Post # 1
So I love pro pictures, but there is literally no way to adjust my budget to afford them.
So I was wondering…How did other people save on photography? Is it a horrible idea to utilize the talents of a couple photography students for a cut rate? How would I go about doing that? Any experience booking per hour as opposed to a package?
I have two options: either find photography for an EXTREMELY cut rate, or have a family member take my pictures and they won’t be as awesome as I want.
Any advice is really appreciated!
Post # 3
Can you find a few pro photographers you like and call them. Most have assistants training/working for them that are at a much lower pricepoint. Also contact your local art school/college and find a photography student to inquire about their pricing.
Post # 4
@jb20: The best way to save is to find ANYWHERE in your budget where you can scrimp and move funds towards a photographer. Go with non-floral centerpieces, cut out favors, etc. I always tell all my clients that TIME is the most important thing. It’s really easy to get caught up in all the extras…”prints, digital files, albums, etc”…but coverage is the only thing you can never get more of after the wedding.
Ask about an hourly rate. I know for myself I have preset packages, but also offer an hourly rate with the option to add things on later – sort of a “build your own” type of thing. It’s definitely more expensive than a package but sometimes a bride would rather have just hourly coverage than the extra stuff. My suggestion for brides who are on a super tight budget is to, at the very least, get the coverage and worry about buying the extras later.
Talk with a photographer you love. Explain to them that you really love their work, and would love to have them shoot your wedding but they’re out of your budget. As them if you can book them for a reduced hourly rate, to include COVERAGE ONLY, with the abillity to purchase your “extras” (like a disk of images, prints, an album) later on when you’ve recovered from the expense of the wedding.
Not all photographers will be willing to do that, but it won’t hurt to ask. I certianly don’t do it for everyone, I’d never make any money that way. BUT, I do have a heart, and I do realize that for some it’s a real struggle to afford good photography. If I feel like a client would genually be grateful and appriciate, I’ll make an exception.
It’s better to have 2-3 hours of good photography to capture the ceremony, family formals, and bride/groom portraits, than 8 hours of really bad photography covering the whole day.
ETA: Any photographer you find for an extreamly low rate probably won’t be any better than your family member with a camera – and then you’d be paying for bad photography.
Post # 5
Have you looked on craigslist?
I read the book Bridal Bargains and got the idea to search for vendors on craigslist! The reason being is you can find some very talented people, that have yet to fully establish their business. Think about it – these expensive photographers had to start somewhere. 🙂
I will admit, you do have to dedicate some time to look at a lot of pages, but you will find some talented gems on craigslist. Just remember, that because they are newly starting out their business, having a well written contact is always key.
Post # 6
@AnnieAAA: I built my business on craigslist. While many…. many… photographers on there are terrible, there are occasionally some good ones, so I definitely agree with this tip!
I also agree with the idea of finding a pro that will do an hourly rate and let you buy the CD later. Many will not, but you may find one who will who will be much better than your family’s photos.
Post # 7
I was an art student, you may want to just post flyers, email the instructors and ask them to share your info. Art students are broke and always looking for opportunities. Even if they are not a photography student, if they have the passion they will make it work.
If that doesn’t work maybe you could only use a photographer for 3-4 hours. Our photographer offers a 800 dollar package for 4 hours and that includes pictures. So talk to photographers they are usually willing to customize a package for you.
Post # 8
“Even if they are not a photography student, if they have the passion they will make it work.”
I have to respectfully seriously disagree. Is your reception going to be indoors/at night? If your photographer doesn’t have the right equipment to deal with this then your photos will be bad (blurry if they don’t use a flash, washed out if they use…shudder…their camera’s built in flash). And this is just one example of a challenge that wedding photography presents that an amateur won’t know how to deal with…. no matter how passionate they might be (and whether they own a “nice camera” – it takes more than an entry level DSLR and kit lens to cover a wedding professionally.)
I’m not saying this because I’m a snobby pro… I want to share my knowledge with people to help them avoid major disappointment over their photos. If you hire an amateur and expect anything more than amateur results, you are setting yourself up for heartache.
Post # 9
@jb20: There is a company that we talked to that has a variety of different bridal services (photo, video, flowers, etc). They offered extremely discounted photography packages.
Their packages started at $900. Maybe their is a company like that near you? Otherwise, I definitely would suggest Craigslist. Make sure you look at an entire wedding someone has done if you are meeting with a photographer.
Post # 10
My best friend made it known that she would like everyone to take pictures with their own cameras and she would compile them for their wedding album.
Ten years later she says its the only thing she regrets: not having a professional wedding photographer.
Post # 11
My aunt and uncle will be taking our wedding pictures 🙂 They are not professional photographers, but travel a lot, love taking lots of photos, are very good at it, and have professional grade cameras! They took my parents’ wedding photos, and my aunt did my engagement photos 🙂
Post # 12
Definitely at least try to come up with $500 and hire a student photographer. Not just an art student but a photogaphy student.
Post # 13
Yes my friend found a photography student for $500 and our photographer was also very very reasonable for all day coverage. Are located in Vancouver area of bc ? I can give u contact info