Post # 1
My fiance and I are starting to get our hearts set on eloping to Big Sur, CA and I’ve been reaching out to various vendors. It will only be us for the elopement and my guess would be 3-5 hours of photography. So far the pricing I am seeing and getting from photographers puts the package at about $4-5k to get the shoot, high resolution photos on a disc or USB, and a photo album. So further prints would cost more, and I’m just a little surprised at the pricing. I want to get good quality photos since it will be just us and this is one area where I am willing to splurge a little, however, I was expecting between $2-3k, especially since it will just be two of us on a weekday outside of peak wedding season (looking at a winter wedding date). I know the cost of living and services in CA is higher than what I am used to on the east coast, but I’m curious as to what others who have eloped ended up spending on photos.
Please, if you are willing to share, let me know how many hours of service, where you eloped, the cost and what all you got for that price (digital, prints, albums, etc.). Thank you!
Post # 2
Orchid71: There’s no set cost across the board, it’s all based on what exactly you’re looking for. You could likely keep it within your 2-3k buget if you stayed around 3 hours and didn’t have an album. Albums, especially professional quality from your photographer, are expensive to produce.
As an example, my hourly rate for small weddings is $500/hr and that includes just the digital files. Most of my elopements are in the 2 hour range, pushing to 3 hours if we’re doing photos in an alternate location. 5 Hours is super excessive for two people. My base album price is right around $1k – so 3 hours w/ an digital files & album is around $2500.
Post # 3
Orchid71: My wedding is in the Mountain West and sounds pretty similar to yours- just us, the judge, and the photographer for the ceremony with scenic photos to follow, and it is on a weekday which significantly defrayed the cost. I am paying $750/hr, with additional hours charged at $150. This includes travel time (no extra charge or time “used” in transit from ceremony site to second location), one photographer (the women who owns the company- I made sure of that!), and a high-res cd of our photos.
Post # 4
starfish0116: Thank you for the insights! $1k seems to be the album rate I’ve come across for if you were to order it a la carte from your package, so that all makes sense! I was not sure timewise what we would need to get between some of the scenic spots, but 3 hours seems pretty reasonable.
Post # 5
lizknope: Thank you for the reply! $750 for the first hour is what I got from one photographer, but the additional hours are $500 and the session includes a high res copy of the images. This is a better price than close to $4k, but I would also be covering some travel/hotel costs in addition to that rate because the photographer is not immediately local. You’ve given me a little faith though, that if I keep looking I can find a comparable price for someone closer to where we are getting married.
Post # 6
Orchid71: first of all, I love Big Sur x1000 and seriously considered eloping there! so I am so excited for you. You are going to have a beautiful wedding!
I’m from California and I do agree with a midweek winter elopement I’d think you could find something cheaper. well, maybe not including the album, those are super expensive.
I’d keep looking, and maybe ask if people have midweek discounts available. The other thing you could do is shorten your coverage or get a smaller/cheaper album.
Post # 7
We are eloping in the UK, midweek. 5 hours of coverage is £750 which includes all high res images. For an extra £150, he is making us a mini movie and creating a slideshow and dubbing audio over it. We decided to forgo a traditional weding albumn. With the high res images we can make our own photo books (including some for parents) and we tent to play vacation images as a slide show on our TV.
Post # 8
juicebar: We are almost decided 100% on Big Sur, and I am thrilled about it! I did find a few very local photographers who offered very reasonable pricing for 3 hours, plus they know all of the good spots at our potential venue. So very glad I kept looking.
shxbm: Wow that is an excellent rate! I found a photographer with good pricing and it includes the high resolution images. So we were thinking is possibly making our own album, and definitely making gift albums for parents. Best wishes on your elopement in the UK!!!
Post # 9
We eloped at a resort in Jamaica, and while the photographers time was included with the wedding package (which would have only been $500 plus the $250 government fee had we not stayed 6 nights, it was included with our room because we did stay that long), we’d have only gotten one print included to bring home, and wanted a dvd to share with everyone back home, so we paid a $1,500 upgrade for the shoot of the beach ceremony, the cake cutting a toast in the gardens, photos all over the resort gardens, and back on the beach for more. They offered to do more, but we were tired from being a little nervous leading up to the actual wedding, and I did not think to put on sun lotion for my shoulders even though we were getting married on the beach, and I was on the verge of burning.
we ended up with a cd of 33 photos of the 145 they took, (we got to pick two days after the wedding), and were surprised with a beautiful leather photo album with 8×10 and 5×7 prints already inserted by the next day, and the dvd arrived one week after we got home.