YOUR GUT! If the photographer is hesitant to provide references or original work, if they are asking for money to secure the date right off the bat before even meeting, or if you feel any sort of uncertainty, move on! Is it really worth you losing those precious photographed memories of your big day, just to save some dollars? Photographs for such an important event are truly priceless.
Fourth – the family member or friend capturing the day instead of hiring a professional. A good tip is to be proactive and set out your expectations ahead of time – some issues that could arise are:
- They may not have enough experience shooting outdoors in natural light so photos turn out under or over exposed;
- They may have no experience in editing, or,
- They keep getting drawn in to the festivities and some intimate moments are missed.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask to see their work or provide them a list of your expectations, even if the service is a gift. You can let them know you are appreciative and inform them of how important the photography is and perhaps you’d rather have them as a guest so they can enjoy their time. It is also important to set and agree on the timeline in receiving your edited photos as sometimes, relatives get distracted and next thing you know, it’s been 6 months are you’re still waiting on photos.
If you are someone who would rather spend the money to save stress, it may be best to hire a reputable professional who’s dedicated to creating and catching the memories of the most special day of your life. Someone who is trained in capturing moments and who won’t be distracted by the festivities. As always, we leave it up to the couple on where they would like to spend the money. For some, catering, or a reputable photographer is not a necessity, and that is totally ok! Don’t feel pressured by outside forces if it does not feel right for you as a couple. It is your wedding day and the most important thing is that you make the choices that will make you happy!
As always, working with a planner will help guide you and make informed decisions when you’re having trouble. Please stay tuned for our next post, and in the interim, Happy Planning <3