I know planning a wedding is probably one of the most difficult and exciting aspects of your life. You’re only getting married once. You have a limited budget of what you can afford with your dreams for your perfect wedding. When you consider choosing your photographer, most couples want to know photographer pricing first. I’ve created this guide as what is common for wedding photographer pricing (not just here in Tahoe, but across the board). However this guide is NOT an absolute but more general and what is commonly expect for wedding photography.
There are many many options for photographers in Tahoe. There are three types of photographers you can choose from for full event coverage.
First: Your traditionalists. Price range: $1500 – $4000
Traditional wedding photography has been around since weddings were first photographed. The main concept of traditional photography is, “Pose, Look at the camera and smile.”It wasn’t until recently other forms of wedding photography came about. Traditional wedding photography typically requires a shot list. For instance: Bride alone, bride with family, bride and groom with cake,
bride and groom with…. You get the idea. Traditional photography’s main concern is to create high quality posed portraiture for the album. Most photographs the photographer will capture will be only from the shot list. You can pick them out quite easily from the photographs they capture. Most, if not all of the photographs, are very straight forward, couples looking at the camera, with stiff or awkward poses. There’s little if any creativity in the photographs, and if any moments are captured, they are quite formal. Think of wedding photography you’ve seen from the 80s and earlier. On the plus side, if your budget is very limited for what you can afford for your captured memories, they are quite affordable for your Lake Tahoe wedding.
Second: Your contemporary photographers. Price Range: $3000-$7000
Most of the photographers in Tahoe are contemporary photographers. Their website portfolios will be a blend of traditional straight forward photographs of couples looking at the camera, in a more relaxed
fashion, with key candid moments spread throughout. Most couples will choose one of these photographers for their wedding in Tahoe. The posing is more natural (although to the discerning eye – you can tell when it’s a set up photograph – from the positioning of the subjects to the direction of the laughter. Photographs that are natural with true moments the emotion will be directed within the subjects, and not towards the photographer) The photographic moments captured are more true to the couples’ personalities. Lots of laughter and fun in the photographs, great use of light from natural to set up studio lighting, more creative angles and moments captured. When viewing these photographer portfolios, the photographs will blend together, so after you’ve looked at 5, it will be very difficult to tell one photographer from the next. These photographers are more amiable and when selecting which photographer, the main difference will be each photographer’s personality and how it resonates with you and their imagery will be what you want from captured from your wedding.
Third: The edgy, real, outside-the-box photographers Price range: $4000+
These are the very select photographers in Tahoe. Their photographs will move you, capture your heart and soul. You’ll have an emotional reaction from their photographs, (usually the first comment I see from their images on Facebook is WOW.) These photographers will blow you away with the images they capture, you’ll feel like you know them, they’re someone you can see yourself hanging out after your wedding. You’ll say to yourself, “That’s exactly what type of photographs I want from my wedding!” These photographers are the most personable and risky, they know light, they know moments, and they know how to connect with you to really capture what YOU want from your wedding. You’ll put full trust in them, because you know their photographs are the ones you will want displayed proudly on your walls, and you’ll be excited to work with your photographer to just be yourself and have fun at your wedding, and with your photography. You’ll take risks for your photography (as will your photographer) for some crazy vision your photographer has for a photograph, and you’ll be excited for the experience and the memories.
When it comes down to choosing your photographer, how important is your wedding photography to you? How much will you budget for this once in a lifetime event? Take a few moments to learn the photographer’s background, how long they’ve been photographing for, what format (film or digital) do they photograph with, how did they decide to become a photographer? What is his/her training? Will they have the experience to photograph your wedding in all types of environments from day weddings to night to full sun to rain or snow? Are they willing to connect with you, learn about you, your fiancé, your vision for your wedding? Take your time in choosing your photographer, cause you’re only getting married once right? And you want the best photographs and memories captured, because in the end all you will have to remember this once in a lifetime event, is how you looked and felt and your experiences from your wedding from your photographs.