(Closed) Photography vs. Practicality

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: What kind of wedding photography should I have?
    Hire a professional or you'll regret it! : (143 votes)
    88 %
    Go with the photo booth + friend with camera! : (18 votes)
    11 %
    Do both and go into debt - you can't take it with you, right? : (1 votes)
    1 %
  • Post # 32
    535 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: February 2014

    @cassclaw:  Are you talking about your wedding or mine? Because I’ve said the exact same thing!  Our budget is $2000, so hiring a pro photographer for half our budget is ridiculous. I have a co worker who does photography part time, and her ‘friends and family’ rate is still a third of my budget. But as she explained, most of that is for the time she spends editing the pics. Nothing gets released until she’s touched it, and any photographer should do the same. That’s their livelihood, and if they give a bride untouched photos, someone elsw looking at them would think “gee, these pics aren’t all that great, I won’t be using them.” She said it’s normal for her to spend 10 hours editing pics from a 5 hour wedding shoot, so $1000 for 12 hours isn’t even $10 an hour.


    If you’re positive you won’t look back in 10 years and wish you’d hired a pro, then don’t worry about it. Use the money on things that really matter to you and hire a friend/student/amateur to do your formal pics. I’m looking into some photo share sites and plan on posting instructions so guests can share their pics with me.

    Post # 33
    2523 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2014

    That is a lot of money for silly photos of friends.  A lot of people have made a DIY photobooth.  Just buy a cheap photo booth program and a printer and have a friend do it.  


    Id consider finding a photographer that you like even if it means taking your budget from somewhere else.  My original photography budget was 500, but ended up getting a 2300 package.  I took all the money from my floral/ decoration budget.  Nobody is really going to remember or care about flowers, but photos are all you have once the wedding is over.  I have gorgeous professional photos from my grandparents and great grandparents and they are special to me and I want my future family to have that as well

    Post # 34
    4192 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry

    Here’s basically the same shot taken from a friend’s camera (top), and our photography (Ethan Yang Photography.) 

    A lot of photographers have packages based on number of hours. Our photographer normally does a ten-hour shoot. We cut it down to seven and saved money that way. It sounds like you could get by with 3-4 hours- a first look, ceremony, then an hour or more of the reception/family photos.

    I would cut out the photobooth- while those photos are cute, those aren’t the ones you’re going to want to be looking back on a year, five, ten, etc. years from now. (You could still do a DIY one, though)

    Like PPs mentioned-Photography students, photographers just starting out, etc.- there are options which are lower priced which will give you better photos than relying on your friends.

    Post # 35
    919 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    My photographer is one of my biggest expense, because like another Bee said, once you’re day is over, what is left is the marriage and the photos. Those will be your memories for the rest of your life.

    There are a lot of options if you don’t have a high budget. You can pay for less time, for a single shooter, for unedited photos (which you can edit yourself or use websites that are much cheaper). Just keep in mind that a lot of photographer’s prices aren’t that unreasonable when you consider all of the hours they put in to editing 100’s of photos after your wedding.

    Maybe check Craigslist, or see if there is an artsy type school in your area where you could find someone with skills but less experience that can save you money

    Post # 36
    8575 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2014

    Go to thumbtack.com – put in the zip code of the area you are going to be married in.. and fill out all the information [what you are looking for in a photographer, dates, budget, ect] and you will get quotes from local photographers.

    We weren’t going to go with a photographer, but if I’m going to spend so much money on a wedding.. the photos are the only thing that will be left, so i decided to get one.


    Post # 38
    1000 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2009

    @Jbbee:  Agreed, at $500 you have an equal chance of getting the same quality as you will from a friend with a camera, so I say get the Photobooth!

    Post # 39
    293 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    Why don’t you just do more research?

    Post # 40
    2480 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    Get the photobooth or a photography student. No professional worthy of the name works for $500. Which is why I suggest a student. However, you need to be 100% comfortable with your choice since it will be too late to have regrets afterwards.

    Post # 41
    251 posts
    Helper bee

    Professional! I think if you can at ALL swing it into the budget, you should ALWAYS go pro!

    For a photobooth alternative, you could set up a prop station with disposables/polaroids set out! Most people are use to taking “Selfies” and it could still be a fun alternative to an actual photobooth… so you’re kind of getting both. 🙂 You’re getting the great memories of the wedding captured by a PRO and the fun memories of the photobooth (which seriously, how many people actually go to those for display purposes?) from the guests’ POV.

    Post # 42
    1344 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2013 - Vine Street Church

    The photographer is one of the only things that I feel like I didn’t pay too much for, and she was $2750 of our $6000 budget. It’s always worth having a professional — I love looking at the pictures of our wedding day.

    Post # 43
    9544 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: August 2013

    From everything you’ve posted I think you’d be happier with the photobooth and a designated friend or two to take pictures. Honestly, I think a lot of people that are recommending the professional are doing that based on their preferences and priorities, not reading your preferences and priorities. Because everything you’ve written points to not having a pro photog.

    I did have hire a pro (althought a very reasonably priced) for convenience sake. But I also gathered pictures from my guests. Now that I’m putting together our photobook, I find myself using a mix of pro and guest photos. The guest photos aren’t always the best quality, but some of them caught things that the pro missed – like at the very end of the night when a bunch of guys decided that they needed to pick me up in a chair and dance around like the Hora. Yeah, the pictures are blurry, but they will make me remember the sheer terror of being carried around by variously drunk groomsmen. And to me that’s the important part. I wanted pictures that would help me remember details of my wedding. I didn’t particularly care if they were beautiful, blog worth, model pictures. 

    So, if you think you can be happy will lower quality pictures and you have a willing friend/family member, then I’d go for it! I’d think through what you want photographed. Do you want someone there while you’re getting ready? While he’s getting ready? During ceremony? During reception? Couples portraits? Family group shots? Pictures of the cute geeky details and decorations? It will take some work on the part of you and your guest photographer, but I think you should be able to come up with a plan.

    You can also set up an account at Walgreens or CVS and give the info out on cards so that all your guests can upload their photos to the site. Then you’ve got tons of photographers!

    Post # 44
    634 posts
    Busy bee

    Enh. I’m going to break lines here and say go with the booth. Your friends will likely all have cameras in their phones and be fully willing to snap away if need be. A photo booth sounds personal and special to you as a couple. 

    I know bees will act like you may as well not bother with a wedding if it isn’t professionally recorded in high def for you to post on your mantle or whatever, but my grandparents had exactly one wedding photo, and they still had a wonderful, meaningful shindig. Do what makes the night memorable for you, weather it is making images or only making memories. 

    I would be unwilling to sacrifice items from my party budget in order to have a nicer recording of said party, but that’s me.

    Post # 45
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I will NEVER EVER regret my wedding photographer. BEST $4000 I ever spent!

    Post # 46
    183 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    But to be honest, go with whatever you feel suits your wedding most. If a photobooth is what you believe is best for your style of wedding then go for it!

    The topic ‘Photography vs. Practicality’ is closed to new replies.

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