So the other day a friend asked me about being a wedding photographer in Boise for another friend’s wedding. “That would be awesome!” I said, then asked about things like date and location. I happened to be booked for that day, but I asked about her budget, thinking I could refer another photographer in Idaho based on the budget.
“$100.” She said.
Anyone who has researched wedding photography knows that $100 for wedding photography is either a scam, a very bad photographer, or a contest winner. Very rarely do good photographers ask for so little compensation. Now, towards the end of this blog I will explain ways you can get good photos on a budget. But for now, I want to explain why the heck wedding photography is so expensive.
#1 The Responsibility of Wedding Photography in Idaho (or any state, haha)
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. And remembering it well is such a comfort, especially in trying times. When I photograph, my goal is to capture the love between a couple, the beauty of their relationship, their happiness and the happiness of their friends and family. When someone asks me to photograph their wedding, I take it very seriously and stress for weeks ahead of time. I back up their pictures almost immediately, and despite spending the majority of a day (or sunrise to sunset (or beyond)) photographing a wedding, I usually back up, organize, and upload proofs and sneak peeks after a wedding is done.
#2 Good Wedding Photography takes SKILL
A good photographer can make the most of a mediocre event, making even imperfections look more beautiful. A bad photographer can make even the most beautiful relationship or venue look like crap. That’s it. Look at portfolios, then price. I’ve spent years learning how to make the most of locations, my camera, coaching people, etc. For more advice on how to tell a good photographer from a bad one, check out this blog: How to tell a good photographer from a bad one.
#3 Equipment/time Invested
My camera is worth more than my car. Add in all the other equipment I haul around, and it’s more like 3 times the cost of my car. Add in the cost of the editing programs, the time I spend learning, meeting, organizing, and editing, and it starts to make a lot of sense why wedding photographers have to charge so much.
How to Get Cheap Wedding Photography in Boise
There are circumstances were I can charge less for a wedding. For example, someone asked me to do wedding photography in Boise, except only family/couple portraits after the ceremony, along with a couple of shots at the reception. If you’re on a tight budget, this is a good option. It only took me about 3 hours, I got all the important posed shots, and I got some very cute pictures of the couple themselves. So if you really want good pictures, but are on a tight budget, ask your photographer of choice if you could do something similar to this, just posed pictures of family and a session with you and your new spouse, after the ceremony. If you explain that you really LOVE their work, but can’t afford full coverage, they may be able to work something out with you.
See if you can do some sort of barter/trade deal. I’ve done a couple of sessions on trade for a product or service. For example, in December I traded a family session for a dozen bars of really nice artisan soap from a local crafter. Consider what you do for a living and see if you can offer something in partial trade or full trade. If you do it respectfully and reaffirm the whole time that you really want them, a photographer will usually try to work with you.
Ask people to help with it. I’m not sure if other photographers do this, but I offer a photo registry, where guests can gift towards a couple’s photography expenses or give them money for printing their photos afterwards. I’ve been surprised by how many people want to help pay for a couple’s wedding photography.
Hope this helps! Feel free to contact me or comment below if you have any questions, concerns, or thoughts!