5 Tips on How to Have Realistic Expectations

When it comes to wedding photography, many people think wedding photographers have the easiest job on the planet. People don’t understand why wedding photographers “cost so much.” They think, “After all, they are JUST taking photos.” On the other side of the spectrum we have couples that are willing to invest into their wedding photography but have such high expectations, they end up being disappointed with the end result. Well, I am here to give you five tips on how to have realistic expectations when it comes to your wedding photos so you are left happy and jumping for joy.

Tip #1: Why is wedding photography SO expensive?

Believe it or not this is the #1 question many photographers get asked, almost on a daily basis. They see it posted on the web in different forums, blog posts, or in their news feeds. As previously mentioned in Chapter 2, wedding photographers are small business owners and there are so many things that are involved with running a profitable and sustainable wedding photography business.

Yes, I understand that people who know nothing about the wedding industry just think wedding photographers rake in the money and we live such luxurious lives. However, there is so much more than the eye can see when it comes to being a wedding photographer. Many full-time photographers spend 60+ hours working on one wedding because they want to give all of their attention to their clients and go above and beyond to make sure they are completely happy with their photos.

One major reason wedding photographers charge what they do is because there are a TON of expenses involved in running a business. These include expenses such as the camera equipment they use to shoot your wedding, insurance of equipment, taxes, camera repairs, shipping costs so you are able to receive your photos in the mail, wedding albums to professionally present your photos, advertising so you can find us and hire us, editing software to make your photos even more beautiful, gas to get to and from your wedding, training/workshops to invest in ourselves and our craft to get you the best photos possible, and the list goes on.Besides considering the business aspect of wedding photography, this is a popular industry we have chosen as our career and livelihood. The money invested into a collection will also help feed your photographer and their family, provide a roof over their heads, provide a car for them to drive, a phone for them to communicate with you, a computer and internet to set up a website and email to begin our initial meeting and more. These are very important facets to consider and you must keep them in mind the next time you wonder about why a collection is too expensive or why you have to invest X amount of dollars. Please think of the whole picture and how you are helping a family survive. Just know that without clients who appreciate the artistry and hard work of wedding photographers and who understand the importance of investing into great wedding photography, many photographers live on barely anything. Yet, they choose to continue this path because they have a true and genuine love for photography.

Tip #2: Book your ideal Wedding Photographer in Advance

Many couples feel that if they are going to be engaged for a year to a year in a half they have all the time in the world to book their vendors but in wedding time, that is a blink of an eye. Most wedding photographers (especially the in-demand) are booked out a year or more in advance. I would suggest, and highly at that, you have your sights set on a specific photographer and that you book that photographer as soon as you possibly can. Mark my words, the closer your wedding date comes, the harder it is going to be to find a good quality wedding photographer that you LOVE. The longer you wait only increases the likelihood that you will end up settling for mediocre, when what you really want on your big day is the BEST to remember your wedding day by.

However, in the case that your ideal wedding photographer is booked, do not be afraid to ask for any quality leads/referrals. Trust me, photographers are friends with other photographers who know even more photographers who would love to shoot your wedding. Plus, your ideal wedding photographer, more likely than not, would be able to refer you out to like-minded photographers who have a similar style that you are looking for. 

Tip #3: Don’t just assume, ASK!

Growing up, our teachers always told us that no question is a stupid question. This statement is just as important: Don’t just assume, ASK! I cannot stress this enough because if you do not ask, you will be disappointed beyond belief if you had super high expectations and your photographer did not deliver. For example: If you are looking to get all blemishes, dark circles, and fine lines removed you need to ask if your photographer does this extensive editing. Many photographers charge extra for this type of editing because it is very tedious work and very time consuming. Others, like myself, include this editing in their collections. Please do not assume that just because your friend’s photographer did this extensive editing that your photographer will also do the same. 

Tip #4: Wanting 1,500 photos is a Little Excessive

Trust me, I get it, you are paying good money for your photography and you want to receive your money’s worth, it makes total sense. Let me ask you this though, would you rather receive 500 AMAZING photos or 1,500 okay photos? Many professional photographers deliver 50-150 photos per hour give or take. That may not seem like a ton of photos, but when you hire a professional who shoots weddings for their career, you MUST trust that they are only going to deliver the best of the best. Part of a photographers job is to cull (sort through) your photos and delete the ones where you are eating, eyes are blinking, bad lighting, photos that are blurry, etc. Please, rest assured that once your wedding photos reach your hands, you will have the best possible photos to relive your day. Yes, you may not have 1,500, but you more than likely will have 500-800 AMAZING photos to swoon over. 

Tip #5: More Time is the Best Time

Believe me when I say, ALWAYS plan for more time than less time. More than likely your wedding will run behind, but that’s not a bad thing, it usually comes with the territory. Hair and makeup will take longer than expected, the groom and groomsmen are taking their time, family or friends are running late for family portraits, and the list goes on. Having a minimum of an extra 15 minutes added to the key parts of your day such as getting ready, family portraits, ceremony and reception will make all the difference.