When I first started out doing photography and videography, I had barely gotten my driver's license. I was in high school, and I was slowly learning more ways to become a better "camera lady". One thing I started looking into was a camera stabilizer to help create smooth footage. I didn't want to spend much money (being 16 and all), so I looked for cheaper options. I had gotten my first stabilizer for $30-$40, and I was ready to use it! But, there was a problem. It didn't work very well. ... At all. A couple months go by and I end up buying another type of stabilizer, but I looked on the cheap side again. This one worked a bit better, but still wasn't good enough to actually use for filming. These stabilizers started collecting dust. I repeated this process another 2 times until I FINALLY grew up and learned I just needed to buy a good quality stabilizer. Which I did, and I use it all the time now and have been using it for years.
I would like to say my young self was naive, but I know I've made this mistake in other aspects of my life. "I need to save money, so I'll go for the cheapest option!" Works 100% of the time, right? If it has worked 100% of the time for you, how does it feel to be the chosen one? Because for the rest of us, we have learned the hard way that the lowest price doesn't typically match quality. And that my friends, is why going cheap may cost you more in the long run, and this will definitely happen in photography and video.
Would You Buy the Cheapest House?
You and your spouse talk about buying a new house for you and your kids. When you search for houses, do you want to buy the absolutely cheapest property you can find? It would save lots of money to buy this $25,000 house! Imagine all the savings you can put towards your kids' college funds! But, of course, the cheapest home comes with the biggest need for renovations. This house has broken windows, no AC units, the back door is ripped clean off, the roof is caving in, and the foundation hasn't been sitting right since 1972. That $25k home can quickly turn into a $250k home.
This can go the same way for your photography or video services.
Trying to find ways to cut costs during your business meeting? Just have a college intern come to create photo or video content for you. Looking for someone to take wedding photos but want the cheapest route? Ask Uncle Bob to take pictures, and you're good to go! Immediately you think you've saved a ton on expenses for these things. However, once your photos and videos come back to you (if they actually do), you'll come to find out the quality isn't what you expected.
Redos Dig Into Budgets and Time
Because the quality of the media didn't turn out the way you had hoped, it's back to square one. You have to start all over again, looking for someone else to redo that content for you. This quickly adds up on time and money, which could have been figured out from the very beginning. This disrupts the flow of projects for businesses, costing more on the employers and employees, when their focus should be elsewhere. And as for brides and grooms, you can't repeat the day you got married. You can mimic it with updated newlywed photos, but you won't have the same first kiss like you did at the altar.
Cheap Can Mean Inexperience
Though a smaller price tag can be nice to see, you may want to think twice about why it's lower. Lower costs for photographers and videographers typically mean they don't have as much experience as others in their field (though that's not always the case, depending on where they do business). My rule of thumb is that a price is equivalent to confidence and experience. Seasoned wedding photographers tend to have higher prices than those just starting out, because they understand the process and know what to do if a dilemma arises. Their price tag guarantees they won't mess up your wedding day, so you're able to rest easy and actually enjoy the celebration.
In conclusion, my suggestion would be to do your research to find what best fits you. The great thing about photography and videography is that there are so many people in these fields, that anyone can match your budget. Whether it's $50 to $50,000, you'll find someone that will work for you. But please keep in mind that if you go with the cheapest in the industry, there's a good chance you'll receive poor quality and inexperience.
Would you buy the cheapest house? No, more than likely not. So would you invest in the cheapest photographer?