Anyone Chose NOT to Use a Professional Photographer? Help me decide!

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
Member
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

How about this as a compromise: why don’t you hire a photographer for a portrait session the day after your wedding?  Basically, an engagement session in your wedding clothes?  It sounds like that would be more enticing for the vendor and budget friendly for you?

Post # 4
Member
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

engagedsagebrush:  Sometimes it helps to look beyond the traditional wedding photographers. For instance, we got married in one of the more expensive areas of the country, but we paid $800 for 5 hours of photography because we found a guy who runs a photography business on the side of his day job. Without all of the overhead associated with a studio, assistants, etc., an unconventional photographer can be much cheaper. He also gave us a free engagement photo shoot, which was a nice way to assess the style and quality, especially since it could be seen by some as “risky” to go with an untraditional/less established photographer. It worked well for us because (a) we were not very picky about photos and (b) the guy actually turned out to be super talented.

It sounds like the actual town of your wedding is pretty limited in terms of options, but maybe there are more flexible folks in the larger city a couple hours away? 

Post # 5
Member
577 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Have you tried looking for amateur photographers or art students? I had the same kind of wedding and the same photography needs as you, and I found a photographer on Craigslist, I believe. We got a couple hours of photography on the wedding day, plus an engagement session and the digital rights for something like $700. She was good, not quite professional level, but better than someone with no in-depth photography knowledge. We got a good number of photos but not too many, and without heavy editing which is what I wanted. 

My best friend is actually a great photographer and I could have asked her to do the photos. But I wanted her to be able to enjoy the wedding and not have to watch the ceremony through a camera lens. After all, the point of having such a small wedding is to share the day with only your closest family and friends.

Post # 6
Member
772 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I felt the same way as you, so I put an ad on craigslist. I wrote, “I have $500 for a wedding photographer, send me a link to your portfolio and what you can offer for that amount.” I had over 40 responses, and the photographer I chose was great. For that $500, he offered an engagement shoot and 10 hours of wedding-day coverage with a second shooter. I am very happy with the photos and was actually surprised by how glad I was to have a photographer when I originally just cared about “1 or 2 shots.”

Post # 7
Member
2132 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

The thing is that photographers can only do one wedding a day.  Why would a well established photographer take a few hours of work and not much pay when he could make a lot more money shooting for 6 hours at someone else’s wedding.  Unless your wedding happens to be in the middle of the week, I would either have a friend do or look for a phtography student from a local college of something

Post # 10
Member
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Don’t go with amateur, SERIOUSLY!  You’re better off shooting it yourself with an iphone.  Get your friends and family to photograph candids from their seats and pay for a quality portrait session with an awesome photographer the day after.  It’ll run you max $750 depending your market (though you can usually get a fantastic photographer to shoot a portrait session for around $400).

 

Good luck!

Post # 11
Member
695 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Well, I used to be a professional photographer.  I did some weddings but mostly model portfolios.  Anyway, yes the price of wedding photographers is very high.  I would tend to lean towards handing people some store bought plastic cameras.  Attach a note saying something like:  There can never be to many people taking pictures of the bride and the groom.”  To be safe I would totally take a trip down to the communicty college in your area to the ‘art/ photography” department.  Put up an ad to interview some people to let them take photos at your wedding.  Even the university has a photography department.  Walk up to the photo lab and hang some flyers or talk to some photo teachers to see if they know anyone interested.  If you do this your going to get what your going to get – but – be open and enjoy the ‘journalistic’ style you end up with.  Taking large portrait shots is a whole other thing that students won’t have the equiptment or the knowledge how to do.  I never wanted portraits at my wedding so it would never bother me.  Do draw up some kind of simple contract no matter what you end up doing with money paid and whats expected.  Allow the students to use the images in their portfolio or website.  Its hard to build up good work when your just starting.

Post # 12
Member
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2000

engagedsagebrush:  My husband and I eloped. Like, eloped, not “eloped”. We found witnesses on the day. One of the witnesses just happened to ask if we wanted photographs. It hadn’t really occured to us. We were too concerned with making sure our quick jaunt to another hemisphere would be legally valid. My hasband had brought a camera with us (neither of us had been to the Caribeean before) and this witness happily took it up and snapped away during the ceremony. She also drove us to a locals’ beach afterward and continued there. Not a single posed photo, not a single professional photo, but I wouldn’t change anything about it. They were free and capture what actually happened, not some image of perfection we’d like to pretend happened. They look like the amateur shots they are, but when you look at them, you just see two blissed out individuals, not a ‘photo shoot’. That being said, if this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach isn’t your bag (and I appreciate for most people it definitely isn’t), I agree that the craigslist idea is fantastic!

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