(Closed) Courthouse Wedding..photography help?

posted 10 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1955 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@benjamynsgirl:  You might try contacting a few wedding photographers in your area. Sometimes they are willling to charge you just for the few hours (usually something along the lines of an ‘elopement’ package) so you could get some photos at the courthouse and after. Especially if you are planning on going to the courthouse mid-week-an elopement package should be much less than $1500.

Alternatively, see if there are any photography students at nearby schools. They might be somewhat of a risk, but also would be less expensive than an established pro photographer.

Post # 4
1691 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

I agree with everything the previous poster said, but I want to add one thing: I was a witness for a couple who got married in a courthouse, and I was going to be their photographer for the day. Well, after we got in the area where they perform the marriage, the officiant said no photos were allowed. She was very strict about it too. I would check into this before you hire a photographer for time you may not be able to use. 

Post # 5
93 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2012

One thing you can do if you don’t like the courthouse background is find a place nearby that is cute/suitable for good pictures.

This is probably risky, but it would be worth looking into photography students at your local university. Have them provide a portfolio of work they’ve done and they will work for CHEAP. Tell them you’ll give them a good reference if they do well. 

Post # 6
159 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Definitely contact your local photographers and let them know that you’re having a private courthouse ceremony, and ask what their rates are for 1-2 hours of covering that and portraits. I think you’ll find that most of the advertised wedding rates will be assuming about 6 hours of coverage at least, so courthouse prices will be cheaper.

Post # 7
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

Since your wedding is on a Thursday, you have a good shot at negotiating with a photographer for a low rate for just an hour or two of shooting. If it were a weekend wedding they may not be willing to do this because they could book a more lucrative contract. But on a Thursday, they’ll be happy to have a gig even if it’s a smaller one.

We are doing something very similar–eloping on a Thursday, just the two of us, but still having a photographer for church/ceremony shots as well as bridal portraits.

Post # 8
301 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

Contact the wedding photographers and tell them you want a photo shoot for a certain amount of hours.  That’s what I did.  When they hear wedding, they think of a lot of people and a lot of action and that’s what you’re paying for.  Most I contacted lowered their prices for a photo shoot.  Where one photographer would be $1800 for a ‘wedding’, he quoted me $600 for a photo shoot for 3 hours.

Post # 9
128 posts
Blushing bee

I had the same issue, and had very little luck with the regular set of pro photographers.  They all insisted I needed to buy their $1500+ package even though we didn’t need or want 80% of what they contained.  All I can say is to keep looking and make sure the first thing you say is that you only want an hour of photos at the ceremony and just after and your budget is $Y, so that you’ll know right away if they are wasting your time.  I finally found a pro advertising a special on Craigslist.  We are getting an hour or two of engagement photos in a few months and then an hour or two of photos on our wedding day (just the two of us) for $425 including the images on DVD and printing rights.  Good luck!

Post # 10
1741 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@benjamynsgirl:  “First, I cant imagine the courthouse being ideal for cute wedding pictures.”  I totally disagree!  Originally, I wanted to get married at City Hall and one thing I was adamant about was beautiful pictures.  Do a Google image search for “city hall wedding” and “courthouse wedding”–I think you will be inspired!

Here are a couple I found:

Post # 11
6 posts
  • Wedding: August 1995

Reach out to some local photographers, you never know, I did one about a year ago, we did 2 hours, in the courthouse and then drove to Wash. DC (local to us) and did photos also, it was great and I billed them according to 2 hours of shooting and the DVD they wanted. 

Good luck!


Photography by Marirosa

Post # 12
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

If your wedding doesn’t fall on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday you shouldn’t have much difficulty (I would hope) finding someone with an elopement package that would work for you. We do a $750-3 hour session that is perfect for this sort of thing.

Search for “YOUR CITY elopement photographer” or something similar.  Even if it’s not technically an elopement that’s often the verbage we use for those packages.

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