(Closed) photography budget question (not using a professional photographer)

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1849 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

My photographers have years of experience shooting live concerts and music festivals, but they’re just starting on weddings. They’re still building up that portfolio and were very inexpensive for 2 shooters. I’m not going to be helpful as far as photo quality, because my wedding it still a long ways away. Just wanted to stop by and say I’m doing something similar because some of the pro-photography supporters can be pretty overbearing and insensitive in bashing less expensive options sometimes. Just make sure that contract is solid! 

Post # 4
474 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

Is she providing you with a contract?

Post # 5
8449 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I basically had two sets of photographers, one set of pros and a friend that had professional equipment and was shooting for fun (we didn’t pay him, he was just a guest) and there is a definite difference between the shots.  While I feel very lucky that we essentially had 3 sets of professional equipment capturing our big day, I really feel that my photographer was totally worth every penny if not more.

Post # 7
1063 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014



We’re doing something similar.  An acquaintance of ours from high school is an obscenely talented photojournalist who is working an office job at the moment to pay off his loans.  We heard through the grapevine that he’s done a few weddings for friends and family, and we asked him if he’d do ours.

The experienced wedding photographers who we could afford just didn’t have the sort of image quality that we wanted.  I know there are risks to hiring someone who doesn’t shoot a lot of weddings, but we decided we’d rather risk a few missed pictures than have a lot of just-okay pictures.  Obviously I would have loved to have it both ways, but budgets don’t really work like that.

Post # 8
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

Do what you have to do and what you can afford. Sure a pro would be great but if you dont have the money you just dont… just have realistic expectations for your budget. 🙂

If they are good at other event shooting and good at portraits they will probably do just fine for a wedding newbie. Events are very much like a wedding for lighting and timelines. Real good portrait shooters tend to make good wedding photographers as they have a grasp on lighting. Again, just have realistic expectations knowing you are not hiring an experienced wedding shooter.

Post # 9
1650 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@ontbride:  That’s great she has a contract, it sounds like she has some experience already and is a professional. I was a professional photog and we all have to start somewhere! Some things I think that will make your experience go smoothly:


– Communicate frequently with your photographer. I liked hearing from my clients so I know what they’re excited about and what’s important to them


– Give her time to take photos of the parts you care about the most


– If there are important family members you don’t want missed, consider making a small list of family photos you want taken for sure


– If you can, get an engagement session with her so you can get a feel for what it’s like to work with her and also get her early feedback


Good luck!

Post # 10
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I don’t have any feedback, but just wanted to say hi date twin!

Post # 11
9549 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I, personally, am of the oppinion that you don’t really need dozens of magazine worthy photos to remember your wedding day. So I say go for it! If you can take some couples pictures about an hour before sunset, that’s make things easier on your photog. And I’d recommend having a designated person that can help corral people for group photos. And have a list of specific things you definitely want photographed. 

Post # 12
9601 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

As long as you love their photos you’re probably fine.  What you see is what you will get most likely.

Post # 13
6548 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Whatever fits your budget and you think you’ll be happy with is what you should do. The most important thing is managing your expectations. 

Not everyone desires professional photography, nor sees the value in it, and that’s okay. The main key is that you go into it knowing that you won’t get “style me pretty” images, and more than likely there will be missed shots, or images that are just okay.

I have several friends who decided not to have a pro photographer and just have a friend shoot with their camera. For them, I’ve not heard them regret it. However, they have all had small and casual weddings and I don’t know that anyone in their families ever had a pro photographer (or any other pro vendor). 

For me, it’s not something I can do. The images/photos are just too important for me. Part of that stems from being a wedding photographer myself, and a lot of it stems from the number of people I talk to (at weddings…usually family members and friends of the couple) who express their regret over not having a pro photographer.

Even as a photographer, I don’t believe that a wedding is worth going into debt for. If you can’t afford a pro, you can’t afford one. The best thing you can do is just do your best to make things as easy as possible on whoever you have take the photos.

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