Written by: Beej
It’s hotly debated amongst friends, brides and grooms, parents of the happy couple and anyone who is looking to get beautiful professional wedding photographs – how much am I willing to spend?
I learnt about something a long while ago called ‘perceived value’; it’s all about how valuable you view something to be and it might be completely different to the person next to you. In our 3 groups, we were given 3 secret scenarios and were told we had to decide what we would pay for a particular item if we had 1 million dollars at our disposal. When we reconvened the figures given for each scenario were $0, $1000 and $1m. What was the item? It was 1 litre of water.
So why would we get such vastly different responses for the same item? Here were our scenarios;
1. You are standing at a water tap and have just finished drinking a full glass of water when someone offers you a 1-litre bottle of water. What do you pay for it?
2. Your car has broken down on the way to your only sisters wedding. You are 1 hour from the wedding venue, the wedding starts in 2 hours and there aren’t many cars passing by on the country road. All you need is water to cool your engine – what would you pay for a 1-litre bottle?
3. You are lost in the desert and completely parched with no food, water or help in sight. What would you pay for 1 litre of water?
As you can see, very different scenarios where the value of a single item is perceived very differently!
The photographs of your special event are just the same – their worth is all about how you perceive the images. For me, securing a quality photographer was more than just having good looking pictures to hang on my wall; I wanted someone who could capture the emotions of our wedding day, the love Luke and I have for each other, the details we had put into planning our wedding and the candid moments we tried to steal when we thought no one was looking. More than that, I wanted beautiful photos to share with my Grandma, Grandpa and Nanna who were too unwell to attend our wedding. I was very grateful for Jade who took time out of her schedule to send me some photos early so that I could share them with my Grandma who was diagnosed with cancer the week of my wedding and has since sadly passed. I am so happy to know that she got to see and feel like a part of our wedding day through the magic of Jade’s photos.
So you can see for me, a quality wedding photographer was worth every cent and more. For you, the value might be in the time spent capturing your wedding day, the customer service before and after your wedding day, the quality of the albums or prints in your package, or the way you get along with your photographer and feel at ease in front of the camera. Of course, the most important aspect is how the photographs turn out based on the imagery skills your photographer has!
No matter what you value in a photographer, what you feel you should pay for a photographer will vary between you, your partner, your friends, and the next-door neighbour. This is why you can’t choose a photographer based on pricing alone. When you do have to factor in your budget requirements, it’s essential that you compare apples with apples – after all, would you rather save yourself a few dollars and get Uncle Bob to take the shots with his new flash camera (and be utterly disappointed at the result), or find a photographer who meets the requirements you value and gives you the best photographs you’d feel truly happy to look back on for decades to come.
I’d take a lifetime of feel good moments over a few seconds of happiness when looking at my bank statement any day!