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Do I Need A Wedding Photographer?

Do I Need A Wedding Photographer?

By Jeffrey House Photography

 

Do I need a wedding photographer?  Can't I just hire a cheap photographer?  

Many couples gamble with their wedding photographs and they often end up heartbroken and devastated.

They hire a cheap wedding photographer thinking it will be "good enough."

I'm about to share a true story with you about a local couple that hired a "cheap" wedding photographer.  Their experience, while unique, is anything but uncommon.  A friend of mine shared this story with me and as he told me the details, I tried to imagine what it would be like to be in their shoes.  The time and money that goes into planning a wedding, only to have it ripped from you.

A True Story

So, as I mentioned, a friend of mine shared this story about a couple he knows.  He attended their wedding a few weeks ago and the couple had a horrific experience with their wedding photographer.

The couple is in their mid-twenties, and like many people, trying to plan their wedding on a tight budget.  

My friend, knowing I'm a wedding photographer, say, "you should have seen their wedding photographer - I wouldn't have believed it if I didn't see it with my own eyes."

Of course, now my interest in really peaked!  He's not the type of person that is easily shocked, so I was trying to imagine what possibly could have happened.  Rather than bore you with all the little details, we're going to get straight to the good stuff!

Their wedding photographer started  the day by arriving a 1/2 hour late.  On top of that, she looked like she was going shopping at the mall - jeans and a very casual shirt.  

Shortly before the ceremony started, her boyfriend arrived to "hang out" with her.  She spent more time socializing with her boyfriend than taking pictures.

Once the reception started, the photographer and her boyfriend apparently believed this was their time to celebrate too.  They both starting ordering drink after drink!  It wasn't long before they were both obviously intoxicated.  

But just when you think it can't get any better, it does.  Not only does their photographer continue to drink, but she's also on her cell phone texting.  And eventually begins to get into a heated argument with her boyfriend for all the guests to see!

Before we continue with the rest of the story, has anyone wondered who's taking pictures at this point?  

You guessed it - no one!

As the couple prepared to cut their wedding cake, they were unable to find their photographer.  Eventually, they just cut the cake without her.

They later learned the reason they couldn't find her.  She was face down in the bathroom getting sick from all the alcohol she consumed.

 

Heartbroken And Devastated  

When I asked how the couple is handling all of this, my friend told me they are heartbroken and devastated.

They paid the photographer $800 because they thought they were getting the deal of a lifetime.  Every other photographer was charging at least $2,000.  

In hindsight, the couple said they can't believe this happened and they would pay just about anything to fix this.  

But now, they don't have photographs of important moments from the ceremony or reception.  And the photographs they did receive, weren't even edited.  

Research, Research, Research

Anyone planning a wedding should first visit costofwedding.com.  Simply enter your zip code, a couple of quick questions, and within seconds you're provided with essential information.

It's nearly impossible to plan a wedding, with any degree of accuracy, without understanding how much everything costs.  That's probably the reason why 45-50% of couples go over budget.

I see so many couples planning their wedding based on what they think it should cost.  This approach is rarely, if ever, accurate.  

The average cost of an Albany, NY wedding in 2015 was $37,000.  And, on average, couples invested $3,700 on their wedding photography.  

Regardless of how your wedding costs, experts recommend allocating 15% of your budget to hire a wedding photographer.  

Obviously, you're going to spend a lot more than $800, but your experience is going to be completely different.  Your photographer will represent their business professionally by dressing appropriately, behaving in a manner that's respectful and professional, and values you as a customer.  

Some of the big differences between "cheap" and professional wedding photographers is their reputation and commitment to their business.  Professional photographers understand that they need to perform well and provide excellent customer service if they want to survive in a competitive industry.  

Generally speaking, cheap wedding photographers don't value customer relationships or delivering a quality product.  They simply want their money and their out.

The last piece of advice - never hire a professional wedding photographer without having a wedding photography contract in place.   

Professionals take great care to capture and record your entire wedding day in a professional and artistic way - from the details to your first kiss, you will receive pictures that make your proud.  You'll want to share them with family and friends, and even display them on the walls in your home.  

You will be able to cherish your keepsakes and this momentous day forever!

 

Do you have a story or know of a story like this?  We would love for you to share your experience with us!  Comment now!