I am a part of several wedding planning Facebook pages. I am also a part of a few parenting pages. And, of course, I am a part of many photographer pages. One thing I see often in the wedding and parenting pages is the question of photography – “How much is your photography package for your wedding/maternity/newborn/insert session here…?” First, it’s interesting to see the responses. For weddings, I have seen a range of $500 to $5000 (sometimes more) including two photographers and anywhere from 6 hours of coverage to unlimited hours. Of course, this number varies greatly by location.
I saw one expecting mother ask how much everyone was paying for birth photography. A few of the ladies had responded saying they were paying around $1500 (which is very typical). Another mom replied and said, “Oh my goodness! That’s absolutely ridiculous. Buy yourself a nice camera and have a friend do it for you!” Another lady promptly replied to her response with, “Yeah, definitely! And to save even more money, get rid of the doctors and nurses. Go out and buy a first aid kit, some Band-Aids and have a friend take care of the birth. SO MUCH money saved. Who needs the professionals?” I swear, that woman is my spirit animal! I want to be friends with her!
So, why hire a professional?
I can speak from experience. Steve and I were married 17 years ago this coming September 2nd. It was long before we became wedding photographers. We felt that as long as there was a “nice camera” with someone to operate it, we would be covered. My aunt was gracious enough to be our “photographer” for the day. She was very clear to us that she is not a professional. We were okay with that at the time. Her photos were good. I handed her my 35mm camera and 10 rolls of 36 exposure film. For good measure, we bought disposable cameras for all of the tables at the reception. Surely they would capture some great memories for us, right? Wrong! Those cameras were a huge waste of money. I two favorite photos from our wedding day…
Video is also extremely important. Not having a professional videographer for our wedding is probably my biggest regret. But, we had at least 5 video cameras there. Surely our day would be covered. Again, we were so very wrong. All of the video cameras except one didn’t work. Even our video camera was not working. Thankfully, there was one friend who took video just because she was there and could. With life happening, we received a copy of that video last year. 16 YEARS after our wedding. The quality is poor. There is one point that the camera is sitting in the middle of a table, pointed at half eaten food. We can’t see anything. There are many parts of the day missing. But you know what? We cherish that video. We are so thankful to have *something*. There are still parts of the day captured that we had totally forgotten about. I can promise you, I sobbed when we finally received it and were able to watch.
Here are a couple of clips. Please excuse the quality – I had to record with my cell phone and upload to YouTube.
Now – if you follow our blog, you will remember Samantha & Vance. We photographed their wedding at Disney in October of last year. They got to see Rapunzel on their wedding day! They had Anthony with Aroma Photo Studio as their videographer for the day. Look at the social media video they received of their day to share with friends and family…
Samantha & Vance Wedding Video (for social media)
I’m excited to say that you can learn from our mistakes! Hire the professionals. Anthony and his wife, Aurelis, are now partnering with us to provide a photo AND video package! What could be better than two awesome couples to capture the first chapter in your story?
Remember – when your day is over, you have three things remaining:
1.) Your new spouse
2.) Your wedding rings
3.) Your photos and video
Don’t skimp on any of these three items. You don’t think twice about spending the money on your dress, venue and all of the little details. However, your food will be eaten. Your flowers will die. You DJ will go home. Your DIY projects will be packed away or sold. Your photos and videos will last a lifetime and beyond.