Thursday, April 14, 2011

The price of wedding photography

It is difficult to pay too much for something you really like. Yet, price is usually the one obstacle that prevents many wedding clients from selecting the photographer who undoubtedly could give them the best value for their money.

Quite often, the difference between the price of the photographer you really like and one who you feel is “within the budget” is miscalculated. Understandably, of course! When wedding plans come down to rands and cents, it is hard to keep spending “a little more here...and a little more there”. Somewhere along the line, you feel, you have to give a little and cut! There is only so much money available!

Yet, within the framework of the entire wedding day, it makes good sense to evaluate the money spent on photographs in relation to what is being spent on flowers, food and music. Although everyone knows that the pictures are the only thing you have after the moment has passed, some people still feel they have to put the money “where it shows”.
Later, in the privacy of their own hearts, many of these people are often disappointed with photographic memories that give them nothing by heartaches...and there is no remedy!
Let us face it! You are going to remember the wedding day through the eyes, heart and talent of your photographer. When making the decision as to whom that photographer is going to be, realise that often times you are taking a relative difference of cents! On the other hand, if you are unhappy, regardless of the “good deal” you are getting, you could lose everything!
What is the “going rate” among wedding photographers nowadays? The price difference is as great as the time, talent and technique of the studios being considered. Certainly, among competent photographers in a highly competitive area, or photographers in their formative years, a good wedding coverage can be found around the R7000 category. Spending less than that would probably be a high-risk gamble.
Other photographers may begin somewhere around a R2000 and go upwards from there. A true specialist, one who has a reputation for consistently delivering the best, might begin at two or three times that amount and go upwards to ten thousand and more.
When considering the cost of a photographer, you may find that studios sometimes approach this matter in one of two different manners. Whereas some photographers have basic “packages” of an agreed number of photographs for a specified rand amount, other studios might have a predetermined charge for their services and allow you to buy whatever amount of pictures you want.
There are, of course, benefits to both approaches. In the first instance, you have a good idea right from the start how much money you are probably going to spend...and you are locked into that minimum. That is a double guarantee, for both you and the photographer.
Studios that offer you what is know as their a-la-carte system are taking a chance (along with you) as to how much money you will be spending.
You may feel more comfortable with either one of them. The both have merit. Still, be prepared that regardless of the method used, you could easily spend much more than you originally planned.
The bottom line, as you know, is not necessarily how much you end up spending on photographs. Instead, it is how much pleasure you get from them over the years.
Wouldn’t you agree, that at a time as important as your wedding day, it is better to invest a little more money for photography than you had planned...instead of a little less than you should? Why risk your memories of a once-in-a-lifetime event on a gamble?
Besides, if you should spend R7000  for your wedding pictures, that is only an investment of a couple of  cents a day if you make it to your 50th anniversary! Only 54 cents a day on an investment of R10 000!

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