Post # 1
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
I’m meeting with our photographer tonight but I’m having a really hard time deciding between the 2 packages she offers.
The first is $3,000 and incudes an engagement session, full wedding day coverage with 2 photographers, web resolution images to share, print resolution images (& printing rights), and a custom coffee table book. (The cost to add videography to this package is $2,000 – which my fiance’s mom has agreed to purchase.) My dad thinks this is way to much to spend on photography and I’m having a hard time convincing him of the value of having the full resolution photos and printing rights. This option would take us to our budgeted limit and maybe a bit over.
The second package is $1,500 and includes 6 hours of wedding day coverage with 2 photographers and web resolution images to share. (The cost to add videography to this package is $250 more than the other one. The cost to add an engagement session would be $300. Full resolution photos and printing rights would be $15/photo or $1,000 for all. Or I *think* I can just have photos printed through them.) So, if we did decide to go this route and later add on the engagement session and bought all the photorights, it’d work out to be the same price – we just wouldn’t get a coffee table book. This basic option would leave some nice $1,500 budget wiggle room and make my parents happy.
Issue 1. Engagement session? Was it worth it to do it with your same wedding photographer? did you use the photos for more than save-the-dates? I have a friend with a nice camera who works for a professional photography studio. He primarily works in their videography but occasionally is a photography assistant at weddings and knows his way around a camera. He’s looking to get more practice and portfolio images of people so he’s offered to take some engagement shots of us for free (if we can ever get together to schedule it). I would like a few nice shots of us to use for save the dates and maybe a photo guestbook – but that’s probably all. It’d be nice to practice with our wedding photographers but I’m not sure if that’s necessary (my fiance was in a wedding they’ve shot before).
Issue 2. Is the 6 hours included on the cheaper package enough? Our timeline would look something like this…. 1-3pm getting ready, 3-4pm first look & photos, 4:30 ceremony, 5-6 cocktail hour & more photos, cake cutting, 6-7 dinner, first dance, 7-10 dancing. If we had them arrive at 2pm the 6 hours would take us until 8pm which should cover some getting ready time, all the important stuff, and some dancing time.
Issue 3. Full resolution photos and rights. Do we need them? How many photos will we *actually* print? Is it silly to just buy the rights to our favorites at $15/ea? (We could get 60 photos before the $1,000 for all option would be better.) Or just have our photos printed through their printer service?
Post # 2
amberback: Honestly this is an area I feel people should splurge (personal opinion) just because its pictures you will have for the rest of your lives. Our photographers were a little outta our budget but so worth it and we are getting more than we were with some of the photographers I originally wanted! The engagement session is like a test run to see how well you work with your photographers and they get the shots/styles you want. We have a 12 hour package that covers everything. I feel like after reading all the numbers (and maybe its just because I skimmed) that all these side things will end up adding up to $3K anyways so might as well go with the all inclusive package. I would always want the printing rights to my photos. Never know when you’ll wanna print a picture! Our photographer can print our photos as well but the cost can add up quickly. Its a tough decision but just gotta figure out what fits your budget and make the best decision for you! Good luck!!
Post # 3
I’d do the second one personally. Engagement pics aren’t necessary, and I had a friend do some pictures in addition to our engagement pics and I liked them a lot better. Just have a friend do some. I would have the photographer from 2-8, which would be perfect with your timeline. I do enjoy having all the printing rights and album, but I would be just as happy with the shutterfly album I made our parents and I’ve only printed 4 wedding photos as is. So I’d do #2.
Post # 4
- Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast
Mez03: Yes it is really difficult. I would love to just do the more expensive package buy my dad is paying the bill and being very difficult to reason with. He thinks we should just buy a point & shoot and give it to someone to take photos. 🙁 I’m afraid anything we go over-budget he will want me to pay (I’m already paying for my hair, favors, attendant gifts, & decorations – all the things he has deemed “not real wedding expenses”.) My fiance and I just bought a house and have absolutely nothing to furnish it with so spending the extra $$ right now doesn’t seem like a great idea when we could use it to buy a dining room table or a couch instead…
Post # 5
amberback: Photo rights were HUGE for me, and I paid for the cheapest package with my photog that would allow me to have them. $15/picture is horribly expensive, and like you said, to pay the extra $1000 you’re almost up to the price of the larger package but you don’t get an engagement session, and you are still limited on your time.
My photog was $2500 but we had her and another shooter for 8 hours, which was great for our timeframe, and they ended up taking about 1200 pictures that were actually edited and given to us (so that means they took many more) and now because I have the rights, I can do whatever I want with them. I made a photobook online that is our coffee table book (less than $35) and I printed the rest at .9 cents a picture. (I printed 600 total pictures between engagement and wedding.) I can always print more, and I can do with them whatever I want. I’ve made a few canvases and smaller photobooks for my mother in law, father in law, and my dad as a few thank you’s for everything. I love that I have the freedom to do whatever I want with them. I just feel like you’re going to get your pictures, and you’ll love them, and end up spending the extra money for the rights but you’ll be forfeiting all the other perks that come along with the bigger package.
I also was going to have a friend take our engagement photos, but every package my photog offered included them. That is more of a way for the photog to get to know you and your FI before the big day. Maybe you’re a natural in front of the camera, or maybe it takes a few seconds before each photo to get you posed or whatnot, but it’s nice for the photog to know that ahead of time, so it’s not a surprise on the wedding day. I definitely had some issues being in front of the camera, but after my engagement session with our photog, I felt a lot better for the wedding. She was really great at getting us to pose, and it was quick and easy. With each photo it was better and better.
Personally, I think you should just go with the bigger package and get all of the extra amenities. I think you’re going to get nickel and dimed with the smaller package with all of the add on’s afterwards, and you’re going to end up justifying it because these are your wedding pictures and you should want to have access to them. It will be harder to spend the money up front, but I’m sure that you’re going to spend it down the road anyway.
Post # 6
amberback: I would do the $3,000 package. You can go back and forth on the value/importance of an engagement shoot, a second shooter, etc…but at the end of the day, having the photos from your wedding day, in high-resolution, print-ready files, is very important. $15 per image is very expensive, and it sounds like buying all of them will take you up to almost $3K anyways.
As far as engagement shoot, I found it very helpful to do ours with our wedding photographer. Not only did they turn out exactly as we had hoped (link!), it really gave us a chance to get to know our photographer and get comfortable in front of the camera. Most couples aren’t used to being photographed, particularly during intimate, lovey-dovey moments, and I felt like the engagement session was a great “warm up” and helped us to get used to being in front of the camera.
Post # 7
amberback: Photography is NOT where you should be trying to cut corners. I think you should go for the $3000 package that covers everything. Six hours is not nearly enough time. Having ready-to-print files is extremely important and if you don’t think $15/photo is going to add up QUICK you’re wrong. I also think engagement sessions are very important. You don’t want the first time you’re really interacting with your photographer to be the day of the wedding. An engagement session allows you to get comfortable with them, learn how they work, but more importantly, allow them to get to know you and how you work. Plenty of Bees have booked a photographer, taken engagement photos and realized they hated who they were working with and changed photographers.
I think you should splurge on this once in a lifetime event and get the $3000 photographer.
Post # 8
I’ve always believed that photography is not a place to go cheap. It took some convincing on my part, but we went with the more expensive package because it’s worth it.
The engagement session was also really helpful. We got to know the photographer better, and it helped my FI get comfortable with the whole idea. Plus, because we have the rights to all the photos, I can print off as many as I want, whenever I want.