(Closed) Tips for negotiating with photographers

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@missbitsnpieces: I am surprised a lot of photographers we’ve come across don’t have professional websites. A lot of them use those drag and drop website creators and their websites look like high school student projects. We have come across some that will skill swap ( website design for photos) because in reality, some of the expensive photographers charge as much as my SO does for web design. That’s the path we are on.
I have also come across photographers looking to expand their portfolio. I am meeting with one that only has white and asian couples in his portfolio and he’s looking for an african american couple or interracial couple (that’s us) to prove he can work with the different skintones in the same photo.
I’ve also come across one looking for certain locations to add to her portfolio and was willing to cut a deal. I guess you should just look around and find out if you have something they are willing to trade. (I feel like business should be done like this anyway!)

Post # 4
394 posts
Helper bee

If you or your fiance have skills or a job that you can barter with, try that. I know someone who exchanged wedding photography coverage for some invisaline braces.  

Im so willing to barter wedding photography for some dental work 🙂



Post # 6
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

The only thing we did, was customize a package to only include what we needed and we were able to drop off the engagement session and save us $700 from the package price.  We got our dream photographer, and are paying a lot for her, but that $700 was a big difference for us.

Post # 7
129 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I would ask for a custom package…one bee reccomended to me that I ask for only what I need! in the end(because i have a friend who is a pro)I am hiring someone for the formal must haves! Everything else, my great friend will take. Instead of charging for a whole wedding they are charging me for a two hour portrait session. I got the usage rights also. This is probably not common for most photogographers, but it can’t hurt to try!

Post # 8
399 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Try explaining your situation and see if the photographer is willing to be flexible with the pricing. I am a wedding photographer (VA, NC, SC) and I have couples come to me all the time with stories about being scammed or meeting the photographer and hating the engagement photos, etc. In those special cases I generally always make exceptions – the photographer might ask for proof (maybe to show that you did sign a contract and are losing X amount of money), but it could make a huge difference!

Post # 9
4755 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Hire 1 photographer instead of 2. cut the hours down, use less photo locations, don’t get an engagement session, don’t get an album, ask for a disk of photos not prints

Post # 10
42 posts

To get a photographer to lower their price, you have to think like a photographer…

A photographer will be most willing to lower their price if they can be assured more work in the future. So if you have a friend, relative, or anyone you know that’s getting married, ask them to join you and approach the photographer for a discounted rate for both of your weddings. You could also bring other assignments to the table: senior photos, maternity, etc.

Another option is time. If you can find ways to save the photographers time (without reducing the quality of their service) I think you can negotiate a lower price.

If you have a highly charismatic wedding, in an exotic venue, or if you have heavily invested in the wedding, you may be able to use this as a “chip.:

Things that are not the strongest bargaining chips: prints, albums, “we’ll do the photoshopping” offers.


-Christopher Schall



Post # 11
3 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

@missbitsnpieces: I got a written contract from a photographer with the price stated and everything that would be included. I took the contract to other photographers and asked them if they could offer me the same thing at a better price and I found an excellent photographer at a great price.

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