Post # 1
I’m currently looking into wedding photographers right now just to get a baseline of how much they cost. I spoke to a photographer friend of mine and she said $2500 is what I can typically expect to pay for a really good photographer. I relayed that estimate to my FI and he freaked out. He thinks it’s too expensive.
Of course, this is the same man that also wants to spend only $5000 on our entire wedding. If you read my prior posts, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Sigh. I’m just a little frustrated. I understand he wants to save money but I’m like, we have to spend money somewhere! And photography is VERY important to me.
Oh well. I just needed to vent for a second. I also wanted to ask you ladies what you spent on your photography and what that cost entailed. I know that prices vary depending on location. I’m in northeast Georgia and apparently, we can expect to spend $2500 for a good photographer.
Post # 2
I was told to expect around $2500 too (some people said to expect $5000, but they’re crazy), and I ended up finding someone with fantastic reviews and the total cost is a little over $1600. That includes an engagement shoot, but not bridal portraits. I used the site thumbtack.com which lets you put in the specifics of what you’re looking for and your budget, and then various vendors message you with quotes, samples of their work, etc. You could try that!
Post # 3
I spent $2,200 for 10 hours, 2 photogs, album, and print rights, e pics, etc but my parents paid. I agree with your FI waay too much money and if I was paying it would have been $1,000 or under. Photography was important to me, but I would never pay that much if it was me spending the money, I’m too cheap lol I’d find a good photog for a few hours with print rights and nothing else.
Post # 4
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
That sounds about right to me unless you luck out with an amateur photographer, which is obviously a risky bet.
My husband had the same reaction and I basically just had to lay down the law, like “I hear what you’re saying, but this is really REALLY important to me and it’s basically non-negotiable.” No regrets from either of us – he loves our photos.
Of course that only works if you can actually afford it (with scrimping counts) and if you let him also make wedding decisions based on what he finds important. (Eg he insisted we didn’t use microphones for the ceremony and that he wanted to be barefoot all day… not my favorite, but it was important to him so ok.)
Post # 5
LadyBlackheart: I lucked out and found a pro photographer for 1800 but it took months of researching and calling since most photographers didn’t put their price on the website (annoying). You can save money but it takes LOTS of legwork.
I had the same problem with my FI about the caterer he thought it was too much so i let him pick out a caterer and do the research himself. 2 months later he realizes that was a good priced caterer i found and that his expectations were WAY too low. Maybe do this with your FI? let him research photographers and realize for himself how much they cost.
Post # 6
LadyBlackheart: I’m spending $5-7k, but I’m in the Bay Area and my photographer’s work has been featured in Rolling Stone, CNN, Slate & other publications so it might be overkill but photography’s really important to us.
So I’m cutting in places like my dress ($165, not the $3k I originally budgeted) and diy’ing a lot of elements — lolot:‘s wedding is an inspiration for mine. Her recap showed some happiness and fun that is similar to the vibe I’m hoping to have.
What sold me on this vendor was his ability to capture my brother in an unguarded moment at another wedding. I had never seen a photo of my brother without either a grimace or his signature cocky smile until I saw that photo.
hopefully that helps some!
Post # 7
Don’t have a professional photographer if it doesn’t fit in your budget. Find an acquaintance with an artistic eye and a nice camera who wants $300, or post an ad on Craigslist or around campuses for photography students. Don’t expect the same level of professionalism from those people, and make sure you both are OK with getting less for paying less before going this route.
I think its important to recognize that even people on this who have paid thousands of dollars for professional photography have ended up dissatisfied with the result.
Post # 8
My FI’s 19 year old sister has a $700 camera and takes great pics, edits them, and prints them off. You don’t need to shell out tons of money for great pics. Do some shopping around. There are plenty of people capable of taking great pics that aren’t professional photographers. I wouldn’t spend more than $500. Your FI is right.
Post # 9
I agree with you, the photographer is something you want to not be cheap on. Pictures are what you look back on and show your kids/grandkids someday. We’re going with an amazing person and the package is 3,100 with engagement session included. She stays all day, morning to reception and she has an amazing style and great quality. I looked at cheaper options but the quality wasn’t there.
Post # 10
LadyBlackheart: My neighbor is doing ours. She is charging us 1200 for 3 hours, but is throwing in an engagement photo shoot. We are just photographing getting ready, the ceremony, and cocktail hour. It doesn’t make sense for her to get pictures of anything else (we are only having a sit down dinner reception, no dancing or anything). If you are looking to save money, that might be one way to do it.
Post # 11
My husband originally thought the cost of photography was too high and wanted to spend under 1.5k. After we researched photogs and he saw what full day photography under around 2k got you in my area (very average photos) he acknowledge that paying more was a good idea. We ended up paying 3k and that was cheap as she was relatively new to weddings. He admits now she was worth even more that that as our photos are amazing and get so many compliments And she made us feel very comfortable. decent photography was non negotiable for me – I was happy to set a reasonable budget with him but not to the extent that it meant I was limited to average photographers.
Post # 12
This is a common freak out by many couples-photography is expensive. I won’t go into all the details about why, but I will say that if photography is a priority for you, it should fit that way in your budget. However, there are ways to cut your costs. You might see if you can find a photographer who will sign over printing rights so that you can purchase prints and other items at a later date. That way, the up front costs won’t seem that scary to him. I can also say from expirience that there is no industry standard when it comes to cost for photographers. Of course you can find a stellar $2500 photographer, but don’t rule out the $1,500 photographer either. Go with your heart; if you love their work and you click with them, that is all that matters.
Post # 13
LadyBlackheart: Photography is expensive, but if you search around you can find some in the $1500 range. Ours cost $1800 for engagement photos (which turned out great) and 2 photographers at the wedding. We were fortunate because based on her gallery she was our favorite, even ignoring the good price.
You just have to decide what’s most important to you to spend money on. For me the photography is pretty important, so I was willing to drop more money there than on other areas.
Post # 14
LadyBlackheart: It’s all about managing your expectations, and what is important to you. Photography is actually a very expensive business to run, contrary to what some might think. A legit, tax paying, and talented professional will run you $2500-3500 for a standard coverage package. (I wish it were as easy as having a $700 camera and snapping away – I don’t even own any lenses that cheap! Pro gear is insanly expensive for everything we need/use.) If good professional photos are important to you, it’s worth it to find it in your budget. If photos aren’t important, and you can’t tell the difference between an pro and amature, by all means have a friend take them. Most people have sticker shock when it comes to photography because they think “hey I have a camera and it takes great photos”. If you don’t care about photography you probably wouldn’t be happy with 3k worth of photos because you wouldn’t see the value in spending that knind of money. Likewise, if you really care about photography but hire someone for 1k, you’ll probably be upset with the end result.
I’ll try to put it into perspective. This weekend I had a triple-header wedding weekend (Fri/Sat/Sun) and it rained EVERY single day – all outdoor weddings. Today is my birthday, and I shot an all day wedding, in the rain. Prior to the ceremony, just as the rain let up, I was outside drying chairs with the wedding planner to make this bride’s dream come true of getting married outside despite the fact it had been pouring all day. During the reception, I was wading out into the water up to my past my knees…holding my dress up AND a lightstand w/ light so the couple could have amazing sunset photos. I don’t say these things to sound like a saint, but to point out that when you are hiring a professional commanding that kind of money they aren’t simply showing up to your wedding and snapping a few photos. I know I personally go above and beyond for my clients and more often than not do things that are WAY out of my job description – things I’m certainly not getting paid to do.
Post # 15
LadyBlackheart: I had a heart attack when I saw photog fees too. But then I realized you can’t go back in time and retake bad wedding photos. They are forever.
I did find a reasonable young married couple who will do ours for $2,165, and they’re very professional. In my area, their quality of work usually goes for $3,500.
Just tell your fiancé that this is one of those things you’re not willing to scrimp on. Look up any number of posts on Wedding Bee and see the photography horror stories and have him read them…