Tips on Planning your Photo and Video Recording Budget

Most people agree that weddings are expensive. They require tons of planning and coordination, and are full of unexpected twists. When you begin to plan out your budget, little things may end up squeezing every penny out of your pocket and you naturally try to cut the costs from other things. Many times, wedding photography and videography comes last on the list of things to do and you start wondering whether you should hire a professional or go the DIY route.  

To answer this we have compiled some tips to help you come to an answer.

Know your Budget

Before you even think about contacting anyone, try to have an estimate about how much you will be able to spend on professional photography and videography. The average cost of a professional wedding photographer is $2500-$3000 for 6 hours-- and $1500 for professional wedding videography for around 3 hours. This can serve as a good starting point for the search for your photographer and videographer. Ideally, the average cost should cost around 10 to 12 percent of your overall budget. You can allocate more budget into hiring the best if you aren’t planning to invite a lot of guests or if you are planning to go on the DIY route to save money.

When you have initial numbers in your mind, you can start contacting professionals and can start browsing portfolios on the web or social media. If professionals are out of your budget, fear not, you might find some great photographers and videographers who do their work either as a hobby or as a side job. Just simply ask their portfolio to judge the quality. You can even ask for quotes from your friends and family.

Keep Track of Small Expenses

A big chunk of your budget goes into venue, dresses, food, and flowers. If it goes unchecked, you might find a good chunk of your budget going to smaller things, such as transportation, décor, pre-wedding ceremonies, tuxedo rental, dress accessories, photography, and videography. You might never realize how much you are spending on these things unless you properly record them. The little things are the reason why couples spend much more than the budget. So try to keep track of these little expenses, and save money wherever possible so you can have more flexibility on choosing a professional and dedicated photographer and videographer.

Negotiate Offered Packages

Every photographer and videographer is different, but they usually have some packages you can order. After brainstorming and determining your budget, the next best step would be to simply communicate with the professional about your budget and ask them to provide you with the package that suits your needs.

It is also better to be honest with the photographer if their pricing exceeds your budget. If a professional is offering you a $4000 package but you can only squeeze out $2500 from your budget, its best to tell him your budget and ask him to provide you the package that suits your budget.

Deciding Whether to Hire a Pro or Go Amateur

Thanks to today’s technology, you can get beautiful, professional shots with nothing more than a smartphone. Now, you might be thinking you can designate one or two of your friends to take photographs throughout the ceremony with their smartphones, but this is something we aren’t able to recommend. First off, designating your guests to do work at your wedding will leave some thinking they were better off not coming at all, and they will inevitably receive some heat for missing key photo moments.

In order to perfectly record your wedding, you want to be sure all the right moments are taken. A professional photographer knows when to capture the perfect moments through his/her lens, and this professionalism comes from their years of experience in the field, and the fact that they are being paid solely to record your wedding!

So in case you don’t have the budget to hire a professional photographer for the entire event, we suggest you hire a photographer for the minimum amount of time. This involves capturing the ceremony and family photos, which should cover about 2-3 hours. For the remaining parts of the ceremony, see about getting help from friends or family with a good sense of photography. In this way, you can have the pros taking care of the most important moments, and have your friends and family fill in the rest! Not a bad deal right?

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