Cost and Value of Wedding Photography

The value of some things is easily determined. A wedding cake, a venue, a gown, etc – all of these are tangible, straightforward and subject to repeatable calculations. But how does one go about measuring love, happiness, and joy? These are intangibles, and much harder to place a value on, or pin a number to, and as a result, decisions that are made, quite often do not take into account their impact or future importance. Limited financial resources and errors in judgment can lead to bad decisions when determining the allocation of resources when planning a wedding and in the end, can result in money being wasted. Today will always become yesterday, and as time goes by when a couple looks back to one of the happiest days of their life together, memories become precious, and photos from a wedding, priceless.

All couples instinctively know the importance of having a professional wedding photographer document their wedding. A wedding is a big step in a couple’s life together, and having the spirit of that day frozen in time is proof of how much that day really meant. As a newly engaged couple looking to provide all those wonderful details, maybe making photography the last thing on your list, isn’t the best choice to make. A wedding day is probably the most important day in a couples life, and since this is expected to be a once in a lifetime event these moments must be captured, and the photos must be of high quality portraying the true meaning of the day. An article in Yahoo Voices under the Lifestyle tab, titled; “Wedding Photography: The Reflections of a Bride’s Special Day” States: “ A Professional Wedding Photographer is a vital link to a bride’s wedding day memories so it is important that a bride chooses her wedding photographer very carefully and not make the mistake of choosing the photographer strictly based on low price. The lowest price combined with inexperience is the perfect combination for disaster.” Ask any married couple for a look at their wedding photos, especially those that have been married for quite some time, and the importance of professional wedding photography will become clear.

On the Bridal Gathering website appears an article presented by the Standard-Examiner; an Ogden, Utah paper, titled, 7 Common Wedding Regrets. Number two on this list was a paragraph on wedding photography, the articles states; “Hiring the wrong photographer/videographer has caused a regret or two. Hire the best professional photographer you can afford. Look for one with creativity and an outgoing personality. Get plenty of photos of family and friends while they’re there you can’t rewind time.” Another website devoted to helping couples with the planning of their big day is, Something Blue Book, an article on their website filed under, “Wedding Planning 101, Photography” guest bloggers and professional wedding photographers, Gary Latimer and Maria Sharron, gives couples advice on the ten things they should look for when hiring a photographer for their wedding: Experience, Concentration, Equipment, Emotions, Coordination, Standards, Relationships, Education, Exposure, and Post Production. All across the web, similar articles can be found to tout the importance of wedding photography, but the best advise a couple can get is from a family member or friend, who has experienced the ordeals of the before and after of a wedding planning.

Just as there are proponents of professional wedding photography, there are also those who feel as though the fees a professional photographer ask for are; as commented by a bride on Craigslist “I think your prices are Wack” (Puget Sound). She also goes on to comment, “I know I’m speaking for more than just myself right now. A lot of brides out there think the same thing. & I bet all you fancy photographers won’t even read this. oh-well.” Maybe there are cheaper photographers that will read this and LOVE to take my photos :)” These sentiments are probably quite prevalent amongst couples planning a wedding. Although the deciding factor in a couple decision will always depend on their budget, but needless to say like all things in life, you get what you pay for, but with diligence, a shopper can always find what they want, at a price they can afford.

Photographers spend substantial sums of money on equipment, education, and software, to ensure that the specialized services they provide and the products that are specifically crafted for each individual is of heirloom quality. Photography literally means to “paint with light” and like the art masters of old, professional photographers study and use the same techniques, that artist like Da Vinci and Rembrandt, use to create their masterpieces, and like all works of art, the artist value is determined by his/her skills and reputation.

Photographs of families and family events become a record of a family’s history that grows more precious with time, and their importance cannot be overstated. In a story aired May 22, 2012, on American Public Media, “Riding Out the Joplin Tornado” and “Saving The Photos” The host Dick Gordon, interviews Angela Walters, a genealogist who has taken it upon herself to archive all the photos various people have recovered after the tornado. She goes on to tell of how the most precious of all thing that the survivors of that disaster look to recover are the photos that were lost in the storm. She quotes the sentiments of many of the survivors that contact her in hope that she might have recovered pictures of their loved ones, “I’ll give anything for my photographs.”

With today’s digital cameras the power of photography is readily available to everyone, and with its ability to instantly see a picture after it is taken, it’s easy for anyone to think; who needs a professional. Most amateur photographers only know how to shoot with their camera set to automatic. What happens when a church official tells the photographer, “No flash allowed” or the sun is setting with a mixture of bright light and dark shadow; these are just a few of the instances where professional training, experience, and equipment will make the difference between great photographs and missed opportunity.

Although it is the professional wedding photographer’s skills that are the backbone of his/her business, perfecting those skills require constant training and experimentation with different styles. Photographers who specialize in wedding, incorporates techniques of photojournalism, glamor, portraiture, the timing of a sports photographer, and the patience of Job, just to name a few of their attributes. But to ensure the very best in photographic excellence, a wedding photographer must also have the equipment that is supportive of his/her trade. A professional camera body is only the first tool that a photographer requires, pro-grade lenses, which can cost just as much as the camera body if not more, various forms of lighting equipment and massive storage media to hold it all. Photographers invest a great deal of money and time to ensure that the spirit, emotions, and uniqueness of a wedding day is preserved, not just for the couple to relive that day, but also for the generations to come.

Not by accident does a wedding takes place, months of meticulous planning, and attention to every detail goes into making that day, a dream come true. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen dressed as royal attendants, parents at their grandest, a groom in a tux of splendid armor, a bride looking so beautiful in her gown, that it brings tears to her mother’s and father’s eyes. The makeup, hairstyle, nails done to perfection, the venue, linen, flatware and centerpieces, all become backdrops to a grand affair. A cake not just any cake, a wedding cake, one that entices and fill the eyes of children, with greed and anticipation. And like the opening night of a big Hollywood production, the star arrives in her chariot like no other. But unlike a Hollywood movie, there are no, take twos, no replays, or cut, and redoing the scene, no a wedding day comes and goes, like any other day. How to preserve the joy and laughter, the tears and love, of this day, should be of careful consideration, for it cannot be repeated.

On a wedding day, photography is not tangible. You can’t wear it, taste it, or see it. But weeks after the wedding when the guest is gone, the cake demolished, the Tuxedo returned, and the Gown cheerlessly hanging in the closet, who is it the couple hungrily anticipate seeing, the photographer, who now has the tangible proof of how happy and event their wedding day was. Weddings are already hectic and stressful, and the only parts you have left besides the rings and each other will be the photographs.

Sources Cited:

Latimer Gary, Sharron Maria, “Top Ten Things to Look for When Hiring A Professional Photographer

for your Wedding” Something Blue Book, n.d. web, 21/05/2012

Grizzle Jeremy,” Can Today’s High-Quality Digital Cameras Turn Anyone Into a Professional

Photographer?” Ezine Articles, n.d. web, 21/05/2012

“Wedding Photography: The Reflections of a Bride’s Special Day” Yahoo Voices, 20/03/2010, web, 21/05/2012

Donnell, “The Importance of Wedding Photography” HubPages, n.d. web, 21/05/2012

Puget Sound, “Attn: Wedding Photographers :)”Seattle Craigslist, 17/01/2012, web, 20/05/2012

Gordon Dick, “Riding out the Joplin Tornado and Saving The Photos” American Public Radio, 22/05/2012, Podcast, 22/05/2012


Donnell is a HubPages blogger, who has written extensively on a wide range of subjects ranging from, Photography, Real Estate, Home Improvement, and Games, Toys, and Hobbies.

Gordon Dick is a renowned radio personality and host of the radio program, The Story, a former foreign correspondent. He was also a Parliamentary reporter and correspondent in Moscow and South Asia. Grizzle Jeremy runs a professional photography business in North Georgia, along with his wife, and is considered an expert author.

Latimer Gary, Sharron Maria are both professional wedding photographers with over thirty years of experience between them and are regular bloggers for the Bridal website, Something Blue Book. Puget Sound, is an anonymous posting by a bride, from the city of Puget Sound, in Washington state.

July 4, 2017
Melvin Wilcox