Talk to me about photography

posted 2 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

TunaCat29:  Like you we really wanted a photographer for the whole day. We love candids, wanted lots of photos of our guests at the reception and weren’t having a videographer (other than a friend with a good video camera filming higlights for us). So I only considered photographers whose full day package we could afford. This meant scratching lots of very talented photogs out because their  full day packages weren’t within our reach but I still found a good handful of great photogs that we could afford, I just had to really sift through everyone that was out there.


We paid $3000 for unlimited hours shooting (we ended up having her from 12pm until the reception ended at around 11.30pm). That included about $300 print credit and an engagement shoot but we chose not to do that in favour of her editing our photobooth pictures (she brought in a second shooter for $400 to do the photobooth on the night). We got all our high res plus web res pictures on a USB with print rights. We got very lucky with her as she was relatively new to the business when we hired her – now she is getting quite popular, been featured on lots of blogs/magazines and her prices have consequently risen.  $3000 might still seem like a lot depending on your budget but for our area this is a good price for a decent photog. Yes there were lots of much cheaper ones out there but their photography was not to my taste/up to scratch. Most of the other well established photogs would have been at least $4k for full day shooting.  Like you we did not do a first look (no one really does here in Australia) so we had all our family/bridal party/couple shots in the hour and a half between ceremony and reception while the rest of the guests were at cocktail hour. This was plenty of time for that if you are having both ceremony and reception at the same venue like we were.

Post # 3
213 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

It really depends on your budget.  We found a photographer we did not want to compromise on and paid $4400 for 8 hours (nothing else included apart from hi-res jpegs of our photos).

Now, we could have gone with another photographer that gave us more for less, but  the heart wants what it wants…. what budget are you working with?

Post # 4
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Our photographer was $2,200 for 2 photographers, 10 hours, engagement session + print rights, all editted photos (it was around 650), coffee table album and two large prints. I only had her come when I was putting on the dress because I didn’t care about getting ready shots. I loved our sparkler exit shots though so I’m glad we got those. 6 hours wouldnt have been enough for us and we did a first look plus had a videographer. 

Post # 5
2657 posts
Sugar bee

Most packages I looked at were 8-10 hours.  One of the more experienced photographers I looked at suggested doing 6 hours since our wedding is smaller (40-60 guests) and the ceremony and reception are in the same location, but I ended up wanting the extra time.  Even if their package says 6 hours, most photographers offer a la carte pricing for extra hours – so if you wanted 8 instead of 6, they will likely be happy to adjust the price.  The photographer we ended up with is charging us $3000 for 8 hours with 1 shooter and assistant, and a 2 hour engagement session.  That also includes digital photos and print rights for both sessions.

Post # 6
2070 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

Instead of booking a cheaper photograper for all-day coverage (like 8-10 hours), I booked my dream photographer for 6 hours. Our package included an engagement session, 6 hours of coverage with one photographer (no second shooter), full digital rights to our edited files (we got back ~600 edited photos), and two albums (which we gave to our parents as gifts…perfect Christmas present!) Super glad we did the engagement session, but we definitely didn’t need the albums – could’ve made our own on Snapfish. But it was included, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

I was really happy with 6 hours of coverage, I thought it was perfect! The photographer got the last 45 minutes of getting ready, our first look before the ceremony, the full ceremony (her assistant took some extra photos from another angle, which was a bonus!), wedding party and family photos while our guests did cocktail hour, and then all of the big reception stuff – introductions, toasts, first dance, cake cutting, etc. We had a 5-hour reception, so they left before the reception was over – but that was totally fine with me. I don’t need hundreds of photos of everyone all sweaty on the dance floor – what am I going to do with that?! Plus, I think everyone was able to relax and dance without worrying about flash and a photographer up in their face – I hate when we’re at weddings and I feel self-conscious about a camera catching me being a goofball on the dance floor.

We had some family members photograph our sparkler exit, and our wedding video does include some of the dancing, but I don’t feel like we missed out on any photos, and I’m sooo glad I chose our photographer. Worth every penny!

P.S. Being married now for almost 2 years (what?!!), here’s a little perspective on photos… Our 600 edited photos we got back are more than enough. When we got them, it was SO exciting, and I loved sharing them with people. After a few months, we finally got around to framing a few of them. I still have one photo as my desktop background. But 95% of the photos we don’t look at, unless we are browsing through photos on our laptop. The cadid shots were fun, but most of them aren’t something I would frame, you know? And you can’t even squeeze 600 photos into an album! So I am *all* about quality over quantity.

Post # 7
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

TunaCat29:  These answers are definitely location based, but I can run through my experience with you, in hopes it helps!

We interviewed 3 different photographers, whose blog pics were aligned with what we envisioned (and/or the only thing we had to go off of).  Our ultimate vision was we wanted an artisitc feel to our pics, not just the ‘run of the mill’ poses, and a lot of candids.  I wanted to see the emotions from that day in pictures, and felt I would not get those in a ton of formals.

Ultimately, we settled with a photog, whom ended up being my favorite vendor!!!!

The ‘bigger’ reasons are as follows:

1) Personality.  I think it outweighed many other things to a degree.  We – non picture takers – felt immediately at ease with him, which was ideal because he would be in our faces  Not to mention, my DH is sorta on the shy side socially, and I knew he needed to feel comfortable with a camera in his face.  He LOVED our photog.  He told us all the right things, wanted to get to know US as people, not clients, and compared to our other meetings, seemed more trust worthy.

2) His package was all or nothing.  Some people may hate it, but we loved it.  We did not have to decide if we wanted to add engagement photos, because they were included.  With the other vendors, things like that were ‘add-on’s, and I believe we would have talked ourselves out of doing them to save money (because we are that kind of people :)).  PS:  the e-shots were an added benefit for us to do.  I would recommend them to a) get used to their style/work, and b) to get used to being pictured for your wedding day!

3) As part of his package he had things that the others did not.  One, his package was not based upon set hours.  He started when we wanted him too, and ended when he felt the time was ready (Or, in his words, when the guests were too drunk to take pics at the reception).  For us, he started at 830am, and walked out of our reception at 9:30pm.  That is 11-hours of footage, no problem.  Two, he was willing to drive to multiple locations, namely at the spots where I got ready, and where DH got ready.  The other photogs we interviewed stated we needed to add an extra person/assistant (for another add-on cost), because it was not feasible for the one we were hiring to do that.  I am pretty sure it was, because ours did it, and did it well.  

4) Presentation:  The proof were in his pictures he showed us.  All different, but all captured the same things we wanted.  When it came time to us deciding on the ‘where’ we wanted to go, I told him for our wedding shots I wanted a more urban feel.  He chose the place, and it was perfect. 

Did we spend a pretty penny on him?  Yes.  I know I could have gone ‘cheaper’, but not by much, once I added the extra coverage, the e-shots, the second shooter, etc.  I guess people can go wrong in picking the photographer that ends up not meeting their needs, but I think if you pick based upon what I listed above, you will be very happy.  I ADORE our pictures!!!


  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  OUgal0004.
Post # 8
3074 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

TunaCat29:  I scoured photographers until I found one I loved. I grew up looking lovingly at my parent’s wedding photos and knew I wanted something with the same “feel.” I found a photographer who’s photos were so soft and romantic!

I also worried about time because I have a large wedding party (eight bridesmaids, a friend who is our officiant, my mother, possibly his mother, and myself getting ready) and I want photos of us getting ready, but didn’t know where to start. I knew six hours would not be nearly enough time for me. I want our photographer there for the getting ready, the first look, the ceremony, the bridal portraits during cocktail hour, and a large chunk (if not all) of the reception. When I found our photographer, I haggled and had her agree to more hours (she took out the wedding album which I didn’t necessarily want right now). 

In our packge we get:

  • Ten to twelve hours of photography with 1500+ photos
  • A second shooter for eight hours
  • An engagement session with 75+ edited pictures
  • Bridal shower shoot
  • Day after shoot or Trash the Dress shoot
  • She is coming to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to take photos
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  MrsMeowton.
Post # 10
227 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

We went with a whole day photographer and our photorgraphy made a big emphasis on the whole day herself.  She doesn’t like doing the minimum number of hours things because she thought it took away from the whole feel of the wedding.  She didn’t want to have to look at her watch during the wedding in the middle of the bouquet toss and be like, “Um … yeah your six hours is up so we’re going”.  so we were lucky in that sense that she’s doing all day for us with her assistant photographer.  She ended up being a cousin of one of our friends so she gave us a great deal and her package included all day photos, 2 photographers, makeup&hair for me, and an extra photoshoot for us and our wedding party in studio and outdoors for a whole day (which we are actually doing this sunday).

We were floored at the package and it was only $1600.  I think we were just lucky that she loves wedding so much that she would rather capture the essence of the wedding rather treat it as an hourly thing.  She has done hundreds of weddings so she’s helping me with the timing of things and scheduling too so that I won’t have to stress about missing important moments of the day.

Post # 11
9525 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

This depends a lot on your area. And our priorities. I got married in a fairly rural area that has a low cost of living, so prices were lower. I searched a lot online and ended up finding a fairly new photographer and I got a discounts for mentioning an ad that I saw and because she was already in my town for another wedding. 

All that being said, I paid ~$875 for unlimited hours on wedding day and digital copies with the right to print my own pictures. I didn’t want engagement pictures or prints or a photoalbum, which helped cut down on costs. I had one shooter and one assistant (not another photog, just her friend who held some light reflectors and helped her carry her equipment). They came when we started getting ready and stayed until the end of the reception. 

I realized going into my phtoography that I wasn’t paying top dollar and didn’t expect top dollar. Same with my caterer and pretty much all my vendors. It took over 3 months for me to get my pictures, but I really didn’t mind that. I got about 225 pictures. There were a few things that I was hoping to have shots of that weren’t included, so I emailed her and she sent me a few more, I only ended up missing one shot that I was a bit bummed about. Oh well. I am really happy with the quality of my photos, but realize that they may not be the most amazing pieces of art to someone who is really into photography as an art form. I appreciate photography more for the memories that they enstill, rather than how pretty or artsy they are. 

So I consider myself to have gotten a really good deal on my phtography. As she’s gotten more experience with weddings, her prices have gone up and if I was to get the same thing now it would likely cost me double.

Post # 12
26 posts

You have a good concern-and as a wedding photographer and former bride, here are a few things to think about:

1. ALL weddings run late. I have never photographed a wedding that is on time. If you hire a professional photographer for a 6 hour package, just know that possibly some of that 6 hours will be waiting while things get together. An itinerary is a good starting point, but just know that will go out the window on the “day of” 😉

2. It’s your wedding, go with your gut feeling. If the photography is a priority for you, make it a priority to find someone who offers an all day package. Go with the decision that you know you won’t regret.

3. I have found that there is a perfect photographer for every client, and vice versa. Don’t get discouraged-you will find yours! Don’t be afraid to communicate-if you find a photog and you drool over his/her photos and they only offer 6 hours, email them and see if all day coverage can be arranged.

4. As someone who also is not a huge fan of getting my picture taken (and yes, I do see the irony), I highly recommend doing an engagement session before your wedding day. This will get you both comfortable with your photographer and their techniques. By the time your wedding day rolls around, you will be an old pro.

Good luck, you are thinking all the right thoughts and taking all the right steps!

Post # 14
9525 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

TunaCat29:  If photography is your fiance’s thing, why not put him in charge of finding one? Win Win!

Post # 15
217 posts
Helper bee

TunaCat29:  Just out of curiosity (as we are in Northern CA as well), which photographer did you decide to go with? 🙂 I think that we found the one that we love, but because the package that we want is a little bit out of our price range, I’m poking around looking at others before we make the final decision.

We would love to know who you are drooling over 🙂

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