How to find a affordable photographer for a 30 minute elopement

posted 3 years ago in Seattle
Post # 3
720 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Most photographers I’ve looked at offer way cheaper options for elopments or courthouse weddings. I would just send some emails to photographers you like…the worst they can say is no!

For example, the photographer we’re meeting with this weekend only charges $400 for a courthouse wedding, but their wedding packages start at $2000.

Post # 4
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

I would find a photog I like and reach out directly. Many will work with you to tailor something to your elopement needs. I think the vendor search feature on apracticalwedding is a good way to find down to earth vendors who are flexible and good at what they do.

Post # 5
4468 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Vanilla-latte:  I would try looking on Craigslist! We found an awesome newborn baby photographer at a super reasonable rate. A lot of the photographers on there are just starting a business and are trying to build up clientele but have been doing photography as a side job for years.

Post # 6
11772 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

Definitely e-mail! Or look at their engagement picture rates, since that’s about the amount of time you’ll need them for!

Post # 8
31 posts

Congratulations on your engagement and up-coming elopement!

I am so excited to hear that you have selected Seattle as the destination for your elopement. I have lived here all my life, and I can safely say that this is one of the most beautiful cities for a photo-shoot.

You pose a very interesting question when it comes to photographers and their pricing. Now, I cannot speak for all photographers, but when it comes to pricing, one of the main things that photographer wants to ensure is that the prime weddings dates (Saturdays June – September) are reserved for larger packages since photographers typically have fewer weddings during the winter months. These are the bread and butter dates for the wedding industry. However, that being said, I would highly recommend thinking about doing your ceremony on a Friday or Sunday – where a photographer has more flexibility with pricing and bookings.

For example, in my own packages, I offer a special $575 package for brides who want to book on a weekday or a Sunday. Now, for a 30-minute shoot, this package might be a little overkill. Therefore, I would probably do it for half that. However, that being said, not all photographers are interested in booking such small packages. For me, I love to be able to help all brides create memories and capture the moments. You really don’t need a $5000 package to get some incredible photographs.

While, I do offer larger packages, I have tried my best to ensure that I am offering packages that are reasonable for any bride. I try to design my packages as if I were getting married tomorrow. What would I want in a package? What would I want to pay? What type of service would I expect? For me, I would want a photographer who sincerely cares about my experience as a bride, delivers incredible, professional, and creative images, and has packages that are reasonable for a bride who is budget conscious yet doesn’t want to sacrifice or compromise. My larger packages include two photographers, albums, unlimited shooting, all images, edited images, and one even includes a FREE engagement shoot right now.

Now, I am not trying to self promote. I merely want you to have a base line from a photographer’s perspective. I highly recommend that you interview all of the photographers and make a comparison sheet so that you can figure out the best fit.

If you want to check out my packages so that you can do some price comparison feel free to check out: Mariah Gentry Photography Pricing 

I wish you and your fiancé all the best with your beautiful elopement!




Post # 10
2387 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Vanilla-latte:  I would contact them and tell them your situation, but I would say you want an hour not a half hour as that’s really only enough time to get comfortable and the weirdness out of the way. We eloped as well and only needed a photographer for 3 hours. We ended up contacting our first choice even though they had 6+ hr packages for over $2K. Turns out he was more than happy to customize a smaller 3 hour package for us since it wasn’t a popular time of year… Never hurts to ask!

I would only say an hour because you’ll want ceremony pictures and the cermeony would probably be 10-15 min. which only leaves 15 min to take any extra’s. I’d go with an hour just so no-one has to feel rushed, a rushed photographer won’t always take the best pics, and a rushed bride and groom doesn’t sound like fun at all!

Post # 11
31 posts

Great question regarding time. 

I would honestly suggest that you go with about 2 hours. I know that Becky did a 3 hour package and suggested that you go with at least 1 hour; however, I would say minimum of 2 hours, but more ideally you would give yourself at least 2.5 – 3 hours, simply because it would be great to have some photographs at a different location than your ceremony so that you can get a great variety. You might even want a few images of you two getting ready. You can really play with the details, accessories, and little things that make your special day special. 

Also, weddings rarely are right on time, so having a little bit of buffer time is a great idea. For example, with my packages, I would say that you would want to go with 2.5 hours for $250. Which is roughly less than half the rate of the 4 hour package. 

Does that answer your question? 🙂

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