Post # 1
I know this has been talked about in length before, but I was wanting to get some outside opinions on my photographer dilemma.
I contacted a photographer who I absolutely love and have been following her blog for years. Her response is probably the best email I’ve gotten to date and she kept reiterating just how excited she was about the inquiry. She doesn’t even book this far in advance but wants to talk because she’s just so excited. The problem is, she’s quite a bit more expensive than I thought she was and I’ll have to pay travel to get her to my wedding. My wedding is both high season and Saturday, so the location is really the only thing going for me right now.
I think she is absolutely worth what she charges and I definitely don’t want to insult her, but I can’t afford her current packages. Ideally, I’d like to try to bring the cost down… it’s a tiny wedding so I’m hoping if I can reduce the hours (at her normal hourly rate) it’ll bring it into a price range I could figure out a way to afford. What is the best way to go about this? Should I tell her it’s out of my price range and see if she can work something out? I’m not looking for a discount “just because” and I know I will have to give something up, but aside from coverage hours, there’s not a lot from the base package I can cut.
Thanks for any insight y’all can provide!
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2014 - Scottish Rite Cathedral (New Castle, PA)
@lorakath: I would just let her know that you love her work but she is out of your price range. I would ask if she has any packages that may be less, suggest less hours or if she overs extras in her normal package (prints, engagement shoot, etc) ask if those can be taken off the package. I would just be honest and provide some ideas of things you’d be willing to compromise on.
With that being said, since it is high season and a Saturday she may not be able to accomodate and you’ll just have to be ready for that and decide ahead of time if that means you can’t use her or if you’re willing to shell out the extra.
Post # 4
You could maybe try to negotiate, but tread lightly.
I would be careful about telling her she is out of your price range unless you are truly willing to walk away in the event she will not give a discount. Because if she says she cannot do anything and you end up paying it anyway, I think that will look like you were being dishonest.
I tried to negotiate with my photographer to see if they would take out the included engagement photos for a cheaper price, but they would not do that. Which I understood when they explained they use that session to get to know us, our style, get comfortable with each other, etc.
If she’s very popular and books up and especially since your wedding is a Saturday in busy season, I don’t think you’re likely to get a discount. Because she could likely fill the spot with someone else. If your wedding was on Monday or something you would have more leverage. If I were you, I would figure out if I could truly afford her, how big is a priority, what else I coud cut, etc. If that’s not possible, keep looking!
Post # 5
@lorakath: Whew, I’m so glad this post wasn’t what I thought it was going to be based on the title. 🙂
Just let the photographer know your budget, and that you’d love to work with her and are wondering if she would consider shooting less hours (not, as you said, just reduce her hourly rate). Be prepared, though, for her to say no to this – photographers only have so many possible dates they can book a wedding in a year, so for many it’s just not going to be a smart business decision to book a prime Saturday for, say, 4 hours of coverage, when they could book a full 8 hour wedding. You never know though – I have done this for couples I particularly connected with or because it was at a venue that I really wanted to shoot. It doesn’t hurt to ask as long as you go into it being very respectful of the photographer’s pricing and time. A lot of us are sensitive folk and we get plenty of requests from people who would just like us to earn less money for the same amount of work. 🙂
Post # 6
I cut the engagement pictures and album from our photog’s package and that really helped with prices. Honestly, I’d just be honest that you love her work and would love to work with her and understand she needs to be able to make a living, but you can only afford X amount and is there any way she could make a package that would work for that amount. She’ll let you know.
Post # 7
Ask for less things than her packages include.
-No engagement session
-DVD of photos as opposed to print outs
-Fewer hours of coverage.
I’m not sure what she includes in her rate, but she might be able to work something out for you if you ask what she would charge for 4 hours of coverage instead of 6 or 8.
Post # 8
@smg5281: I’ve got to figure out how to afford the extra because I’m definitely not ready to just give up :/
@Skittles131: There is an engagement session included which I actually can’t do (currently living abroad and won’t be back until right before the wedding) but she has it listed as complimentary so I don’t think her price would drop. The package is the number of hours of coverage multiplied by her normal hourly rate, so I’d have to cut hours I think :/
Photography IS my biggest priority but this would be something like 80% of my overall budget. I’ve been brainstorming ideas on how to afford and will keep thinking because I just truly love her!
@mariematt: I have a hard time with titles! It’s a problem. 🙂 I think reducing hours is the only option I have at this point, I just didn’t want to potentially offend her even asking that! She seems really interested in the location, which I hope will be a positive.
Post # 9
I would just ask if you can put together a custom package because what she currently offers doesn’t quite suit your needs. Then I’d request the hours and services you want and ask her at what price she could do it at. See if that fits your budget, and if not, then let her go. Unfortunately you might have a hard time for when your wedding takes place!
Post # 9
lorakath: Even though she lists the engagement session as complimentary, it’s not really free of her time and energy, so I think that’s a completely fair negotiation point. The engagement session takes time and effort on her part for both the shoot and editing the photographs. So I think it’s completely reasonable to ask if there is any possibility for a reduction in price if you forgo the engagement session.
Post # 10
goblueca: thanks! I’ll suggest that as an option too
Post # 11
We did this with our photo and video guys (one company). They are very very pricey but we loved the idea of having them do both to minimize the number of vendors and also keep the same style. I emailed them and got their price list, and then we did a Skype meeting since they are about 3 hours away from us. Right before we got into any details, we let them know what our budget was, and asked if there were any adjustments that could be made on their packages. We were very clear in not wanting to offend or insult them (we literally said that) and that we would be happy with whatever they were comfortable with. They said they would get back to us on that, and we still Skyped for probably 20-30 minutes after that. They weren’t able to meet our price point exactly – it’s $500 over but still very very well worth it in our opinion. And they didn’t make any adjustments to their packages! We are saving $2500. I say, if you do it respecfully like you’ve described (not trying to get it all for less), then it’s definitely worth a shot. The worst she can say is no. Good luck!
Post # 12
Am I the only one whos curious who this amazing wedding photographer is? 🙂
Post # 13
As a photographer… Just say you love them, yada, yada, you know what I mean ;)and my budget is $x amount. Is there a way we can work out coverage to fit in that budget?
Some will and some wont. Some need full coverage with some bells and whistles to sustain their income which is totally fine. Some, like me, I can take a 6 hour with pictures for print. Im self employed but, photography is half my income, I have other so I can be more flexible to sustain a living. (I have an Etsy store/do web design too, do 10-15 weddings a year)
Many will cut extras and just do the coverage with images for prints. Most are pretty flexible, they dont ‘discount’ its the extra cutting. 🙂
Post # 14
As a photographer myself – it would have to be worth it. And by that, I mean, I’d have to love the couple and the wedding would have to be an almost guaranteed publishing – great details, photogenic couple… yadda yadda yadda. If I’m lowering prices, I need to get something out of it too (because it is in prime season). Just my two cents 😉
Post # 15
As a photographer myself – it would have to be worth it. And by that, I mean, I’d have to love the couple and the wedding would have to be an almost guaranteed publishing – great details, photogenic couple…. If I’m lowering prices, I need to get something out of it too (because it is in prime season). Just my two cents 😉