Post # 1
Ok, so I’m really struggling making a decision on a photographer…
I found two… One of which I really love (like LOVE every picture they take) but they will cost about 4,600 (after tax and travel) and one that I like, I love a few pictures from each wedding, like more than I don’t like and the cost is more like 3,500 (after tax and travel)… I only have about 12k-13k budget (possibly 14 if I really beg and plead) and I don’t have a venue fee (it’s on family property, but will need to rent EVERYTHING) and I plan on doing A LOT of DIY projects to help keep costs down (might even make my own food if the budget gets that tight).
So my question… What would YOU do in my situation? Would you splurge on the photographer you would have NO REGRETS hiring, but might have to cut EVERYWHERE else to make it happen, or go with the more budget friendly option and possibly only get a few AMAZING pictures.
ps. I’m a photography buff and really picky… So considering I found any that I like is a miracle.
if you want to look at the contenders: (not telling which is which.)
Post # 3
I have no advice (sorry!), but have a similar dilemma, so I’ll be waiting to see people’s responses!
Post # 4
@JuneBride2012: haha I hope I get some responses soon, I’m like seriously stressed out about this… I can’t set a date until I book a photographer!
I should also mention that FI thinks both are ridiculously expensive… So he doesn’t have an opinion, the decision is completely up to me.
Post # 5
Have you met with both of them? For us the deciding factor on the photography front really came down to personality and professionalism. Just because someone’s work is beautiful doesn’t mean you are going to click wit them and get the shots you want.
Post # 6
i would see if you could work something out with the more expensive photographer?
For the record … nichol’s is editing them …odd? to me. it’s like they put a soft focus filter on ALL the shots (does that make sense?) whereas sherryhammond is BAM! in your face! … and for the record, i really like sherryhammonds over nichols.
Post # 7
For what it is worth, I think it depends on your style. While I love and prefer a more “spontaneous” for photojournalistic style, my mother prefers more organized/posed styles (at least she is more concern with portraits for my sister’s wedding). Because of my preference, I’d go with the nichols photographer, but i am almost positive my mom would prefer the other. Which one do you think is better at doing the type of photo you, your FI, and your parents like?
Also, I’ve heard mixed reviews on spending a lot for your photographer, so I’d wait for a married bee to help with that. In my opinion, if you are willing to cut the budget elsewhere by DIYing a lot, you can make it look fabulous with a WAY lower cost. From what I’ve been told, a great photographer can make a 10,000 dollar wedding look like 50,000…
And both seem to take great photos.
Good luck 🙂 I’m sure everything will work out no matter what you choose!
Post # 8
@kermie: I haven’t met with either in person (they are both about an hour and a half away from me), but have emailed back and forth and feel really good about both.
@bebefly: it’s funny you mention the soft focus thing, because that is one of the things I LOVE about TheNichols, and throws me off about SherryHammonds.
Post # 9
The difference in price between the two is only about $1,000. I know that probably seems like a lot. However, consider that for $1,000 dollars more, you could have photos that you like all but a few, as opposed to a few shots you like. Since they would be starring you and your hubby, you may like more than just a few, but you get my point.
I guess photography/videography is one thing we felt we couldn’t skimp on. Lucky for us, a family friend donated her photography services as our wedding gift, so we were able to save a considerable amount of money on photography, which allowed us to get a videographer, too. After the day is over, the cake and dinner has been eaten, the guests have gone home, the flowers are wilting, (unless you used silk like us and they still look amazing two years later! lol!)…the photos are something you will have forever.
I second Kermie’s advice of a face-to-face meeting, at the very least with the one you love, (if you are 99% sure that’s who you’ll go with, no point in checking out the other person and getting their hopes up unless things don’t click with Choice #1. Also, before you sign the contract, keep looking. See if you can find someone else whose work you LOVE who is considerably cheaper. You have almost a year before your wedding, so you have a bit of time yet before you NEED to have someone booked. If you can’t find anyone else, THEN book the photographer you love.
Post # 10
@o0olibelulao0o: but in 25 years, is that kind of editing style going to look …. well, old? I would think hammond’s would look more timeless/elegant when you’re showing your kids your wedding photos?
Post # 11
For you, as a photography buff— cut your budget elsewhere and get the better photographer. You will ALWAYS have those photos and will kick yourself if you go for less.
Cut you flower budget or music or… pick the thing that is less important.
For me, I completely cut out a florist and invites and veil to make way for a more expensive dress and great music. Those were my priorities. You already know yours. You have at least this bee’s go ahead to splurge on the photographer.
Post # 12
Pick the photographer you LOVE. If $500 is the difference between loving every shot and liking “most”, it’s well worth $500. Remember that photogs only put their very best on their websites, so if you only love a few shots of the cheaper photog, you’ll be even less likely to get what you want from them…and be stuck feeling like you wasted $3500 instead of $500. Ask to see at least 2 full wedding catalogs from each photographer and see if their work stands up for an entrire wedding.
Post # 13
I had a smaller budget and had to compromise on almost everything for my wedding. That is not easily done at all, it is heart breaking IMO. I searched and searched for a compromises that I would not regret and could be happy with, including a photographer. I LOVE pictures, LOVE LOVE LOVE. So it was quite the task to find someone I could afford in my budget. 4K out of a 14k budget is a lot for one vendor. I think you have to decide what you want for your wedding like everything else besides a photog and make a list and price it out to see if you can make it if you do spend 4 or 5k on a photog. I like both you listed. I think I like Nichols just a touch more, they seem pretty creative in getting good shots. But I agree with a PP that Nichols, their photos have been edited with that softer look almost like a little vintage color look and I don’t really like that they do that to almost all the pics. But both look like great choices. Good Luck!
Post # 14
@bebefly: I think any pictures 25 years from now are going to look “old”… I don’t mind that. lol I’m very much a vintage girl anyway. But I see what your getting at. 🙂
@ellabee:haha That is exactly what I’m worried about, I would hate to get my pictures back and say “I wish I had gone with the more expensive one”… I’m glad I have your permission 😉 The kicker is, if I don’t have to rent a tent for weather, then I will have enough money to make up for the expensive photographer without cutting anything else, and in Texas the odds are good that I won’t need it… But I won’t know basically until the week of.
Post # 15
I agree with the previous posters. I’d go with the photographer whose work you think you’ll LOVE instead of the one whose work you think you’ll like. In my mind, in the context of your total budget, neither is really a “cheap” option (either way you’re talking about at least a quarter of the whole), so you might as well spend that money as well as you can.
Post # 16
At a very quick glance, I like Sherry Hammonds better. Her stuff is very good. I see a couple of technical issues with the Nichols, and the vintage style is on it’s way out, so your photos might looks super-dated down the road.
My thoughts aside (in fact, it actually doesn’t even matter what anyone thinks in this case because you have a clear favorite), you’ll want to splurge for the better photog. You can make it work with that budget if you have to. My husband and I only spent $15k on our wedding, and spent about $5k of that on photography, because the photography (and marrying the hubs of course!) was all I cared about too 🙂