Post # 1
My fiance and i have a fairly limited budget and we would like to keep costs as low as possible so that we can also have a honeymoon.
We are having a small wedding, (and on a SUNDAY) so our venue offered to give us about half the site rental price (its originally very expensive). So that’s not as big a problem anymore.
HOWEVER! Before last year, my favorite photographer had a package for 8 hours with a free engagement shoot, all for $1999. Sometime last year, he mustve changed the price to 8 hours for $2500+, without free engagement shoot anymore.
Is there any way to negotiate with him on the price? (either get a better price, or get a free engagement shoot included in the price?) Because our wedding is small, and it is also on a Sunday and he normally doesnt get business on sundays.
Please help me word this, if possible!
Thank you so much.
Post # 3
There is a board for this already…
Professional Wedding photographers have to increase their rates as they gain more experience. In this case, you CAN afford the photographer, you just don’t want to spend it. Most photographers will not charge less just because you want a better deal. Also, talented photographers don’t have a problem booking Sundays, so I don’t see that as a bargaining chip. The best thing to do in your situation is to tell them your budget, and ask them what they can give you for that amount. They can’t charge you less just because you don’t want to spend it.
Honeymoons are nice, but you can always take a honeymoon later on in the year in order to afford your favorite photographer.
Post # 4
@MrsBtoBe14: Sunday weddings are very commonplace, The only weddings that we’d consider discounting a little would be Monday through Thursday events. I wouldn’t try to play that angle. Personally I think $2500 for 8 hours is a bargain. You can afford what you can afford – but just because your wedding is small and on a Sunday doesn’t mean it’s any less work for the photographer. I work just as hard at small weddings as I do 400+ person events.
I doubt he’s going to want to lower his price to his 2012 pricing and take on additional work. I certainly wouldn’t. Especially for a 2014 wedding where you have plenty of time to come up with the difference in his price increase. At best you can tell him that you love his work and really want him to be your photographer and $2000 is the maximum you can afford. But I don’t really think that’s an honest approach. Perhaps another way might be to figure out a payment plan so you’re not paying it all in one chunk.
Post # 5
I consider both Fridays and Sundays prime wedding days. If you were approaching me, your best chance of success would be to not ask for a price reduction but to ask if I would include an e sess, be prepared to pay for prints etc from the session. You also may want to sell yourself a bit. Mention how much you like their work, how much fun and easy to work with you will be. Don’t cry hard times etc. just let them know 2500 is your max budget. Good luck.
Post # 6
And a heads up, smaller weddings are often harder for a photographer. It’s way harder to blend in and stay out of the way. It’s also harder to get great candids if its the same thirty people over and over…
Post # 7
it’s hard to negotiate with a photographer, most likely if they don’t have “plans to fit your needs” type of pricing, they won’t budge on their prices. I charge a flat fee for a second shooter, 8 hours w/1 hour flex, complimentary e-sess, and all high res files w/printing rights and low res for internet use. I have other products for purchase, but not included in my package.
Photographers have a ton of overhead costs that are figured into their pricing also. So sometimes it’s hard for them to nudge on their pricing. Good luck.
ETA: Photographers usually increase their prices every year to meet client demands and inflation.
Post # 8
I agree with previous posters that they probably will not negotiate much with you unless you were doing a weekday wedding. Sundays are popular days for a wedding, too. Maybe if he doesn’t generally do Sunday weddings, it’s by choice.
I, too, tried to negotiate prices with a couple of AMAZING photographers early on in my wedding planning process. I was naive and didn’t realize it was actually an insulting question to ask these popular photographers if they could do my Saturday wedding for less or reduce the price if I didn’t do an e-session, when they would inevitably book with another couple for the weekend and get the price they were asking for. The only thing they were willing to negotiate was doing a cheaper price for a Monday – Thursday wedding.
It sucks that they raiseded their prices, but it is what it is. They raised their prices for a reason, whether it was because they think their work is deserving of a bigger price tag or because their expensives have increased. If you REALLY love their work, just go with them! I bet you won’t regret it. And just skip the e-session which is kinda pointless anyway.
And for what it’s worth, Fiance and I ended up sucking it up and paying 5k for our photographers when we were originally only willing to pay 2k. But after seeing more weddings blogged online in the area, I have discovered a lot more amazing photographers that are working for way less and doing an even better job than the ones we hired.
Post # 9
Thanks everyone! He said in the email he sent me “let me know if youd like to set up a meeting or see a proposal”. He already sent me the package info, so what does “see a proposal” mean?
Post # 10
@MrsBtoBe14: A proposal is a quote.
Post # 11
@texasrandi: Thanks, I was just wondering why he offered a quote if he already sent me the package information pricing.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy
Photography was really important to me, too. I also had a limited budget, and I am happy now with how things have gone. I contacted several photographers and asked them what the cost would be for just the photography work at the wedding and unlimited access to all high quality images.
We explained that we were strapped for cash and would like to be free to print the images at our liberty when we have fewer expenses. We will also be moving internationally, so they are a bit more understanding. This way, though, we have the great images and we can do an album or prints later. I know a lot of photographers (ESP. In the USA) might not want to do this, but the ones I talked to were very helpful and understanding.
The images are what is important.
Post # 13
I asked my photog to throw in a free engagement shoot and she did.
Post # 14
Yes, you can and should negociate, but respectfully and politely. Of course they may say flat out “no, no discounts”, but it’s worth asking. First of all, some vendors will agree to give a discount for paying in cash or making a full pre-payment. Second, you can ask for less hours and if they are flexible with the package – that will reduce your cost. Third, if there is flexibility go ahead and trim all the extras and ask for a CD with electronic files only (no enlargements, no albums, etc – you can get these printed later on your own).
Post # 15
@MrsBtoBe14: I think you should say this is what I want (list the things you want, # of hours of coverage, # of edited photos etc.) and this is my budget (x amoutn of dollars), can you do that? This is how I got my dream photographer for $2500 instead of the price of his cheapest package which was $3700. I got a discount of $1200 by telling him for example, I don’t need him there all day, I only need him for 6 hours. I also don’t need 800 edited photos I only need 100-200 edited photos. I don’t need any prints, I just want the usage right for my photos.
Post # 16
@MrsBtoBe14: He’s going to give you a quote if you want something other than the package. As an example: the package covers 8 hours of the wedding, including 200 fully edited photos, plus an engagement shoot for $2500. Your budget is $2000. He may offer a 6 hour wedding shoot, with the edited photos and an engagement shoot, or an 8 hour wedding with edited photos but no engagement shoot.