Anne Ruthmann, a brilliantly talented wedding photographer based in Lowell, MA (she travels worldwide to cover weddings) recently shared some great wedding photography tips with me. She read my article 13 Wedding Photographer Tips You Shouldn’t Do Without and wanted to add a few more helpful tips to the piece. Here’s what she says:
I feel like the 7% figure ($2100) seems low on a $30,000 wedding. (My wedding was around $18,000 and we signed a photographer for $2500). I actually find that my clients who have the smallest weddings tend to spend more than 10% on their photography. Of course it’s completely up for interpretation, but I just thought I’d share my experiences and perceptions of the market over the last three or four years.
I like to suggest that clients ask to see an entire sets of proofs from a wedding that will have similar lighting conditions to theirs – for example, historic church and golf club reception, or outdoor ceremony and tent reception, etc. If they can view the entire set of proofs from one or two full weddings, then they’ll have a better idea of how the photographer captures and edits the entire wedding day- which will give them a more realistic idea of what to expect from that photographer.
Oh yes – and very important that the work they’re looking at is the actual photographer who will be at their wedding (you elude to this in regards to meeting the photographer, but not necessarily in the part about viewing the work.) Some companies don’t even have samples of a photographer’s work before sending them out on the job – and that’s fine if people want to take a chance and get a bargain, but if photos are important, they should be looking at images from the photographer that will be at their wedding.
I think that it’s important for brides to ask photographers about the album process up front. Some will create a draft design of the album, which may be more pages than they’ve actually been contracted for in the hopes of upselling. Some will have the client select the images before starting the design. A client should be comfortable with the album design process and know what it will be up front. This is often one of the most elusive parts of the process.
Thanks so much Anne for taking the time to share your wisdom with brides-to-be!