On the whole, the words “low-budget” and “wedding” are not words you’ll see used together. We often see wedding budgets soaring from $5,000 to $100,000. My mind boggles at the thought of forking out $100,000, or even $30,000 for a single day in your life.
For most, the wedding is supposed to be a “once-in-a-lifetime” event, but in today’s world the statistics show that this is often not the case. Sometimes, the second wedding is a larger more costly affair than the first was.
If the bride and groom and their parents have been preparing for the wedding day for a number of years, or if they are financially able to pull off a huge a costly wedding, then it is very likely in the hands of an efficient wedding planner, and all that is needed of the photographer is to show up and provide the services contracted for.
There are many reasons a couple might choose a low-budget affair, from lack of funds to just wanting to keep things simple. Not every couple wants to go into their married life with a huge loan to pay-off, and not every couple has parents whose financial situation can cover the cost of large and expensive wedding. And then you have those couples who just want to begin their life together, even if the wedding is a “day in the park”.
So how does the small-business photographer work with these couples? That of course depends on the willingness of the photographer to provide more for less.
Large photographic studios often cannot provide enough services to low-budget weddings: not necessarily because they don’t want to, but because of the expenses involved in running these studios. Store leases, utilities, insurance, equipment costs and employee wages (among other things) are all figured into the studio’s rates. In their case, it’s a matter of running an efficient business that can pay the bills at the end of the month.
Those of us who work from home offices & studios have less expense in terms of rents and utilities, and often don’t have employee costs. Though we do need to consider equipment, office , insurance and travel costs, these tend to be less since they are a percentage of the overall costs of running the home. This makes it easier to to work within budget constraints
Some advice for the couple looking for a photographer – in the case of photography, “you get what you pay for” isn’t always true. A lower cost home-based photographer can provide work as good, and as professional as the expensive studio. Not all expensive wedding photographers provide excellent work, either. High price is no guarantee for high-quality.
In terms of wedding photography, the importance of doing your homework cannot be stressed enough. Overall, what you want is a photographer who is willing to work with you and your budget, and whose final results are pleasing.
You should study samples of work from different photographers or studios in your area. Even if you can’t afford a large studio photographer for your wedding day, you should visit at least one. Most will have work on display, and you’ll be able to get some idea of the styles and quality of work they provide, as well as obtaining package or hourly costs.
Look for a couple of lower-cost wedding or portrait photographers in your area and make an appointment to discuss costs and services, and ask to see sample work. It costs nothing but your time to make an appointment and will give you the opportunity to meet personally with the photographer. This is one advantage of using a small-home photographer – you know who you’ll get showing up on the wedding day. You’ll have a chance to work with your photographer in advance of the wedding day.
In deciding on the photographer for your wedding day – cost should not be the deciding factor unless all other things are equal. In other words, if you visit 3 low-cost photographers and each provides excellent quality work, and you feel comfortable with each one in terms of “can I work with this person”, then you may consider opting for the lowest cost photographer on your list, and still feel confident you’ll be happy with the results.
Like almost everything today, there are wedding photographers out there for every situation and every budget. Explore your options ahead of time and do comparison shopping and you’ll find the right photographer for you.