We’re back chatting with fabulous wedding vendors again this month after taking a break in April since it was packed to the brim with real wedding features all month long, which, by the way, we hope you LOVED! So much inspiration to be found!
But now we’re back. And this month we’ll be chatting with photographers and they will be giving lots of great insight into how they make stunning photographs (with your help!) and lots of practical tips that will help you as you look for and work with your wedding photographer. So guess who we’re talking to today?
ME (Emily, ILFW’s editor-in-chief)! Ok, so you probably already know, but when I’m not hanging out with you here at I Love Farm Weddings, I’m a professional photographer with my studio located in Minneapolis, MN. So it’s my treat to be able to share a little bit from the other side of my business over at Emily Walen Photography! I’ve been a professional wedding photographer for 12 years. I nervously photographed my first wedding in 2001, and fell in love with photographing that wedding, and every wedding since. It’s a pretty remarkable thing to be able to share in one of the most incredibly joy-filled days in folks’ lives.
Though I could, I am not going to sit here and just go on and on about how gorgeous weddings are, we’re going to talk about something less exciting but SUPER important when planning your wedding photography…
Ugh, right? It’s a weird feeling when you are planning a wedding and you start rolling up expenses up into the thousands. For someone very practical like me, it took some getting used to. And your wedding photography is no exception. I know everyone has a different budget. That is perfectly fine.
But more importantly, whether your budget is small or large, HERE ARE FIVE IMPORTANT BUDGET TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND AS YOU PLAN YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY…
1. Don’t blow your wedding budget on only your “day of” photography coverage. There are other things that cost money that are JUST AS IMPORTANT as having a photographer with you on your wedding day… How about doing something with your photographs after the wedding? Maybe an album, or prints, or wall art, or an iPhone case with your wedding photo, whatever it may be. As a photographer, I can tell you that it TRULY breaks my heart when I hear about couples who have gotten married and still haven’t done anything with their photos. They are just sitting on a disc, or a USB drive, or are files on their computer. Oh, PLEASE DON’T DO THAT! In part, it takes a good photographer to help guide you to create keepsakes. I know looking at 500-1,000+ photographs can be paralyzing to figure out what to do with them, or how to narrow it down when you have so many favorites (so look to your photographer for guidance). But here’s what sadly happens more often, couples simply run out of money in their budget to do anything with them. They had sticker shock on album prices, or large prints for their walls, or figured no big deal for now, and thought, “oh, we’ll just wait until after the wedding and decide then.” Which brings me to my next point.
2. NO ONE wants to spend money after a wedding! Most couples are simply spent-out. Meaning they don’t want to decide another detail, or spend another decent chunk of money. Why, oh why, spend so much money on a wedding photographer not to carefully consider ahead of time what you want to do with those photographs. If you do nothing with them, or casually print out a couple 4x6s, it just doesn’t do your photos justice.
3. MAKE A PLAN AHEAD OF TIME! Think about where in your home you want photos from your wedding, and how big you think you might want them to be. Consider if you want a professionally handcrafted photo album or want to make your own scrapbook. Price out how much that’s all going to cost and factor it in to your budget. It might give you a little less than you planned for your day-of coverage, but at least what you do have photographs of will be properly enjoyed and preserved (and within budget so you don’t have to stress about that).
4. Keep in mind too, that with any photography package you choose, there will likely be expenses to factor in to your budget – taxes, mileage, travel fees maybe. Those can add up when numbers start in the thousands. You don’t want to start your wedding photography experience by going over budget by several hundred dollars when you don’t keep those in mind. It adds up fast, so just be mindful of the fees.
5. My next piece of advice is similar to advice given to brides looking at wedding dresses… Don’t try on a dress more expensive than you can afford. Similarly, don’t meet with photographers out of your price range. There are talented people in all price ranges and you just need to find them! And this is really important if you keep in mind numbers 1-4 above. You don’t want to start higher than you can end up affording when you remind yourself about fees and planning for keepsakes to enjoy after the wedding. Starting your marriage in debt or with lingering stress about how much you went over budget is NO good. Start planning within a range that you will be able to look back on after and feel good about.
I will ALWAYS advocate for couples to hire a wedding photographer. Don’t let your wedding day go undocumented. But please, pretty please, make a plan and do something with your photographs after your day has come and gone. Those photographs represent the start of your family.
Remember that they will be passed down through generations honoring you and your relationship. Pass them down in a way that can be cherished. A DVD might just not cut it. Your grandkids will probably wonder what that shiny relic is.
And, stick to your budget. It’s easy enough to do if you make a plan. You can do it!
Cheers to you all as you find and work with your wedding photographer! If you’d like (I’d like it), you can follow more of my work at my website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest (you know you’ll see some farm love there too!).
all images by emily walen