Post # 1
The only thing I have been stressing about is hiring a photographer. We want decent, natural photos of the wedding, and lots of them. I also want them edited/retouched if needed (and it’s always needed). For 3 months now, I have been searching, contacting, messaging photographers in our area and only two things have happened 1) they don’t return my message at all (this is most of those I’ve contacted and it has been at least a month for most of them) or 2) they are wayyyyy too expensive for our budget.
By happenchance I was browsing classified in the artist/service section and came across a call for models for free photo sessions. She wanted seniors, families, etc. I contacted her to see if she had interest in an engagement/couple session. Meanwhile, I checked out her online portfolio and loved the pics. She has been incredibly responsive and professional. Come to find out, she has just moved to our city and is trying to get her business restarted here.
So to make this long story short–we have a photographer! As long as the engagement shoot goes well, we will have for that 3-hour shoot and all day coverage of the wedding (12 hours), and DVDs of all the photos plus editing. $300 is the total price for the engagement & wedding coverage.
Post # 3
I don’t want to rain on your parade, but please make sure you have a thorough contract with this person. $300 tells me this person has little experience and may be working with less than professional gear/back up equipment. For 15 hours of just shooting work she is charging less than minimum wage. Add in the hours of editing and she isworking for free or worse, losing money. I hope this works out but I would be wary.
Post # 4
OP – I would also be wary, because that price is super low. Usually, $1000 – $1500 is considered a really low price (though I suppose it does depend on where you’re located), so $300 seems insanely low. I wouldn’t want you to get burned, since photography is so important to you. (I feel you on that!) I’m glad you’re getting to do an e-shoot first to see how things go. Did she provide you with a contract?
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta
Sounds like this person does photography as a hobby and is just starting. Make sure you look very carefully at their portfolio. When I first started I was shooting family and they didn’t even pay me that little.
Post # 6
@kmb727: $1500 is an upper end price here. My niece paid $500 for her wedding photographer (full day+engagement), so it’s not completely insane. But it is very low. She is new to our city, just moved, and needs a jump start to her business here.
@mariematt: We will be going over the contract when we meet for our engagement session.
I also checked her portfolio and 6 references of her last 7 shoots. But keep in mind any prints are an additional cost For us. Also, in turn I can give her a lot of referrals as I do ton of community engagement work and through my position at the university.
Photos are not high on our priority list. But I do really like her work. And hey, that’s why we’re doing an engagement shoot. Try before you buy (so to speak). That will only be $150, with nothing further due if we wish to cancel for the wedding.
So I will continue my happy dance, but yes I may be back looking in a month to two with none of the so called “professionals” even returning calls.
Post # 7
@wabanzi: Sounds like a good deal then! Happy dance the night away 🙂 You’ve got plenty of time to find someone else if the e-shoot doesn’t go as expected. (PS — that is BS that the others aren’t returning your calls!!!)
Post # 8
@wabanzi: A 3 hour engagement shoot? That seems really long.
As other bees have noted, just be cautious. I understand your area may have low cost photographers and she is trying to start up her business, but she is essentially making no money off your engagement photos/wedding. A 12 hour wedding package is also on the high end of hours offered. Most brides book 8-10 hour packages.
It is possible work out fine, but just be thorough and cautious!