How to reduce the cost of a wedding photographer

vertigo123May 5, 2007

When my brother got married last year, he hired a photography student from the local university to take his wedding pictures. The student did not cost as much and agreed to give my brother his negatives for little or nothing afterwards. A professional normally charges $1000 -1500 for them.

IÂve just got engaged myself, so IÂm looking to save money when I get married (I didnÂt realise that a wedding costs this much!). Anyway a few ideas IÂve come up with to save money on a wedding photographer are to use a student from the local university or TAFE like my brother, or to give out disposable cameras to our guests.

Students may not have the experience of shooting hundreds of weddings, but they will have a fresh and artistic eye and capture some of the greatest moments.

My only problem with hiring a student is that I will want to see a portfolio of their work and create a working contract. IÂll also want to make sure that they know how to work with large groups of people. It might also be best to specify some general outlines of what needs to be done on the day. E.g. when taking a photo of the bride, include her whole dress not just from the knees up.

The other option to save money was to place a disposable camera on each of the reception tables. That way the guests can take photoÂs of each other. It should reduce costs and hopefully provide a more personal touch to the pictures.

Anyway, those are the ideas IÂve come up with in regards to saving costs on a photographer. Does anyone have any more ideas? Can anyone see likely problems with my ideas above?

Here is a link that might be useful: wedding photographer

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The disposable cameras on the tables idea doesn't always work as well as people hope. Even if people try to help you out, you are likely to end up with lots of pictures of a few guests (mostly from the younger tables) and few or none of many guests, including family. You don't want to end up with 20 shots of your work friends and none of Grandma. And someone has to remember to collect and store the cameras, and then later you pay for developing a lot of pictures that aren't always any good.

I think that photography is an area where it is worth it to use a professional. They just do such a good job. And what is the one thing that everyone says they would save first from a burning home? You can (and should) give a pro lists to make sure that you get pictures of the people you want most. I would save costs instead by hiring him/her for only the minimum amount of time, and perhaps by skipping or at least minimizing formal poses.

Call a couple of recommended photographers in your area, tell them your budget, and ask what they can do for that much. You may get a nice surprise.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 9:19PM
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I second what Gellchom said. Photography is the one area where you don't want to skimp. Though right now it may seem less important that some other things, when the day is over you will have your memories and your photos. You won't have the expensive meal or the gorgeous flowers, except in the photos, so take your time and choose wisely.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:47PM
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If you want any decent photographs of your wedding, make sure there is at least one experienced person dedicated to the task -- and expect to pay them for it. You're only doing it once. If you blow it, you'll be left with nothing worth looking at. Worthwhile photographs require good equipment, knowledge, skill, and experience. Unless you're lucky enough to have someone among your attendees with these qualifications and a willingness to sacrifice their own enjoyment as your guest in order to get the pictures you won't get them. All you'll have is a couple of lucky shots and the rest will be varying degrees of worthlessness.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 5:58PM
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I would hate to hire someone to whom I would have to say, "be sure to take a picture of the whole dress, not just from the knees up."

Though an amateur is most likely to take pictures from too far away--you get al of rug, or people's calves, but you can't see the faces very well. Or they center people's faces, and you have lots of empty air above their heads.

I'd go for fewer pictures taken. My bridesmaids didn't really want a pic of me and them--and I have the "entire wedding party" shot. Pics of the two families were good, bcs my MIL wanted them. But I didn't need as many pics as I *did* get.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 6:15PM
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Thanks for all the replies guys!
I have to admit, I'm a bit hesitant to use a uni student to take my photos, but the decisions already taken out of my hand. The misses demands that we get a pro to take them.......and apparently I'm a cheapskate. :)

Here is a link that might be useful: australian wedding photographer

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 9:10AM
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Smart missus!

Sympathetic with the "cost too much" attitude. Weddings are like that. However, the photos will be all that remains after the event. Not the thing to trust to amateurs and wannabes. You're wise to do that part right.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 12:24PM
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Oh, I don't know that you're a cheapskate--if there were a student whose work I could see examples of, and who had gotten some instruction, I'd go w/ a student. But I'd need to feel comfortable.

There might be other ways to save money even when you're using a pro--exploring that might be really useful.

That wouldn't happen to be your brand-new website, would it?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 1:26PM
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