(Closed) Anyone NOT hire a photographer?

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

You’re probably going to get lots of flack for this post, so I’ll try to be gentle.

Owning a business is very expensive. I don’t live in an expensive area, and even the photographers here are pricey (more in line with big cities), and several of them don’t have the skills to be charging those prices anyway. I lucked out in finding our photographer, because she’s relatively new, doesn’t do it for the money, and we got her before her prices went up (twice in the last year), plus a referral discount. She gives you a DVD of your images with print rights and doesn’t make you purchase photos through her at all, which I really liked.

Photography was really important to me, so I was willing to spend a little extra on it, but we got lucky. Pro photos have great equipment, and the skills/eye to take beautiful photos and edit them. They also have contingency plans and insurance in case something happens. That’s really something that a friend or family member can’t guarantee for you.

Post # 4
Member
29 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: May 2013

Im not. I am doing the courthouse thing so it seemed silly to get a professional. I do have a dslr camera though, so I taught my best friend how to use it and did a practice run with our engagement pictures and they turned out good I think. Ask around if anyone you know does photography as a hobby.

 

You can see our practice pics here http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/diy-engagement-photos-pic-heavy#axzz2QeZ96o35

Post # 5
Member
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

We’re not having one, as our wedding location is very remote. We discussed different options and then decided to allocate $1000 of our budget towards a new camera for my Fiance. I already have a good one, so between the two of us and our guests we should be able to get a fairly good coverage.

That said – I’m not a person that find photos that important, they usually just end up on my computer where I forget about them. I think it was more important to my Fiance than me, but then we sat down and talked about the logistics vs the actual need and then it just didn’t make sense to go through all the trouble of getting someone on site. 

 

Post # 6
Member
1572 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

We’re still deciding on what to do, since we’re eloping. However, we originally planned to have a wedding and we settled on a student (he also took our engagement photos). When he took our engagement photos, he was a senior in college, studying photojournalism (and had some AMAZING photos). He was MUCH cheaper than pretty much all of the other photographers we were considering. We figured if he wasn’t that great, no sweat, it was just engagement photos. You could try something similar – if you don’t know where to start, try calling up art departments at nearby colleges. You can also check Craig’s List (although we saw some pretty awful ones on there). One of my friends does photography for fun (no where near pro level) but he has some really good camera equipment and takes great photos as long as they’re not posed.

Post # 7
Member
9594 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Eeek there’s no way I could go without photos…photos are really one of the only physical things you have of that day after it’s over.  So it’s important for me to have photos.  And non-professionals are nowhere near the same quality as professionals.  So yeah…I’m sucking it up and spending $3k+ on mine.  It will be worth it in the end, but I’m certainly not excited to be paying that much!

Post # 8
Member
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Fluffmallow:  We found a budget photographer through craigslist and weddingwire.com.  She has only been shooting for a year and is building her portfolio and business so her prices were very reasonable.  We’re paying $500 for 4 hours of coverage and a DVD with the rights to reprint all of the images.  A little shopping around goes a long way in this area.

You could always ask a friend or family member to help out (i.e. be responsible for taking shots of the ceremony and reception) if you’re okay with only getting a few frameable shots.

Post # 9
Member
979 posts
Busy bee

Copy and pasted from a fellow photog’s site….

Why wedding photographers are SO expensive….

I am usually the last person to post something negative or controversial. I just prefer to keep the peace and be an up lifter! πŸ™‚

But earlier today, I read something that had me LIVID. So this post is not one of my usual posts. I was actually supposed to be writing Wednesday Weaknesses right now, but it can wait. What I am about to say is FAR more important.

So…onto what it was that I read, that made me so angry. This morning, a fellow photog posted this listing that they found on Craigslist,  on Facebook:

ATTN: Wedding Photographers πŸ™‚

WHY is finding an amazing wedding photographer so difficult? :/

I am a Bride who is getting married this summer and have yet to find a decently priced, exceptional, amazingly talented, fun photographer.

WHY because the word “WEDDING” is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos? Oh, because no bride is going to go without so they are going to pay it, because they HAVE to. They are ripping people off for all they have! Why when you want to get married it costs you AT LEAST 15 grand after all is said-and-done? Its such CRAP!! I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK. All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!! You’re making so much money its crazy. I just wish people would be more realistic. I mean the “average” persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand. (Thats making 19$ an hour) So you’re going to take someones WHOLE MONTH paycheck for one flippen day of photos? Just because you CAN!!?????? So that maybe they will not be able to feed themselves or pay any other bills they have, right? It makes me SICK!

I know im speaking for more than just myself right now. Alot of brides out there think the same thing. & I bet all you fancy photographers wont even read this. oh-well.
Maybe there are cheaper photographers that will read this and LOVE to take my photos πŸ™‚

Now before I go into my perspective….I want to address two things. First, I value difference in opinion…..I don’t expect everyone in the world to think that us wedding photographers are worth what we charge. I respect that. What I don’t respect, is someone who has NO idea what they are talking about, ranting about how I make my money and discrediting the amount of work that REALLY goes into it. Second, I am in no way “complaining about how much work I have to do” or “crying about how hard I have it”. Not at all! I LOVE my job. I am simply re-claiming some respect for the craft and explaining some things that some people aren’t aware of.

Piece for piece, here is my response:

WHY because the word “WEDDING” is involved photographers think they can change you $ 3,000.00 for wedding photos?

Because, weddings aren’t just every other day. YOU as a bride, should know this.

I wake up the morning after every wedding, feeling like I got ran over by a train…..weddings hold a much higher level of stress than just an everyday shoot. You get one chance to capture it. You have to have the right equipment to get the job done, and not to mention backups….in case those fail. Anonymous Craigslist bride…do yourself a favor and please do not discredit your wedding day this way. The word “WEDDING” means a great deal actually. So yes, we are entitled to charge more for this highly stressful service, because it is a wedding! But it is quite silly to label this to photographers only. It goes for every wedding service! I mean unless you regularly spend hundreds of dollars on a single bouquet of flowers or $1500 for a dress?

I love all you $ 3,000.00 photographers out there but i think your prices are WACK.

You know what I think is wack? The cost of my rent! Oh and my car insurance…..ooh and not to mention, my phone bill! But guess what? I still have to pay them! And I do it with my camera. I think maybe you forgot that this is my career. Not just something I do for fun, that I can charge next to nothing for. Each photographer’s prices are derived from a specific formula that involves their cost of running business and cost of living. Believe it or not, we don’t just say “Ooh a wedding! I think I will charge……hmmmm…..$5000!” We are trying to survive, just like you. The high priced photographers cost more for a reason. And if they were charging the prices you seem to be pining for, they wouldn’t be able to stay in business.

All your doing is hanging out at a wedding taking tons of photos and editing them.. and thats owrth 3 GRAND!!!

This is just silly. Craigslist bride…..if you really think that is all we are doing….please oh please just go to Costco and buy your cousin a Canon Rebel and let him do the job! Since ALL we do is hang out, shoot a few pics, then edit them….piece of cake! Cousin Kevin will do just fine!!! You’ll even get to keep the camera after….SCORE! πŸ˜‰

I mean the “average” persons salary for 1 freaking month is somewhere around 3 grand.

Keyword is SALARY. We are not on salary. That one wedding that we “make so much money on” might have to feed us through the slow winter season when we have NO weddings. There is no financial security in this field. We either have the bookings or we don’t. And even when we don’t, the bill collectors still come for theirs!

Also….have you ever considered how much of that $3000 really becomes ours? After taxes and the HEFTY chunk the IRS takes from business owners… that income is nowhere near what you think it is. Then there is business insurance, websites, advertising, editing software, the thousands of dollars worth of equipment, and the costs of maintaining it. The list goes on and on. And then the cost of our time…..we blog, edit, email, process orders, shoot engagement sessions, market, etc. There is so much more time to shooting a wedding than actually just being there on that wedding day. We work our booties off to give you a great experience and photos for a lifetime. A business is like a baby….it constantly needs your attention and care!

 Also, this “average person” probably works a 9-5 during the week, then is free to enjoy their weekends with their family. Well we also work that 9-5, doing all of the inside work I mentioned. Then on the weekends….we are at your wedding, still working! Don’t get me wrong, I love being at your wedding. Seriously, some of the best times of my life are when I am shooting my awesome brides and grooms. But please, just respect our time and be mindful of these hurtful things you’ve said about how little we are worth.

And finally…..

You’re making so much money its crazy.

Sweet!!! This is great news!!!! Craigslist Bride, if you are reading this, please email me!!!! Cause I know I should totally be rich by now….with all these weddings I’ve shot. But I just can’t seem to figure out where all of that money went….hmmm….can you help me find it? You seem to know more about my finances than I do!

Moral to the story is. You do not have to value me at $3500+  if you don’t want to. But you DO need to know the facts before you can judge my lifestyle and my financial situation. Being a wedding photographer has been the BEST thing to happen to me….and I hope I can do it all the way until retirement! But it has also taken every ounce of myself to keep it going. It is a lot of work and to see myself and other photographers degraded by statements like the above, is frustrating. We have put years and large amounts of money into mastering our craft, becoming better artists, and learning!

You don’t have to agree with it….but at least respect it.

To close out, here is the very first photo released from a top-secret shoot I did in Ireland. The rest will be up in a couple of weeks! Keep your eyes peeled! πŸ™‚

Post # 10
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Fluffmallow:  I’m going to start off by saying that you should do whatever you want to do. If pictures don’t mean that much to you then that’s fine.

Now PERSONALLY I cannot imagine not having pics. We had a very small ceremony (us, 7 guests, Flower Girl and RB) and the only must have for me was photos. Even when we were planning to elope I knew I wanted a photographer. It was a second time for both of us. The first time I went to the courthouse and the only regret I had (besides who I married πŸ™‚ ) was that I had no photos. So this time it was a must. My Darling Husband seemed on board but wanted to be more frugal. I didn’t want to sacrifice quality for price. Luckily I found a great photog right here on the bee (or rather she found me) who worked with or budget even though she was traveling out of state. We recieved our preview pictures within a few days and hubby changed his tune he was so happy we spent the money. Our photos are amazing and will be a reminder forever of the day we started our lives together. 

Check out http://meettheburks.com Maybe you can contact her, she and her husband travel everywhere. She’s hng0411 here on the bee 

Post # 11
Hostess
11984 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

My sister is a sometimes photographer, she’s pretty much given it up becuase she’s tired of justifying the cost.  It’s not just the DAY, there are hours and hours that go into editing those photos.  Hiding a blemish, removing that stray piece of hair, brightening the trees etc etc to make the pictures perfect. 

 

If pictures aren’t SUPER important to you, hire a newbee, check craigslist or a local school but make sure you get test shots first.  Most photographers these days sell you a disc so you can print as many photos in whatever sizes you want (i wouldn’t bother order photos through your photog, most just print them at walmart these days anyways). 

 

A pro is worth the money if your pictures are important, if you don’t really care then get someone who knows how to work a camera and go nuts!

Post # 12
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@MsLobizon:  I say do it even if you’re eloping. We wanted to elope but had a super small ceremony (just 11 ppl total incl us) and I love our photography. Find someone who’ll do a 2 hr or 4 hr session and it’ll be more around engagement photo prices. JMO

Post # 13
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

dbl post 

Post # 14
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I don’t think the OP was saying the photographer’s cost was unjustified, just that it was out of her budget. I am 100% behind photographer charging what they charge, so I agree with PPs (photography was my #1 priority in the budget). But, I also understand that it’s a ton of money to some people!

Post # 15
Member
463 posts
Helper bee

Holy smokes. Leave the OP alone unless you have some useful advice! Thousands of dollars for photography is NOT in everyone’s budget and NEVER will be, no matter how justified the photographer is in their pricing. Why is this board a really aggressive sales expo for full-time professional photographers?

My uncle is a photographer himself and had an intimate wedding with no pros. Family and friends took photos, I did the videography. If you’re not hiring a pro, definitely put the word out to friends and family to take pictures. I’d also recommend recruiting specific people to help out – probably not the “inner circle” of your parents or BFF since you want photo/video of them, but a reliable friend or cousin perhaps.

Good luck and good on you for sticking to your budget in the face of the wedding-industrial complex.

Post # 16
Member
882 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I have yet to marry, but photography was a number 1 priority for me in my budget. However, I also found the price tags painful.  I would never consider going with a photographer whose work I don’t love or cutting photography altogether.  This day will never happen again and is so important.  Besides, if what they say is true, you won’t remember alot of it.  My solution was to be a smart shopper.  I found a photographer who didn’t have a website or other overhead but still has a good deal of experience.  I absolutely love her work and our personalities mesh.  We got all day, 2 shooters, and a usb drive with printing rights all for $2K.  Just shop around before you consider cutting it or having your “uncle with the camera” help out.  I would make my guests eat tuna salad on crackers before I cut photography.  Good luck!

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