You get what you pay for – NOT.

You get what you pay for.

Its the buzzword. You get what you pay for is what we love to say when choosing a photographer. Photography costs ranges from 0 to tens of thousands of dollars – and if “You get what you pay for” adage is true, everyone should just hire the most expensive photographer in the world and be done with it.

New photographers may charge next to nothing; photographers with a lot of overhead costs may charge more, some photographers juggling multiple occupations may charge less, yet some others with really expensive tools may charge more. Location plays a huge role in the prices of photographers – rural area photographers may be as skilled as big city photographers, but charges half the rate.

You see, every photographer has their own reasons why they charge the way they do – and presumably, most photographers do not set their prices based on how bad or how good they are as a photographer. So using those same rates to gauge how good or bad a photographer is, is a little non-sensical.

When looking for a wedding photographer (or any photographer), the attitude you should carry with you is the same attitude you’d carry when looking for the best home made pie seller. You may find some gems along the way.

Consider a photographer’s value, not their rate. This is by no way an exhaustive list, but a photographer’s value is a mix of their :

  1. Skill (Check their portfolio for the particular kind of shoot you want – and request to see a series of shots for one particular subject. Anyone can post the best image of their 12 hour shoot – but how consistent are they throughout the board?). Most important of all – you have to love their images.
  2. Attitude (Do visit them for a consultation to gauge their attitude) – this attitude is what they bring to your shoot and your wedding, and the same attitude will be applied to the editing of your photographs.
  3. Hours : This is tricky, but lets rate photographers skill from 0 to a 100 scale. The rules in regards to hours of coverage would be : You’d most likely get better images from a 4 hour shoot with a photographer of skill level 80%, then a 12 hour shoot with a photographer of a skill level 50%.
  4. On the flip side, you’d almost most likely get better overall images from a 12 hour shoot with a photographer of skill level 75%, then a 4 hour shoot with a photographer of skill level 80%.
  5. Offerings. Photographers mix their packages with a multitudes of different kinds of albums, frames, CDs, DVDs, etc. These pictures are for your purposes, for your memories, and you should have them displayed the way you wish for it. If you wanted a 20 inch frame, request a quote for one. If you want them all on DVD, request the quote for it too. Even when a photographer refrains from listing a specific kind of media for the images, they should be able to price you for it.
  6. Rates

Do your research thoroughly when choosing your photographer 🙂 – Even your wedding dress will not look the same on you 15 years after your special day. These images are likely the only material things that will last the decades of your marriage to remind you of your special day. You should enjoy the process of selecting the photographer that will help you keep these memories intact.

– Phil

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