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  • Writer's pictureBradley DeRuiter

What is your No.1 Wedding Budget Priority?

What is your No.1 Wedding Budget Priority?

Somewhere in the top 1 or 2 of Wedding Budget Priorities ought to be your Wedding Photographer.

Here is what I always encourage the couples I work with: 

Remember while planning your wedding, the actual tying of the knot is only one day and it's really all about the marriage you have for the rest of your lives. If you're going to spend money anywhere in your wedding budget, spend it on your photographer.

You can always get a bigger diamond or have the metal dipped in a different color of gold. In years from now no one is going to ask to see your wedding dress or your cumber bun. No one will remember the menu you had catered. Flowers die. Not everyone will scrap book your invitations.

It is your Photos that Capture and Preserve the Memories of your big day. 

~Why Your Photographer’s Personality Matters:

As a wedding hair stylist and makeup artist, I am in a fairly privileged position to be up close & personal with the family and bridal party as they are getting ready on their big day. It is a very intimate and emotional setting. The walk to the alter starts long before the isle threshold. While the skill and style of your photographer is important, your photographers personality is just as KEY. 

The people you have around you and with you all day have a huge potential impact on the mood and flow of how things go. Aside from your loved ones, the people assisting you and coordinating your event for you, have to have personalities that you trust and feel comfortable with. If capturing and preserving your wedding moments are important to you, the right photographer for you, is worth their weight in gold.

~Things to consider when interviewing your Photographer: 

How strong of a leadership role do you need from your wedding photographer? Like an event coordinator, they have done this regularly. They know which shots to set up next and how to position everyone. What type of leader do you want ‘helping’ guide you & your guests through this during the special moments of your wedding?

While you are enjoying the moments, can your photographer respectfully get the event moving along while being sensitive to  not making you or your guests feel rushed or directed with a bull whip? 

Is your photographer a nerdy dork when it comes to trying to get people to laugh or smile? Mine was and although he in no way ruined my day, he was irritating. I’m ok with it now. I have forgiven him and he took beautiful photos that I still cherish and take out to look at often, however, I can see how if you were to hire the wrong personality mix, things could get awkward. Weed that potential out. 

Is your photographer Stealth? I was at a wedding where the photographer, although a professional, was a family friend doing a favor. It was probably Nick, Nico or Niki (Big Fat Greek Wedding). Anyway, both the family friend and the assistant were So NOT discrete that they actually got up on stage and literally got in the faces of the Bride and Groom to ‘shoot them’ during the ceremony. My friend, the Bride, to this day wishes she had gone with her gut & invested in hiring JenMayPhotography . 

I’ve actually had the privilege of attending several of the weddings that have hired Jen May Photography. She is so stealth and so creative some times you don’t know where she is or how on earth she gets some of her shots.

I was very pleased with the family photo sessions she has done for us and our extended family.  Definitely read JenMay's Blog Article for greater insight & helpful understanding as to why Wedding Photography costs what it does.   

~You don’t have to risk being disappointed by going the cheap route, if you make it a priority in your budget. Even buying a smaller package from a professional photographer that is a good fit for you is a wiser investment then the risk of throwing pennies at a ‘picture taker.’ 

~Why did your photographer get into the wedding photography biz?

If they answer ‘because I like it’ run away.

I’d like to show case two different wedding photographers, both who’s ‘why answer’ very much impacts their skill, knowledge and perspective on how they capture amazing wedding moments. If you catch the gold in both of their different examples, this will help you understand why hiring your wedding photographer is more than worth prioritizing in your wedding budget.

Jen May is a photo journalist and has traveled all over the world. She is enthusiastic about living & loving life to the fullest. She is not just an Artist, she is a Brand and she is a business woman. While photography is her career and business,  it is her passion to visually tell stories.

TaljonPhotography has feature film directing as his focus so he has training and experience in a huge range of camera work. In his profession, Taljon has to simultaneously both serve and lead people. He is passionate about creativity and helping people experience the story of adventures. Taljon’s professional craft is to draw you into those cherished moments.

Now both photographers, #artrepreneurs if you will, come from different ‘why answers,’ but both are great examples of professional photographers who don’t just take pictures to pay their bills. Wouldn’t you want the photographer that is capturing and telling your wedding story, to not only have a good eye, but also be an intuitive story teller? 

~ Fool proofing the photos that your photographer captures: 

Photographers can only edit what was already there, unless you want to pay for cg and special effects, as were added in this engagement photo:

One thing you can do to ensure quality wedding photos is consider hiring a Professional Makeup Artist. Even if you are going for a natural look and don’t normally wear a lot of makeup during your everyday life, a makeup artist should have professional grade products that are HD camera friendly . Most photographers have HD lenses looking right up your schnozzle and deep into your pores. Budget-wise, hiring a makeup artist this even more of an important priority than hiring a hairstylist. I do both and I love  playing with bridal hairstyles, but when working with brides on a tight budget, I would encourage savings on hair not makeup. Let me point out here that professional makeup is Not just important for the bride and bridesmaids. Grooms and groomsmen can also benefit from a makeup artist assisting with anti shine products that help even out skin tones for a natural HD camera finished look. 

~Preserving Your Wedding Photos

Make sure that more than one person has the digital back up of your photos.

For those outside of the scrap booking era, be cognizant of archival quality paper and photo albums.

Apple and Kodak have great print products you can order directly from online. Many Photographers have printing services and products available in their packages that are included in their prices.

~Sharing Your Wedding Story

I’ve recently been involved with a wedding that has used WedPicApp so the guests and bridal party can upload their cell phone photos and download or print copies of other guests photos. As a Makeup Artist, the thing I love about this app is I can do this for any wedding I am involved with as they’ve made it easy to log in and out of multiple Wedding Groups. You certainly will want your wedding photographer and wedding coordinator to be aware of this valuable organizational tool when it comes to streamlining photos for you in one handy location. This is mainly meant for the cell phone picture takers @ your wedding events.

While this is not as eloquently stated as Jen May put things in her blog article, for those who want straight to point raw facts, I love #5. from OffBeatBride’s blog post on 12 things wedding photographers want to tell you but can’t

#5. Why is wedding photography so freakin' expensive?

This is the question I see most from brides on the interwebs. Wedding photography seems like easy money — work for one day and rake in the cash, right? But most full-time wedding photographers I know carry over $15,000 worth of wedding gear and often work 60-hour weeks. (Remember those 800 images from question #2? It takes several full days just to edit those.) Add insurance, taxes, software, advertising, albums, repair, shipping, and studio expenses, and many photographers end up making less than minimum wage for the first few years of their career. 

~For you photographers out there, I would love for you to chime in with feedback. If you need to keep your professional social media contact locations incognito email me and I’ll repost your comments anonymously.

~Thank you for visiting. Hope this helps you #create a meaningful and memorable day that lasts throughout your whole marriage. May you #Runandplay and enjoy the process of #weddingplanning .

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