Post # 1
We’re trying to do the impossible: get married in NYC for under $15000. My fiancé and I love throwing parties, but we’re paying for the wedding ourselves and don’t want get sucked into the wedding industrial-complex. We’ve been haggling up and down, but the wedding photographer has me stumped!
First, has anyone commissioned a photography student at Pratt/Columbia/NYU/Parsons? I figure they need to build their portfolio and can’t charge $4000 yet like other affordable people.
There’s also the idea where we just have guests take pictures with their own cameras, but that’s a last resort. It seems like a tacky recipe for a million drunk, out-of-focus pictures.
Any other ideas?
Post # 3
A couple ideas- It’s nearly impossible to haggle outright with a photographer on weddings. Weddings take a lot of time, expensive equipment, and know-how. I know it may seem like they are just shooting for a few hours, but then they go home and edit for 2 weeks, so it really is a time consuming job.
That said, you could always cut back on a couple areas, opt for one photographer instead of 2, hire 1 pro photographer for a fraction of the time (say the wedding ceremony itself, and bridal party pics) and then hire 2 or 3 students for the rest of the reception (and maybe even the prep photos), or hire a pro for just 4 hours instead of 8.
I would be cautious about hiring budding photographers for weddings, unless they have specific event experience. The equipment needed is more expensive and people starting out don’t always have that (lenses, mostly, and flashes).
Post # 4
Hmmm. Honestly, this is the one place in my budget that i’d splurge, if I were you. Photogs aren’t (for the most part) all wedding-industry-complexed. Most are individuals who own their own business, and don’t make that much after all is said and done. When you consider that most (good) photogs spend over 40 hours dealing with anindividual wedding, and have to pay sales tax, business tax, income tax, plus pay for their websites, fancy computers, expensive software, tens of thousands in equipment, second shooters, professional memberships, and private health care, this is really one aspect of weddings that I would recommend actually paying a decent wage for.
I also wholeheartedly support helping a student grow their portfolio – that’s a great cause to contribute to. But other avenues, such as hiring a real amateur, will really leave you disappointed. And I can’t warn you off of having only your guests take photos enough. You’ll be really disappointed!
Post # 5
Good points, thank you! They give me perspective. I absolutely agree that photographers cost so much for a reason. I’ve become really skeptical about baseline prices because of the dreadful “wedding mark-up” (which is especially bad in NYC) and have for the most part tried to find ways to save money when it’s ethical and feasible. This is why I don’t want to haggle with a professional who’s just trying to do his/her job, and I know how insulting it is to hear a customer complain that you’re ripping them off when they have no idea how hard your job is and what the overhead costs.
I’m leaning towards the idea of getting a student photographer simply because it’s more mutually beneficial – we get a lower rate, they get shots for their portfolio and experience with weddings. Should I just put an ad on a college bulletin board? Because that seems sort of sketchy. I’m thinking of emailing professors of photography classes (esp classes that teach commercial/event photography) to see if they could email students, but that might be expecting a lot out of overworked professors!
Post # 6
Craigslist is a good place to find budding photograpers, just be sure they have a good portfolio and can answer your questions intellegently.