Post # 1
My fiance and I are eloping and we would like to get a photographer for the occassion. I found a photographer who has photographed elopments before and I love her pictures are so beautiful. I sent her an email and it would cost $600 for 2 hours and $300 for each additional hour. My fiance thinks it’s a crazy price for two hours of pictures since couples photography sessions are usually much less and it’s basically the same thing. Anyone have experience with getting a photographer for your elopement? What did and what would you pay?
Post # 2
I would say it probably depends on why you’re eloping and if it was a financial decision? Also, how important photos are to you? Personally, I would pay as much (per hour) for elopement photos as I would if I was having a big wedding. Although it would make sense for elopement photos to be cheaper as there is much less going on!
Could you ask the photographer why the price varies for a couple session versus an elopement? She might be able to explain the difference in the price.
Post # 3
Beezyb: we eloped (although it was planned and we had 4 guests because we were legally required to have 4 witnesses & using resort staff would have cost extra). We negotiated with a local photographer for $650 for 3 hours with a shared copyright & usb of full resolution photos (nothing stated in our contract but it ended up being around 600 photos) so we could print whatever we wanted. Photographry was really important to me and I have a very critical eye so I felt like it was a bargain- and it was compared to hourly rates in our area. I would lookup your local photog packages, break it down by total per hour, and see what that comes up to. If all else fails, I would just e-mail your choice of photogs, tell them what you’d like and that you are on a budget and your max price… We were able to very successfully negotiate with our photog, but he usually does large weddings and not elopements…
Post # 4
Beezyb: I think this is a photographer thing and not an elopement thing. Honestly, I think that’s reasonable. 2 hours of photos in multiple locations where the photographer will be driving you around is not alot in my opinion.. that may be because I have a friend who does wedding photography. The equipment he uses is the same, he devotes the same amount of processing time as he would wedding photos, the end product is the same. Maybe you can ask what the $600 package includes.
Also, its always smart to shop around. Im sure this photographer isnt the only on in town. if it makes you feel better, you may want to email some requesting engagement shots, or anniversary shots to see if there is really a difference in price.
Post # 5
Beezyb: I was very picky about my photography. I searched high and low, but I also was not going to pay an arm and a leg. The guy I really wanted if there were no limits charged CA$4000 for the whole day and he did not do any less hours than all day!
We went with a Calgary woman who had to drive in 2 hours to our location. She was CA$1260 for 3 hours of photography, edited images with printing rights, and her 4 hours of travel. Keep in mind we got married in a hot spot for elopements, but she was cheaper than people in Banff.
I would say that taking couples’ portraits is going to be different than capturing the emotion and love of a wedding day – elopement or not elopement.
Post # 6
From a photographer standpoint, elopements are not the same as an engagement or couples session. There’s much more work and stress that goes into shooting a 1 time event. You can’t mess up an elopement and just reschedule for another session. Go with who you love if you can afford them and the package is adequate.
Post # 7
We are paying $900 for 3 hours. She will meet us at our hotel and do some pictures there, then drive with us to a national park for the actual vows and photos. She said she’d probably come back to the hotel and take some more pics at the bar (it’s a gorgeous, historic hotel with fabulous bar area) if we want, since she needs to go back for her car anyway.<br /><br />I wanted to stay around $500 or 600 but I really like this woman and she does amazing work. She does so much more than take pictures. She’s going to help me into my dress and really – she’s pretty much going to run the day. We’ve obviously never eloped before so we don’t know what we’re doing. She’s going to recommend locations for the vows and photos because she knows the area and just sort of guide us through it. Plus she’s fun. <br /><br />So if you find someone you like and can afford whatever they charge, just go for it. 🙂
Post # 8
We paid around 900 for 2 hours and it was totally worth it. Why? Because we got the quality we paid for and those are the pictures that went out in our announcements, emails to our parents, friends and families so they could see/share the day, they’re now framed in our house…I say choose quality and pay the price! You won’t regret it!
Post # 9
We are paying $500 for 1hr at San Francisco city hall. I liked the photographers portfolio and felt the price was reasonable for the service she offered. She will also be our witness.
Post # 10
Beezyb: I’m a photographer in a resort area, and so while I do photograph large weddings I also do a lot of elopements and intimate weddings where only a couple hours is needed $600 is pretty reasonable IMO. It’s not different than when people assume they should get a cheaper rate for a weekday wedding – I don’t work any less hard because your wedding is on a Thursday (which is common in my area) than I do if it were a Saturday. My elopements typically run $1250 for 2 hours w/ digital files. Like someone else mentioned, a wedding and a portrait session are totally different. I don’t treat your elopement any less important than a large wedding because it’s only two of you. It’s still an important (and more importantly, high pressure) event. It’s a one time deal, and you can’t get a redo for someone’s wedding regardless of how small it is.
Post # 11
inthemountains: +1 to what you said about your photographer. I definitely do SO MUCH more than just show up the day of and take photos – especially with elopements. Most often I’m spending a lot of extra time consulting with the couple and guiding them to the best spots and how to best utilize their time with me. I’m also typically a sounding board for them on where they should stay, how to get their marriage license in the area, etc.
Post # 12
Thank you for the replies! I really just wanted to make sure this was an average cost! I agree with everyone that it’s worth any cost to have an awesome photographer especially for an elopement so I can share the photos with friends and family.
Post # 13
Beezyb: it all depends on your current situation. IMO great photography is worth the money. A good photographer can make a huge difference. A not so great photographer can really take away from the day. Photogs don’t just show up, snap pictures, and they’re on their way. They spend hours editing photos to make sure they’re perfect. For my planned elopment, we are spending $1300 but may book the photographer for additional hours. We work in the wedding industry, so to us $1300 for four hours was a steal! 🙂
Post # 14
- Wedding: May 2015 - The beach.
Beezyb: we’re planning to pay 250 an hour for our photographer. we’d probably do 3 hours max. She is a very talented friend of mine and I’m having her fly out to where we are eloping. So I’m probably ending up paying her like 1400 when I add the flying out part to it. I think it’s a pretty fair deal. She’s incredibly talented and I think a portion of the shots will be on film as well.
Post # 15
We paid 1500 for 3 hours. We also had a destination wedding so the cost might have been higher because of this.