Today’s blog is brought to you by the phrase:

“Just because you read it on the internet, does not make it true.”

Wedding Photography Myths Debunked on the DPNAK Weddings blog

photo by Michael Pangilinan of the backsides of Daniel Moyer and Russ Hickman

Between forums, message boards, Facebook, Twitter, and so-on there are SO many wedding planning myths floating around out there on the interwebs and while we’d love to sit and argue with folks on these platforms (uhm, no – we would absolutely never do that) we felt it would be best to put together a little list of wedding planning myths. This week, we’re focusing specifically on wedding photography myths. And we’re debunking them. Mythbuster style. Sort of mythbuster style.

First up, is one we hear a LOT.

1“Wedding photography is expensive.”

Ok, we know… “expensive” is a relative term. In our area of Pennsylvania, you can expect to pay around $3000-$6000 for a really great photographer, depending on what you’re including in your package (prints, hours, albums, engagement shoots, etc.). But even on the low end of $1500-$2200 for a wedding photography, that’s likely a big chunk of your paycheck and for some, way more than your paycheck. So, naturally it can be a sticker shock if you’re not ready for it.

Here’s one key thing to remember: Jessica Patton of Brian and Jessica Photography (Barto, PA) says “The images you receive after the wedding are memories that you will treasure forever, in turn making them priceless”

We couldn’t agree more. But there is also a REASON that wedding photography costs what it does, and trust us, when you break it down, it’s a bargain. Jessica also says that “your photographer probably spends 40+ hours after the wedding on your images” and that’s not counting all the hours before and during your wedding. Jeni Green of Jennifer Green Photography (Lehigh Valley, PA) adds that “there is so much preparation and wrap up the we do that clients never see”. And remember that you’re not supposed to see it. A great wedding photographer will make working with them seem easy and fluid. That all comes with a price and one that is VERY well worth it when you’re busy planning a wedding and trying to have a personal life.

2“There’s not much of a difference between a professional and someone who has a really nice DSLR camera.”

In the wedding world, we call him “Uncle Bob”. It’s that family member that tells you they’d be happy to shoot your wedding as a gift to you with their brand new DSLR camera they just got for Christmas. (A DSLR camera is a “digital single-lens reflex” camera which basically means expensive, lots of buttons, and a GREAT piece of equipment in the right hands. Digital means that it doesn’t use film like the cameras our parents used to use when we were tots.)

So, Uncle Bob is free. He’s got the camera, he must be able to use it. Because, how hard can it be?

Well, we took the challenge of learning the BASICS of a DSLR camera last Summer (thanks to Michael!!). After several hours of playing, adjusting, learning settings, what ISO does, and so on – we were able to take an almost decent picture. It wasn’t great. It took us a lot of tries and tweaking to get it, but we were proud of it. After the fact, we could NOT imagine what it would be like on a wedding day where a million things are happening at once. Lighting is changing, you’re working within a set timeline, you’re dealing with slightly to absurdly intoxicated subjects, and all the while you’re having to remember a handful of different settings that matter a LOT in capturing that perfect moment you see all over Pinterest and the wedding blogs.

Now, that’s not to say that every shot your wedding photographer will snag is going to be perfect. But a professional photographer knows their equipment so well that their adjustments happen quickly and often without much thought. They are focused 100% on you and not trying to figure out what that green button does on the back of the camera.

THAT is the biggest difference between a pro and Uncle Bob.

On top of that, a professional will know how to plan your day with regards to photos. They’ll help you through the day as it’s happening. And you won’t have to worry about keeping them away from the bar all night.

Finally, a pro will know what to do with the photos after the wedding is over. They will know how to edit them in a timeless way (no crazy Instagram filters), they’ll know how to put together an INCREDIBLE album that makes you tear up just a bit each time you glance at it (which is every day for a month or two after you receive it) and they’ll keep your files available for a designated period of time, just in case.

3“We don’t need an album right now.” Often followed by “We can always get one later on.”

Deciding on whether or not you should get an album before you even have your pictures taken can sometimes feel a little disconnected. We get it. And couples do choose not to get an album or maybe think that they’ll possibly order one a few years down the line. Trust us when we say to GET AN ALBUM.

Clay of Clay Toporski Photography (Lehigh Valley) says “an album provides one of the best heirlooms you can pass down through the generations of family your marriage may produce. Digital files will get corrupted and get lost. An album is a piece of artwork that will last much much longer.” 

Think of all those photos just sitting in your phone and computer. Now think of those photo albums we have from our teenage years. Aren’t those amazing? And wouldn’t we be really screwed if those were all sitting on a 3.5″ floppy somewhere in our parents’ basements? Invest in an album. Those are memories you’re going to want to re-live and treasure forever (4ever!!).

4“We don’t need to leave that much time for photos.”

While photos are not the whole point of the day, it’s very easy to underestimate how much time you’ll need for everything that’s happening. DPNAK clients get the benefit of having us work with them to create a seamless, logical and practical timeline of their day, but if you’re attacking your wedding day timeline solo, the amount of time you’re leaving for photos probably needs to be increased.

Even if you “don’t want a lot of posed pictures”, chances are you’re still going to do a few family formals. Michael of Michael Pangilinan Photography (Quakertown, PA) says “some couples think that family photos take 10-15 minutes, when in actuality formal family photos typically take 30-45 minutes depending on the size of your family.” …and that’s IF everyone is there on time or promptly stays as asked after your ceremony. A good rule of thumb we use is 3 minutes for every photo combination.

Plus, Jim Lentz (Scranton, PA) warns about a larger bridal party. While it’s great to have a big support system, it’s important to keep in mind that a larger wedding party means more people to herd around and gather for photos, which takes time – a LOT of time. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t have a large wedding party (“large” typically means more than eight people or so on each side) BUT you should keep that factor in mind when you’re deciding who will be included.

All in all, the more time you leave for photos means the less you’ll be rushing through the day. If you leave in “wiggle room” during photo time, you can give yourselves breaks throughout the day to refresh, (PEE), and relax – which you will be VERY grateful for on your wedding day.

By the way, we HAD to share this shot.

Stellar wedding photo by Daniel Moyer Photography

This is the result of the featured photo you see above by Daniel Moyer Photography.

For the photographers, what are some other “myths” you’ve heard and want to tell the truth on? Leave a comment below.

For couples, have you heard other “truths” that you want clarified? Send us a tweet @dpnak and we’ll let you know our thoughts!