The Massive Cost of Dirt Cheap Photographers

A dirt cheap wedding photographer almost always equals heartache.

In the course of a week I receive about 100 quote requests and it turns out quite a few people allocate only $500 – $1500 for their wedding images. When most of these people find out I’m not a cheap photographer they move on. I would assume they then go off looking for someone who is. I’ve always accepted this and I’ve simply waited for the people who understand the importance of quality to contact me. However, I’ve just received my 10th email from a bride who didn’t book me, begging me to fix the images a cheap photographer captured and ruined. This wedding photographer was very cheap and was booked solely on the fact that it allowed the couple to put more money on the bar tab at the reception.

Not Specialising

There are also many photographers who work in other photographic genres who assume that because they know how to capture an image, they’ll do an OK job at a wedding. Unfortunately this is not the case. A wedding requires a specialist. Weddings require finesse, speed, a sixth sense, exceptional people skills, strong story telling abilities and style. A wedding photographer’s ability can only be developed after years of experience shooting weddings. There is a feel that is required – a feel that cannot be quantified, but can only be acquired through experience in that genre.

Too Many Cheap Photographers

So why are there so many cheap photographers? The answer is very simple: Their work can’t compete with that of a higher standard, so in order to secure bookings they must remain inexpensive. If you had something you knew was worth real value – something priceless perhaps – would you sell it dirt cheap? Of course not.

This budget mindset leads photographers to either need a day job to subsidise their incomes OR shoot many more weddings each year to make enough for the business. Either way, the results suffer. The more weddings a photographer covers a year, the less time they have to post process each one properly. It’s a slippery slope and so many photographers end up sliding.

“You get what you pay for” is true. There’s a very good reason you’ve heard that saying time and time again.

When you’re making your decision as to who will photograph your wedding, please consider this: The money you spend today (even if you feel it’s a little expensive) will seem like less and less as the years pass. Eventually that initial outlay will be insignificant, but your wedding photos will forever increase in sentimental value – hence the reason professionals refer to your wedding images as an investment.

“My Friend Offered to Photograph Our Wedding”

I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard about couples letting “friends” photograph their weddings and the nightmares that have unraveled. Don’t do that to yourselves or to your friendship. If you think it’s be hard to turn down their offer, think about how hard it’d be if they supplied you with wedding images that you absolutely hated.

I can guarantee that every single person who’s had their wedding photos botched would go back in time in a heartbeat and reshuffle their budget so they could allocate more money to their wedding photos instead of adding an extra hour to the bar tab or putting Aunty Flo up in a better hotel. There’s no worse feeling than realising you’ve booked the wrong photographer and then realising after that there’s no way you can go back in time to change your decision.

I hope this blog has convinced you that getting it right the first time should be your only option. Wedding photos are such valued personal possessions. Most other things in life are either sold, wear out or break, but wedding photos are kept and treasured for life because they forever connect us to one of the most pivotal days in our lives! Their value is priceless. Please don’t book a cheap and nasty photographer (or an inexperienced friend who is doing it as a favour). I promise you’ll regret it, if not today, definitely in the future!


Leave A