Post # 1
Hi there… Wedding date is in a month (May 8th) and I still need to lock down photographer. I am having such freak-out moments over this last “major” decision! I am not trying to spend a million bucks on photography but I have listings in my email (resulting from a Craigslist posting) that run the gamut from $300.00 to $10,000.
My ideal would be about $1000-$1200.
My questions — how did you determine the right photographer?? AND — has anyone created their album after the fact — through a company or a snapfish-like site.
Please help 🙂 thanks sooo much!!!!
Post # 3
I hired Silver Screen Events it was 2200 for all day photography and video it was a pretty good deal but ,y wedding isnt till august so I cant give you my review 🙂
Post # 4
I have researched almost every photographer in Chicago! It depends on the quality you want and budget of course, but there are plenty to choose from. We chose to go with Miller & Miller because they take beautiful photos in the style we like (and it fits within our photography budget). For $2400 you get an engagement shoot (not in a studio) and all day coverage with a high-res DVD of your photos. Unlike some photogs, they don’t hold the DVD for a year. If you want them there for 10 hours or 12…your call. They are a husband and wife team and so nice! Perhaps you can negotiate a lower rate with any photographers including engagement pics in the package. I could be wrong, but you might not be looking for that particular session since your wedding is in a month. Plus, it could help get you down to what you really want to spend.
I’ll tell you this much…it is really hard to find a decent photographer in Chicago for less than $3000. Most of the ones I came across averaged $3500-$6000. I was so surprised to see Miller & Miller’s prices upon seeing their work! They don’t have a fancy-schmancy studio in downtown Chicago to pay for–helps keep costs down 🙂
To answer your question about how to find the right one–we narrowed it down to 3 photographers and met with them. Just see who you get the best feeling from because you’ll be working with them all day. Do they make you feel comfortable? And ask to see a representation of an entire wedding so you can see all types of pics: portraits and photojournalistic, details, getting ready, ceremony, reception, etc.
We aren’t adding an album to our package, although that is an option. We can always have Miller & Miller make an album for us a year later. Or we can use our high-res images and make one ourselves online. Again, it depends on how much you want to spend. We might do it later, but we just don’t want to add another $1000 to our budget for an album right now. Perhaps that will be our 1 year anniversary gift to ourselves!
I too cannot give you a review since I am over a year out from the wedding date. But best of luck!
Post # 5
I had the same price range as you and ended up splurging a little for Alix Klingenberg (I’m paying $1600). I got really overwhelmed trying to sort through all of the Chicago photographers, especially once I realized that all the ones I liked were at least double our budget. Then I saw Alix’s work and fell in love–she has a great way of capturing character and joy in her photos. I think her package price is really reasonable for her kind of photography she does and she’s also totally awesome personality-wise and gets great reviews. I haven’t had my wedding yet, but I’d recommend looking into her if her work is your cup of tea.
A photographer who I also liked a lot and who has very reasonable prices (about $800-900, if I remember right) was Victoria Sprung. She was super-nice to communicate with and has also gotten lots of rave reviews. She’s a bit more traditional but her photos are great. If I hadn’t fallen in love with Alix’s particular style, Victoria Sprung would have probably been our choice.
You just have to find the photographer who you love, but those are my two recs for very talented, reasonably-priced local photogs.
Post # 6
I was going to recommend Alix as well, she’s the best value for the $$$ by far in Chicago (IMHO.)
We have a whole slew of wonderful photographers (Jeremy Lawson, Olivia Leigh, Laurie Peacock, etc) but it’s really hard finding a good photographer for under $3,000 here.
Post # 7
I really wanted Oliva Leigh Photographie but she was going to charge (after an album and everything) over $5k. We ended going with a husband and wife team who produce the same quality photos for half the price.
We are using Anna Guziak (www.annaguziak.com) and she is honestly the nicest most sincere person we’ve ever met! She really wants to get the know the bride and groom and even got teary eyed when she was describing the “reveal” moment we’re doing when my fiance and I see each other for the first time before the ceremony. Her price is $2,600 for 12 hours including the book. You can tell her and her husband really love what they do, and she’s up on all the latest trends and ideas for wedding photography. It’d be worth asking if you hire her without the book and do it yourself for cheaper…I saw a blog on here the other day with an album from Blurb which blew my mind on how great it was (http://www.weddingbee.com/2010/04/01/1-part-blurb-2-parts-guestbook-and-a-whole-lotta-love/).
Good luck finding a photographer!
Post # 8
Alix Klingenberg was in our top 3 too! Also, Cathy Sunu takes great prices and I think her package was around $2000. My favorite Chicago wedding photographer is Kevin Weinstein (maybe I’m partial because we have the same last name), but I just could not justify over $5000 for his services. He’s right up there with Olivia Leigh.
Post # 9
Daystarr…..my friend created her wedding album using an online album company like snapfish. I forgot the name but I use mypublisher.com to make albums also. It’s like scrapbooking without the mess…and honestly…it’s great because I get to pick photos I want in the album and photoshop them, and then put it in my album. If we had to do it all over again, I would’ve just hired a photographer to just take the pics and give us a copy of all pics in a cd and I would’ve made my own wedding album. Good luck!
Post # 10
Peter Coombs is fantastic. We’re using him, and a bunch of people we know have used him too. He’s definitely in your range, and very flexible.
Post # 11
I know I have recommended him in previous Chicago photography posts but our photographer is Ian Villaceran and so far he has been great. We did our e-pics and got the photos back on CD and proofs online a couple days later. He is within your price range and really nice to work with. Our wedding is this fall and I will post pics afterward!
Post # 12
I also second with Ian Villaceran. He shot our wedding back in April and was really nice to work with. We even received our photos and disc days not weeks (our videoguy is still going months now.. grr!) after our wedding. He is definitely within your budget plus he is a specialty photographer because is he still shoots with film which I really love. Check some of our photos here.
Post # 13
How did it go?? Looking forward to seeing pics!
Post # 14
Looking for an update to see if everyone has loved their photog’s since the wedding!
Post # 15
We are also using Ian Villaceran. He was highly recommended by a friend and loved their photos. I can’t wait for our engagement session this spring! 🙂