Post # 1
Ok bees, I’ve officially decided that I will not be going with the photographers that I’ve already booked, The Pros, because of such bad reviews and things other bees have said. So now I’m on the search for another photog and have heard other bees mentioning Craigslist. I’ve come across alot of young photographers trying to get their feet wet and their prices are great. Just wondering if any other bees in my area have used or have contracted with a photographer off Craiglist.
Post # 3
I say that with craigslist, you do get what you pay for.
Most of them look like crap, but they don’t cost much either 🙂
If you have the budget, why not go look at better listings like wpja.com
Post # 4
I am not from the Dallas area but I did find my photographer from Craigslist. I absolutely loved her style but she is new to wedding photography and was looking to build her portfolio. She has 8+ plus weddings to photograph before mine and is very open to suggestions. She and I got along from the get-go and communicate frequently. My wedding is not until May.
I say, do your due diligence. Talk to the photographer, research their style, and see if you get along with them. Many who post on Craigslist have been in the business for years and are only using Craigslist as another avenue to promote their company. Others, like mine, are looking to build their portfolio. It’s worth a shot.
Post # 5
I had a great turnout with my craiglist photog… and my pictures dont look like crap!
My photog has been doing photography for a long time, just doesn’t do it full-time. He has a fulltime job just enjoys taking pictures so does it as a hobby. We didn’t pay a arm and a leg but our pictures came out wonderful
Post # 6
I’m down in Austin, and we found our photographer on craigslist. A TON of photogs use that site–the prices ranged from $500 to $5000. Many of those advertisements were from well known photographers in the area. Our photographer is about 200 miles away and she advertised in the Austin craigslist–I would have never found her otherwise. We are paying around $2500 for 8 hours of coverage on the wedding day. If you want her name, PM me–I don’t think she charges travel fees to Dallas.
Post # 7
We lucked out on our photographers that we found on Craigslist. They were a couple of guys who are just starting out in the business. We actually got our engagement session for free and a great deal on our wedding photography.
I’d say do an engagement session with the photographer(s) you choose first before booking them for the wedding. That way you can see their work in person. Here’s a link to our engagement session. 😀
Post # 8
I don’t get the “You get what you pay for” crap. There are a lot of students or self learners who are out there and awesome and don’t have packages that start at $3000 because they are portfolio building. EVERYONE has to start somewhere.
We will probably post an ad on Craigslist looking for two or three photographers who are portfolio building and ask to trade our graphic design/web development services for their photography services. It will probably break even. The cost of designing a website usually equals out to the cost of photography.
Post # 9
I had amazing luck with craigslist! I looked on craigslist for my 2nd photog. He did an amazing job & I only paid $150 & I’m going to pay him more because he totally deserves it. If they are new to wedding photography, look at their family pics & couples pics. Are they blurry? Are they dark? Are there “grainy” dots in it? Can you see details in the whites?
Here are reasons why there are cheap craigslist photographers:
1. have little to no experience & are pretty bad at photography & wanting to get better.
2. have experience, are good, but want more experience so they can pursue photography as a career. EVERYONE starts somewhere, even the pros had their first weddings, starting from scratch.
3. got a fancy camera as a gift, or self-bought & want to make money from it
4. are good photographers but don’t have the $$ for a website/advertising
5. are good photogs & wanting to compete in the craigslist market since so many people use it.
There’s probably other reasons too, but this is just what comes to mind. How do you tell the good from the bad? Look at their portfolio. Make sure you sign a contract & read over it before signing.
Sometimes you do “get what you pay for”, sometimes you don’t. The majority of craigslist photographers are not as good as pros. Its not always the case thou, there are amazing photographers who seem to just be “natural photographers”. If photography is really important to you, its best to go with a pro, they know what they’re doing, they know their camera & settings.
Post # 10
I was really impressed by alot of the ones that I saw. Most of them seem to be starting out and was looking to build their portfolio. I’m certainly going to make sure I meet with them in person and make sure I’m comfortable.
Thanks to everyone for your ideas and input. I’m feeling a little more hopeful now. I may not have to use my 3 and 6 year old to take pics after all!
Post # 11
@canthugallcats: Those are really good things to think about. Thanks! I was a little afraid at first because the prices were so affordable and the photos actually looked really professional. I’m going to contact a few and make appointments for next month when my FI comes home from Iraq to meet with them. I’ve used Craigslist a couple of times and had really good experiences so hopefully this will be yet another one.
Post # 12
Well it seems that we don’t exactly all “get what we pay for” because we also found out photographer on Craigslist and she is AMAZING.
When we first found her we understood she did this on the side, maybe once a month. We decided to have our e-pics done by her (in Feb), they came out awesome. During this time she added me to her Facebook and website so we could continue to check out her work…and time and time again she does fantastic work. We haven’t received our wedding pics back yet but I know they will be amazing.
Don’t be so quick to dismiss someone because they’re from Craigslist. We were very lucky to find someone so awesome. About 2 weeks before our wedding she opened her own studio, while also working full time. She obviously is GREAT at what she does!
Post # 13
I posted an ad in craigslist, and got about 50 responses. Out of those, probably 2 were acceptable (although overpriced for their quality), the rest were junk. I got plenty of “I’ll shoot it for free or $100” and I guess if you don’t have the budget then you do what you have to.
One thing I noticed is that some of them had great posed shots in their portfolio, but when I asked for images of reception/ceremony, they were crap. So I guess if you give them enough time and re-dos to do the posed shots they are good, but no so good when you need them to caputure things on the fly, which I consider the main thing when I hire a photographer to shoot my wedding.
Maybe it is because I am a photo editor and I’m picky when it comes to photos. But you show me 20 photographers from craigslist and I can tell you what’s wrong with the images from 19 of em.
I am spending enough money on my wedding already, don’t need to skimp on a photographer for one that is “building his portfolio” and then at the end of the day have missed moments because he wasn’t used to shooting weddings.
I have read enough brides crying on how their wedding pictures came out bad, and then when you ask how much they spent on the photographer they say “Oh it was free, or I got it in craigslist for $500”.
You do ocassionally get a good photographer for cheap in craigslist, but I do believe that is more of an exception than the norm, and I don’t feel like gambling on my wedding day.
But at the end of the day, photos are a subjective thing, so if you like yours, then that is all that matters.
Post # 14
I’m a craigslist photographer mostly because I’m just starting out part time and my website gets a ton of traffic from CL. I agree some photographers on craigslist are a crap shoot, but there are two other really great ones in my area (I’m proud of the product I present clients with).
And it’s not a “you get what you pay for..” it’s more like: I’m pretty new only having shot 10 weddings, my prices will be lower than seasonal professionals until my clientele list grows and I have a larger portfolio.
As a bride, you have to ask to see a photographers portfolio. If the images are blurry or sub par- don’t go with that photographer. If you like the 200+ edited photos this photographer has presented his or her couple with (usually you can get a link to an online gallery), hire that photographer. It’s up to you as a bride to do your research.
Post # 15
Well seconding Wanderer’s words, but if you do find a craigslist shooter, do some mini sessions with them before the wedding. It is a big hit or miss finding a decent to good photographers on craigslist.
I know that I did some mini sessions from craigslist back when I was thinking about shooting for real.
Post # 16
@TedNghiem: I think this is a FANTASTIC suggestion for brides if they MUST consider a CL photog. Nice thinking Ted! I would ask about booking just an engagement session with one of these photogs and then if you like the pics consider going for the wedding 🙂