(Closed) Anyone not have a professional photographer?

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@HoneysHoney:  A photog was one of the most important things to us. The pictures are what we are going to “take away” as tangible memories and as such, we really wanted an excellent photog. I would rather take away from different areas of my budget to accomodate this one – but that’s just my personal preference.

Post # 4
2512 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

We ended up using an amature photographer (a friend of a friend) and another family member to take photos.

TBH, the family member who had no previous experience, ended up taking better photos than the amature photographer did. We got over 5000 photographs between the two people (most of the photos were from the family member though).

Do I regret it? Not really. But, I had the expectation that they weren’t going to turn out like a lot of the pictures here. 

Post # 5
603 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am not having a proff photographer….I have picked a person starting out in this biz and does it in her spare time..I have been to several weddings where there was NO photog. and they used guest shots…the pics were lovely…we were going to rely just on guest shots too but when I fouund this ladys site and I liked her work I thoughtwhy notas she was an amazing price etc..the way I see it is that if all we were going to do anyhow was rely on guest pics then this will likely be a lot better....we will still have guests take pics too so I figure we will do well with this decision... if you are not using a proff photographer you likely wont get all those fancy shots with just your ring or your dress etc...but tbh I think they are rediculous anyway.You will likely get a lot of harsh comments on this thread from proff photographers so good luck! All we want is real life pics rather than posed unrealistic pics, I just want one or two nice shots of Fiance & our family, wedding albums get put away for years and never seen so I dont see the point in spending thousands.

Post # 6
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Well, we’re not married yet but we won’t have a professional photograph for the ceremony/reception. It’s simply too far away from any bigger cities to make it worth it. The photog’s that would be able to come would most likely take very amateurish photos, and then I’m on the same page as you – I rather save that money and ask friends/family to take photos. We will however do an 1 hour photo session in Paris while there for our honeymoon, so we’ll get a few photos of us in our wedding gear. Perhaps you could do something similar?

Post # 7
922 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We have a semi-professional photographer for $800 and are getting 4 hours of ceremony and reception time.  She’s been in her own business for a couple years, so she’s still on the new end but has enough experience that she’s better than amateur.  I think $1500 is a generous budget for what you want (for most locations, maybe not NY or LA).  I found my lady by a coworker who’s family uses a friend photographer of my photographer (theirs was too high).

Post # 8
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I booked a mid-level photographer for two hours for $400, which will cover me getting ready (I want bridal portrait type shots, not candids) the ceremony and portraits afterwards. All of the candids and reception shots I am going to leave for my guests to capture. I have no expectations for that part, so any good shots they get will be a pleasant surprise. I have a close friend who is an amateur photographer and will bring her equipment but we made an agreement that she would be a guest first and a photographer second 🙂

Post # 9
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Well I’m a professional photographer but I’m afraid I can’t satisfy the expectation of harsh comments because actually, it is up to you. Provided that you don’t assume anything beforehand about the quality of your photographs, aren’t very bothered about decent pictures and can be perfectly satisfied with what results actually turn up then sure, save the money. All I would say is that you can’t repeat the experience if you suddenly decide you wish you’d had a better record of the day.

Post # 10
182 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Don’t rely on friends and family, definitely hire someone! Even if they are new or a student, that will be the ONE person there whose only job is to take photos. Your guests are there to enjoy your wedding, and will take photos when they want to or remember to, and only of things that they like or are important to them.

I don’t have a big budget, and hired a friend of the family who is an amazing prof photog, but is just eeking into the wedding business. $500 for 4 hours (that’s the whole wedding and reception, on a ship), edits, CD and rights to print, and low res copies for posting online.

My brother, an ameteur, is taking photos of us getting ready, and photos at the after-party at FMIL’s house.

Post # 11
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Are you still looking? You actually have a good budget for 4-5 hours, single shooter, with images for print for someone of quality… (outside a big city) That would get me for 5 hours where I am and Im not cheap! Where are you located?


Average price for quality outside a big city is $200-$300 per hour.




Post # 12
406 posts
Helper bee

No harsh comments. Sorry. Your budget is what it is! I think you should be able to find someone okay for that price. They won’t be top notch but for a few hours on a Sunday I’d think that budget would fly. Where are you located? 

Post # 13
2473 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017

If your budget is $1500, your budget is $1500.

With that said…  There’s a reason why some of the photographers can’t work within your budget.  It’s not just the 5-6 hours of taking photos.  It’s the time spent uploading them, weeding out the bad ones, editing the ones taken… That can take a lot of time.  And just giving you the CD of the images is a tricky call sometimes.  A lot of people seem to think it should just be included for free, or only $20 or something.  But you have to figure, by giving you the images, the photographer is losing out on any print sales they could have had, so they have to get proper compensation.  It sucks, but that’s how it is.

Still, you should be able to find a photographer in your budget.  You might just have to lower your expectations.

Post # 14
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

Lifegirl seems to have an axe to grind with “proff” photographers.  I’m not sure why, or what the extra F is for, but the professionals on here all offer advice free of charge.  No one is going to tell you that your budget is right or wrong, it is what it is.  My suggestion to you is to take some time to email some photographers in your area, regardless of what their starting rate is, and tell them up front that you’re looking for a few hours of photography and a disc of images and $1500 is all you have to work with.  Being that your date is so close, so you may find a photographer willing to work with your budget because the liklihood of them booking your date at this stage in the game is pretty remote.  If photography is really important to you express that in the inquiry!  If you can manage to find someone who isn’t already booked I would be surprised if you couldn’t at least get someone to cover your event for a few hours.

Post # 15
106 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Fiance and I are paying for most of the wedding ourselves AND remodeling the house that we recently bought all at the same time, so we have a very tight budget. I’m having a local person who takes some pictures on the side work with us and we’ll determine if we want to continue working with her after we shoot our engagement pics. She’s never been able to shoot a wedding before, but she’s interested in adding one to her portfolio. From what I’ve seen, she does good work and will most likely be motivated to do well so that she can use this opportunity to enhance her photography career. My brother also takes pictures on the side and I will have him working as a second shooter at the wedding to ensure that I get lots of pictures and definitely some good quality ones for a minimal price – as I won’t have to pay him.

Post # 16
6586 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Your budget is what it is, so what it boils down to is managing your expectations. You can either higher a less experienced photographer to shoot that long and provide you with everything you want, or you can hire a professional for less hours and at least have quality images of your ceremony and family formals.

Personally, I think $1500 is way too much to spend on bad photogrpaher. That being said I’m a photographer so bad photography just hurts my heart. Some of the “photographers” out there charging people for low quality work is just a shame, and with many of them you could get a family member to produce the same quality for free.

I would highly suggest contacting some photographers and asking if they would be willing to work within your budget – but be prepared to bend on your part as well. Most likely you’ll get 1 photographer for 2-3 hours…..but 3 hours with a good quality photographer is far superior to 1 bad photographer for 6 hours.

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