Awww…. you finally found your $500 photographer

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest! Is that thing full of gorgeous wedding photography or what? We are very proud of our work that gets pinned there by brides worldwide and featured on the popular wedding sites and in magazines. It takes a lot of hard work and training to get there. All the major players have struggled and honed their skills to get those kinds of accolades. Brides pin these images with abandon pointing out their vision of “dream day” and the images that go with it; flowers, cakes, the kiss, dancing, details…. you name it.

Sadly, many brides, with every good intention in their heart, hire some hack photographer that ends up making all that planning and dreaming look like drunken snapshot vacation photos. What a train wreck… and pity

In our years of experience with weddings and talking to brides we have discovered that many of the “pat answer” reasons the industry gives for this are just flat out wrong. (Yes ladies, “professional” wedding magazines give out bad advice.) They mostly suggest that it’s wedding budget issues, improper scheduling/planning (knowing when to hire the photographer) and lack of importance placed on the value of photos.

Our experience tends to agree with the latter (importance of photos) but the largest failure we see is that brides are poorly educated as to what it takes to make those “Pinterest/magazine” quality images appear in the first place. Having seen these horrors for too many years, Fotowerks has decided to pull back the curtain and expose the dirty truths and secrets in order to save you and your wedding day history.

  • e-TK-reception-114There’s no such thing as a bargain when you hire a professional. Be it a plumber or a surgeon. The best cost the most – period. If you want it done right, plan on spending some money. When it comes to your wedding, you have to budget and plan for that. End of story.
  • Professionals can’t beat the prices of cheapo weekend warriors – because we aren’t competing with them. The level of experience and ability to work in the field is miles and miles apart! If you’re trusting this important task to whoever has the lowest bid, you’re toast! THAT IS A FACT. Don’t believe it? Do the math. Let’s assume that the “bargain” shooter books a wedding EVERY weekend (that’s 52 a year). Multiply 52 times the “great deal” they’re giving you. Now subtract gas/taxes/fuel/insurance on everything/bonding/backup equipment/maintenance/ payroll for employees… you get the idea. Surprise! It aint there. Squeaking by is NOT a business, it’s a hobby. Don’t trust your wedding to a hobbyist.
  • If the person you are thinking of hiring doesn’t have all of the above covered (and more) you’re begging for a disaster.
  • Your “friend” (cousin, niece, etc.) with a camera will NEVER get the shots you need, nor will they come out looking like the pictures you see in magazines or Pinterest. Aint gonna happen and we don’t care where they went to school. You can buy the greatest camera in the world and the best software and computers. Matters not. Hold your breath, here comes the math again… A PAIR (because you gotta have a backup) of cameras and lenses and all the goodies it takes to support it (and we’re not talking the $499 kit at Best Buy) will set you back around $25,000. If good equipment and “want to” was all it took, $25,000 is the lowest business investment ever in the history of the world. Donald Trump would be doing photography start-ups everywhere because the return on that would be fabulous! Yep…. it takes much much more than a shiny new camera and a “vision”.
  • A cheapo photographer is usually a solo act and ill prepared. With rare exception do they have qualified and trained second/third shooters and assistants. They also may not have back up equipment. Extra personnel and gear give you more wedding day coverage as well as insure against equipment failure and illness within their photo crew. Folks get sick – and gear does break. Backup – backup – backup is the name of the game. Can’t be done on an unrealistic budget.
  • You can’t beat experience – and not just photographic experience either. In our days, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and fixed broken dresses, healed injuries, moved furniture, served food and reassembled destroyed cakes… while never missing a shot. That’s what being prepared and having extra crew does for you. Believe us – these types of things will happen at your wedding.
  • It’s not too expensive. Add up everything that’s going in the dumpster after the wedding. Food scraps, cake scraps, flowers, etc. We’re not suggesting that you skip those things at all, we need pretty things to point a camera at. But with proper budgeting and some planning you’ll have plenty of money left to cover the difference between some “bff hack living their dream” and a professional shooter. Well worth it – honest.
  • Many modern brides just don’t “get it” when it comes to wedding photography. It’s a “right now”-smartphone-texty world. Awesome! We love technology. But… how ya gonna leave that cell phone to your great grandchildren? The concept of legacy is lost on this generation. Since yesterday means nothing, the future doesn’t really hold their attention either. Sad. A wedding is about nothing if it’s not about all the tomorrows that follow. “Just give me a disk” is the common mantra. This opens up an entire “shoot and burn” industry of low budget, low tech and low experience photographers just salivating for some weekend cash from ignorant brides. Girl, wise up. Make a lasting heirloom for your future generations so they’ll know who you were and that they mattered to you. Only a professional can shoot album quality work and create a product that will physically last for generations.

EK couple-38Wake up ladies. Get some sense and budget for a professional photographer. Your photos are the ONLY thing you’ll take home from all those months of planning. Get great ones and invest in something you’ll be proud of.

We care – you should too.