Photographer Diana Elizabeth addresses some common misconceptions about wedding photography, and how couples can prepare to most beautifully preserve their big day.
The Cost of Capturing the Moment
Weddings can be expensive, but contrary to buzzing rumors about the wedding biz, event vendors do not generally increase their prices for bridal events.
“Calling it a ‘wedding’ doesn’t make the photography cost more,” Diana says, “what actually makes it costly is that there are only 52 Saturdays or weekends in a year, plus the time involved to shoot.”
Couples should remember that a photography fee does not only pay for a disc of digital images; it compensates the photographer for time on site, travel, equipment, assistants, and photo editing – not to mention the creativity and competence that come from years of experience, instruction, trial, and error.
“If photography is most important to you, considering the amount of money you are paying for the big day, I always suggest finding a photographer you love first, and then revolving your budget around them,” Diana says.
A Picture Paints a Thousand Words
Documenting your wedding in photos is a big part of your big day, but be realistic about just how many images you can expect and when you can expect them. With most couples framing less than a dozen of their wedding photos, Diana encourages brides and grooms to favor quality over quantity.
“Trust me when I tell you that you do not need 1000+ images from your wedding,” Diana says. “You don’t need a flip book of the day – or if you do want that, consider hiring a cinematography team; they shoot at like a thousand frames per second.”
Most photographers will let couples know in advance when their images will be delivered, but don’t expect next-day service. The finishing process for wedding images can be a time intensive one; just know those beautiful pictures will be worth the wait.
Photography Styles + Timelines
Couples should identify what type of wedding photography they’re interested in, whether it is portraiture or a more photojournalistic look, and allow enough time on the wedding day for the photographer to meet those wishes.
“If you are keen on portraits, then do a ‘first look’ and make time for portraits before and after the ceremony,” Diana suggests. Although not all couples will want to see each other before the ceremony, a first look can provide a special, private moment for a bride and groom, and also alleviate some of the limitations of time.
“There’s a suggested timeline I give to my couples even before wedding invitations are printed, and it’s to benefit them,” Diana says. “Remember, more portrait time equals more portraits.”
Expecting the Unexpected
Most minor mishaps can’t be accounted for, but bridal parties can plan to be dressed and ready, according to the day’s timeline.
“Time is usually the culprit for most problems. When things malfunction, weather is bad, or when there’s a surprise dip in a dance and your bridesmaid needs to be sewn into her dress… stuff like that seriously happens. Moments end in seconds… so remember, no shot is guaranteed. The appropriate preparation can help. Also, hire a professional makeup artist and hair stylist; it is so important that you feel gorgeous on your big day and it will be reflected in the images.”
Ordering Professional Prints
“Brides: It’s not to get more money from you, it’s quality control,” Diana says. Your photographer is paid to cull, edit, and process your images; don’t skimp on the final product with discount printing. “Photographers don’t make much off of print orders, it’s more of an additional service provided so that our clients can get the best and prettiest images with the intended colors,” Diana says. “Go all the way with quality from your photographer to the final prints displayed – go with a print lab. I promise it’s worth it.”
Diana Elizabeth is a Phoenix-based wedding photographer. For more tips and bridal inspiration, visit Diana Elizabeth’s blog.