Great Wedding Photography on a Budget

In these tough economic times you or your family might find it difficult to spend thousands of dollars on a wedding photographer. If that is the case, have no fear, there are methods and ideas to help you trim the fat and get the cost of wedding photography down to a more manageable price range. By informing a wedding photographer of your budget requirements, knowing a bit about the industry, and being realistic with your expectations you can easily save hundreds to thousands of dollars on your wedding photography. Following are some general ideas for cutting photography costs.

Many brides see the packages or prices that a wedding photographer has set up on their web pages or price sheets and assume that those are the set prices. However, as with most service based small businesses there is usually some wiggle room associated with those prices. The wiggle roomvaries with the economy and service availability. When contacting a wedding photographer let them know your budget and your minimum requirements. The trick is to be specific when telling a photographer what you want. We’ll go into more detail on that in a minute.

Wedding Photography

Wedding Photography

Having said all of the above, there is a limit to the amount of flexibility a photographer can offer. A wedding photo shoot that lasts 8 hours could mean from weeks to months of editing. In addition, there are other business expenses that have to be covered including taxes, employee’s pay, utilities, office rental fees, etc. The point is that while most wedding photographers will be more than happy to help reduce costs, they can only do so to a certain extent without losing money. This is their livelihood so when asking any wedding service provider to cut their rate, just ask yourself, “Am I being fair? Is this a fair compensation for the amount of work being provided?” Hopefully, your wedding photographer is asking himself the same questions.

Now that you’ve found a budget and narrowed your selection to a couple of photographers you like, how do you go about finding out which one can meet your budget goals? Be specific. Decide on the number of service hours you’ll need and what types of services (printed images, high resolution DVD’s, online galleries), and then take that information, along with your budget and present to the choice photographers. Allow them to respond to see if they can meet your budget, or see what they can provide within your budget. Once you have the photography service, you may be able to make purchases of extras such as the photo books, printed images, or high resolution DVD’s later, after the wedding. I keep images online for my wedding couples for 2 years. At any time they can contact me to order books, images, or high resolution DVD’s from those images.

Pinching pennies is never fun, but as you are willing to be up front about your budget, while being realistic, you can have the wedding photographer, and the wedding photography, of your dreams.

Justin Gilbert of Captured Art, a Pensacola, Florida Wedding Photographer

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About the Author
Team Wedding, founded in January 2000, is a network of wedding related directories and niche wedding websites designed to alleviate wedding planning stress and to give brides and grooms the one-stop-shop experience they need in this busy, modern world. Top Wedding Sites, is the Internet’s first directory of the top ranked wedding sites, voted on by brides, grooms and others interested in hosting a wedding. Plan your wedding fast, easy and in the comfort of your own home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.

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  1. Peter Ciresa

    As a photographer, I provide most of my clients with a full service solution. Professional grade albums are only available to professional photographers. I really do not think it a good idea to print your own pictures, the image quality is not as good as when the photos are professionally printed. If you have limited resources I would recommend getting a proof CD and a portrait, then later on order an album when you are financially able.

  2. Tim Hind

    I offer a CD only package due to demand in the marketplace BUT I would always recommend using the photographer’s print lab as they will be of a far greater quality than a high street lab.

    As always, you get what you pay for and the quality from Professional labs is significantly greater, resulting in outstanding images rather than the flat pics from amateur labs.

  3. Brian Mullins

    Great article and I agree completely. One thing you may mention is if you are having your wedding in the most popular time of year, like April in my area, then you will have a hard time negotiating with a wedding photographer. Having your wedding on a Friday or Sunday or during “off-season” will greatly increase your chances your photographer may work with you.

  4. Marvin Hall

    I agree with Brian. You can save a lot of money, not just with the photographer but vendors, by booking your wedding in the “off” season, where they are much more willing to negotiate. During peak times mose successful photographers will work with you to a point, adding or removing items that you want or don’t want from their packages. Above all it is not always about price. Yes you want someone in your price point, but is the photographer you are seeking skilled in the type of photography you require. Do you mesh with his or her personnality? Do they have references? How are they AFTER the wedding? Do they deliver on time? You may get a good price, but having someone who will deliver is just, if not more important.


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