Post # 1
This is my current frustration with wedding planning! I was really hoping to find a good photographer for less than $2K. I don’t mind not having them for the full day. I’ve narrowed down photographers to these few, they’re listed in no particular order.
I just want to make sure that there’s not a huge quality issue my untrained eyes are missing, considering they are on the less expensive side! Also curious if anyone sees something they don’t like about what the photographer offers package-wise. I’ve listed a brief overview of what they offer.
1. http://angelajeanphotography.com/weddings/ (here is her Facebook, which is more organized)
$1,400 for 5 hours, hi res DVD, engagement session, $50 print credit, online proofing/ordering
2. http://www.michellewade.net (this is her blog, here is her primary website)
$1,700 for 4 hours, hi res disc, online proofing
3. http://portfolio.alysenicolephotography.com (here is her Facebook, which is more organized)
$1,250 for 6 hours ($1,550 for full day and a couple of extra things), 2 photographers, engagement session, digital images
4. http://www.jefflundstromphotography.com (here is his Facebook. It’s easier to look at photos here.
$1,900 for 5 hours, disc of images
Post # 3
@PaisleyMedic: You got it! Taking a look for you now.
Post # 4
@PaisleyMedic: Alright… in my opinion….
I think Michelle is pretty good… I wish she was including more for you. It might be worth seeing what she would charge for more hours or to include an e-session and then looking for other photogs in that price range.
I would rule out Jeff, because his quality of work is not worth the higher price than the others, particularly Michelle for only one more hour. I don’t like mostly B&W photos from the reception.
For Angela… her work is decent, but for some reason I can only see one fully blogged wedding. Either because there is only one or the website isn’t cooperating, but it looks like she may be starting out. And taking a look at her indoor/reception shots, it looks like she’s still got some room to improve there, so I’d probably steer clear for now.
And for Alyse… meh, I’m just not seeing many indoor/reception shots in what she has to offer, which makes me nervous. I don’t see that she has any full weddings to look at, and I definitely want to see that before I committed to someone. What she does have is alright, nothing special really in terms of artistic style.
So my choice is Michelle, of these four… She’s really the only one I’d seriously consider. If you raise your price a little you’ll get more and better options. Like I said, I’d find out what Michelle would charge for more time + plus e-session and then find some other photogs in that range to look at.
Hope this helps!
Post # 5
@PaisleyMedic: Michelle is worth the extra money!
Post # 6
@seAprilbride: Thank you so much for your super thorough opinions! I edited my original post to add links to Angela’s and Alyse Nicole’s Facebooks, which have the albums organized by wedding. I know that Michelle presents her photos very nicely on her blog, which is definitely more aesthetically pleasing to look at than random, scattered photos. Because she offers so little for a higher price (she’s definitely a good photographer, so it’s no wonder), I’m trying to figure out if she’s TRULY worth it.
Alyse Nicole uses two photographers (on her regular site, if you hover over “Collections”, you can see both her and the second photographers work). This seems like kind of a benefit, and she offers so much more than Michelle.
I completely understand I’m comparing photographers who offer a complete package for $1,400-$1,550 to one whose collections technically start at $4,600 (Michelle. The $1,700 is a very minimal thing obviously). But what I’m looking for with a photographer is someone who takes clean, quality, professional photos. I don’t need super creative or a SMP type of feel, but I want everything to look natural and not too forced.
I don’t know if people learn towards Michelle because of how her blog is organized, or because she truly takes better photos, ya know? I feel like I’m looking at SMP when I go through her blog, but I do kind of feel like that’s because she is showing the full wedding from details, start, to finish.
@lauraashley09: Thank you for your opinion!
Post # 7
@PaisleyMedic: I try very hard not to let a worse website influence my opinion… but it’s difficult. This is why pro’s say that a lot of being a successful photographer isn’t even about the pictures, it’s about the business sense, and the presentation.
That being said… I genuinely did feel Michelle was better… I only looked at her blog, not her website. I’m going to look at the full wedding albums of the others on Facebook now.
Ok… I maintain what I said about Alyse. There’s a reason why that deal is so much “better”… she/they have a few decent shots, but far too many that look like guest photos, or seriously lack artistic style. No.
Angela might be ok. She’s got some decent work and creative ideas, but she’s not at 100%. If you are doing an indoor ceremony I’d be careful… she doesn’t have a ton of that up there, and my guess is because it’s not as good. Her reception photos aren’t as good. It looks like she isn’t using pro equipment, and her photos would seriously benefit from it. I think she is definitely still learning. What she’s offering you is probably fair for her price… but I personally wouldn’t do it.
It’s about how important the photography is to you. Obviously your budget isn’t endless. If photography isn’t your top priority, that’s ok. If you believe you will be disappointed in sub-par photos, I’d try to get that budget up if you can… You’ve still got some time. Look at some photogs right around $2000 to $2500 and see if the difference in quality is something that is worth the extra money to you.
Post # 8
@PaisleyMedic: I think you can knock Alyse and Angela out of the running. Look at Alyse’s use of light…she has very dark pictures where you can barely see the couple. I wish I knew the correct terms for what I’m talking about but I think I’m talking about the composition and the lighting. I also don’t think Angela’s pictures are very nice.
I am still 100% for Michelle 🙂 Jeff would be an option if you are okay with more posed pictures.
Post # 9
Thank you ladies for replying again! I do understand what you’re saying. Our ceremony will be outside and the reception will be at the same location, but indoors. Here are some photos just because I feel like it would be an “easier” place to shoot. All of these photos are from the venue’s website. Do you think only having her (Michelle) for only 4 hours is a bad thing?
Post # 10
@PaisleyMedic: Four hours can definitely be enough, it depends on exactly what you want. Since your ceremony and reception are in the same place, it’s a lot more workable. The only thing I wouldn’t try fitting into that timeline is getting ready photos, or a grand exit. If that’s very important to you, 4 hours may not work. But otherwise:
Photog comes 1/2 hour before the ceremony, takes a few pre ceremony photos, maybe some “getting ready” type shots with your veil being adjusted, etc, and detail shots
Ceremony takes 1/2 hour
1 hour between ceremony and reception for family and bridal party formals, in addition to portraits of you and your groom
2 hours for the reception… start off with the first dance and toasts, right after dinner do the father-daughter dance if you’re having one, and then cut the cake. Photog stays to take a few photos of guests dancing, and then leaves.
This is just one way to do it… you don’t have to have that long for formals especially if you don’t have a large family/bridal party, but this just to show that it is doable. Having the important moments covered WELL is far more important than having 8 hours of mediocre photos.
Post # 11
Thank you so much for your advice. We still haven’t contacted the photographers yet. I still don’t know what I want to do =/ I’m thinking I will contact Alyse Nicole to see if she can show me a full wedding from start to finish, so I can see the full finished result.
Post # 12
Less coverage is usually always a better option with someone really good over more hours with someone mediocre. You’ll have to really discuss your timeline and what you really want. My minimum is 4 hour during peak season and I charge about the the same as Michelle for the exact same print files and gallery only. Im also the only shooter.
IMO its a good thing when a blog looks “SMP” this shows me they take the time for a good presentation which usually means quality. Half arse crappy blog posts usually indicate crap service. Its better to also have fewer good posts over a crap blog full of crap posts. lol crafting nice posts takes time and dedication. Not every post needs to be full of photos or perfect as some are just for fun and show personality, Im goofy sometimes on my blog. 😀 but good presentation is usually always means quality.
Im with Michelle out of these choices.
Post # 13
@PaisleyMedic: I really hate to sound so negative, and I totally believe you should go with the photographer you like best… but their work honestly is just not that good. They are cheap, so I don’t know, I guess it’s a fair price for mediocre work…. but is it? Is there any price that’s ok for bad work? Really, I don’t believe in paying anyone to do sub-standard work.
If you are truly happy with the look of their photos, then it’s not my business to tell you that that’s not ok. But from a professional photography perspective, they are missing a lot. The lighting is way off in a lot of their photos, and they don’t look edited at all to me. Some, though by no means all, of their photos could benefit from being run through Lightroom and having the colors and exposure fixed (and some are beyond help). If they are not editing their photos at all, what are you paying for? 6 hours of photos being snapped and then burned directly on a CD? They really have a “straight from the camera” look to me, which can be fine if you’re using proper equipment to get the correct colors and exposure in-camera, but they aren’t.
If you do contact them and get a full wedding and would like an opinion on it please let me know. Also, I would ask what equipment they use. Knowing how expensive pro bodies and lenses are, to outfit two cameras… I don’t know that it’s doable charging that little unless they aren’t full time and have other jobs to pay for it. I can help guide you on their equipment as well.
I’m the only pro that’s commented in this thread… There’s quite a few of us here, maybe post this thread again with some different options and get some more opinions?
ETA: I see Styles commented above… agreed, less time with a better photographer > more time with a crappier photographer, always.
Post # 14
If I had to choose one it would be Michelle but I wouldn’t choose her. There’s serious white balance issues, some bad lighting choices, awkward posing, missed exposures, some strange in-between faces. And her post production is all over the place. She definitely has some nice work but she has some real technical issues too.
Post # 15
Out of them? Michelle. Jeff’s photos of Liane and Alex were gorgeous but then I picked a wedding I felt would be more “fun”…and I went all meh.
Alyse’s photos aren’t that great. Angela’s are OK.
What is Michelle’s prices for add ons?
Post # 16
Thanks again to everyone who has replied. I decided to contact both Alyse Nicole and Michelle. Turns out, Alyse Nicole is already booked on my date! So that knocks out one. I think I may just have to redo my stragedy and continue looking more. I’ve seen so many photographers and it’s just so difficult! I have no heard back from Michelle, but I will post again when I do.
How did you ladies find/pick your photographers? I’m so frustrated and even more lost now. And I appreciate your comment @Lashmont but it’s throwing me even more and shows me I apparently really have no clue. Her full packages START at $4,600. I feel like that’s a higher priced photographer, and if she really has the issues you say (I’m clearly not observant enough), then that just makes it even more difficult to find a photographer.
Knowing that one I was looking at is already booked is enough to make me wanna cry. Not because I had my heart set on her, but because it makes me feel even more pressed to find the right photographer soon and it’s just so overwhelming. I know not everyone has the same style, but I hate that I’m spending so much money and I really have no idea what I’m technically spending it on.
@sealevels: The only add ons she has listed on the paper I have (I grabbed it at a Bridal Show) are $375 per hour for additional coverage, photobooths start at $900, and thank you cards for $3 each.