(Closed) Anyone feel like afforable photography is impossible?

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

I feel you on this! My biggest priority is photography, and I am SUPER picky about it. We actually met the person we plan to use at a bridal show. They were offering some great discounts, and we’ll end up getting two photographers plus a cd of all of our EDITED images, for a little under $2,000. It’s difficult, but just keep looking!! You’ll find something you love eventually!

Post # 4
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Hey ColorCoated,

I am 100% with you. We want hi-resolution versions of our photos on DVD/CD so that we can make more prints without having to go through the photographer and their ridiculously high re-print prices (I am not having the photographer make us an album, I can do that myself). I also want a second photographer. My friend just got married in July and had 2 photographers – a guy and a girl. Between the two of them, they got photos of the guys getting ready and the girls getting ready pre-ceremony, and a bunch of photos before and after, it was great! I am still talking to some photographers about instead of getting a ‘package,’ which a lot of them seem to want to sell me, I am telling them exactly what I want and then asking them what they can do for me. In this economy, they seem to be more willing to work with you than not (and risk losing your business). Also, our wedding is on a Sunday which gives us better pricing right off the bat with most vendors. If you are getting married on a Sunday, Friday… basically any day/time than Saturday night, you can probably get a discount. Even if you are getting married on a Saturday night you might ask if they have other discounts (maybe it’s a slow time of year for them or something or a date that is hard to book usually). Never hurts to ask! I have asked multiple vendors (venues, photogs, DJ, etc) about discounts that they somehow ‘failed to mention’ but readily told me that I would qualify when I asked.

Good Luck! 🙂


Post # 5
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I know you say you’re really picky… but have you considered going with a new or part-time photographer? I am a lawyer by day who does photography on nights/weekends simply because I love it. True, I do not have the equipment or experience of some photographers, but I still create really beautiful photographs. Truth be told, I don’t need the money I make from photography– I use it to reinvest into buying more equipment mostly. I also have no interest in gouging people on prints– I’d rather just give them a high-res cd and charge them only for my time shooting and editing. I know that I”m not the only photographer like this.

Maybe give someone a chance and check out their portfolio? I know its a risk to not go with someone who does 75 weddings/year… but if you love their portfolio and were willing to try it you could probably save a TON of cash.

Post # 6
3979 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Have you thought about cutting down on the hours you’ll need a professional photographer? Do you need one for 6-8 hours or could you hire one for 4 hours instead and use an amateur for the dancing/party shots? The professional could get the key moments & detail shots in a 4 hour period. 🙂

Post # 7
73 posts
Worker bee

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Hey ColorCoated! When I first starting looking at photography (as a researcher for a friend of mine getting married), I was pretty shocked at how expensive photography was.

Then when I became a photographer myself and first began charging what I felt were more “affordable” rates, I realized just how much work AND money I had to put into the business – equipment, insurance, taxes, internet and website costs, travel, education, software, the material cost of prints, just to name some off the top of my head – and that an average wedding for a photographer is at least a week’s worth of work in editing. A desk job that pays $1,500 a week is great, but a photographer who charges $1,500 a week is running a company by themselves and a lot of that money doesn’t get to them, and no sane photographer could do 52 weddings without dying of exhaustion (most professionals I talk to book 15 – 25 at most).

You book your photographer not just for the hours you hire them the day of, but all the work and planning they put in before and after, and their artistry and experience in not being a screwup vendor. To be completely honest, I barely made any money in my first year, Boston is an expensive city to live in, and I still hold another job to pay the bills.

Also, including a second shooter is tough because not only are you paying for the second shooter’s time, you have to pay for the photographer’s time to edit all the photos the second shooter has taken – in some cases it is double!

That being said, for $1,500 I think you can still hire a photographer – maybe not the best one or the most experienced, but look for a part-time one who can meet your needs. Look for a photographer who lives in surrounding Chicago but not the city itself. You should let them know about your budget and see if there is anything they can do to customize for you – either restrict the hours of the second shooter, cut hours altogether, cut the album, and see if you can find a photographer willing to sell you the disc of photos. Have him/her spend a good 4 hours or so shooting the most important parts of your wedding that you want to capture. Hopefully this helps! I don’t think the majority of photographers are out there trying to gouge you brides (a lot of us were once brides/grooms too), but we have our limitations, too.

Post # 8
672 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

Oh I totally hear you.  We lucked out because my FSIL’s best friend was a photography student and is currently working on building her portfolio, so we’re using her for a fraction of actual rates in our area.  If we didn’t have her, I have NO idea what we’d do – we’re paying for almost everything by ourselves and there’s no wiggle room in our budget!  Yipes.  I know they’re doing a lot of really beautiful work and it takes a lot of time etc, but our budget is around 10k, and spending 2k on a photographer would NOT have worked for us.

Post # 9
1883 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@ bella luna, I think at the end of the day you will end up saving/getting more if you go with one of the packages. a la carte is expensive…at least that is what I’ve found in my research.

Post # 10
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

We found a photographer on Craigslist who wanted to break into the field. She was charging a super low price (under $1000) so that she can use our photos as advertising. Also, she is not including the prints or albums or anything. She will just give us a cd so we can print them wherever we want. We booked at the beginning of the wedding season, she had a wedding every weekend this summer, and by the time ours rolled around she was a seasoned pro!

We have gotten some teaser images, so far we are incredibly happy with the results. I am going to post images as soons as I get them!

Post # 11
1514 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

I was going to suggest craig’s List too.  You never know.  Also, the idea of booking at a bridal show is a good idea too.  You may talk to other wedding vendors – they may know of someone really talented and cheaper.

Post # 12
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I ended up thinking “no more than $4K” for photography and ended up agreeing to pay $7,800! Yikes!

Post # 13
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

$7800!?! Holy Monkey Balls! I hope your pics turn out to be fanfrickintastic!

Post # 14
355 posts
Helper bee

this was by FAR the most frustrating thing for me. i actually just put down my deposit yesterday and feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders! good for you for researching to book so far out. i researched a little too long, and found that a lot of the good photographers in my price range were already scooped up!

Post # 15
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Keep looking – you will be able to find someone fabulous within your budget. You may have to spend a lot of time doing legwork….but in the end it’ll work out. It helps that you’re starting so early. I agree that a photographer who is newer to the business will be able to give you better prices in order to build up portfolio shots. We ended up going with a fantastic husband-and-wife team who’ve only been shooting a couple years, and we feel we got a great price for all of their services. Don’t hesitate to email several people while you’re looking – perhaps a shorter amount of a la carte time or a custom package can bring the price down for you.

Post # 16
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I think it is totally doable but it requires work. I was very lucky and found all my photographers (I had 3 – one for my engagement pics, one for my shower and rehearsal dinner, and one for my wedding) all on craigslist and I was over the top happy with all of them.  I had the same budget as you and I think for all three we winded up paying ~$2600. What a great deal. And the quality of work from all of them were excellent!!!!!


Just so you can see the quality of a craigslist photog

Here is the link to my e-shot pics 



Teaser shots from my wedding at the Four Seasons my planner bloggered about



You don’t have to compromise quality for price

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