Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Article in OC Bride Magazine-So Cal Wedding Photography Pricing

I am finally blogging about this article that I wrote for Orange County Bride Magazine. The article is on Wedding Photography Pricing in Southern California. There is a broad spectrum on wedding photography pricing, but also a standard in the business of what the going-rates are according to experience and expertise. I have to educate most of my clients on what is most important within a given budget. I really wanted brides to be able to read the article and know what to look for and expect for their given budget.  I also don't see many articles on pricing and wedding photographers generally do not quote wedding pricing on their websites. I wanted to put out a realistic pricing guide of Southern California so brides know what to look for according to their budgets. I talked to several experienced colleagues in Southern California while writing this article to insure they were on the same page as me as far as the standard. 

Pricing Southern California Wedding Photography
Your Wedding Photographer is arguably one of the most important vendors you will hire for your wedding day. Getting an experienced wedding photographer is not only about assuring yourself amazing magazine style images, it is also the responsibility of the photographer to be in charge of your entire wedding day timeline. Wedding photographers are not just clicking images, they moving groups, keeping on time, giving direction, and making sure your wedding day runs smoother and better. Afterward, they are editing thousands of images and many times creating priceless portraits and a wedding album. It is a very "niche" industry, where consistency in coverage and longevity in the business is everything! Personality is also definitely key when you are looking for the perfect person to stand in front of you all day. So what should you expect and look out for with your budget in mind and wedding photography pricing in Southern California?
Tight Budget- If your wedding photography budget is under $2,500 you are going to have a hard time finding an "experienced" wedding photographer, or a photographer with magazine quality images.  To help with this, consider having your wedding on any other day but Saturday, as large discounts can be given from most vendors and venues. Try not to worry about getting a large package and spend your budget on a good and capable photographer. Instead,  pay for their time and expertise and get your prints and albums after the wedding. Make sure they have an extensive portfolio, a great website, and many references or reviews from previous clients to insure their experience. Seeing multiple weddings from beginning to end with web hosting, where all wedding images are put online, gives you the ability to view recent weddings to see your potential photographers style and consistency overall.
The Going Rate-The starting rate for an experienced wedding photographer in Southern California ranges from $3,000-5,000 depending on style, experience, and your wants/needs for your package. If your budget is on the lower end of this, then as I said above hire for time and expertise, and worry about your album and extras later. If you are on the top end of this budget, you are going to find a great photographer, and you get to pick for personality and style as well as get an album and second photographer. Even still at this rate, be careful to hire a photographer with longevity. They should have an extensive portfolio and website, great albums, published work, reviews and/or endorsements and a name built for themselves in the wedding industry.
High-End Budget- If you have a budget over $5,000 then you are in luck! You can pick from the best, and this is where you want to be to get a great wedding photographer with all day coverage, a second shooter, a wedding album, engagement shoot, etc.  Experience should not be an issue at this rate, so you really are hiring for personality and style. Wedding Photographers with a very established name and recognition within the industry can start upwards of $9,000-$25,000.
 Orange County Bride Magazine

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