(Closed) Is it Rude to Negotiate?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
199 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@marissal7901:  my strategy was to be upfront about what we wanted to spend. For example, our videographer quoted us $2500. I told him straight out that I was referred by someone one and loved his work, however I could only spend $1500. So he basically took out one element of the video and agreed to my number. He told me that he’d rather have a good customer and future referral than turn someone away who has a budget smaller than his prices. So my advice is to be upfront and usually the vendors will try to work with you.

Post # 4
11517 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

@marissal7901:  I would take a look at their packages and see what you want versus what your budget is.  If you’re close then you can probably work something out, if you’re WAY apart it’s probably not going to happen.  Look and see if there are items you’re willing to cut from their packages.  If you’re off season or on an odd day, a discount is usually pretty likely.  

Post # 5
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

As long as you’re not insulting them with an offer!

Negotiating with a vendor is not like buying a car, unfortunately!

Post # 6
2253 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@marissal7901: Definitely try to negotiate. The worse any vendor can tell you is “No,” but if they’re willing to work with you then you save. Who doesn’t love to save? Before I began negotiating with my photographer, I compared their a la carte pricing versus their package pricing to get an idea about how much lower prices were in a package deal.Then I pieced together what things I was interested in and sort of came up with my own prospectus base based on the price difference. Then factoring in my budget, I approached the photographer with a (reasonable) price. From there, we settled on a price we were both happy with.

Post # 7
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I wouldn’t straight out ask a photographer to lower their prices (ie, don’t ask for their “A” package at their “C” package price) – but I think it’d be okay to say “I can only spend $x, can you work with me on package pricing?” but don’t expect to get their best package for your lower budget. Also, if it’s a popular photographer and you have a popular date, I wouldn’t expect much at all. You’ve got more wiggle room with an off season date or Friday/Sunday wedding.

I personally had a few photographers that I emailed for info and then were out of my budget, and I told them so when I replied (a little “thanks for the info, but unfortunately you’re out of our price range”) and a couple of them emailed me back wanting to negotiate, which I was surprised about given our popular date.

Post # 8
11 posts
  • Wedding: April 2013

What if your photographer doesn’t like you more if you negotiate. Isn’t that like starting off on the wrong foot? 

Post # 9
8036 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

I assume you have an idea of what their prices are. So I wouldn’t approach a photographer that does $10,000 wedding packages with a $2,000 budget.

I would see if they can work with you or throw something in, but I think in general you get what you pay for, and photographers put a LOT of work into making those images look purdy. Some photographers throw in engagement photos for free I think. I wouldn’t push it too much, though.

Post # 10
52 posts
Worker bee

short answer – yes, it is rude. 

As a photographer, if I get an email that says ‘Hi I want a discount’ or ‘what kind of deal can you give me’ I automatically turn them down. I refuse to deal with people who simply don’t value my time – dealt with that too much when I started!

However, if you’re a legitimate nice person with a small budget, PLEASE find some way to make sure the photographer knows that. If you describe your wedding as being small, initmate, DIY, low-budget but still beautiful… you love their photos, want them but can only spend $x… what can we do with this kind of budget… 

It’s very possible that if you’re nice and sincere, your photographer could offer less hours, pull out products, or flat out give you a deal. If you’re cheap, expect to be photoshopped fatter. 

Post # 11
8036 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

View original reply
@rex-tographer:  If you’re cheap, expect to be photoshopped fatter. 


Post # 12
9680 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

This is just my opinion. A good photographer doesn’t have to negotiate because they will always have business. Our photographer turns clients away. Sometimes they offer off-season discounts but it isn’t a bartering game. I’m sure new photogs or ones who aren’t as well known would negotiate because they have to be build a portfolio. 

I’d rather pay more and have someone good then be a guinea pig. 

Post # 13
841 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@marissal7901:  Look at their packages. If they’re anywhere close to your price range then maybe just pay the full price – this is their career, after all. Or you can say, here’s my budget, is there any kind of a la carte pricing we could see?

Post # 14
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

It really depends on how you approach things. I think it’s true if you just flat out ask them to reduce their price for no reason, most of them will be a bit annoyed. But it’s often possible to work out a slightly lower price if you have some items in the package you don’t think you need.

In my case, my photographer had an extremely basic package that was below my budget, and a fancier one that was just a little above it, so I asked her if we could work out a slightly different package that would have a few more features than the basic one while still being in my budget. In the end she just offered to give me the better package for a little cheaper. I thought that was very nice of her since I had expected to have to sacrifice some hours of coverage or something, so I was appropriately very grateful, and I think we both ended up happy.

Post # 15
2890 posts
Sugar bee

@marissal7901:  No, it’s not. As long as you are being polite in the process, I see nothing wrong with negociating. You’re the customer, and unless you want one photographer specifically, you’re looking around to see what are your options. I don’t get why a photographer would be offended by that (or if they do you should probably not hire them). You did the same for venues, caterers, florists, why would it be different for photographers ? 😉

Post # 16
1646 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Asking a photographer to work for less is like asking them to take in less salary. It IS insulting if you don’t approach it the right way. And like someone else mentioned, the good photographers have more people who want to work with them than they have availability.


The only time it is okay is if your budget is already super close to what they already have and you want something taken out, for example, you don’t want some of the extras that are in there.


OP, looking at your wedding date, it also looks like there is still a high likelihood your photog can get inquiries for your date. If you were asking this very same question 3 months before your wedding date, a photographer who still has that date open might be open to negotiating because they need to fill the date.

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