By Patrick T. Robinson II
Rings! CHECK! Hotel! CHECK! Church! CHECK! Reception Venue! CHECK! Pastor! CHECK! Wedding Dress! CHECK! Suits! CHECK! Cake! CHECK! Flowers! CHECK! DJ! CHECK! Limousines! CHECK! Food and Rum! CHECK AND CHECK, CHECK!
(A few weeks before the wedding) OH CRAP! We forgot to hire a photographer!
(Phone rings) Me: Hello, thanks for calling patrickROBINSON Photography & Designs! How may I help you today? (I don't really answer my phone like that! In a perfect world I would though! Lol)
"Hi! My wedding is in a few weeks and we really need a photographer to cover the event!"
Me: Oooook, when exactly is the wedding?
"2 weeks from now! How much do you charge?"
Me: (Wondering why is this person just calling 2 weeks before the wedding!) Well, I would need to know how much you have budgeted for photography for your wedding day and what exactly do you want, as there are literally thousands of options that you can choose from to meet your budget, but I am here to assist you in this tedious process.
"Oh! Well at the moment, it's a "small wedding" and we were looking in the $300 range."
Me: (looks at the phone with a WTFudge/Fun/Folly/Foo stare) Really!?! Well um, to be honest $300 will only cover me coming to shoot for an hour and a half. However, a basic package including 8 hours of continuos coverage would start at $2700.
"ALL A DAT! Why are you so expensive?"
This is a very familiar story with photographers around the world. I have officially deemed photography as the STEPCHILD profession, because we photographers are normally the afterthought in the whole wedding planning process or any event planning process for that matter.
Ok, so everybody and "dey ma" (Bahamian for, "their mothers") has a camera or access to a camera; so, many feel that any guy/gal with a camera (GWC) will do a great job at capturing their wedding or any event for that matter.
I have something to tell you....NOT!!!!
In most occasions, you, the client have invested THOUSANDS to make this dream day become a reality.
We all want (let me rephrase) WOMEN all dream about that day when that Prince Charming sweeps her off of her feet and walks her down the isle in her beautiful Cinderella dress and glass slippers with all the little bunny rabbits and birds chirping and butterflies landing on your fingers and stuff...don't forget the seven dwarves (oh, that was sleeping beauty ey?) and then she rides off into the sunset on a trusty white steed with her SEXY MAN and lives happily ever after! (Okay ladies! Snap out of it! Back to reality!)
Well, shouldn't you also have a trusty photographer who knows what he is doing and not guessing what needs to be done? OF COURSE! Your photographer is responsible for taking your fairy tale wedding and publishing it in the most amazing story book that you will show off for years to come! Unfortunately, $300 these days can't really give you that sort of stuff.
Marriage is for a lifetime! A wedding is ONCE in a lifetime! So you should make sure that photography is number one on your list for your wedding, not the last thing. You may have heard the term, Good and Cheap, but remember, not all things that come cheap are necessarily good; and chancing your wedding day to a cheap photographer and even "Friends with GOOD CAMERAS," (I can, two to one, capture a better image with a 4 mpx camera than someone who has the money to burn on a $5,000 32 mpx camera. It's not the camera that takes good pictures, but the photographer) can lead to a very heartbreaking experience. (I have had brides come to me crying and asking if I can FIX what another GWC BROKE. I'm sorry, but I don't correct people's mistakes. My time is very important to me and what I would charge to fix another FAUXtographer's mistakes, most people will not be willing to pay.
Be sure to shop around and not only find a photographer that fits your budget, but also one that fits your personality. (Something to know about me, if I can't gel with you, most likely I won't photograph your wedding. I'm not a snobby person, but, I like to be at ease when I work.) Your photographer will be your sidekick for up to 8 hours on your wedding day, so you have to make sure that you guys are compatible. You may say, "but I'm paying you to photograph my wedding! What does it matter if the photographer and I are compatible?" TRUST ME, it matters A LOT! I normally like to go on a few "dates" with wedding clients just to see how compatible we are and also to get a feel for the couple.
NOW, a question many people ask. How do we photographers justify pricing what we charge for a wedding?
Well, think about this. After all the songs are sung, the toasts are toasted, the bouquet is thrown, the garter is tossed, the dances are danced, the drinks are drank, the dudes are drunk, the food and cake is eaten and the fun and partying is over and the honeymoon has turned into the bitter sun; a photographer's work is FAR FROM OVER. After the 8 strenuous hours of shooting, we are now faced with the tedious task of eliminating unwanted images, editing, uploading, designing, printing and constructing albums that can take a few weeks(my usual turn around time for wedding package completion can be 8-10 weeks max, all depending on my current workload but minimum of 4-6 weeks.) Don't think we are charging thousands just because it sounds good. We are charging for the amount of time that is spent on making your product, one of a kind.
patrickROBINSON Photography & Designs
Destination Photographer located in Nassau, The Bahamas specialising in:
Weddings | Family | Portraits | Real Estate | Children | Events
Tel: 242.676.8750 | 242.636.5911