(Closed) First time wedding photographer

posted 4 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: How much should we pay first time photographer?







  • Post # 2
    244 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2017

    Always, always, always sort out monetary expectations before hand! It just leaves so much up in the air and creates problems like this. Did she do it as a gift? Is she expecting payment? Did she say “whatever you want to pay me is fine”?

    My photographer charges $2,880 for 8 hours on the wedding day. So if this woman is running a business, even a new one, then $200 is nowhere near enough to compensate her properly.

    Post # 3
    875 posts
    Busy bee

    In my opinion, photographers need to earn the right to charge $2,000…certainly their time is worth money, but no one would pay someone that much to walk around all day taking snaps with an iphone, because anyone can do that. The camera quality, the artistic eye, the editing experience, all play factors into how much a photographer is worth. My photographer charged $575 and had quite a bit of photography experience, but was still in school…and I only had her for 4 hours.

    Unless your photographer is incredibly talented and takes stunning photos without needing experience/lessons, I think $300 is a fair price. 12 hours (or more, if she edited any) is a veeerrry long time for a photographer to work, so I could understand an argument for a bit more, maybe $500. Have you talked with her about it at all? 

    Post # 4
    244 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 2017

    Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I wasn’t suggesting she pay her $3000, I was making a point about her expectations: was it a gift on behalf of the photographer, simply so she could get some experience, or was she considering it her “first assignment” from a business point of view, because the monetary expectations would be very different for those two situations.

    Post # 5
    3848 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: June 2014

    View original reply
    kaylarobinson :  Did you have any sort of contract?  What did she give you – jpegs or RAW files, or both?   Are you happy with the photos?

    Post # 6
    1029 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2017

    View original reply
    kaylarobinson :  do you mind posting a few photos? I’m an Art Director for a publishing company and work on a couple dozen magazines a year. I could tell you how much her photos are worth based on her work. 

    Post # 8
    60 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: June 2015

    I think you just gotta talk to her and ask point blank, “What can we pay you?”. It does sound like she meant it as a gift, so she’ll probably say nothing (in which case I think a check for $200 in a thank you card with a glowing review would be extremely kind of you).

    Post # 9
    547 posts
    Busy bee

    This sounds like a gift to me, especially as she asked to do this and she is the fiance of your husband’s friend.

    If it were me, I would get a $100-200 gift certificate to a really nice restaurant (enough for a dinner and drinks), write a very heartfelt thank you card, including something along the lines of you hope that she is able to use the pictures to build her portfolio, and that you would love to write a review for her once you have the pictures.

    I could be reading the situation incorrectly, but it sounds like this was an offer she made in hopes of building a portfolio to market her business.  And while it worked out for you, since you didn’t have a photographer, it was a mutually beneficial situation.

    Post # 10
    402 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

    I would be more direct and ask her up front so there is no miscommunication of expectations. 

    My cousin’s engagement photos were taken by her boss and another colleague. They turned out great, and were a gift to the couple. Her boss and colleague also offered to do our prewedding/engagement shoot. They are doing photography as a hobby, and are just starting out, so they reached out to us. I liked that they were very clear and stated that we also do not need to pay them. However my Fiance and I will give them $200 each in cash for helping out, probably more depending on how long the shoot is. They are also helping us edit the photos after.


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