Prep - Photography/Videography Packages

11:26:00 PM

Shortlisting Photographers and Videographers are made much easier with the help of Facebook and Instagram. Just by scrolling down your timeline, you're able to view the works put up by photographers or friends who have uploaded their wedding images and tagged the photographer who had snapped the pictures. So by right, you can actually start shortlisting ones that you like as early as you want, so that when the time comes for your wedding preparations, you can just email them for quotations.

But what do you have to compare when you are putting all these services side-by-side? Of course their rate cards would differ, and ultimately they all have a different style. Also, do you need them for both your pre-wedding photo shoot and actual day wedding?

Here is a list of points that you can consider before you make the final decision:

1) Budget

Without a doubt, you need to set a budget for this. Be prepared to set aside a budget of between $3,500 - $8,000 for both photography and videography services. And if you're intending to engage them for your pre-wedding photo shoot as well, you might want to increase your budget.

There may be several companies who charge below this rate but... you might want to first do up a simple Google check or forum check if there are any reviews or negative feedback. One of the reasons why their rates might be cheaper could be because they have just started the business and these promotional rates will help to attract more customers.

Honestly speaking, other than doing your own research online, word-of-mouth is another fast and safe way because you get honest feedback from your friends and relatives (erm... unless they are evil plans of ruining your wedding day. Haha). So if they have good recommendations, it will help to cut down your time spent on research, and sometimes, you might even get a referral discount ✌.

2) Hours

The norm for most companies would be between 4 - 10 hours for their packages. While requesting for a quotation, do list down a summary of your wedding day timeline (e.g. Kindly quote your rates for make-up and preparation at home + church wedding + tea ceremony + dinner banquet) and get them to recommend which package would suit you.

Do note that the hours do not include their rest time in between your events, don't worry! So if you are intending to take a break between 1 - 6pm before your banquet, you can release the photographers and videographers from their duties and these 5 hours should not be included in the package.

* Check out the rate for additional hours too, just in case your wedding overruns and you still want them to stay behind to take more photos (usually an extra $100 - 300 per hour).
** Most of them charge extra for any early morning coverage before 6.30am, more applicable for couples doing a gatecrash (usually an extra $50 - 100 per hour or a flat rate per service).
*** Split-day charges apply (most of the time) if you are having your ROM / Church wedding on a different day than your wedding banquet (usually an extra $300 - 500)

3) No. of Crew

The package would include 1 crew and if you'd like to engage 1 more photographer / videographer, do check what is the rate for an additional photographer / videographer per hour (usually an extra $100 - $300 per hour).

We had also done our research on engaging an overseas photography team and while their rates were quite reasonable, slightly cheaper than doing it locally, it would be so costly to fly the team over because their norm for a full day wedding is 4 photographers and 3 videographers. No wonder their works are so awesome. Then again, that is a big price to pay and a huge risk to take if they do not get on the plane here in the end.

4) Morning highlights / Same Day Edits

If you are intending to show your guests what went on in the morning (e.g. gatecrash / church wedding / solemnization etc.) during your wedding dinner, you can request for them to prepare the morning photos or a summarized video (more commonly known as morning highlights / SDE Same Day Edits) by dinner time. For express highlights (photo), it will usually be an extra $350 - 500 and for same day edit (video), usually an extra $500 - 700 charged.

Kindly note that you will be required to give them around 5 - 6 hours of break time in the afternoon for the edits.

5) Pre-wedding photo shoot

The more convenient way to get your pre-wedding photos taken would be to take up a package from the Bridal Shop (that is if you're intending to rent your bridal gowns for your wedding). Most shops would package it in a more attractive way so that you would engage them not only for your actual day wedding rental services, but also to take some pre-wed photos to display in the albums on your wedding day.

From our comparison of 5 bridal shops so far, 5 out of 5 shops would charge $XXXX amount for just rental of outfits for Actual Day Wedding, and then $XXXX + $1000 and they would cover all that you need for your Pre-wedding photo album (e.g. Photographer, 4 outdoor shooting locations, 4 gowns and 2 suits, XX number of poses place in your album etc.).

If you're intending to do a more casual photo shoot wearing outfits taken from your personal wardrobe, it might be more worth it to engage an external photographer to do the job as some of them charge a per hour rate. However, unlike the bridal shops, not all photography companies would provide an album for free so do check what are the additional rates for that as well!

6) Additional Perks / Combo

Like how they package your chicken meal with fries and drinks at a fast food joints, it goes quite the same for these wedding photography/videography packages. Some common "combo" rates to attract customers would be discounts for:

  • Pre-wedding + Actual Day photography or
  • Actual Day Photography + Videography Package or
  • Actual Day Photography + Photobooth services (so popular nowadays!) etc.
The discounts can be between $100 - 500 for signing up for multiple services from the same company (or at times, partnering companies). Hmm, $100 off isn't exactly that attractive nowadays, especially when you're forking out a few thousands for the services in the first place. 

Some other perks you could benefit from:

  • Referral discounts (which we believe that both you and the friend who referred you will benefit from, in some way or another)
  • Roadshow / Wedding Shows discounts (if they do set up their booths) 
  • Discounts or Contests on Social Media platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Forums

7) Lead Time,

which will be the time taken for your photos and video to be edited and returned to you after your wedding, WHICH... no company would actually include in their rate card, BECAUSE... during popular wedding months they can be so swarmed with snapping photo shoots and weddings, AND SO... they don't want to promise you how long they would take just in case. In other words, over promise and under deliver lah.

We've read on forums and also heard from friends that their photos and video were only returned to them about 5 months after their wedding. That's really a long wait! So please don't be afraid to list this down in your enquiries because it could be of some importance to you, to not want to wait too long for the images or video.

We won't be able to share the rates we have received from our research because, similar to wedding banquets (and fish prices at the wet market), it just keeps increasing over the years! But to get you started, it may be good to Google or to look through the following helpful websites for some links of photographers and videographers:

Because you're going to end up spending a lot of money on these services, it will be good to inform your guests that you will be having an "Unplugged wedding". Meaning, minimal camera taking during the entire wedding processions, so that the professional photographers and videographers can do their job. We've read an article, which has been circulating on Facebook these couple of days, on why it is so important to inform your guests in advance (Read here). Mainly because the flash from your guests' cameras might affect the photo quality of the professional photographer's photos, or the photographer might want to capture touching moments and expressions of your guests but unfortunately all that he sees is their camera blocking their faces. Haha. 

Ultimately the final decision would of course lie with whether you like the style and concept of the photographers because what you picture yourself to look like may not be the same as how a photographer picture you to be. As much as some photographers are really professional and experienced, you are the one who will be looking at these photographs for the rest of your lives and showing it to your children and grandchildren. You would want to feel proud showing off these pictures instead of complaining to your children how badly taken the photos were. 

Hope that this lengthy blogpost would help you in your preparations in searching for your wedding photographers and videographers! We will share (much later on) about who we engaged in the end :)

Signing out, the Geek and Nerd with full of Swaggg ✌.

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