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Thank you, Gary Donihoo/ f8 Studio


If you have a prescription for anxiety medication, or if you know how to buy it on the street, I suggest you take some prior to discussing fees for photography and videography. Once you are reasonably sure you will not fling yourself from the highest building in sight (keeping in mind, it does no good to maim yourself- pick a tall one), discard notions of those cardboard-box cameras.

Photography is one aspect of the wedding industry that has become overwrought with amateurs. The advent of the digital camera has spurred every housewife and bored executive to purchase the finest equipment and plunge headlong into the wedding industry. It is called a wedding industry because a great deal of time and effort on the part of wedding professionals has served to create and maintain an ethical environment for the couples to function within. Now that it is being flooded with amateurs, the ethics are tepid at best. So, if ever it is more important to consider a hackneyed phrase, it is now – “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.” In your search for photographers, be wary of the ones who are extreme in either direction. Paying too little for photography may very well result in a disaster instead of wonderful lifelong images and paying too much might very well mean you are paying for a “name.”


It is reasonable to dedicate 10 percent of the budget to photography and videography. After all, the day after the blessed event, it will be what you are left with to continuously relive the most important day of your life (Clever Guys bring home flowers, wine and dinner on Valentine’s Day and most likely anniversaries so you can curl up and watch your video).

A side note: If someone else is paying for the wedding, make sure to maximize the offerings. Go with a nice large album with a couple hundred pictures, big portraits (so you don’t have to buy art for your walls later), HD video and Blu-ray. If you are covering the costs, secure a well respected photographer, and if cost is an issue, make sure you get a copy of the images and consider an album down the road.

Now, this is flying at 30,000 feet. There is so much you need to know about wedding photography and it is one area of the planning you do not want to leave to chance. I once had a bride not book me because I was too expensive. A year later she came to me with a CD of wedding images.

I was alarmed she had only enough images to fit on a CD- until I looked at them. There was no shortage of imagery- oh, no- he’d shot it to death. However, he’d set the camera incorrectly and the file size was not even big enough to make a wallet-sized photo. She cried. I tsk-tsked as best I could- wanted to rub her nose in it, but Clever Girls don’t ever say “I told you so.” I made her a nice little slide show for her iPod and sent her on her way.

I reminded her to tell all of her friends- somehow, in the wedding industry bad news doesn’t travel as fast as good news. I’ll never get it. There are so many shady people doing business out there and I will share some horror stories with you in the coming weeks- maybe I can scare you into NOT bargain shopping.

My brother said to me one day, “I heard wedding photographer is the number one overpaid job in the country.” I looked at him.

Hmm. What was the most important day of your life thus far?” His wife was careful to train an eye on him.

“My wedding day.” He responded, honestly, though reluctantly.

“Seems like a bargain then.”

OK, that’s it for me today. If you need more information on wedding planning ASAP, please go here. Consider me your wedding agent. E-mail me directly and I will get you started with some fantastic vendors in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tampa and Orlando. This advice is the last thing you get for free in the planning process.

I want to begin our Major League baseball series tomorrow. I’m really excited. Spring is in the air and I wish I were in Tiger Stadium, having a beer and taking in the cool breeze. Or, in Phoenix watching my Wings. Clever Girls- don’t forget, tonight kicks of the race for the Stanley Cup!!!

The comments on the kettlebell post are still pouring in. I’m so glad you all enjoyed it.