How to Decide a Wedding Photography Budget


Hi Everyone, Welcome to the Navdeep Soni Show. I am your host Navdeep Soni. Today’s podcast is about how to decide your
wedding photography budget. So this topic was discussed on my podcast
earlier last month and I have been getting requests to make videos as well. So here I am in front of the camera to discuss
this once again. Ok so deciding on any budget could be a very
tedious task and this becomes more confusing when you have multiple options. So now we are talking about of wedding photography
so if you goto any wedding portal you will get n number of photographers. Infact n number of photographers in any budget. More the options, more is the confusion, so
how does one decide which photographer to choose or at what budget you should have your
wedding photographer. Should you go for a professional wedding photographer
or an amateur newbie photographer. Should you opt for high end wedding photographer
or a photographer next door, not sure.And if I have to put in one simple line, the budget
should be in balance with price as well as quality. And to be very honest choosing a high end
photographer will not guarantee you good quality pictures or a good experience. But yes the chances of getting a good experience
or a good quality or better quality will be very very high and similarly even if you are
going for less experienced wedding photographer, it’s not that you will not get the kind of
quality you are looking for, maybe, there may be few compromises may be you need to
be very sharp and very smart to choose a newbie photographer or a photographer with a lesser
experience. You still can get a quality pictures for your
wedding. So let me simplify for you and list down few
points to consider while deciding on your wedding photography budget. The first and the most important factor is
“identify the quality” you are looking for. So when we talk about the quality so how do
you look for a certain sort of quality. What are the criterias for identifying the
quality. Alternatively how do you search for your wedding
photographer? are you googling wedding photographers or you are going to some wedding portal which
has like I said many photographers listed in a particular city or even in a particular
budget or you goto some social media handle or an account.Lot of people are looking for
their wedding photographers on Instagram. And I feel Instagram is not the right platform
specifically if you’re looking for wedding photographer. And the reason why I am saying so is because
Instagram is a photography centric social media tools but it is all about curated content
when I say curated content people are sharing best of their best work they are not sharing
multiple images from a single wedding. They are shooting 10 weddings and they are
showing 5 images from all those 10 weddings. So I am not sure if this is the right place
or right tool to identify the quality of wedding photographer. What exactly you should be doing I would say
go to social media handles or like I said, Instagram handles identify the wedding photographers
which you are liking the work which you are liking. Shortlist those photographers. Next step go to their wedding websites or
wedding portfolio websites. Look out for their wedding blog post where
you will see multiple images. 50 images, 100 images from a single wedding. That is where you will get to know the consistency,
the quality of wedding pictures he is shooting. You are not going to have 4 or 5 or 10 pictures
from your wedding. You will be having hundreds of images and
you need to have the consistency in your wedding pictures. Check out how he is shooting a typical event
like haldi, Mehndi, Sangeet and wedding itself. How he is shooting couple portraits? These are really important things to look
for in a wedding photographers. Some wedding photographers are good at portraiture,
some are good at candid moments. Some are having a photo-journalistic style
of shooting. So what exactly is the style of shooting. You don’t have to go to the technique details
but going through 50-100 images from from a single wedding will tell you what exactly
is shooting how is shooting and does it suit the taste what you are looking for. You don’t have to go to the technical details
but yes when you go through multiple images, 50-100 images from a single wedding you get
to know that this is exactly what you are looking for or you are looking for something
else. So when you’re going through all these wedding
blog posts of this photographer. You have to go through all these photographers.Shortlist
further these photographers. Eliminate the photographers whose instagram
handles you have liked but when it comes to multiple images or more images from a single
wedding, you may not have liked those pictures or you may not have liked the quality of the
pictures which he is shooting so further shortlist your photographers. So now you have identified what sort of quality
you are looking for and what photographers are falling into that quality. The next step is to “identify the market
price”. So now you have shortlisted your photographers,
go through their price, what price they are offering these services? This will give you the market price of quality
you are looking for. At least you will get an average price. My wild guess is all these wedding photographers
which you have shortlisted will be falling somewhat in the same price brackets which
I am calling it at the market price of that quality which you are looking for. So now you know the market price as well. So the next step is to “re evaluate your
own budget”. What budget you are looking for and what is
the market price right now? are you ok with the market price of these wedding photographers?
or you have some different budget you are looking for? now we have to see scenarios in this case
– first is obviously if your budget and the market price is somewhat similar then its
fine but let’s see if your budget is below the market price then the things get little
tricky and you have to make certain choices or I would call some compromises. So let’s first take up the easy part if
everything is within your budget, market price is within you budget so what you should we
doing. You need to shortlist your photographers further
based on the quality with respect to the price. I would strongly suggest don’t compromise
on the quality because that the most important thing. Even if you have to pay 5-10% extra, pay it. But go for the better quality because you
are very close to the kind of budget you’re looking for. Consider wedding photography as an investment
for your present as well as your future. Do allocate a part of your budget to the secondary
services like photobooth,coffee table books, merchandise etc. Product like a coffee table book has a lot
of emotion value attached to it, imagine yourself going to the wedding pictures through this
coffee table book with your kids are your family that would be an ultimate experience
which you cannot imagine right now while defining your budget. But it’s all worth it. Ok so this was when everything was within
your budget or it was around your budget so what happens when your budget is lower than
the market price what you should be doing, to be honest and straightforward it is the
time to make some compromises. If you can afford extend your budget go to
the market price and I can assure you, you won’t regret. If the budget is a constraint and you are
not able to extend it how do you make compromises or how, what are the parameters to make compromises. And keep one thing in your mind your spending
power what it is today it is not gonna be the same it is gonna increase and you don’t
want to regret, 2 years or 3 years down the line I wish if I had more budget or I would
have put more budget into my wedding photography. Even if in the future you are willing to spend
more money you cannot go back to the past and redo your wedding pictures whatever is
done is done. So the final call to increase the budget or
not lies with you I can share my views with you and I hope it is helping you. So lets now come to the compromises which
I was talking about. Obviously increasing a budget is also some
sort of a compromise now you have a very limited budget or a certain budget in your mind where
all the services may not be possible or quality may not be possible in the same budget. So what are you gonna do. I would suggest allocate maximum funds to
a service which is closer to your heart. Let us say candid photography, you like candid
photography, you like videos as well but the photography part is more closer to your heart
I would suggest allocate maximum funds to your candid photography and make a compromise
on the video. I know all the services are important in fact
candid photography,cinematography, traditional photography/video all these are important
services but like I said you cannot have best of all, so you have to make compromises. Go for maximum funds for the service which
is closer to your heart and make compromises on the other two services. Traditional photography and videography, you
may not be looking for a certain quality or so called branded studio of the city to do
your traditional photography or video, Or alternatively if you like cinematography,
allocate more funds to cinematography and compromise on candid photography and traditional
photography/video.I have seen people are not really fond of videos they are going for cinematography
because their friends have gone for cinematic video. It is a trend to have cinematography in your
wedding photography packages no it is not necessary to have cinematic cinematography
yes I know it is an important but you need to take a call whether you need a cinematography
or at what quality you are looking for cinematography. Imagination a scenario, where you if you eliminate
cinematography which is very expensive service you will have lot of funds available for your
candid photography and your traditional photography and video. You will have the flexibility of putting more
funds to your candid photography and infact you could go for a better quality of a candid
photographer than the market price which you had allocated maybe you could go to a little
higher budget wedding photographer. If you skip cinematography you will have more
funds to allocate to other services which means better quality of candid photographer
– better wedding pictures. You can also save cost by eliminating wedding
album or your coffee table book because this is one product which you can order even later
1 year down the line or two year down the line but yes I have seen lot of people who
skipped wedding albums or coffee books, end up not getting it because we tend to get lazy. You need to make a compromise or you need
to decide whether you want to go for coffee table book right now or later. But yes even if you skip, you still have a
chance to invest later in the coffee table book but not in other services. You can always come back to your wedding photographer
an year later and ask for the coffee table book and enjoy that delayed gratification
of going through the pictures. So now we are on the last part or the last
point which is deciding between all local photographer or a destination wedding photographer. Your wedding photography budget is a sum total
of the service cost, travel, accommodation and taxes. It’s Diwali time ! Diwali is the biggest
festival of India, I am sharing if you are not from India. Ok coming back to the point, so ya so your
overall wedding photography budget is the sum total of his service cost, accommodation,
travel and taxes if you are going for destination photographer you will have to bear the cost
of his travel accommodation but you are going for local photographer, you can easily skip
this cost and mind it could easily be 15 to 20% of the overall wedding photography budget
so think about it and ya make sure that you are even if you are going for local photography
team, it should be at par with your destination photographer I mean quality of the destination
wedding photographer. So that’s all I wanted to share today, budgeting
is very difficult everyone has its own way of budgeting anything, wedding photography
is obviously not different but yes these are my thoughts. Lot of clients come to us who are looking
at certain budget so these are the ideas we give to our clients.Whether you are a wedding
photographer or a prospective bride or a couple. These ideas or tips could be helpful to you. Most of the wedding photographer are quite
flexible in designing quotes for their client so make sure you share all the details in
email and ask for a customized quote. And make sure you don’t copy paste same
email to all the photographers. We get many emails where the photographer’s
name is not the one which is expected. Ya, that’s all for today like I said this
has already been shared on my wedding blog as well as on the podcast. So I will share those links in the description
below and this is the first video podcast which I have done and hopefully I am not looking
that awkward in front of the camera.And if you have liked this video, you have liked
my thoughts, do share it with your friends and family, on social media. Subscribe to this channel and I will be back
soon with a fresh new episode of my podcast. Bye for now!!

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