Post # 1
My fiance and I are on a tight budget and I know photographers can be expensive. I am wondering if you all would share what your cost for photographer is or what you have been quoted.
We found a photographer last night that we really like and I was in touch with her. I told her I was on a budget and she offered packages that cost $300/$500/$900 we are leaning in the direction of $500- $900 package. She has only done one wedding but her website was full of all kinds of photos and we love her work. Most photography websites that I have come across do not list the price which makes me think they are expensive.
So does $500 – $900 seem like an affordable price for a photographer? Our total wedding budget is between $2 – $5k but we really want to stay on the lower end if possible.
Post # 2
I learned my lesson- check to see if that is her fee for the day and if you have to purchase the pictures later and at one price. To get a flash drive of our pics ended up costing more than them taking pictures. Check over the contract well and do not take the verbal agreement at word, only in writing.
Post # 3
That’s a great price for a photographer, and it’s probably due to the fact that she has only done one wedding. Normal photographers don’t always make the best wedding photographers automatically, as it takes a whole different skill set of planning/knowledge to be a great wedding photographer. However, as long as you manage your expectations, I think this is a great option for you.
Average prices are going to depend on the area, but that 500-900 quote I think would be affordable in any area. I’m getting married in NYC, and basic packages around here start at $2500, so I think that’s probably the best you’re going to do, especially for a photographer whose work you actually love!
Post # 4
If she has only done one wedding ask to see the entire album. Like PP mentioned she may be charging so low since she’s just starting out however there are also a lot of untrustworthy people that have beautiful photos on their website that aren’t actually theirs producing crappy photos on he day of! Another way to figure out is to ask to have an engagement session included.
Sometimes people do luck out and find a budding photog but just know there’s always risk with that! Good luck!
Post # 5
Our photographer is charging us 800$ for being there the full day of the wedding, and that includes us getting all the pictures on a usb key, and she’s giving us an engagement shoot as part of the package. We’ve also worked with her before and like her work, so I don’t think we could have gotten anything better than that!
Post # 6
Industry standards for a full-time, experienced, professional is around $3-4,000. That will vary a little bit depending on location and experience, but it’s a pretty average number. Speaking as a wedding photographer – our business costs are the same no matter where we live. We all pay the same price for websites, gear, proofing, albums, etc. That’s where experience and locations with a higher cost of living come into factor.
For under $900 you’re likely getting someone with little to no experience. I think you said they’ve done 1 wedding? At that point it’s less about saying “is this a good price” and more about managing your expectations. You just have to go into it knowing (and being ok with) the fact that it might not turn out how you want.
The best advice I can give couples on a tight budget is to hire the BEST photographer you can for the most amount of time you can afford. It’s better to have 2-3 hours with an awesome photographer who will give you quality work than 8 with a crappy one and everything is dark and blurry. I say this honestly, not being snarky at all, at the under $1k mark, likely anyone you’re hiring is probably no better than if your Aunt Sally took a DSLR to the wedding and photographed. For that reason, I’d find a great photographer who will do an hourly rate and hire them for as much time as you can afford. When I shoot small weddinsg & eleopements it’s usually in the 2-3 hour range and that’s typically the perfect amount of time for the ceremony, family formals, and bride/groom portraits. The other photos from the day, while important and senitmental, are rarely the photos that you DO anything with. Let a friend or budding cover the rest of the day.
Post # 7
Our wedding photographer is $2500AU and that includes all day photography, from 8am to 11pm if needs be. He said we could also get polaroid photos taken on the night included. He normally is over $3000 but was having a % off sale because it was the start of wedding season. We consider him to be an expensive photographer , personally, but that is because we don’t have a massive budget but we love the style of image and this will be our splurge. Although in saying that some in our area charge 5-6000.
Post # 8
I agree with everything starfish0116 said. Unfortunately, while that price might seem amazing, with photography, you get what you pay for. And with the amount of people posting on this website about how they’re so upset and disappointed with their wedding/engagement photos, I would be very hesitant to pick an inexperienced photographer. Like starfish said, I would recommend going for a few hours with a great photographer.
To answer your question, photography was our splurge item, as it’s super important to both of us. Plus, I don’t know where you’re from, but we live in New Jersey, and our photographer is from North Jersey (so, closer to NYC), so the prices around here are higher. Our entire package cost a little over $4k and includes 8hrs coverage, two photographers, a large album, rights to the photos, a $150 printing credit, an engagement shoot, and a 16×20 canvas print. The canvas print was free for booking early, and we also got a 10% military discount.
Post # 9
I disagree with having to pay ridiculous amounts to get a great photographer. We went with someone who had not done as many weddings but who’s work we really liked. We got him for $750 for 5hours. He did an amazing job. He didn’t miss a shot (got me and my husband while I was walking out). Look at their work and talk to them and go with your gut. We love our pictures!
Post # 10
I would definitely want to see as many pictures of the one wedding that they did take photos of, and also make sure you know exactlt what you’re getting for that price. Will it include a certain amount of edited photos? or just the raw images?? That could hit you in the end.
Post # 11
Our price is $595 for 6 hours (I think it was $795 for 8, but we didn’t need that). We are using Fiona Image. They contract with a lot of photographers in different areas to provide affordable packages. We really liked the portfolios we saw for our photographer (she’s done quite a few weddings), and they have awesome reviews. Might be worth checking to see if there’s a company like them in your area. 🙂
Post # 12
She told me that included in the packages are a 10 page wedding album and the disk (or flash drive). For the $500 package it is 5 hours and 100 edited photos, for the $900 package it is 9 hours and 200 edited photos. There was no mention of an engagment session but my Fiance and I really don’t care about that… he hates having his picture taken.
I will request to see her wedding pictures because there are only two on her main website, along with her regular photography. She does have some engagement photos which are also really nice. I do like her style, which is a little quirky (based on her regular photos). My fiance really hates having his picture taking (as I mentioned above), so we are leaning towards less posed and traditional poses and hopefully more candid/creative ones.
Thank you all for your advice, food is our splurge with photography being second – I don’t know if I will regret that decision but we freaking love food. Once we figure out our food costs (getting in touch with a restaurant later this week) we will know better what we can spend on photography.
I like what a few have you mentioned, hiring a great photographer for only a few hours, that may be something to look into.
Post # 13
bblaizis: we paid around $1800 for our photographer (her rates went up to closer to $2000 after we hired her) she was with us from 10am-8pm. Ask to see her images from an entire wedding day – you want someone who is going to be able to capture images in a variety of conditions and be able to respond to less than optimal light, settings, candids and posed shots. If she hasn’t shot a lot of weddings as a lead photographer ask where the images on her website came from (aka, working as an assistant or second shooter to another photographer, doing favors for friends to help build her business) and about her experience shooting weddings.
Most wedding photographers don’t list their prices on their websites. It’s worth emailing them to ask, or calling them to see if a smaller package or rate can be negotiated. Depending on the area you live in, and the time of year you are getting married, it might be possible.
Also part of what you are paying a good photographer for is the ability to pose you and make you look your best in posed candid shots. Most of the the really good “candid” shots are at least partially staged and are created with the help of the photographer. (The best ones from my engagement photos are the photographer encouragring us to laugh and goof off as she took the photos). If your Fiance “hates having his picture taken” it’s worthwhile to find someone who can help you feel comfortable having your picture taken, it’s going to get you images you will want in the long run.
Post # 14
I would be nervous about a photographer that cheap. If you go for a private photog the lowest I’m seeing them is a starting price between 2500-3200. Now, I’m in Chicago and I’ve only been looking at wedding specific photographers.
There are a lot of chains that offer packages as low as $900.
If you decide not to go that route, you can always negotiate your prices. Are you getting married in off peak season? Off peak day? Do you need 10 hours? Are prints optional but you want digital files? We negotiated our photographer down from 5,000 to 2,000 because we’re doing a Thursday in March.
Post # 15
Ours was around $1700 for 4 hours. High, I know, but it was #1 on my list of “wedding priorities” and I wanted the best pictures I could get. To me, pictures are really the only things in a wedding that won’t wilt or tarnish or no longer fit or go out of style (obviously the marriage is the most important, but I’m talking “wedding”). People’s memories fade but pictures capture the moments as they were forever.
I’d be nervous with that low of price, but if the sample pictures are gorgeous and what you want, they I say go for it.
MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHTS TO THE IMAGES! I’m serious! It’s a *thing8 that some photographers do – You can see the images but if you want to download or print them, you have to go through them and its expensive!