This blog was written in 2016 and has been updated for 2019. It’s been three years since this blog took off and while I did book some peeps from that, my point has always been the same: don’t be ignorant when it comes to one of the biggest days of your life. There are literally thousands of resources out there, to guide you on the expectation of cost and service in any given part of the wedding industry.
There I am at the gym, doing squats, sweat dripping down my forehead and ready to die. Why did turning thirty mean I had to actually work to keep off my gorging of tortilla chips? To take a break between sets, I look at my Facebook, catching my breath. That’s when I see it: the dreaded headlines that occur too often.
I already knew what it would say. I silently bet myself that they had paid pennies for their “photographer.”
“$800 for two videographers and two photographers.”
“The night before the wedding, she still hadn’t replied to the bride-to-be.”
“Meanwhile, the Olsens still have empty frames where their wedding pictures should have been. ‘It just hurts to have to look back at the frames we had gotten and they are empty,’ she said.”
I was sad that my suspicions were right. I wished I could have hopped back in time and help this bride out. But honestly…
I’m REALLY FUCKING TIRED OF THESE HEADLINES. I’m PISSED. I want to shake the bride and say, “this is your fault. You decided to go cheap with the most important facet of your wedding outside of your damn groom showing up!” In the bride’s blog, she wrote that she had spent $100 on her makeup and cried it all off. She realized that she had barely heard from the photographer for months, another red flag. In my head, I kept thinking, “you paid $800 tax and included: A Bridal Session, 6 hours of wedding day coverage with TWO photographers, 200 5×7 prints, 1 8×8 album, 1 16×20 canvas, and a $200 gift certificate I planned on using for a family session, and I could throw in a videographer for another $400.‘ Are you insane???
I will never understand why people constantly say, “must be too good to be true,” but then make crazy decisions by paying pennies for a package that no functioning tax-paying full-time professional photographer could ever charge and not starve. Yes, the photographer is a con artist. She deserves to burn in photographer hell for giving us all a bad name. But the bride is equally at fault. How much do you spend every year on makeup from Sephora, Starbucks coffee or even fast food? Temporary shit that would have added up to afford a quality true professional photographer?
If you’re willing to gamble on one of the biggest days of your life, do not get pissed if you lose the bet.
Is this blog just a rant piece? You bet. But I’m so sick of people telling me I’m “too expensive” but then go buy themselves $120 jeans. I’m tired of being told I cost too much and then see people post pictures of their fourth pumpkin spice bullshit since Monday. We just don’t invest in experience and memories like we should, too wrapped up in consumerism. And for the record, I’m AFFORDABLE AND AMAZING. Just ask my momma. At the end of the day, it’s about what you value.
Anyway, sorry bridey that you made a crap decision. I’m hoping others will see it more as a reason to make a real investment in photography and not just send a ten-page questionnaire that drips with distrust and then claim I cost too much. Sorry that my professional, insured, trustworthy, award-winning company is “too much.” And to “Get Photography”? Here is a big fat middle finger to you, for making my job harder.
Edited to add: while I understand that some people just don’t “know better” and this blog may come off rude and judgmental (or insane because it’s on my blog) at the end of the day, if you’re emotionally invested in your wedding day, researching the cost of things and coming to an educated decision as to what is the industry norm is absolutely your responsibility. If you don’t care about photography, an $800 photographer from Craigslist should be just honky dory, but still do your research! If you can’t claim “I didn’t know” in a court of law, neither can you claim the same in the court of your peers. Edited to add (due to requests): the average normal cost of quality photography is *starting* at $2k for eight hours, with an average of 65 images an hour. Everyone does their business their own way, so just ask, research, and ask some more. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like some more direct answers