If you open up any wedding guide, the general rule is that you should sacrifice in two areas: 1) food and 2) photography. Go to theknot.com, use their budget calculator, and they’ll claim that you should only spend 600 on photography. For weddings under $5000, $400 for photography is reasonable. Disposable cameras, bugging your friends who have nice cameras, or assembling a collection of photos from your countless friends and relatives at your wedding, are all ideas that are pushed. For some reason, resolution, compasition, skill, and everything else is pushed to the way side. It seems that have a couple of 8x10s that are okay and a stack of 4x6s is all you need to remember your wedding (or to use in your scrapbook later). I think, in general, that’s a boneheaded idea because the film cost for disposable camera development would be huge and trying to track down everyone who took pictures and have them all upload online so you can have access to them is like herding cats. But besides that, I have another problem with being cheap, and lazy, on photography.
I went to a wake last Sunday night. The wake was for a woman. She was 75. She sang in the choir, was married, and had one son. The only stories I remember about her is that she loved talking about her ailments in graphic gory detail but wouldn’t want to see a naked person on screen. She died after an illness and looked like she was sleeping at the wake. While there, I noticed the very few pictures the couple had of her. They were taken on her wedding day.
They were all small 4×6 in frames. She was smiling and happy. She and her husband were probably married for forty or fifty years so the pictures showed a young couple from the 50s/early 60s. Big glasses, big hair on the woman, crew cut for the guy. The pictures weren’t great. They were washed out a bit (probably from the sun). They were thin, the grays and whites weren’t very sharp, and the poses were typical and nothing interesting. But they did show the now deceased smiling, young, and on what I can assume to be one of the happiest days in her life.
When you’re finally in that casket, after a long marriage (hopefully), and the pictures are put up on display of you as a memorial, wouldn’t you like to have at least one decent large picture of you on your wedding day? And would you really just leave it to luck and chance that maybe a cheap disposable camera will work or maybe your Uncle Earl managed to get the perfect of shot during your 1st dance? Some might. I wouldn’t.
Good wedding photography doesn’t need to be expensive. There is one photographer I’m looking at for a base rate of 1k, which is very low end and I’m not expecting magic to happen, but I do know that for a little more money, I’ll actually be able to get at least 1 picture that’ll look great hanging over my casket. Or on the facebook memorial page. Or maybe projected onto the screens in Times Square when the greatest thing the world has ever seen finally dies. Women will beat their breasts, men will lament, and the groans will be heard for generations to come! Worlds will move! Civilizations will fall from the sorrow they feel! Or maybe it’ll just remind my special lady of one happy experience before I’m pushed into the incinerator. Or the vat of lye. Or maybe frozen in carbonite and then launched into space aboard a spacecraft. That would be neat.