Post # 17
I don’t particularily care about photos either, and even if I could afford $3,000 to hire a “good” photographer, I wouldn’t spend my money in that way. I’m not saying that photographers don’t earn what they make, but I’m just not going to pay that amount. It’s not worth it to me. I posted an ad on Craigslist with the amount I’d be willing to pay, and I got over 30 responses. I just chose the one I liked the best.
Post # 18
I’m shocked that the OP is getting any degree of dissent. She doesn’t want to pay tons of money for a photographer. So what? She never said that it was absurd. She said that she herself wouldn’t do it, and I don’t blame her. Spending $3k for pictures I might look at once a year…or maybe once a decade wasn’t worth it to me. That’s her choice and her opinion. If you want to spend $3k or $10k on your photographer and proudly display your photos to look at daily in your living room, that’s your decision.
I had a relative take photos for our wedding. The only downside is that my mother-in-law expected him to act like a regular photographer, and she was livid because we didn’t get all of the pictures that she wanted to get. Rather than asking, of course, she stewed silently for hours at the event, then attacked my family about it afterward. You have to consider who you’ll be dealing with and if paying that extra amount is worth fending off any family drama. If you have family and friends taking pictures, they’re also going to be enjoying the wedding and having fun, which can cut into picture taking time.
Post # 19
@Fluffmallow: I am getting married in 2 weeks and although our “family” photographer is awesome, we aren’t spending $2,400 on pictures. I was shocked because I actually helped our photographer start his business, but I understand that this is how he makes a living. I am in no way knocking photographers because they are amazing, but we cannot and will not have one. We have 2 people in the family that love taking pictures of EVERYTHING. They will probably have over 1,000 pictures each by the end of the night. We also bought some disposable cameras to place on each table for guests to use. There is also an app that your guests can download on their cell phones and all of the pictures will be loaded to an online wedding photo album. I’m not sure about the specifics of the app though. I love pictures, but enjoy natural poses a lot more than posed pictures. I cannot wait to see the pictures everyone will take and it will save us a ton of money.
Post # 20
There are no photos of my FH’s grandparents weddings. They got married in times of hardship. But you know what? There are hundreds of photos of their beautiful lives together. Your wedding is only the begining of a lifetime of happy, special moments, some will be captured, some won’t. It’s ok not to have wedding photos. My number 1 priority for the wedding is having a nice day with FH and our family and friends.
Post # 21
Thanks for all the responses! I never said photographers are not justified in charging what they do. I just cannot rationalize spending more on photos than everything else. They may well be worth every penny to most people. I hate having my picture taken so photos just aren’t high on my priority list.
Given that I am cutting costs everywhere (ceremony and reception in parents’ backyard, making own cake, buying used dress, no dj/band/dance floor), it seems sensible to cut costs here, too. Although Fiance loooves having his picture taken so we may end up hiring someone anyway. However, it’s nice to hear what others have done. Thanks!
Post # 22
We had a small, relatively inexpensive wedding and couldn’t justify the cost of spending thousands of dollars on a photographer. We found someone building their portfolio on Craigslist and spent $750 for six hours. We didn’t get the thousands of photos back that I hear some brides on here get back, but we got maybe 250; it was a mix of mostly excellent photos but some not excellent photos where you can tell the photographer needs to work on how he handles challenging lighting situations.
But I totally understand that even spending less than $1000 on photography can push you out of your comfort zone. I also feel like nearly everyone on this board is obsessed with the hard-sell on getting the pro photog. I understand they’re great and awesome and whatever. The fact is it’s a lot of money.
I personally think apracticalwedding.com is a better source for brides marching to a slightly different drum:
Post # 23
I totally respect and admire the expensive photographers but I can’t afford them. I posted a craigslist ad saying that I was looking for photographers. I had to sort through a lot of responses from photographers whose styles I didn’t like but I got at least 10-15 responses from students and amateur photographers looking to gain experience. The quotes ranged from around $350-$1,000. I highly suggest posting a craigslist ad. Of course, review the photographers work, get references, meet with them in person, and get everything in writing before you book them! For me? I wound up finding a woman whose style I love that will shoot my save-the-date (or bridal boudoir/portraits) shoot and then do my getting ready & wedding with a 2nd shooter from around 2p-10p for $750. This doesn’t include any prints but does include full printing rights and a disc. I lucked out 🙂
Post # 24
@Fluffmallow: I used a photographer on craigslist. I really liked her work.. she was trying to build her business so we were able to get a good deal. Since we were only doing a short informal wedding, we booked her for $250, which included 4 hours of her time – although I think we only ended up having her for 2.5 – and at least 75 edited pictures on CD with full rights, as well as a bridal or engagement session. I was not able to take advantage of the extra sessions since we do not live in the town we got married in, but I am okay with that.
I ended up with about 120 edited pictures,. I am building a wedding album through MyPublisher using about 70 of them, which will cost about $70 with a leather cover, some extra pages, and upgraded paper, after taking advantage of a groupon deal… Any individual prints that I want (probably 2) I will have printed at Walgreens or wherever, which is relatively inexpensive. Add in a couple of picture frames and I am still looking at less than $400.
Anyways, I am glad I had her come rather than relying on pictures from my guests. That way they could just enjoy themselves, and I got some great shots since she knew how to do some of the setups and take into account lighting and such, plus do the editing. I would definitely recommend having an outside photographer. Just make sure to look at their work.
Also, I hate having my picture taken. My husband gets mad at me because it is extremely difficult to actually get a picture of me smiling… I’m just not an instantaneously-smile-and-look-perky-for-the-camera kind of person, and its not because I’m miserable its just…I don’t know, the way it is. On my wedding day I could not stop smiling from ear to ear, and seeing pictures of how happy I was brings an amazing feeling to me because it is something so rare, to capture me looking like that in pictures. Trust me, you will want to be able to see those memories and remember that happiness.
Post # 25
One of my friends didn’t, and frankly, it ended as a trainwreck she was in tears over. She doesn’t have ANY good photos of the day – she just had a friend with a “nice camera” taking pictures.
I’d go for something in between if the budget didn’t allow for a pro – a student or someone just starting out their business.
Post # 26
Why don’t you check some local universities? You could get a student to shoot (for free maybe!) who wants to build their portfolio.
Post # 27
@Fluffmallow: I got my photographer from thepros.com, my friend used them for her wedding and got a really great photographer, I booked the same photographer through the website.
I’m getting 8 hours of photography and 50 retouched photos all on disk, then I can have the ones I like printed anywhere I wish. The total cost for us was just under $1000.
If you decide to use someone you find online through CL or other listings, make sure there is a contract that you both sign regarding what is expected of them, what you will receive and how much you agreed upon.
Post # 28
We used a friendor who works as a pro marketing photographer and had no wedding experience. But since she is a good friend, we knew we could trust her to take our photos really seriously and study up on wedding photo techniques, plus she was willing to go to our venue with us to scout out photo locations and take some practice shots. I shared a Pintrest board with her where I pinned wedding photos I liked to give her a sense of the style we wanted and also gave her a checklist of each and every photo we wanted. She tried to get away with taking no payment from us, but we managed to make her take $500 from us (which she partly used to hire an assistant photographer trying to build a portfolio and get her boyfriend to do the videography and video editing).
The kicker for this type of plan, besides knowing our friendor is already a great photographer and has a lot of professional equipment, is that I know photo editing and was able to sort and edit our photos myself. Editing is very time-consuming and requires an enormous amount of patience. I am still editing photos to this day! I can see why photographers charge so much for their services because editing it really what makes or breaks your photos, and it takes so long to do.
Post # 29
Lots of good advice here. Craigslist, try art schools for students. You seem really normal and understands that paying less will get you less quality. That’s life. Your budget is your budget. Honestly if I wasnt a photographer myself and traded with a friend to shoot her wedding I could have never afforded my photographer haha. The reality is that good wedding photography is a luxury product. It’s not a necessity. Necessities are an officiant, a ring and a spouse! If its not in your budget don’t feel bad. If you spend more than you comfortably have you’ll be all stressed out and it will put a damper on the day. Just make sure you get a contract and receipt from whoever you hire! Best of luck!
Post # 30
My Fiance and I are young and are having a budget wedding. We will be doing everything cheap – doing the catering ourselves, DIY projects for decor, buying a dress used, ect.
I cannot afford a $3k+ photographer. The whole budget for our wedding is $5k!
I’m using a student photographer who is building her own business. She’s shot about 4 weddings so far and I think her pictures are awesome! Her normal packages are $500-$1000 but I won a contest that she was having to build publicity so I’m getting 4 hours for free plus a DVD of all the images! I will probably spend some money to have her for a few more hours but still.
Post # 31
I’m trying to hire a photographer. I have contacted a few, told them my maximum budget is $2K for an intimate – 50 person – wedding. Told them I don’t need all day coverage, 4 or so hours is fine. I don’t need someone photographing me getting ready. I just want the ceremony, some pictures at a local landmark that is between the church and the reception hall and a couple hours of the reception. So far no reponses, I guess $500 per hour isn’t enough for a photographer here.
I have 6 months left until my wedding and this is the only vendor left to be booked. I’ll try to contact a few more, then if needed go to Craigslist. I appreciate the previous posters input.