There’s no way to sugarcoat this part: weddings. are. expensive.

It’s true! It’s not an industry secret, or a surprise catch — it’s pretty much universally understood that wedding costs can ratchet up pretty quickly during planning process. 

(And for good reason, too, considering how many individual creatives and professionals you’re hiring to create the most perfect day!) 

Thankfully, with DIY details, adventure elopements, and intimate ceremonies on the rise trend-wise, there are lots of ways to save on your wedding day without compromising the quality of the celebration.

So if you’re currently engaged, you might be turning into the wedding equivalent of a crazy coupon clipper looking for special packages, Pinterest tutorials, testimonials, etc., to get the most bang for your buck — we get it, and ain’t no shame in the game. 

Even with all the research you’re doing on the wedding industry and local pricing averages, though, it might be hard to figure out exactly why certain wedding professionals charge what they do. 

Obviously we can’t offer our expertise as a wedding officiant, or planner, or DJ, but have no fear! The Shayla Cristine Photography team has shot over 500 weddings so we can offer you a little bit of insider insight into the decisions that go behind wedding photographers’ pricing structures. 

1. Second Shooters

For those of you who haven’t heard the term second shooter before, it’s exactly what it sounds like. Your wedding photographer will often bring along another photographer — either as an apprentice or an associate — to help capture the intricacies of your day. 

So really, you’re hiring two different artists!

Your photographer can’t be in every place at once. But, when you absolutely need the big kiss shot, the candid cake-smashing shot, and the iconic Great-Aunt Betty on the dance floor shot — you absolutely need a second shooter. 

Plus, if you’ve been to a wedding before, you’ll know that the whole day passes by in a blur. With so many loved ones, fabulously important decor details, and exceedingly special moments, you definitely want to send some love to the second shooter!

2. Wearing All the Hats

It might sound counter-intuitive, but when you’re hiring a wedding photographer, you’re hiring so much more than just a wedding photographer. 

For the Shayla Cristine team, being a coordinator, mediator, and wedding photographer on the day of your wedding is standard. 

Our team works with your wedding planner on the day of to make sure the shooting schedule runs smoothly; with the officiant to make sure they don’t accidentally photobomb the big kiss moment; with the DJ to make sure shooting at the reception doesn’t cramp their style. 

(That latter one sounds less important, but our team has worked weddings where tons of guests left the wedding reception before it was over. The reason? The DJ either forgot or didn’t know to announce that the newlyweds would be temporarily unavailable while we took post-ceremony photos. The guests looked around the party, saw the couple being honored was gone, and hit the road!) 

So not only are you hiring two, rather than one, photographers, but you’re also hiring good communicators and strategists, too.

3. Photography is an Art

Because the wedding industry is one of the more established creative fields, it can be hard for some to remember that wedding photography isn’t just a job, it’s an art

Shayla, the lovely and wonderful leader of the Shayla Cristine team, has been shooting weddings, refining her skills, and cultivating an ultra-specific style for over ten years. And did we mention the whole 500 weddings thing?! 

Which is not meant to be taken as a brag. Okay, we are bragging about Shayla a little bit, it’s true, but only because she, as an individual, doesn’t brag about her experience, talent, and dedication nearly as much as she could! 

So it is a bit of a brag, but it’s also just the simple truth. When a painter dedicates 10 years to refining their craft, we don’t bat an eye at the many zeros on their price tags! 

Try to keep in mind that not only is this creative expression your photographer’s livelihood, but it’s also their craft, passion, and art.

Got any other questions or comments about the myriad of things that go into being a wedding photographer? Leave a comment or drop us a line! 

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