As the economy has become tougher, so has our willingness to pay for over-priced photography. However, going too cheap on wedding photography can also prove to be costly.
You need to know what pricing can tell you about a photographer, and how this understanding can save you from heart ache on your wedding day. Wait, you mean heart ache when I receive my pictures, right? No. The first and most important thing you need to understand about what pricing can tell you about a photographer is how much experience they have in managing a wedding. Wedding photography is not just about capturing great images. It is also about understanding the flow and timing of a wedding and being knowledgeable and experienced enough to be able to work within that flow.
Someone that actually has no understanding of how to manage the flow of a wedding will ruin your wedding day. They can be obtrusive, interuptive, and in-efficient. Have you ever heard the horror stories of the photographer that took so long to take pictures after a ceremony that guests had already left the reception when the party arrived. Or the photographer who was late, or who left too early, or missed the cake cutting. These are great examples of someone who does not know how to manage a wedding.
And then of course you have the images themselves. What breaks my heart more than anything is for someone to receive terrible images from their wedding day. You only have one shot at getting good images of your wedding. There are no do-overs. Do you want to leave this in the hands of someone who does not really
understand wedding portraiture? Pricing will clue you in to whether the person claiming to be a photographer actually understands the business of wedding photography. Someone who does not know how to set rates appropriate to the industry, to the cost of doing business, to the value of their knowledge and time, are giving you a big clue as to the quality of the images you can expect from them. Someone who offers really cheap pricing for wedding photography is telling you that they don't know how to place an appropriate value on their time, or on the quality of their work. Or, even worse, they ARE telling you that they know exactly how to price the quality of their work.
When it comes to your wedding there are only three tangible things you walk away with. The spouse, the rings, and the pictures. In today's economy everyone is trying to be more cost effective, and there are ways to save on your wedding. But don't let your attempt to save on your photographer cost you more than just quality images. Be educated, be fruggle, but don't be taken by cheap photography.