How many hours should I book my Wedding Photographer for? | Detail Photos | Wedding Planning | Saving Money
Photos and Words by Shawn Taylor
Is it worth saving a thousand dollars or so on your photography budget and taking morning prep photos with your friends on your phones?
Most couples booking a wedding photographer select an 8 or 12 hour collection.
Couples who book 8 hours of wedding day photography coverage generally receive 95%-98% of the photos couples who book 12 hours coverage receive and can save a thousand dollars or more on their wedding budget.
When asked how long they booked their wedding photographer for - Brides over on the Newfoundland Brides Planning Group weighed in with their thoughts, some had booked 12 hours coverage and others had booked 6 - 8 hours coverage.
“We had our photographer for 5 hours. Glad I did this when I look back as in reality, I’m only printing off so many pictures. For instance, as nice as it is to have someone photographing getting ready, what will you be doing with those pics later?”
Most couples don't end up printing or hanging photos of prep in their home.
The past few years have found more and more couples asking themselves what they will be doing with prep photos later and opting for 6 hour or 8 hour photography coverage.
Many photographers and brides-to-be agree that there are only so many photos that can be taken of hair and makeup and the late night party before they start to look the same - some couples ponder whether they even want professional evidence of late night shenanigans.
Depending on your crew, vibe and style there no doubt there can be fantastic candid moments during morning prep - it can also be an excellent time to build rapport between your photographer friends, and family - but for some couples this part of the day is less than magical and doesn't require professional documentation.
Morning prep is not always candid moments in matching bathrobes - it can be different for everyone and in the age of Instagram with ‘good enough’ cameras in everyones pocket - the reality is many couples are finding the easiest way to save some money on their wedding budget is cutting back on the early morning professional photos.
Morning prep - magical once-in-a-lifetime memories? Or maybe not so much?
How much is this kind of photo worth to you?
12 Hour coverage works better for some wedding days than it does for others - a lot depends not only on the size and speed / pace of the day, but also your personal style.
The vast majority of photos taken on your wedding day will be taken from about an hour before your ceremony start time up until just after you sit down for dinner. If your wedding ceremony is starting at 1:00pm or later 8 hours of coverage is going to get you everything from the end of prep to the start of the party.
Newfoundland Wedding Photographer Darren Hatt agrees - "Our most popular package is 8 hours. It covers most couples from prep to first dances".
Detail photos can be taken at anytime on your wedding day.
Detail shots are a great component to telling your wedding story.
Nice macro close up photos of details look amazing and are especially nice to have if you are planning on designing a wedding album. Detail images can be captured at almost any point during the day - not just in the morning.
Your photographer can sneak away with your details virtually anytime throughout the day - you do not have to book a photographer for 12 hours to get decent detail shots - ceremony site / reception site / the in between locations - detail shots can be taken at any time during the day as they only take minutes to set up - you can even be in them.
Detail photos can be taken anywhere on your wedding day,
At the end of the day the question of how long to book your wedding photographer for many is really a question of - how much is a professional photo in your pyjamas or a photo of your dress hanging worth to you?
Here's a quick look at the differences in cost for an 8 hour photography collection vs a 12 hour collection amongst Newfoundland Wedding Photographers.
Darren Hatt 8 Hour Collection - $2650 - 12 Hours $4150
Shawn Taylor 8 Hour Collection - $2500 - 12 Hours - $3500
Jennifer Dawe 8 Hour Collection - $3000 - 12 Hours - $4000