Post # 16
I think that is very reasonable for photography. Does she mainly shoot people or objects/landscapes? I think that if you are going with a hobby or less professional photographer (even if they are just as good) you want to make sure they are very comfortable with adapting to lighting (since they will be shooting all day) and comfortable with shooting people. Look through their portfolio and decide if you feel that their skill and attention to detail is what makes the photos, or if the scene is doing all the work. You want to know that they have what it takes and if they have beautiful photos but not a high level of skill, you probably shouldn’t go with them.
Post # 17
Our photographer was also building her portfolio for our wedding, so we got a discounted rate. I think we paid about $1500 for full day coverage by her and 1 assistant, over 600 hi-res edited images on a USB drive and an online gallery, print rights to all images, and an engagement session with something like 30ish edited photos. Printed photos and albums were extra (or I could do them on my own through any service I chose). Now, her rates start at $2500 for 8 hours of coverage.
I think $500-900 is WAY cheap and I’d be skeptical of what I’m getting for that price. However, if your preferred budget is $2k for the entire wedding, does spending possibly about 50% of that on photography make sense? Will the leftover $1,100 cover all the rest of your wedding costs?
Post # 18
I would just have realistic expectations. In the industry here, I paid $4500 for my photographer. Most photogs in the US don’t make a living off of wedding photography as their only job until they charge >$2,000 (because taxes take away 1/3 and operational costs take away another 1/3). That being said, if photography is not your #1 priority and you like the quality of her photos and you are willing to take that risk, then it is what it is.
You mentioned that
“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.”
For that reason alone you actually don’t want to go with an amateur. Professionals with more experience, not less, know how to work with people so that they feel at ease. Someone with only one wedding’s worth of experience would get nervous and may freeze in this kind of situation, which means you actually NEED MORE time, not less, and more practice. I offer engagement photos to all my wedding clients regardless of whether they like photos or not, because I can guarantee you it’s like a trial run – always results in better wedding photos.
Make sure you two like the photographer as a person, esp your Fiance who would have to like to be around her to be photographed.
Post # 19
Thank you all for your advice/experiences.
I sent her a message asking to see more pictures from the wedding she did and she said she will send them when she gets home tonight. I will make my next decisions after that based on what I see.
I want to go with my gut, and I really do like her photographs on her website. Everyone has to start somewhere so I don’t want to be judgemental on her because she has only done one wedding.
But I am really taking everyones advice into consideration and am very appreciative. I knew the photographer selection would be the hardest for me.
Post # 20
We’re currently looking at a photographer that costs €2250 for 14 hours. This includes a 30-page photo book, approximately 700-900 edited images, an online gallery and a custom usb drive with the final photos and a photo booth with props. I still have to find out if the number of images includes the ones captured by the photo booth, but this person is currently our front-runner. He’s also a member of the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (https://www.ispwp.com/), which is an independent society that “vets” photographers. I looked at their membership application and it’s quite extensive.
While I think you can find cheaper options that also produce high-quality images – obviously there are a lot of talented photographers who need to start somewhere – I do think the risk is higher when going for photographers who have just recently begun their career. Photographers who have shot a lot of weddings tend to be faster when troubleshooting specific situations – lighting issues, camera malfunctions, portait set-ups – that comes with experience. I think the more weddings you photograph the easier it is to anticipate the shots that you want to get, ask the right questions, stand in the right place, etc.
I was initially thinking about working with a photographer who I know on a professional basis (he photographs events that our organisation hosts and is rather good), but my main concern was his lack of experience with weddings. Pictures are the one thing that you have after the wedding is over, so I want to give us the best chance of getting images we’re happy with. Also, since the market is saturated with people who buy DSL cameras and create a website with their best photos (and not all the photos from one wedding), I prefered going with a photographer who had been vetted.
Post # 21
I have been in contact with three photographers now (including the one I wrote about earlier). I asked the first one if I could see pictures of the wedding she shot. She said yes but hasn’t sent them yet.
The second one has a lot of wedding shots on her facebook that I like. She said within my budget she could provide me a 4 hour shoot (first one was 9 hours) for $800 dollars, a cd with all pictures edited and retouched (300-400 shots), printing rights, and a consultation. No mention if a physical wedding album was included (I asked her that).
The third one seemed for me, too good to be true and I asked her a lot of questions. Anyway for $1,000 she offered me an engagement session, all day coverage for wedding, two photographers (the other two photographers only offered one), online album to share/print/or download, coupon for a boudoir session and also a coupon for a makeup artist. Also 100- 1,000 professionally edited pictures.
I would have to book with her this week and she would knock off a $100 from the price. There was no mention of printing rights or a physical wedding album. So I asked her about that and also if we had an engagement session, would we have to pay for prints or would they be included.
OH also, my Fiance went to high school with a girl who went to photography school. He showed me her facebook and her pictures are beautiful. I told him to get in touch with her.
So I hope to get some answers this weekend.
Post # 22
For under $1,000 I can almost promise you won’t get anyone to include an album. Our cost for albums, before we mark them up, is usually in the $300+ range depending on the specific album. If you find someone to include one, it’s likely to be a pretty cheap consumer lab album.
A good deal is subjective, especially without seeing the quality of anyone’s work. Do you have websites for any of these people?
Post # 23
I would be VERY wary. 100-200 pictures isn’t that much. We have almost too many to choose from on our disc — 1100 — but at the same time I would say I LOVE only 20-30% of them which I think is pretty normal. So 20-30% of 100 is…20-30 pictures. How important is photography to you? Remember you really only get one shot at this and if you want good and gorgeous pictures, it is best to err on the side of caution and pay for more pictures. You do get what you pay for. I completely understand wanting to cut costs, but photography is something I recommend NOT cutting costs.
For the record we found a photographer for $2000. We got a complementary engagement session, 12 hours of coverage (2 photographers), rights to all of her edited images, and 1100 edited images on a disc to choose from. Her pictures were FABULOUS and I was amazed with what we got for how little we paid for it. She is fairly young, but was still professional and wonderful to work with.
Post # 24
I have seen their websites or Facebook page.
The one who offered the “too good to be true” deal responded to my questions. They are an ecofriendly company so we wouldn’t get any prints unless we paid extra. We would also have shared printing rights.
I am glad I reached out and doing research although I am really starting to get discouraged 🙁 I am not trying to be cheap but we just don’t have the budget to spend on photography that other people do.
Post # 25
Can you share their websites/facebook page? What they offer package wise really doesn’t mean much without knowing the kind of quality their work is.
I totally understand working with a lower budget, and I get that everyone has to start somewhere. The problem is too many people jump into wedding photography without mastering just basic photography first. There’s nothing wrong with being new to weddings, there is something wrong with being new to photography and booking weddings. Like I said before, at that price range you’re likely getting someone with pretty low quality work. It’s not a slam against them, or your budget, it’s just one of those cases where you really do get what you pay for. More often than not, anyone in that price range is going to be no better quality than a friend w/ a camera who has no experience. That’s the main reason I suggest to couples to hire a good quality photographer for 2-3 hours (enough time to cover the ceremony, family formals, and bridal party / bride & groom photos). If you can find in your budget to stretch it to a 4th hour you can get the first little bit of reception. After that let a friend take photos.
Post # 26
- Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom
I paid $500 for my photographer.
Looking back, we got REALLY lucky because in most cases, you get what you pay for.
Post # 27
The first link below is for the wedding photographer I originally posted about. She only shot one wedding, is offering $900 package for all day coverage, 10 page wedding album, printing rights, 200 edited images, and usable edited digital images.
This next link is to the Facebook page for the woman who offered me the $800 dollar package for 4 hours coverage, cd with all photos (300-400), printing rights, pre/post wedding consultation. If we wanted another photographer it would be $100.00 extra. I asked about a wedding album and she did not respond yet (which kinda irritates me because everyone else has been kinda prompt and good old facebook, I know she saw the message lol)
The third person who offered me the $1,000 dollar session with all kinds of extras, I decided to not go with.
My FI’s friend that I posted about says she does not do weddings but offered to give us some names.
Post # 28
I agree with others that you get what you pay for, but if photography is not a huge priority for you, that price is amazing! Photography is one of the items we decided we’d be willing to splurge on, but we were still shocked by the quotes we received back. It was impossible for us to find a photographer under $3k who could produce the quality and style of photography we wanted. We were very fortunate in finally securing a very well known wedding photographer for a little under $3k, but we are actually going with her associate photographer program which is half the cost of what it would have been to go with her. She is going to edit all our photos herself though, and is also going to do our engagement session.