(Closed) Photographer Dilemma!

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I was in the same boat! My sister is a photographer and over the years I must have picked up on her keen eye with fine photography. Since she is a bridesmaid she can’t photograph the wedding so it was a tough journey. The photographer I fell in love with starts at $3500 (ouch!). Fortunately, I kept scouring websites and found a young girl who hadn’t finished school that long ago and was a great price and I got my sisters approval…she is very excited for the pictures now too!

Keep your eye out and you will find someone in your budget and as good as your fiance! Good luck!

 

Post # 4
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

Increase your budget.  2000 is a bare minimum starting price for very minimal coverage from someone with talent.  Not trying to be mean but your expectations are not realistic for that number.

Post # 5
Member
814 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

I have to agree with the above post. $2000 wont be enough to meet your expectations. You get what you pay for.

Post # 6
Member
150 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Just keep looking at portfolios! Finding someone fresh out school might be your best bet to get a good price for someone with talent. Maybe even contact schools in your area with top-notch photography programs?

My sister got her insanely amazing photographer for $1800 – this included an engagement session, and a full day of shooting with a second AND third shooter plus they got sooo many edited photos. As a graphic designer, I also have an extremely discerning eye for photography and I was so impressed by this guy that I decided to book him for my wedding 3 years later. His packages now START at $3500 and you don’t get half of what my sister got at that price. Fortunately we are having a destination wedding and he is doing ours for travel expenses plus a little spending money 🙂 

So yes, I’d say the key is to find someone with less experience, but a professional attitude and natural talent. I also find ‘newbie’ photographers to have more creativity/excitement when it comes to weddings. My other sister hired a veteran wedding photographer for around $5k. He acted super jaded, bored and the resulting pictures were standard at best. 

Post # 7
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@DecoMeOut:  Both of your examples are not the norm.  New photographers can be a complete mess at weddings.  You are essentially letting someone practice on your special day. It’s a gamble, maybe you win, maybe you don’t- but the odds usually aren’t in your favor (especially if your expectations are high).  And just because your sister hired someone that didn’t meet her expectations, advising a new bride to not hire a professional based on that one experience is advice I would question.

Post # 8
Member
150 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@continuumphotography:  I’m assuming you are defensive about my post because you are an experienced photographer with prices that reflect as such? I’m sure your work is fabulous and there are plenty of brides with budgets to accommodate it.  

I was just trying to point out that you don’t ALWAYS get what you pay for. And when your budget is $2000 you have to get a little creative and trust your instincts about the photographer’s level of professionalism and talent because you don’t get the luxury of “tried and true.” I would not recommend someone less experienced for anyone with an average+ budget for photography because of course it is risky – hence why you would save money. And I was not suggesting hiring someone with zero experience – just less experience. There are plenty of students and recent graduates who have professional experience. The fact they are students does not negate that. 

The pressure for brides to have magazine-quality photos when they can’t afford it is completely sickening and I wanted to share my experiences to offer some hope and reassurance.

 

Post # 9
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

I think, given the circumstances you describe, it would make a lot of sense for you to delegate the search for a photographer to your FI. I don’t know how you’ve been dividing up the wedding-planning responsibilities, but I think it’s fair to say in most couples the women end up doing a lot of it. This is one area where he’s a) really knowledgeable (it sounds like you are too) and b) really invested in how the final product turns out, and he will be a good judge of the portfolios he looks at. Maybe have him do the legwork of finding a few options, and then you guys can make the final decision together? He can look at students, new photographers, etc., and maybe negotiate with some more established (more expensive) photographers to see about getting a package you guys can afford, that will include what you want.

Post # 11
Member
869 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Increase your budget. Photography is something to splurge on bc its all you have left after the special day. To get what you want you need to spend more!

Post # 12
Member
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I guess you will need to compromise – maybe have a great photographer for less time (lose the getting ready shots for just the ceremony and the start of the reception, then rely on guest photos for the rest). Not sure what average is in the US as $2000 sounds a lot of money to me! We paid £1400 (about $2200) for 8 hours, for a fab, very experienced guy we knew and trusted.

Post # 13
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@DecoMeOut:  I’m not being defensive about anything, I’m simply against out of the ordinary experiences being put forth as general advice or information.  You may not ALWAYS get what you pay for, but in most circumstances and especially on these boards people usually do get what they pay for.

No one is pressuring anyone to have magazine quality photos.  Do that or don’t do that – it’s all a matter of what you prioritize.  However for the OP it is a priority, and realistically she needs to increase her budget a little if she wants that.  $2000 is almost there.

Post # 14
Member
429 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@continuumphotography:  “I’m simply against out of the ordinary experiences being put forth as general advice or information”

So… you’re against people sharing their experiences as a source of information? That sounds contrary to the very nature of the Bee. 

Doesn’t matter if it’s out of the ordinary, it’s an experience that happened and MIGHT happen again if the OP wants to risk it. It’s her decision and she deserves to have all the information she can get before she makes her choice, and that includes unusual scenarios. No one said that was the only option or the best option. Just that it had happened to people before. 

Post # 15
Member
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@autumnmountainbride:  If that’s how you choose to construe that, fine.  I’m not going to argue with you on a forum. I provide pretty consistent and realistic advice on this forum based on years of experience.

Post # 16
Member
622 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@DecoMeOut:  You haven’t saved any money at all if you get your images back and hate them.

To the OP – your budget is going to be difficult to do, especially in Miami. Maybe look for photographers in surrounding areas (not owned and operated in the city)? You might have better luck with that because cost of living, taxes, etc play a big part in photographer pricing so metro areas are going to always have higher-priced photographers than suburban/rural areas.

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