Does a small (budget) wedding mean I have to settle on bad photography?

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
5460 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Have you looked into someone who is more “up and coming” and building their business?  We have a friend who does pro pics on the side and we hired her for pennies!  Well, lots of pennies, but anyway… We had great photos and they are professional quality, and they didn’t break the bank.

Ask around and get word of mouth suggestions and ask for references to make sure you’re getting someone with enough experience to meet your expectations.

Post # 4
5518 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

Try going to an art school and seeing if any juniors or seniors would be interesred in it.  I know several brides that have used students for their weddings with great results.  They get to use it in a devloping portfolio plus make some extra money and you’ll get wonderful photos.

Post # 5
328 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@sunshinesparkles:  We have a tight budget and talked to a photographer to get only 2 hours of photos for $600. They are shooting a wedding after ours and we will have plenty of time to do ceremony, family pics, cocktail and part of the reception photos because everything is in one location with a 20 minute ceremony. Check to see if a photographer may be able to do the same. Make a list of what you must have: entire ceremony, cake cutting, family photos, more candid options? See if someone can shoot yours for less time and cheaper, ours normal rate for 6 hours was 8K but since we decided to do an afternoon ceremony/reception with evening of activities afterwards they had no issue just stopping by before their evening wedding

Post # 6
78 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Speak to some of the pro-star photographers and find out if they ever send just their second shooter out for a job. These people will have worked with a more seasoned photographer and will have picked up some of their style etc.

Post # 7
303 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@sunshinesparkles:  I would kill to have a photographer for $1000! In my city, that’s a pipedream.  Do you have any community colleges in your town? You could contact one of the photography course instructors and see what contacts/students they could recommend. Could you put the word out to your friends that you’re looking for an amateur photog to see if they can recommend anyone? Amateur doesn’t mean bad – it just means they have less experience and are trying to build their portfolio.

Post # 8
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@sunshinesparkles:  I don’t want to get your hopes too high because it varies from area or area, BUT I chose someone we knew to do our photos, someone who isn’t a pro, but our pics turned out awesome. For $1K, I got the rehearsal dinner photographed, me getting ready, all my pro pics, reception, and two hours of dancing (which included the first dance, garter and bouquet toss). I got all the rights to the photos, and there was over 1500 of them.

However, if you are looking for a good, professional photographer, I am not sure you can get that for 1K. I wouldn’t say skimp, but see if maybe you COULD be happy with someone in art school or a semi-pro.

Post # 9
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

This is the reality – a professional photographer in most major metro areas is going to start in the $2500 range for limited coverage. Your wedding falls on a prime Saturday in the wedding season so odds are slim that you will be able to find an established pro willing to do it for any less than that. $1000 for an actual pro is unheard of for a Saturday – anyone you hire for that amount is either just starting out, or not good enough to command a more standard fee. That is the honest truth, and if you are hearing different I wouldn’t believe it. A professional is someone with skill, experience, professional grade equipment with a full set of backups, insurance, who operates a legitimate business. Does that mean you are doomed for bad photos? Not necessarily – it just depends on your luck in who you get and what your expectations are. You’ll probably get a ton of responses from bees who tell you that they are getting the moon for $1000, but since no one posts links to websites it’s very hard to quantify how great a deal any of them are really getting. In the photography world you can find someone to do anything on the cheap – that is the easy part. Actually loving their art is another matter.

Post # 10
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@sunshinesparkles:  We looked over listings on craigslist for photographers then we pulled up the ones that were in our price range (<$500) and had websites/blogs with entire weddings on them.  We found a great up and coming photographer within our price range for a four hour window.  She showed up an hour before the ceremony for getting ready pics and then left by the time that dinner was served.  We moved around our schedule so that our first dance and cake cutting happened before dinner to fit into our photography schedule.  Since booking her our photogapher’s price has tripled so it’s really about catching them when they’re still building their portfolio.

Post # 12
6785 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2014 - A castle!

@sunshinesparkles:  I used an approach where I put an ad on CL looking for a photographer and I named my own price. You’ll definitely have to wade through the weirdos and unprofessionals – there will be some. But ask that they reply with their portfolio. We ended up finding someone for our VERY small budget of $250 that will spend 2-3 hours with us and give us fully edited digitals. We skyped to discuss the contract (she’s close to our venue but far from our house).

Post # 13
4382 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We had a small budget as well. We found all day photography for less than $1000. My friend who planned her wedding in 6 weeks found a photographer for $500. Both of us were happy with the results. Hers took longer to get back because she was a part time photographer. Where are you located? Maybe people can recommend someone local. I agree with pp look for a starting student or someone establishing thier business 

Post # 14
474 posts
Helper bee

Absolutely not! You just have to do your research. It’s probably harder given your location.

We are paying $950 for 4 hours in San Francisco. Our wedding is taking place on a Tuesday, so we got a discount with that. Right now we’re still negotiating the amount of photos we’ll get back, but we’re expecting around 220+. All of them will be edited with high resolution and we have printing rights.

Our second choice was going to be a photographer that specialized more in travelling and fashion photography. Don’t be afraid think outside of the box. As long as you love their work you’ll be satisfied.

The #1 rated Photographer in SF is someone whose work I do not like. So just because certain photographers may be rated higher, with a higher price tag, doesn’t mean it’s going to gel with your taste.

Do your research. 

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