I was reading with a heavy heart when the following news on a bad experience by a wedding couple with regards to their photographer surfaced. The purpose of this writing is not so much as to flame and shame the couple or the photographer in anyway but to share if it's in a couple's interest to have more control over their choice of photographers and is there a budget guideline?
Wedding affairs in Singapore is an expensive affair and it goes beyond monetary investment. The time, energy, efforts and seemingly endless weekend runs cannot be priced in. Based on the site below, the total cost of wedding can run a couple S$35,000 and upwards in today's context in Singapore.
For a $35,000 investment, should the couple have more control over choice on their photographer? Absolutely yes. This is the reason why a lot of freelance photographers have popped up over the years to support this trend to cater to the differing taste of couples. Given DSLR cameras are certainly more affordable these days lowering the barrier and cost of entry for aspiring wedding photographers ,caveat emptor applies. In return, couples get to choose the style they like and freeze the memories of this very special day.
On budget, is there a budget guideline?
Given how expensive wedding can be, it is understandable why a couple would be very budget conscious. I've been down this road too. My take is a 5-10% of the total budget spent for the wedding is a good place to start which for illustration, a $35,000 wedding budget case translates to $1,700-$3,500 budget for the photographer. This can nail you a very decent photographer locally.
However that only settles the budgeting part of it. After all, a photographer can always price themselves at any price point but that does not translate to quality works.
A keep it simple guidance would be
1. Do you like the photographer's works?
2. Enquire if price is within budget.
3. Request to see more of his works and a showcase of a sample deliverable
4. Is he a full time photographer with a registered company? If he can live off it, he must be doing something right :)
On a technical level, the easy guidance to sift out poorer equipment is
5. Check if photographer uses a Full frame camera? These are still relatively costly given the lenses needed for full frame cameras are costly. You want a yes for this.
6. Find out if the photographer has any equipment failure backup contingency in place? If one full frame camera is costly, will he have 2 full frames to back each other up?
Finally I cannot overemphasize on (1). Do you like the photographer's works?
Given how busy the day will be during a wedding coverage, we tend to shoot based on instinct on perspective we love and this is the photographer's signature perspective. It is vital you love the photographer's perspective. The shots below isnt any special shot. Yet when you see the shots in sequence, it's a story of that special day. That is my perspective. A story about my couple's actual day.