How to Choose the Right Photographer Package for Your Beach Wedding

How to Choose the Right Photographer Package for Your Beach Wedding

Choosing a photographer for a beach wedding requires some research and attention to detail. You will want to ensure you find the right person or team to capture your big day exactly how you want it and within your budget. Photography is an important part of your wedding because you will cherish these photos for years to come.

After the whirlwind of the ceremony and reception, you’ll appreciate having images to look back on that help you remember all the special moments. Explore everything you’ll need to consider when deciding on the best photographer package for your beach nuptials.

What Do Wedding Photography Packages Typically Involve?

Paying close attention to what different photography packages include can save you from a lot of disappointment and frustration. By sorting out all the details, you can learn exactly what the package consists of and you’ll be able to pick the best option for you and your significant other.

Photographers offer multiple different packages to accommodate their customers’ budgets and needs. Each tier has a different variation of services and deliverables. Common elements of these packages include the following:

  • Coverage: The photographer’s rate and the number of hours they will work during the wedding day.
  • Second photographers: Some photographers bring along an assistant or second photographer to capture more of your event. Additional photographers will likely mean a higher price point.
  • Editing: You may want your wedding pictures edited for aesthetics, or you may want small details photoshopped.
  • Travel: If you’re having a destination wedding or using a photographer who lives in another city, transportation and travel fees may be part of the package.
  • Other sessions: Some packages will include additional photo sessions, such as an engagement shoot.
  • Prints: The pictures are the most important factor to consider when choosing a package. Do you want paper copies? A photo album? Make sure to choose a package with the type of photo deliverables you want.
  • Digital copies: In addition to physical photos, you may also want digital copies on a hard drive on the wedding website.

Consider what elements are most important to you and your fiance. All of these factors will contribute to your costs. An example of a wedding photography package could include:

  • Eight hours of coverage
  • A second photographer
  • Editing
  • Travel fees
  • A photo album with no printing rights

Special Considerations for Choosing Wedding Photography Packages

Before deciding on a photography package, it is important to recognize that any contracts you sign will determine how you can use the images. According to American copyright laws established in 1988, the individual who takes a photograph is the rightful owner of that image, meaning they hold the right to do the following:

  • Share the image publicly
  • Distribute the image
  • Reproduce the image
  • Make new versions of the image

If you do not pay close attention to the contact, you could find yourself in a sticky situation. Be sure to ask your photographer exactly how you’ll be able to use the images in the future, so you’re not caught off guard by additional fees or legal action.

Another important consideration is choosing add-ons to your package. Some photographers will allow you to add a bonus hour or photo session to ensure you get images of everything you want for your big day.

How Many Hours of Wedding Photography Coverage Will I Need?

Every wedding is unique. How many hours of photography coverage you’ll need will depend on a few factors, such as your budget and wedding timeline. You will also want to consider what types of images you want and if capturing them will take additional time.

Explore common wedding photography coverage options and what they could include:

6 Hours

Six hours is the minimum amount of time you should book your wedding photographer. In this time, they will be able to capture the most important shots of your ceremony and reception.

If you want to capture early moments like getting ready or later moments like the last family members on the dance floor, you’ll likely need longer coverage.

Six hours is the most budget-friendly option, but it also means you’ll likely have fewer images to look back on down the road.

8 Hours

For couples looking for a photographer to capture the most important moments from their wedding day, eight hours is often plenty of coverage.

This is the average amount of time you should book to ensure you document the best parts of the day. In eight hours, the photographer can shoot highlights of everything, starting with the wedding party getting ready and ending with people hitting the dance floor at the reception.

10 Hours

If you want to maximize your wedding photography and capture as many of the bittersweet moments from your big day as possible, you’ll probably want to book 10 hours of coverage.

In 10 hours, a photographer can shoot all the major events of the day, including the following:

  • Getting ready: This could include shots of the people in your wedding party and pictures of the couple getting hair and makeup done.
  • Detail shots: The photographer can capture images of the smaller details like your invitations or rings.
  • First look: The sweet moment the couple sees each other in their wedding attire for the first time.
  • Ceremony: From walking down the aisle to the first kiss, photographers can capture it all.
  • Family and couple shots: If you have enough time to spare, getting photographs with your family and your significant other around your venue is very special.
  • Reception: Photos from the reception are often some of the most meaningful because they feature the couple’s closest friends and family members dancing and having fun.
  • Grand exit: If you want to secure professional photographs of your grand exit, plan on at least 10 hours of coverage to ensure the photographer is there when it’s time to drive off into marital bliss.

What Does a Typical Wedding Photography Package Cost?

Photography costs usually make up about 15% of the total budget for the wedding. The price of the photography package you choose will depend on a few key factors, such as:

  • Hours of coverage: The amount of time you book the photographer for makes up a major portion of their fees. Some people work on a fixed hourly rate.
  • Time spent editing: Hundreds and sometimes thousands of photos are shot during a wedding day. The photographer must sift through these for the best images and spend time editing them to perfection.
  • Camera equipment and gear: Photography businesses spend a lot of money on their equipment. As a customer, you’ll pay for the quality of the gear and the photographer’s ability to take stunning photos with it.
  • Assistants: If your photographer uses assistants or a second camera person, this may contribute to the package price.
  • Transportation: When you book a photographer who is located away from your venue, you may have to cover transportation fees.
  • Level of expertise: You’ll also be paying for the experience and know-how of your photographer.

Do not overlook how expertise impacts the prices of these packages. Explore the different skill levels and average costs:

  • Student: A student studying photography may charge between $500 and $1,500 for wedding shots.
  • Amateur: Someone at the beginning of their professional photography career could be considered an amateur and charge somewhere around $1,000 to $2,500.
  • Professional: If a photographer has years of experience and runs their own business, they could charge between $2,500 and $10,000 for a wedding day package.
  • Master: The most skilled photographers have the highest prices and typically average a minimum of about $6,000 to shoot an event.

In 2021, couples spent an average of $2,500 on their wedding photographer.

How to Save Money on Wedding Photography

Weddings can be very expensive so finding ways to save money is very beneficial for couples. Consider the following things you can do to spend less on photography while still capturing the most important moments from the special day:

Ask Questions

One of the easiest ways to save photography costs is by being upfront with prospective photographers. Ask them about the details of the packages they offer. You can avoid unexpected fees by reviewing every component and getting to know your options really well before choosing.

Choose a Photographer Near Your Venue

When hiring a photographer from another city, you may be responsible for the costs associated with their transportation. Skip these costs by hiring someone who doesn’t need to travel. Instead, find local talent that can easily get to your venue.

Utilize Student Photographers

Another way you can save money on your wedding photography is by hiring students. They tend to have lower rates and are often willing to stay longer at your event to capture more images for their portfolios. In some cases, you can hire multiple students for the price of one professional.

Limit Your Coverage and Quantity

If you want to tighten your wedding photography budget, consider shortening the hours of coverage your photographer will work. As long as someone is there to capture your most treasured moments, you and your significant other will still have plenty of beautiful images to look back on.

Go With a Solo Photographer

When booking your photographer, go with options that include only one person shooting the photos. Having multiple photographers or photography assistants for your nuptials can mean higher fees.

Hire an individual who does not work with a crew if you want to save some money on your wedding pictures.

Book Early

You can sometimes save a little bit of money by booking your wedding photographer early. Some people offer discounts for customers who hire so many months in advance. This can be an easy way to tighten your budget while still getting the photographer of your dreams.

Ask for a Personal Use Release

Couples who ask for a personal use release for their wedding photos can save a significant amount of money. Since photographers generally own the copyright of images they take, they are the ones who can create prints or use the pictures online. If you agree to a personal use release, you can have the right to print your own images or share them online without having to pay extra.

Use a Designated Hashtag

You can also ask your guests to take photos throughout your wedding day and use a special hashtag to keep track of everything they post. To save some expenses, you could shorten your photographer’s coverage and supplement it with photos taken by friends and family. You could also ask everyone to kindly send over any great pictures they took during the big day.

Include Photography on Your Registry

A creative way to save money on your wedding photography is by adding it to your registry. Your guests can choose to contribute to your photography fund, or a generous family member or friend may offer to pay for the photographer for you.

How Do You Know You’ve Found the Right Beach Wedding Photographer?

Getting married is one of the most significant and special days of your life. You’ll want to ensure you’ve chosen the right photographer and package to capture this important day. Explore three steps you can take to help you determine whether a photographer is right for your wedding.

1. Identify the Photography Style You Want

When choosing a photographer, it will be much easier if you enter the search with an understanding of what style of photography you want for your big day. Go online and get inspiration from multiple wedding resources. Explore the following different styles and choose one that suits the two of you as a couple:

  • Classic
  • Candid
  • Dark
  • Aerial
  • Editorial
  • Fine art
  • Black and white

Once you get a feel for which aesthetic you want to go with, you can start seeking out photographers with experience capturing that style.

2. Interview Several Potential Photographers

You do not have to hire the first photographer you meet with. Instead, shop around a little and find the right fit for your photography goals. Ask lots of questions about their process and what kinds of images you want them to capture. Speak openly about your budget and ask them about their fees.

One of the most important things to remember is to ask to see their portfolio. You may want to specifically seek out beach wedding photographers who have experience shooting with the sea breeze and beach-goers in the background.

3. Schedule a Test Run

Once you’ve narrowed down your pick, consider asking them to schedule a test run. You can work out tons of hiccups and really get to know how the photographer works by having them shoot your engagement photos or images for your invitations.

A test run will either give you confidence in your photographer or will save you a lot of heartbreak if you find they are not the right fit.

Find Beach Photographer Packages in Ocean City, New Jersey

If you’re planning to get married in Ocean City, New Jersey, you are probably searching for a beach photographer package that suits your budget and goals.

The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce can help you with planning your nuptials, including finding the right local photographer, florist and DJ. Contact us today to learn more about wedding photographers and videographers in Ocean City, New Jersey.

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