Post # 1
My mom has been helping with lots of the planning because she lives closer than where we are getting married (we’re about 4 hours away) and she has a lot more time than me! She checked out a few photographers and fell in love with one of them. We agreed on a price of $4200, which includes 8 hours, plus a second photographer for 5 hours, a 12 x 12 album (my mom says her albums are so much better than the others and why she recommended this slightly more expensive one), and all the pictures on a DVD for me.
I just got the contract and now I’m having some doubts. We want to do pictures before the wedding and she recommends starting 3-4 hours early. We’re also have a cocktail hour after the ceremony, so when you add up all of this, it means she’ll only be at the reception itself for about 2 hours, and I’m worried a big chunk of that time is dinner and cake. What about all my dancing pics? The other thing that worry me are that the contract says the total number of pics to be taken is about 650, which seems super low for 8 hours, especially with 2 photogs. I have an option of having her stay longer, but for an additional $200/hour, which seems like a ton, especially since we’re paying so much up front!
What do you think? Should I be getting more pics and more time?
Post # 3
I would say this depends a lot on where you live as far as the pricing for the amount of time. I do however think the amount of pictures sounds low.
Post # 4
I would say it depends on the location of your wedding and the overall quality of the photographers work. Do you have a link to their website?
Post # 5
The wedding is outside of Baltimore. Here is a link to her website:
Post # 6
The price is on par with your location, but her work is not on par with the price.
Her exposures are a bit off and her whites are almost always blown out (and not in a pretty way). She also seems to be a bit too friendly with using the blur tool to “soften” her images. In my opinion this is a mark of an amateur that does not know how to properly enhance images.
As a photographer myself, I would not hire her to shoot my wedding. But this is just my opinion.
Post # 7
I think that that is too high. I think that you can get the same package for less then $3000. If you are interested in saving some money, I would say to opt out of the album (since you can create one on your own anyways with the images through various websites).
I agree that the 8 hour limit is concerning and that you should expect 650 pictures (I got over 300 proofs for my epics, which was about 2 hours will one photographer) so that seems low.
Another thing to take into account is the photog’s personality. We found this to be surprising when we were interviewing our photographers, because it wasn’t a part of the “dream list”, but we soon realized that it was important.
I suggest starting the search over, schedule phone calls with the photographers so you can talk with them, ask them for some sample galleries, etc.
Post # 8
This is just in reference to the photog’s suggestion to start 3-4 hours early…that is way more time than you would need to take pre-wedding pics, in my opinion. You’ll need a couple hours, especially if you want her to take pictures of you getting ready, but it sounds like she may be trying to get you to buy more hours of coverage when you don’t really need them. 8 hours is a pretty standard amount of shooting time, so you shouldn’t really have a problem getting all the shots you want and all the activities covered.
Post # 9
Personally, I do not think she is a good photographer, nor worth that price. Her lighting is not well-done and things are often too blurry. So if you can, I would start over.
Post # 10
What time is your make up artist arriving? I would not have the photographer arrive before the MUA. The getting ready shots usually start with make up, then dressing. Some of this depends on where you get ready and where the ceremony is. Are you getting ready at the same place as the ceremony? If so, how much time are you allowing for getting ready, inlucing hair, make up, dressing?
I am not sure what that fee will buy in your area. How many pages are in the album? 16 page albums are far less expensive than 76 page albums to create. However, that fee in my area would buy all day coverage.
Post # 11
Seems high to me and the # of photos seems riduclously low. We had over 3000 photos for our wedding. Those were raw images straight from our 2 friendor photographers which we had all day (8+ hours). We paid them $1250.
Post # 12
@rkbecker: I am using Lindsay McDonald for my wedding, she is located in Baltimore and is super talented and super sweet! She is charging us about $2,500. I think that’s all day, but don’t remember off-hand. http://www.lmacphotography.com/
Anyway, I asked her about how many pictures I should get back, and she said about 650 of finished photos. Keep in mind, not every single shot is going to be a winner!
Post # 13
I looked thru the photog’s website & I agree, theres a lot of pics where the camera wasn’t adjusted right & bright white light fills up the majority of the pics. You loose the detail when the white is that bright. If your dress has beading, you won’t really see the beading detail on your dress if that’s how she takes pics. When they print out, it will just print like a big white blob & you can’t really fix that. In some pics, thou, she’s nailed the lighting. Some pics are blurry… these pics on the website should reflect her work strongly, & out of the hundreds of pics she has taken, that was the best one they chose? To me, that’s a red flag. Just my opinion thou.
As far as before time, 2 or 3 hours should be plenty of time. I had my photogs get there about 1 1/2 to 2 hours early & we had plenty of time to do everything (getting ready & the groom with the bridal party & the bride with the bridal party, but not all together).
Post # 14
I agree that she doesn’t look worth the amount of money she’s quoting you. I also noticed a distinct lack of candid photos in the wedding gallery – most were posed. I know for me, my favorite photos of the day were the candid ones. As you’re looking for a photographer, make sure he or she is well-rounded.
And the number of photos she said she would deliver to you seems average if she is editing all of them. For 8 hours and thorough post-editing, that’s a good number of pictures. Check out this thread for an idea:
Newlyweds: how many pro photos did you receive?
Post # 15
Thanks so much ladies! I am a photo dummy, so I definitely appreciate everyone’s input on the quality of her pics. I am going to start my search over, and then post some more info here to get more opinions! Fiance and I are notorious for closing out eyes in pics, so 650 TOTAL PHOTOS TAKEN will not do! Are most of your photogs staying for the whole reception? I want pics of everyone partying!
Post # 16
For $2400 we’re getting all day coverage, all the photos on a DVD with rights, a bridal shoot, an engagement shoot, and a guest book made out of pictures from the engagement and bridal shoots. We’re only having one photographer but I looked at all her albums online and most of her wedding albums average 3000-4000 pictures. I’d say 650 is low for 8 hours (some of that time having a second photographer).