I started hunting for a photographer way back in June. How do I remember this? I accidentally reached out to the same guys again this month 😛 So life has come full circle for me as far as wedding photography is concerned. At that moment, I was like, is that all? Have I exhausted the entire list of photographers. You cannot be serious !
While that is of course not true, but I will tell you that I have reached out to over 50 agencies in the past 3-4 months. My gmail inbox now has a separate folder on inquiries for wedding photography and I have an excel sheet with shading done to categorize photographers as affordable, mid-range, expensive. The list has been extremely useful. Will share it with you all soon.
Everywhere I read on the internet, everyone said if there is one thing you must spend on in the wedding it is photography. I am sure you also must have read this somewhere. I know that’s true, but spend means how much?
What is that value that justifies (not) over spending and yet get your memories captured beautifully?
Is it 50k, 1L or 2L. I am talking per day cost. Is it accounted like – the more expensive the better? Because let me tell you, unless and until you are an expert, it gets very very confusing to figure out who is good at the right price.
I feel facebook is the biggest culprit here. All these agencies put up the best of the best pictures there, and its quite misleading. Are all the pictures going to look that way? Good question. Every wedding has its moments, and that’s what everyone is showcasing on social media, but what about the rest?
If you are looking for Budget Wedding Photography Services wondering what all you can get in your price bucket, then this post is for you.
THE 3 MUST HAVES:
This one is a must ladies. Just go for it. A decent candid photography for the day will cost you a minimum of 10k. I haven’t yet seen a quote lesser than that. Even the traditional photo agency guys are charging more than this. Mind you, this price is for the year 2015. Next year the prices will go up.
Overall I have seen easily you can get candid photography for your wedding day in the 15k range bucket. For the pre-wedding functions, it will cost you lesser. Depending upon your photographers prices, expect a discount of 3-4k at the most for candid photography for pre-wedding functions.
I say that one must go for this, because every picture says a story. You will not get this in traditional photos. When you look back years down the line, you will see a photo in which you are not giving a forced smile, but one where you are actually enjoying a moment which is beautifully captured by the photographer. Its honestly priceless – not taking the meaning literally though 😛
So my suggestion, keep aside a minimum of 15-18k aside for this service.
Traditional Photos a.k.a. Stage Photos
If you have a hindu wedding, there is no escaping this. You will be on the reception stage and people who come to congratulate you, will expect their photos to be clicked. The issue what I have seen here is, the more expensive a photography agency you go for, the more they charge you for traditional photos which is very strange.
Traditional Photo clicking is normally outsourced, and as far as I know, for an evening of click click, it shouldn’t cost more than 5k. Even so, agencies who have given me a quotation of 1L+ for covering my wedding, have given a break up of 10k for traditional photos.
So guys, just be careful about this. Now you know where one part of the profit margin is coming from. All the agencies will give you a precise candid photography cost, but they increase the costs through other cheaper options like this one. So be smart about it and push them for reducing the price of traditional photos.
Anything above 10k should ring alarm bells. Time for negotiation !
At your wedding, you will be so distracted, you don’t know what’s really happening beyond the stage, a traditional video is a must whether you go for cinematography or not.
Take my instance. My engagement video initially I found to be so miserable, I wanted to kill those video fellows. There were all those cheesy songs playing in the background…my grooms surname was spelled incorrectly, in some scenes, two flowers were shown like in the hindi movies and the list goes on. It was disaster in the real sense.
But couple of days back I saw the video again (in bits and pieces), and I was so emotional just watching it. It was a 360 degree attitude turn. Everything that had pissed me off the first time, had no significance at all now. What made sense was to relive every bit of that day.
You cannot get that from cinematography. A traditional video even though you may not see it now, will be the best afternoon watch for you and your family a couple of years down the line. Don’t lose out on that.
It should cost you no more than 15k. Include it in your budget. You will get a coverage of 3-4 hours in this amount. Nowadays, the traditional video guys are also giving a small 5 minute teaser film as complimentary. They wish to be in the business too, so ask for it. May be you might just get your short movie afterall. It won’t be of the same standard as cinematography, true…but it will still be something.
GOOD TO HAVE:
Most of the agencies provide for Photo Booth at a nice affordable cost of 5k minimum. If you don’t have the time or don’t wish to look for props yourself, then you can hire the agency to set up a photo booth for you. Its a fun addition to have either on your wedding day or even for your sangeet & mehendi. This is one sure shot service that your guests are going to enjoy as much as you are.
Rather than getting mediocre work in cinematography, I would suggest invest that money elsewhere in these kind of services. If you want to quantify happiness and fun, this will rank higher than cinematography any day.
If your agency is charging quite high, like 1 lakh plus, check with them if pre-wedding or post-wedding shoot is part of the deal. Many of these agencies charge high and give this part as complimentary. Alternatively, ask for it if the quotation is being non-negotiable. May be you can win yourself a pre-wedding shoot in the same budget.
Normally, if you hire anybody for a pre-wedding shoot, the costs go anywhere between 10k-20k depending on who your photographer is. Its better to pack it in a combo deal where the costs might come down significantly. I did my pre-wedding shoot by paying much less than 5k and you can have a look at the pictures here & here.
Bridal Portraits / Couple Shoots
This is usually accounted for by the agencies. Its something which has to be included but only if you are opting for candid photography. So all your couple portraits and self portraits, getting ready shots, jewellery & lehenga shots etc come in this group. Isn’t it worthwhile to be getting this rather than going for those traditional pictures alone where the photographer will ask you to do those standard poses.
Ah, the current rage. This is everywhere. For the longest time, I was also obsessing about having cinematography for my wedding. Let me tell you, its very expensive. The lowest cost starts from 40k upwards a day. It can go up all the way to 60k minimum if you have multiple days to be covered. You might come across some ad hoc agency promising you to do cinematography at almost a free charge, but be careful…its either because they haven’t done much in the sphere or are tricking you.
All those wedding films that you see on facebook, your friend has actually shelled out a good amount of money for it. It has not come cheap.
If you are looking for budget wedding photography, then I would suggest not to invest in this. The deliverables of cinematography include a 3-5 minute teaser and a 15-20 minute summarizing of the wedding in a candid form. While it is quite nice and fancy to have, you are spending thousands of rupees for every minute of coverage. Either get it done from a good agency, or don’t do it at all.
You will end up spending more for less. A candid video shot by your cousin will also be equally memorable two years down the line. I know its hard to accept the fact, but its true. This has just picked up recently, and that’s precisely why the service is so expensive.
Also, please remember that not everybody is good with shooting a cinematographic film. It takes certain skills and quite a lot of time investment by the agency to provide you with the best of the best. So don’t settle for anything just for the sake of it.
P.S. Cinematography is good for just facebook. It doesn’t cover the whole wedding and if you decide to just go for this and not opt for traditional video, you are missing out on a lot ! So much wedding planning, and getting just 15 mins to wrap the whole thing up…I don’t want to see you cry later.
If you take the package deal, this is another area where agencies make their profit. Costs vary from 6k all the way to 15-20k. Ideally get one made separately on your own. It will cost you cheaper. You even get deals on Groupon for coffee table albums at a very minimal cost. Alternatively, there are many online sites on which you can sit on a lazy afternoon, fiddle with which page should have what picture and totally DIY your wedding album.
Most of the agencies mentioned that at the most they will give an album consisting of 25 sheets covering at the most 250 pictures. Then for every added sheet, the cost would go up by Rs.550
Given all this, the services you should go for in case you want Budget Wedding Photography is:
Candid Photography + Traditional Photo + Traditional Video = 15000+10000+15000 = 40,000 (You can negotiate and bring this down probably by another 5k)
If you add album to this, add another 6k minimum to the above price. If you don’t go for candid photography, then ideally your budget can come down to even something like 20k for the wedding.
This would be the bare minimum cost you could incur for a 1 day event. Add another day to this, and the minimum quote for a decently good budget wedding photography would be around 45-55k. [Candid + Traditional Photo + Video]
Add cinematography to this, and the minimum costing for the entire package would start around 70k onwards. This is my personal experience with all the quotations I have received.
Now you will ask me who really gives in such a price range, well…there are and many. I will share the same in the coming posts 🙂
Remember, you are paying them money for their service, not asking for something for free. Keep a budget in mind and stick to it. If you want options in the price range below what I have mentioned, get in touch with me and I will help you with some names and agencies.