(Closed) Photographer is a friend

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

We used a friend photographer as well – Darling Husband and him used to shoot weddings together.  I wasn’t sure what he normally charges but we gave him $1000 + a little more for flight/hotel.  Around $1250.  My parents paid the 1000 and we chipped in the rest.

Post # 4
2779 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

Ask her what she usually charges and what packages she offers. Then pick one that she already does. That’s the easiest thing. That way you both have a really clear idea of what you’re expecting and what she’s expecting.

Post # 5
36 posts

well it sounds like she is at least a fairly good friend. So I would do exactly what she told you to do…know your budget range and what you want out of it…just files, editing or no, prints, etc…I am a full time photog and for my closer friends I have offered the same. I work around their budgets because I want to help them out and be a part of their day. It may not include formal albums if they’re on a tight budget – but in most of those cases I will still do files and editing.


I’m sure she wants to help you…so be up front about the budget, needs and desires and there you go. If it’s really something she can’t do she’ll tell you.

Post # 6
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

Just be careful hiring a friend to do this, not that your friend isn’t trustworty, but in general I’ve seen there tends to be a different ‘attitude’ about shooting a friends wedding than one they are getting paid full price for. I didn’t feel bad bossing around my photographer because we weren’t friends, I was paying him.

Post # 7
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

As a general rule, you would be VERY hard pressed to find even a newbie for under $500. I’d say a national average of bottom level coverage for a full time professional is around $1500-1800 for 4-6 hrs no album. Your friend, may very well charge $2800+ for 6 hrs files only…. 

First thing, is you need to know your budget. 2nd thing, is to be realistic. Your friend obviously wants to be at YOUR wedding not working another one, but will probably be telling another couple no for your wedding. So, let’s say she would usually command a $2800 commission, You pay her $500. That’s $2,300 she is turning down and in a way, gifting to you. 

I would try and offer as close as you can get to one of her packages, but I’d also say that Def. nothing below $500 and preferably over $1,000 if she’s full time and as good as you say she is… But your budget is your budget…. be honest with yourself too and what you can do. If $500 is all that’s in the budget, be honest with her about it. 

If you do go forward with using her, make sure you sign a contract. 

Post # 8
1000 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I’m with KLP, I think even $500 is even too little though. I would go for $1,000 or more. Otherwise, like KLP’s example scenario, you are essentially accepting a $2,300 gift. She *may* agree to take less but she might secretly feel taken advantage of.

Post # 9
3041 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

What I would do is go to her website & review her pricing. Each wedding takes about 40 hours of work. Just tell her what you have to work with & don’t feel badly if you don’t have much of a budget for photos (thou I believe photos should be the “splurge” item of the wedding). If she usually charges $3k a wedding & you only have a $500 budget than tell her that you love her photography but you only have $x & that you understand if she can’t work within that.

Its so hard, cause you don’t want to insult her by offering too little but you don’t want to deplete your budget if you barely have anything. Probably the best way to go about it is to figure out how much of a budget you actually have for photography. Tell your friend that price & ask if she’d be able to work with it & what she’d give you with that amount & think it over. You can look for another photographer & tell her you’d rather have her enjoy your wedding instead of having to work at it. If its within your budget, than go for it!

Be sure you actually want your friend to do your photography! Don’t be afraid to kindly decline if her pricing is way over your head or if you have someone else you’d rather photograph for you. Make sure you get everything in a contract (including pricing).

Also, if she does the wedding for a really low price, & in a few months you get more money & feel like you should offer her more, you can always tip her when you have more $. Just don’t tell her that you’ll tip her in case you don’t get extra money or something comes up, so she doesn’t expect that.

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