Don’t go cheap on wedding photography

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It’s one of the biggest questions in wedding planning: How much will the photographer cost?

There are plenty of websites with the answer, which is about 10 - 12 percent of your total wedding budget. To add a dollar amount, wedding photography, on average, ranges from $1,150 to $3,000, according to WeddingWire. This amount can very depending on where your wedding is (a Washington, D.C. wedding photographer will cost more than one in Washington, N.C.) and what your package includes (prints, albums, etc.).

So you may think that’s a lot of money for one person. And I get it, we all have budgets. But here’s why spending the money is worth it:

Because your wedding is a luxury. And you should treat it as such.

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Do you need a wedding dress to be married? A wedding venue? A wedding party? No, you do not.

But do you want those items? Of course. After all, they’re part of the large catered party you’re planning, and unless you regularly have those (and if you do, invite me!), then your wedding is a luxury.

As with any luxury, you’re paying for quality. And we know what that looks and feels like. There’s a reason you want to sit in first class. Drive a Mercedes Benz. Watch the game in box seats. 

Each of those items have higher price points because you know what you’re getting - and you know what luxury is not.

Now I get that there are other elements of your wedding that are important:

Food? Yes, everyone needs to be fed. But do you remember what you ate three days ago? 

Makeup? You want to accentuate your beauty. But how long do you keep makeup on? 

Wedding dress? I’m approaching 12 years of marriage, and the last time my wife’s wedding dress saw the light of day was on our wedding day.

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I’m not saying that food, makeup, and your wedding dress aren’t important, but your pictures are the only wedding item you’ll engage with long after your wedding. From albums to prints and annual reminders on social media, your wedding photos will be the only tangible item from your wedding day you’ll refer to years later.

Think of it this way: You’re putting a lot of time and effort into your once-in-a-lifetime event. Would you want your hard work represented in - and your memories based on - cheap photos?

You know how the saying goes: You get what you pay for. 

Have any wedding photography questions or want to schedule a consultation? Send Stan a message!

East Carolina University Event Photography: Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc Probate

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Those who follow this blog know I’m a proud member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. As a matter of fact, next week marks 20 years of my membership in this great organization.

During my early years in the fraternity, I was a cops reporter in Greenville, N.C., where I not only chased crime scenes and bad guys, but also helped start the fraternity’s Epsilon Pi Chapter at East Carolina University.

The chapter unfortunately died out and was dormant for 15 years - until Monday.

As president of the fraternity’s graduate chapter in Raleigh, N.C., I played a role in guiding these two men into Iota land, which has revived my involvement in the fraternity’s footprint at ECU.

And judging by the support from brothers, the ECU community, and the interest that came from the probate, I expect the chapter to grow and flourish.

Richmond Headshot Photography: A trio of fun

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I love it when someone’s need and perfect timing coincide with each other.

This session started out with Jill, a long time friend of mine, asking when I was going to be in Richmond, Va. It so happened that her text came two weeks before a pre-scheduled trip to the RVA. And while I had no plans to shoot, why would I turn down an opportunity to do so?

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What I enjoyed about this session was the variety. Jill wanted more traditional headshots while her two friends were along for the ride and wanted some nice professional photos.

While most people get headshots for professional reasons, there’s nothing wrong with having pictures done just for the fun of it.

Cary Event Photography: NPHC Easter Egg Hunt

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One of the great things about being a member of an organization like Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., is the opportunities I have to give back to the community - especially when it involves making kids happy.

I happened to have my camera with me as I volunteered at the Raleigh NPHC Easter Egg Hunt at Harold D. Ritter Park in Cary. Despite the dark clouds and the damp ground from the previous night’s storms, dozens of kids and their parents came out to collect easter eggs filled with candy and stickers.

I’m a strong believer that photographers should also use their talents for good. We can’t give away shoots all the time, for we are running a business, but we should take the occasional opportunity to give back to our communities.