Can you negotiate photographer's prices?

posted 5 months ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
820 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to ask, given your lack of experience in this area, would you consider negotiating a “first client” discount.

That said: hire someone who knows weddings. There are so many little moments and angles that photographers need to know. I would never hire someone to shoot the most important day who had not done it before. My photographer was newish to weddings (done quite a few but still less than many photographers we looked at) and frankly it showed in how the day flowed, some of our photos, and photo opportunities that were missed.

Post # 3
6350 posts
Bee Keeper

Imo: unless you don’t give a shit about your pictures, don’t hire someone who’s never shot at night or at weddings. Some people don’t value photos and would be fine with this. But please consider how you’ll feel if they don’t turn out well.

with that outta the way, I think the easiest way to negotiate prices is to adjust the package. Go back to them and say something like ‘we like your work but we’re thinking X for budget. Is there anything we can adjust in the package to get there?” Some will meet you automatically, some might offer a few less hours or no engagement shoot or no book at the end. I’ve done that with multiple vendors (not just weddings) and almost always get a positive answer. 

Post # 4
3421 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017 - City, State

Agree with PP. I had an amazing photographer and we negotiated the package based on the fact that we only needed her for 4 hours, and not 8 and didn’t need as many photos as she normally took for her longer package. She was willing to negotiate on price because of these two factors. If you have a specific budget, ask what services they think they can provide within that budget and go from there.

Post # 5
3193 posts
Sugar bee

I think it is crazy to go with a newbie.

Post # 6
1235 posts
Bumble bee

Would you be ok if she missed crucial moments during the wedding or fail to capture some nice moments or captured the wrong angle etc?

I mean family and maternity shots are mostly posed. That’s quite different to weddings where they’re required to be observant and quick in capturing moments as they happen. Also moving around to find the right angle and working around other service providers and guests who sometimes get in the way. Shooting at night would be hard as well if she doesn’t know how to best deal with the lack of lighting.

I definitely suggest rethinking.

Post # 7
15 posts
  • Wedding: May 2019

I would highly encourage shopping around – you’d be surprised at the margin on these services.  At the end we were able to get a very talented and experienced photographer for a much lower hourly cost than a portrait photographer who had bid on the job.  

Post # 8
25 posts
  • Wedding: May 2019

We negotiated the price with our photographer. We’re having a small wedding, and having a family dinner afterwards instead of a traditional reception. Our photographer’s wedding packages were either for 6 or 8 hours, but since we only wanted her for 3 or 4 hours we were able to name a price for a shorter amount of time. 


I agree with others though, that I wouldn’t go with a photographer that didn’t have any experience with weddings or shooting at night. Having to worry about the pictures sounds like unneeded stress. 


I didn’t even want an experienced photographer if they had never shot at our wedding location. Maybe I was being a little picky, but I was happy to hear that my photographer has done many weddings at our location, and that it is one of her favorite places to photograph. And no, she wasn’t just saying that to get our business, I’ve also seen her make the same comment on Instagram. 


Although she did nearly give me a heart attack a few weeks ago when she posted about how she used to hate taking pictures there because she could never get the pictures to turn out right because of the lighting. But she kept at it, and now loves it. Which just goes to show why experience is so important.

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