Monday, October 6, 2008

The Old Quality vs. Quantity Value Dilemma

I've been struggling with this issue over the last week AT LEAST.  

I'm almost too embarrassed to write another photography post....but here's the update: the photographer I blogged about a few posts ago - W. Scott Chester Photography - booked our date a few weeks ago. I was totally devastated. Especially since when they got booked I was awaiting some answers from them on some questions I had sent - as soon as I heard back on those questions, as long as everything worked out, I as planning to book them. So yeah....that sucked. Bad. I guess there must be some other photographer out there for me then, right?!?

I've found two photographers that I'm closely considering. Number 1 is an associate photographer from the Our Labor of Love team. She seems pretty cool and she's been shooting weddings for awhile - although, she is just an associate photographer. Her pictures look good and i totally think she'd be capable of capturing the day and giving us some quality images. BUT...from looking through her "full wedding galleries" I can definitely tell that she's an associate photographer - just because there's some room for improvement. I mean she certainly gets some great shots, but there's also a lot of "filler" - know what i mean? Stuff that could just be tossed. Now, on there other hand Number 2 is a husband and wife team by the name of McLellan Studio and they are absolutely great. The photos are amazing. Their full wedding galleries are super impressive. They spend countless hours editing every single one of their photos to bring them to their fullest potential. They describe their style as chic, dramatic and edgy - to sum it up it's fine art photography and they're badass

That brings us to the dilemma -  They are both about the same price-wise, BUT what you get for that price is totally different. On Number 1 you get the disc of images (basic editing), a 9x12 or 10x10 30 page album, 8 hours of shooting time, travel included and the print prices are typical ($10 for 4x6 and it goes up from there respectively). With Number 2 you get 7 hours of shooting time, an engagement session (good time to get to know the photographer before the wedding!) and all images "artfully edited" - but you don't get the disc of have to purchase that if you want it and it's super expensive. Also, their print prices are a good deal more ($25 for a 4x6). On the plus side...all of their albums are custom made - in other words there's no template or no limit of choices you have on which album you get. They create it from the ground up just for you. Also - you have NO TIME LIMIT for ordering your pictures or your albums. If in 5 years Mark and I decide we want to order an album then we can order it then. Same for prints. They also have a "gift registry" for the pictures so people can purchase like a $50 gift certificate (basically) for you from the photographer and we could put that towards whatever we wanted - prints, album, disc of images...whatever. The gift registry is through the personal website that they'll create for our online image gallery. 

So...obviously with Number 1 I'll get very good photography, an album and a disc of images that i can print from whenever I'd like. With Number 2 I'll get awesome photography and unlimited time to order products, but no physical pieces upfront. 

What's a girl to do?!? 

Also - I've been told I'm being compulsive (by my mother and my fiance), and i know i probably am...but this is super important. I know to some people it's just wedding photography, but i can be quite sentimental (my zodiac sign is Cancer afterall!) and i really do think it will be one of the most valuable things to me that i will own and something that we can pass down in our family for a long time. As far as Mark's opinion - he agrees with me on the quality of Number 2 and thinks either one is way too much money to spend (and in theory i agree - unfortunately that's just what photographers cost and there's no getting around that). Other than that insight he doesn't have much to say on the subject - although he did say to just book the one i like. Opinions? Suggestions? Advice? 


Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not sure how much help I'll be, but I'll give my opinion. The pictures are the only thing you will have forever from your wedding--well at least the most important thing, besides the marriage, of course. So it's important to have good photos. My pictures weren't great, artistic pictures, but they're not horrible. There are definitely some pictures I wish we had gotten or that were taking differently. But there are enough good ones that make me happy. I'm glad that we have the pictures, but honestly, our album is under the end table in a box. I have probably looked at it maybe 5 or 6 times over the past year. We have a collage of 7 pictures in one frame and another frame w/ 1 picture. I wanted a big portrait of us to put over a mantle when we get a house, but after buying everything else, I didn't want to spend the 400 or 500 to get another picture. In my opinion, I think if the first choice is good enough, go with her. Yea, there'll be some pictures to delete, but if she takes enough, there should be plenty to choose from. I know the album we got was supposed to be about $1000-2000. And after spending a couple of thousand for the photographer, I wouldn't be willing to spend that much more just to have a book of it and i dont think you will after its all over. It's a great idea having the option of letting guests buy gift cards for it, but i dont know if our extended family would actually do it (we're kinda old fashion and all) but may be worth it if others will since you and mark already have a lot of the normal kitchen and house stuff. I also wanted a couple of 8x10s or 5x7s just to put in a few frames, but they were so expensive, i couldn't justify spending that much more for them (I didn't get a copywritten cd with mine either). And that was one thing I wish I had gotten!! A lot of the family wanted some pictures from the wedding, but they didnt want to have to pay for them and I also wasnt allow to email any pictures to anyone that wasn't able to make it. Since you have a while before the wedding, maybe you could meet with the photographer and tell her what you're wanting and she can work on those types of shots beforehand. In the long run, I think you'll be just as happy with number 1 than with some really great shots that you can't afford to put around your house or have in an album.

Heather said...

book number 2 and you can buy more pics over time-- you don't have to buy everything immediately. And you know mom and dad will probably buy some for themselves, and maybe a couple for you-- same for marks parents. If 2 is the one who you will ultimately be happier with, then book them.