Brides and husbands to be – we feel absolutely horrible for you! Well, we feel terrible for you when we look in our regular wedding Facebook groups and see the comments get 87 deep of overwhelming responses to your ‘Looking for a photographer’ posts and our hearts go out to you here at KNP. We are located out of Chattanooga and frequent the wedding Facebook group ‘Everything Wedding! Chattanooga TN and surrounding areas’ and it is a train wreck out here.!
Putting our heads together in solution; we created a fantastic list of great points to help you guys pick the very best photographer for your wedding! (..and not get overwhelmed by businesses and people that do not make a good fit!)
- Always post your available budget range for photography with your inquiry! No one is going to judge you – we are all well aware that there are photographers out there that will do a wedding for $300.00. You wont find them if you don’t target them specifically. When people recommend themselves even when they are over your said budget – well they are just plain rude.
- Do not EVER hire someone who has no wedding photography available to show you. Ask to see a full wedding gallery. You want to see their indoor wedding photographs if you have an indoor wedding, their reception photos if you have a reception, and the reason for this is because shooting in low indoor light can prove a finicky trick! The latter is also true for an outdoor wedding – many photographers have a hard time in full sun when they rock at indoor photography.
- Let me give you a guide to photography pricing for an 8 hour day:
- Be Worried: $0.00-$500.00
5. I would be leery of anyone who charged less than $1,300.00 for a full 8 hour day (..ask all the questions! See all the stuff!) but I have also seen some really great work from photographers that charge $800.00 for an 8-hr day. Follow advice in #2 and you might be on to someone special! The best thing to do is state your budget and know what you want for it – do you want a second photographer? An engagement session as well? How about a wedding album? These things will drive cost up – but you wouldn’t regret any of them for certain because once that day is gone, it’s gone forever if you don’t have pictures you love.
6. Packages are your friend. You can get some amazing deals inside of the package price. You might want to look into a second shooter first and foremost! How about an engagement session? Custom USB? Wedding album? What do they have for you?! What should be included in each price range? Well, that can vary upon the needs of the business. Some ‘photographers’ don’t actually have a business, pay tax or have insurance/overhead to pay for so they can charge less. There are also photographers that do have a business and may not charge enough, not realizing its causing them to lose money because they aren’t an accountant! Some photographers just need to undercut everyone else because they want more wedding experience and they will join the ranks of expensive soon. Then there are the guys that have been doing it for 15-20 years and have figured it all out – they are up there in the $$$ for a reason!
7. Reasonable is different for everyone. $1,500.00 is still considered an extremely budget friendly wedding photographer; especially if you get extras with their services. While $2,000.00 is the 8-hours price – with no extras included – NORMAL going rate, so if you are getting extras with this price then you are still receiving a service that is expensive for everyone (photographer included!) at a great price. Keep in mind that we work NOT ONLY for the allotted wedding time – we also drive to your consult, engagement session, wedding and then edit your photographs for an eight hour day! We typically edit 250-600 for an eight hour wedding depending on whether they have a second photographer or not. That kind of editing takes months, not weeks!
8. Don’t panic at the price tag! Most photographers (including us) just want a down payment up front and can take payments on the rest. The down payment is to retain your wedding date because us photographers have to tell other clients we are busy on your special day, so we don’t want to book clients who bail! – we lose so many chances to provide for others as well as ourselves when we tell people NOPE on your behalf! So, the ‘retainer’ is usually non-refundable; unless we can re-book your date before it flies by!
We certainly hope this clears up some confusion and also helps you in your search for the perfect photographer, even if it is not us! Congratulations on your new walk in life and God bless you!