Asking for less hours for wedding photography…

posted 2 years ago in Engagement
Post # 16
1065 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

Talk to your photographer. Mine had set packages, but when we sat down he went over all of our options (how many hours was needed, if we needed more than one photographer, etc.). They might be more flexible than you expect.

Post # 18
1285 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

It doesn’t hurt to ask. My photographer offered an hourly rate to help out couples that couldn’t afford her $3000 full day fee. It’s the perfect balance for us..we just want pictures of the ceremony, family portraits, wedding party portraits, and bride and groom portraits. She will leave toward the beginning of the reception.

Post # 19
912 posts
Busy bee

When we were looking for a photographer, I was told by a few that if I since we are having an off-day wedding (Friday evening), they would be more likely to do shorter photography package since they weren’t likely to have another booking that day and wouldn’t have the opportunity to make more money with a longer event.

Post # 21
1777 posts
Buzzing bee

I’m in a similar boat to you, photography is important to me I want beautiful photographs. but I don’t want or need 8 hours of photography based on my tiny destination wedding. The nice thing about choosing a tiny destination wedding/elopement package was that I got only what I needed. I’m getting married on a Sunday, since the weekend I wanted was a holiday weekend. I’m also getting married in the “off” season. My photographer has no problem being with us for the 5 hours we wanted, because of those things. We ran through our time line and our needs and he stated that no problem. This is the time we need. 

I’m not having a full crazy wedding. I don’t want or need to spend several thousand dollars to get that level of photography. I will say this if you choose to not pick a Saturday a photographer will be much more likely to want to work with you on something for price that fits your budget and their skillset.

Post # 23
941 posts
Busy bee

My friend requested to have a photographer for only the ceremony and a few traditional portraits afterwards with her, her Darling Husband and families.  Her pictures turned out nicely!  She was married on a Saturday in September.  I recall her mentioning that the photographer typically does full day weddings, but that she agreed to only come for a few hours instead.  I hope things work out for you with your price point  and timeline 🙂

Post # 25
3985 posts
Honey bee

Coco Brown Walker :  Not sure what you’re looking for here (advice? Validation? Something else?) but it seems like you made up your mind that you want only 4 hours of professional photography so go for it. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I just noticed that upon looking at photographer’s websites, many of them do have a set minimum of 6 hours especially the most in demand ones. But I’m sure you will find one who is willing to do your wedding with the amount of time you want and you are happy with their work quality. You just really gotta look around. 

Some brides like you don’t want a full day of pictures but keep in mind that weddings or even elopements  sometimes go beyond the scheduled time. For example, I know someone who eloped (as in just the 2 of them and zero guests) they hired a photography and videography team for 4 hours but it ended up being 5 because they still ran behind schedule so they had to pay for an extra hour. There will even be a higher chance of that happening even if you only have a few guests. 

Post # 26
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Good luck!! I had my photographer for only 4 hours. I understand not needing pictures of every.single.thing. that happened during getting ready. I am glad she didn’t stay for the later part of the reception, cause I don’t need to see pics of my messy drunk self dancing 🙂

It was one of her listed packages, but she said almost no one actually makes it in at under 4 hours. We did family portraits before the wedding, and enough nice pictures during the reception. We ran right on schedule, if we had any hiccups we may have needed more time – our ceremony and reception were in the same room with no cocktail hour, which made it quick. 

That said, we got married in off-season/March and our photographer was not top-tier (she’s awesome, but was still building her business), so she may be more flexible than the established photogs. Hopefully you will find someone who does a package that works for you!

Post # 27
2208 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise

Coco Brown Walker :  Every photographer I looked at had a 1/2 day option. Since we aren’t having a traditional ceremony and reception, I knew we’d only need about 4 hours to cover all the shots we wanted.

The best advice I got was to look on Instagram. Search wedding photography in your location and look at photos. Find someone who’s work speaks to you, then go from there. If you find someone you love, just ask them about half day options. The worst they can say is no.

Post # 29
2546 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Coco Brown Walker :  We were able to do 3 hours with our photographer for our wedding. He was highly rated, but only had large packages listed on his website- and our wedding was only 4 guests and no reception- just dinner- so I just emailed him & asked about pricing for just 3 hours. It worked out really well for us- we got all the pics we wanted & even a few extras! I think the only reason he may have agreed to it though was because our location was close to him & he hadn’t had any inquiries for our date yet, they’d much rather book a 8 hour paying job that day than a 3 hour… I think ours was $800 for the 3 hours, plus his tip, & transportation costs… 

Post # 30
324 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Coco Brown Walker :  I just wanted to point out that family members pictures on their cell phones most likely won’t be very good quality. If you could get your hands on a digital camera and have someone you know that has an eye for photography capture pictures for you at the reception instead that would probably be much better. 

My Mom got married 3 yrs ago and only had her photographer for 6 hrs. I used my $300 digital camera and took pictures the whole day for her for free. She actually liked my first dance picture better than her photographers! I also got candid photos of people that I knew she was close to at the reception. Her photographer didn’t know who her favorite friends and relatives were, so she got candids of the groom’s side and distant relatives instead. (It wasn’t the photographers fault, it was a busy reception and unless you knew my Mom well you’d have no idea of who she’d most like to see in pictures.)

Good luck with whatever you decide to do. I hope your pictures are awesome!

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