Is Cheap Wedding Photography & Videography a Steal or a Wedding Faux Pas?

January 25, 2024
Wedding Planning Resources
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Everybody likes a good deal, but few people would admit to looking for something cheap.

This is never more true than when it comes to your wedding, perhaps one of the most important days of your life. Ideally, you’d like to buy and hire the best of everything. In reality, though, most couples need to stay within a limited budget for the entire wedding, including wedding photography and videography. As you’re selecting best venues, food, your wedding address, table decorations, and everything else, could you save some money on your wedding photographer? In this blog, we’re examining what you may get when you hire a cheap wedding photographer and videographer and why we think that this is not the right place to save.

Why Do Wedding Photographers and Videographers Charge So Much? For most couples, having a wedding photographer is non-negotiable. Research by found that nearly 90% of all couples hired a photographer, making our profession the third most popular wedding vendor. The same research found that wedding photography was the fourth most expensive service couples paid for. So, how much do couples spend on average?

That’s a hard question to answer.’s research arrived at a figure of $2,600. But what luxury wedding photographers and videographers charge varies widely. Here are some of the main factors that influence what you will pay for:

Experience and Time:

When you’re hiring a renowned, established wedding photographer, you’re not only paying for their time on your wedding day. Your photography team really starts working with you as soon as you make an inquiry. Creating a concept to tell the story of your wedding takes time and commitment. Realizing that story behind the camera on the day is the next step. Plus, there is the post-production phase, where your photographer edits the images and footage from the day to create perfect memories. In some cases, the images we’ve taken may only require a few touch-ups. But if you opt for videography services that include cinematic reels, we’ll spend considerable time working on those for you.

Aside from the time aspect, there is also experience. No matter how much you train, wedding photography and videography are something you learn over time. Most leading creatives start by assisting someone else as a second shooter before developing their own style.

Once a wedding photographer or videographer establishes themselves, they’ll have shot weddings for several years. Would you want to miss out on that kind of experience?

The Services You Choose:

At Sidpix Studios, we offer a wide range of wedding photography and videography services. From basic packages including one photographer for a few hours to a full-service experience with multiple creatives, our approach is flexible. We understand how important high-quality memories are for you, and we’ll do our best to find a package that matches your budget and delivers more than you expected.

If you are on a limited budget, consider choosing photography or videography rather than opting for both. By choosing one or the other, you almost always only need to cover one person. Cutting down on additional services like engagement photography will also help you manage your budget. Ask yourself which services will be of the greatest value for you and focus your budget on. While every couple has different priorities, we believe that opting for selected high-quality, professional services will deliver better results than choosing every service but compromising on quality.

Your Location

Believe it or not, where you are in the United States or abroad, it has a huge influence on how much wedding photography costs. Think about the differences in rent between places like San Francisco, CA, and the likes of Austin or Houston, TX where sidpix serves their clients.

You may even find price differences within Texas, for example between the Dallas Fort Worth area and San Antonio. When you’re looking for average costs for wedding photography and videography, make sure you’re taking location into account.

The Consequences of Hiring Cheap Photography Services

Have you heard the saying ‘You get what you pay for? It’s one of the simplest ways to describe the differences between high-priced and cheaper photographers. Before we go into detail, let’s make one thing clear. Cheap videography or photography services are not necessarily bad. But in most cases, they come with a cost.

Here are some of the things that set services apart:

New Photographers

Put yourself in the position of someone just starting out in the field of photography and videography. One of the first things they’ll need to do is build a portfolio. Offering their services cheaply will almost always attract at least a handful of clients. Shooting the weddings of those first clients will help create a portfolio, for sure. But if you’re hiring a brand-new photographer, you’re potentially paying them to gain experience. Ask yourself if you’re happy to take that risk.

Photographers That Are New to Weddings

Telling wedding stories requires specific skills. As a wedding photographer, you need to be creative and empathetic. You need to live the couple’s story with them in order to capture it authentically and create lasting memories. You need to be able to capture all-important moments and details in often extremely busy environments.

You need to have an eye for people and the ability to blend into the background, especially if your brief includes candid photography. When you’re hiring a cheap wedding creative, your wedding may be the first time they take images and videos at a wedding. Will they tell you? Not necessarily. That means you’re taking a big risk with one of the most important days of your life. Are you ready to take that risk? Ask them questions around how much time have they spent in the industry, how many years are they been doing the weddings.

Sidpix has been in the industry for more than a decade and we proudly express that experience with our clients in our No Obligation 30 Min Free Consultation.

One in a Million

While you may be marrying your one-in-a-million soulmate, hiring a cheap wedding photographer or videographer could make you one in a million of clients for them. Sounds complicated?

Look at it this way – how can your photographer offer their services so cheaply and still make a living? In some cases, cheap wedding photographers make ends meet by serving a high volume of clients. That may mean they have less time to devote to preparing for your wedding or customizing their approach. They may also struggle to dedicate significant time to editing and post-production.

Most of the professional Photographers can answer these simple questions about experience, clients, references on their FAQ's. However, if you don't find FAQ on your photographer page, ask them about these details.

Part-Time Photographers

Plenty of people use photography as a side hustle. That means they have a day job and use wedding photography for pocket money. While not necessarily bad, spending limited time behind the camera means they can only build limited amounts of experience. The difference may not always be obvious, but it will certainly show when things get a little trickier. Imagine difficult weather and light conditions or a venue that’s a little more difficult to photograph.

All of those are situations where experience becomes invaluable.

What Should You Do – Hire a Cheap Wedding Photographer and Videographer or Not?

We realize that this is not an easy question to answer when you’re organizing a wedding on a budget. As happens so often with wedding planning, making a decision becomes easier when you start weighing the pros and cons. Don’t be afraid to write them down in a list – for many soon-to-be brides and grooms spelling things out on paper or a screen makes them clearer.

Try to decide what is most important for you, photography or videography. Picking one rather than both will allow you to hire a more experienced professional wedding photographer. How can you make this decision? Take a look around your home. If you have framed photographs taking pride of place around the house, photography will likely be the better choice.

On the other hand, if you spend time sharing videos with friends and re-watching family events regularly, then video might be the way to go.

Talk to your partner and your family, too. Sometimes those with a bit more distance can help you see more clearly.

One Last Piece of Advice

As much as we’d love to be your wedding photographer and videographer of choice, we can’t make that decision for you!

Instead, allow us to share a little nugget of advice. Whether you’re looking for a venue, a dress, or a photographer, always aim to hire the best you can afford. Plus, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Especially if you’re getting married on a weekday outside of prime wedding season, it’s worth talking to the photographer of your choice about the budget you have. You can also look at our Expert Wedding Photography Tips. They may have an opening or another way of working with you.

Lastly, as hard as this may sound, remember to be realistic.

Experienced wedding photographers have spent years, if not decades, honing their craft, and they charge accordingly. Hiring someone of that caliber ensures that you will receive images and videos you’ll love and want to see again and again for the rest of your life. It’s simply priceless.

Look at our Portfolio here