20 Ways to Get Cheap Professional Wedding Photographers & Videographers

According to The Knot’s Real Weddings Study, wedding photographers and videographers cost $2,556 and $1,794, on average, respectively. That’s $4,350 – or approximately 14% of The Knot’s average wedding spend, excluding the honeymoon.

To be sure, millions of couples shell out less. My own wedding wasn’t bare-bones by any stretch, but we spent less than half the national average on professional photography and videography without compromising quality. And it goes without saying that not everyone can afford a $4,000-plus wedding media bill.

Still, there’s no way around it: Professional-grade wedding memories are expensive. If you’re fretting about how you’re going to pay for them, consider these tips for getting cheap (or at least, cheaper) professional wedding photography and videography – and seriously saving money on your wedding.

How to Save on Wedding Photographers & Videographers

1. Consider a Photography/Videography Registry or Fund

You’ve heard of a wedding gift registry. Why not open a separate wedding media registry through which guests and apologetic no-shows can chip in toward your photography and videography costs? Some high-end photography and videography studios offer this service directly, or you can go the DIY route and launch a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe, Kickstarter, or another reputable platform.

DIY registries or funds offer more control over contributions. For instance, you can expand the purview to include general wedding and post-wedding expenses – a great option if an affordable honeymoon is a top priority. Another bonus: If guests contribute to your media registry or fund in lieu of gifts, you won’t have to devote as much energy to re-gifting, selling, or returning unwanted gifts after the big day.

2. Tap Your Personal Network

If you want your official wedding photos and videos to look truly amazing, you don’t want to give your job to a random guest whose top qualification is an above-average Instagram account. However, you may know – or at least have in your extended network – professional or qualified amateur photographers and videographers capable of producing professional-grade material.

Depending on the strength of your connection, you may be able to secure a friend or family discount for those services, even if they’re already established as professionals in your area. The depth of this discount is sure to vary, but 5% or even 10% off full price isn’t unreasonable. For instance, we worked with my wife’s former classmate, who’d recently established a professional photography business with her husband. They gave us a small discount and didn’t charge for travel to and from the reception site, as was customary for other jobs.

Qualified nonprofessionals or rising professionals, such as recent film or visual arts school graduates without practices of their own, may be willing to work for even less, especially if they’re able to build their profile or meet new prospects as a result. Just make sure they have adequate equipment, enough help, and enough prior experience to pull off a big job. As with anyone you hire, be sure to check out their prior work first.

3. Get Multiple Quotes to Compare Pricing and Service

When buying a car, you don’t jump at the first offer you see. You compare multiple offers for comparable cars, weighing the relative pros and cons of each, until you arrive at an informed decision that you’re reasonably confident you won’t regret.

The scale of your wedding media investment might be smaller, but your decision’s ramifications reverberate even further into the future. Spend as long as it takes thoroughly researching photographers in your area and requesting quotes (if pricing isn’t provided upfront) from all who seem in line with your general tastes and budget.

A good way to jump-start the research process is to attend a wedding fair near where you plan to get married. They’re typically held before wedding season begins and can attract hundreds of service providers (including photographers and videographers) from miles around.

4. Check References

Once you’ve narrowed your choices to a few finalists, thoroughly check them out – just as you’d run a VIN check on a used car. Read online reviews; review their posted work; seek out people who’ve recently used their services. And don’t be afraid to ask them directly for references.

Though checking references by itself can’t reduce the final cost of your wedding photography and videography, it can increase the chances that you, your spouse, and your loved ones are satisfied with the outcome. After all, you can’t do your wedding over. Paying a bit more for wedding media that you can truly be proud of – and that you’re more likely to view, copy, and cherish for years to come – is an investment in the fond memory of what’s hopefully to be one of the happiest days of your life.

wedding photo bride groom

5. Get a Personal Use Release

Your wedding photographer and videographer is almost certain to keep the copyright to your media, meaning you can’t use your wedding photos or videos for your own commercial purposes. However, most photographers and videographers readily agree to personal use releases that allow clients to reproduce photos and videos for personal use, sharing among friends, and posting on social media.

If your provider’s contract doesn’t explicitly spell this out, don’t be afraid to ask for it to be added, and think twice about working with any provider that doesn’t go along with your request. A personal use release removes any doubt about your ability to order reprints or copies in the future, ideally from a discount merchant (such as a drugstore) that charges much less than your photography or videography studio.

6. Stick to a Lower-Priced Package

Most wedding photographers and videographers offer basic packages with fewer add-ons and frills – in some cases, just the shoot itself, plus an online gallery or image DVD. By providing just the bare essentials and giving you the flexibility to choose how (and whether) to order additional products, such as bound albums or wall prints, the basic package gives you greater control over your total photography and videography costs, and allows you to spread your investment out over a longer period of time. And remember, if you do choose to order additional prints, videos, or any other products at a later date, you can likely do so at a lower cost online or at a brick-and-mortar photo shop – provided you have a personal use release.

Photography and videography package costs vary tremendously by provider quality and reputation, geography, and other factors. That said, Louisiana’s Love Photography is a good example of the wide discrepancy between basic and deluxe packages – its “Basics” package costs about $1,000, the next-highest package costs just over $1,300, and the most expensive package costs nearly $3,000.

7. Look for Professional (But Less Established) Independents

If your wedding media’s workmanship is even a remote concern, resist the temptation to source a non-vetted amateur from Craigslist or your wedding guest list, no matter how tight your budget. You’re more likely than not to be disappointed with the results.

That said, it is possible to find professional-grade work at nonprofessional prices. Ascendant photography and videography professionals are often willing to work for less than what more established professionals charge. They’re frequently just out of school or ready to move up from assistant roles and launch their own businesses. The best place to find these types, and verify their credentials, is on reputable job boards (such as Indeed or Monster) and freelance job websites (such as Upwork).

8. Ask for an Off-Peak Discount

Most people get married on Saturdays. If you’re willing to buck the crowd and organize a weekday (Monday through Thursday) wedding, ask photographer and videographer candidates for an off-peak discount. Depending on local customs and the providers’ whims, it’s not unreasonable to expect a 10% or 15% discount off the final bill for a midweek shindig.

The same principle applies to off-season weddings in regions with sharply defined wedding seasons – if you’re scheduling a February wedding in Boston or Chicago, it never hurts to ask for a discount. That said, winter weddings are increasingly popular, so don’t be surprised by a refusal. Keep in mind that there are other potential financial benefits to weekday and off-season weddings too, such as venue and catering discounts.

winter wedding snow woods

9. Ask for Referral Discounts or Credits

Don’t be shy about asking your photographer or videographer for referral discounts or credits. Many professionals readily offer kickbacks – either as a discount to the final service bill or credits for future orders – to current or prior customers who refer new business.

You don’t have to shill for them at your wedding, but if you know anyone who’s planning their own wedding, why not tacitly suggest your photographer or videographer? It can work the other way too: If friends refer you to their wedding provider, you may qualify for a discount. Discounts and credits vary by provider, location, and other factors, but $25, $50, or even $100 isn’t outside the realm of possibility.

10. Look for Custom Packages

In the rush to get ready for the big day, it’s easy to surrender to the simplicity of preset photo or video packages, which tell you exactly what you’re getting and how much it’s going to cost. However, preset packages often include unnecessary services or add-ons, and providers aren’t always willing to customize on the spot.

To avoid paying more than you should, look for providers that offer custom packages. These packages typically have minimal conditions – you can choose how many hours the provider works on your wedding day and you get all your images in electronic format, but beyond that, the services rendered and deliverables (such as albums) are up to you.

Larger custom packages sometimes qualify for discounts. For instance, Atlanta-based Amanda Summerlin Photography, a high-end photography studio, knocks 10% off custom packages of $3,500 or more, and 20% off custom packages of $4,900 or more.

11. Book Photography and Videography With the Same Provider

Not all photography studios offer videography services, nor vice versa. However, if you do end up choosing a provider capable of shooting professional-grade photo and video, look into combined photography and videography packages, which can cost hundreds of dollars less than separately ordered photography and videography jobs. Philadelphia-based Bella Pictures knocks $300 off its videography services (normally $1,995) when you add a photography package.

12. Avoid Non-local Photographers and Videographers

Unless you’re having a destination wedding in a remote area, avoid working with non-local providers if at all possible. Out-of-area photographers and videographers often add mileage or airfare onto the cost of their services, potentially raising the final bill by hundreds of dollars. Even if your provider doesn’t explicitly add travel costs to your final bill, they’re likely built into its margins, and your total cost is therefore likely to be higher than what a comparable local provider would charge.

13. Work With Venue-Preferred/Recommended Providers

If you’re planning your nuptials at a venue that’s accustomed to hosting weddings, inquire about preferred or recommended photographers and videographers. Some venues have a de facto referral system: The venue drives business to favored vendors, who then offer discounted services or special packages. Some larger venues even have staff photographers and videographers, and build their fees into the total cost of the event. Further, such providers are likely familiar with the specific venue and already know the best sites for shots.

14. Limit Your Photographer’s and Videographer’s Hours

Some photographer and videographer packages include a specific number of hours, usually four to seven. Before hiring your provider and choosing your package, determine exactly how long they need to be present. You probably want to capture high points such as the walk down the aisle, the exchange of vows, the post-ceremony procession, and the cake cutting, but do you really need professional shots of the rehearsal dinner, the bride getting ready, or the later stages of your reception party?

Choose your package accordingly, and don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. For example, if you don’t need reception photos or videos at all, your provider may be willing to bail right after the customary post-ceremony wedding party shots.

wedding photographer woman

15. Limit Your Photography and Videography Staff Size at Smaller Weddings

This isn’t always possible with larger or logistically complex weddings with multiple shooting sites or challenging conditions. However, if you expect fewer than 75 attendees at your wedding and plan a relatively traditional ceremony and reception, your provider may be willing to send only a lead photographer or videographer, forgoing the assistants and interns who typically help with setup, shooting, and equipment ferrying at larger events. Depending on the provider, this could reduce your service bill by a few hundred dollars.

16. Order Smaller, Fewer Finished Photos

Because they’re easier to frame and look better on display, larger photos typically cost a lot more than wallet-size or small-frame size (4″ x 6″ or 5″ x 7″). If you place a finished photo order with your photography studio, stick to the smaller sizes, or purchase just a very small number of larger photos for display in your home. Resist the temptation to send a large framed photo to every member of your wedding party, or even aunt and uncle who made it to the ceremony. If you do want larger photos down the line, you can use your online proofs to place an order with a discounter, or buy from your provider when your budget has recovered from the trauma of the wedding.

17. Lose the Leather Binding and Hard Pages

Wedding photo albums are pricey – really pricey. When purchased à la carte, bound leather albums with rigid pages can easily cost $500, and larger sizes are often even pricier.

While it’s nice to have a weighty tome of wedding memories to pull out for your houseguests and future kids, it’s possible to achieve similar results at a lower cost. Opt for a simpler, magazine-style album with glossy, flexible pages. The quality of the workmanship is similar, as is the durability of the paper – which is critical if you plan on sharing your wedding memories with your children and grandchildren.

18. Don’t Order a Proof Book

Many photographers offer proof books, which allow you to review the photos they’ve taken and select your favorites. You can then order finished photos in the style and configuration of your choosing. However, the book itself often isn’t free – it can cost $100 or more, depending on the photographer and the total number of proofs. Unless you wish to keep the book in lieu of a bound album, skip it and review your proofs online (for free) instead.

19. Crowdsource Photos & Videos From Your Guests to Create an Album or Folio

If you want a professional-grade memento of your big day, cutting out the photographer or videographer altogether isn’t a viable option. However, what you can do is pair a less extravagant professional package and fewer post-wedding photo orders with a free or low-cost crowdsourced-photo campaign.

Prior to the ceremony, either on your invitations or in your wedding program, invite your guests to snap photos or take videos with their smartphones and post to social media or an online space (such as a Dropbox folder or Flickr group) you’ve carved out for the purpose. Make it clear that they can be as creative as they please, as long as they don’t disrupt the service.

At your reception, extend the same invitation – or, if you worry about phones getting lost in the shuffle, place disposable cameras on each table and ask patrons to place them in a designated receptacle when the festivities are over. The results won’t win any awards, but they’re sure to be entertaining – and, as time goes on, even poignant.

20. Pay With a Cash Back (or Other Rewards) Credit Card

No matter what your final wedding media bill comes to, you can marginally reduce the sticker shock (and budgetary carnage) by paying with a cash back credit card. Though wedding photography and videography rarely fall into cards’ favored spending categories, such as grocery store or gas purchases, they’re still good for the baseline earning rate.

Look at it this way: By paying your photographer and videographer with a Chase Freedom Unlimited (unlimited 1.5% cash back) or Citi Double Cash (unlimited 2% cash back) card, you can knock the final cost of a $2,000 bill down to $1,970 and $1,960, respectively.

wedding videographer bridesmaids

Final Word

Professional photo and video services aren’t cheap. If you believe The Knot, the average American couple spends more than $4,000 to document their special day.

The good news is that your wedding day is probably going to be the high point of your professional media-buying career. Even if you and your spouse spring for newborn baby photos, periodic family portraits, and high school graduation photos for your kids, you won’t ever spend as much on photo and video as you do on your wedding day.

What other ideas can you suggest to control the costs of wedding photography?

  • Qualityresults

    my apologies but do you even know what you are talking about. there is not one videographer or photographer worth a grain of salt that will sign over raw data. secondly you hire someone for their work by not having them produce that work defeats the purpose. As for rights to images a correction is required here, any professional photographer will provide printing rights whether within a package or separately but there is a big difference to providing the rights to a photo. Under copyright law the image is protect at the time it is produced and the copyright is held by the person who created the work. Very few if any photographers will isgn this right over again as it the processing is part of their work which is why they were hired in the first place. I believe your article misleads the reader into believing that rights and raw images will just be handed over. I beleive you may want to revisit the topic and speak to professionals who do this for a living. You might be surprised that your information is not properly vetted or completely accessible.

    • Casey Slide

      I’m sure most photographers would love if their clients ordered all their prints through them, but it is just not cost effective for clients. Obviously the quality of professionally edited and printed pictures is better, but with so many company’s on the web, such as Snapfish and Shutterfly, most people are turning to those to have albums made. Photographers are catching on to what their clients want and are selling the rights to the photos to their clients. I bought all my photos from my photographer, my sister bought all of hers, most of my friends buy their photos. With the advancement of technology, professionals have to adjust what they are doing and how they make money from their clients, whether it is charging more for a photo session or charging more for a CD of the photos. Whether you want to call that “printing rights” instead of rights to the photos or copyrights of the photos doesn’t matter much to clients. If they have the ability to print their photos, then they will print their own photos.

      • Donald Dingerson

        Photographers, myself included, will, often times, provide a CD or DVD of edited images (as JPEG) – not the RAW files. No professional photographer wants an amateur editing their RAW files, because when that amateur fails to get a good edit no one will say “They were good pictures before cousin Bobby trashed the edit.” The amateur edits will reflect poorly on the photographer. Further, just because I release the shutter at a wedding it does not mean that image is a keeper, and any professional wants to present their best work, not only for the current client, but also in the hopes of attaining additional clients in the future. Digital is transforming wedding photography and I fully agree that many brides today want the CD or DVD of edited images so they can print them at an online lab. I have no issue with that and have been shooting weddings under that model since about 2006 or 2007. Prints are less and less a concern for me and allowing my clients to print their own images (only after I edit the RAW files of course) works – at the same time brides almost always buy the professionally produced photo album because they understand the value in having the album created by a professional.

    • Miranda Mirsec

      You are so correct Qualityresults…..no self respecting professional photographer would EVER hand over RAW footage and even if by some miracle you got them to release the footage you wouldn’t have any idea what to do with it. Not to mention your home computer system would freeze just trying to open it. Same goes with the advice to make your own album…COME ON if you were to poll 100 couples married in the last year that didn’t get a professional album how many actually have made one. Life gets busy and they will NEVER get around to it. And if by some chance they do…it will NEVER be what it could be if professionally done. Cosco and shutterfly people are not archival! So printing images or books there may seam like a saving but when your kids discover that all the images have faded, stick to glass or fall apart….it just won’t be worth it.

      • Phoxy_Photog

        Yeah, no one can open or do anything with a RAW file unless they have a current version of Photoshop or something similar. People seem to think RAW means “unedited.” And they think it’ll be cheaper if we don’t edit the photos.

  • Trish

    Great article! I’m not in the market for a wedding photographer or videographer, but I would say that a lot of these ideas could be applied when looking to hire any type of professional. Hiring a writer for an editorial piece for a money saving ezine is a great example. Instead of looking for someone highly experienced in writing, with a sharply honed ability to research their topic in order to provide the target reader with accurate and helpful information, a great deal of money could be saved by hiring Uncle Bob to do it! He has great typing skills, despite the loss of several digits in a freak pruning accident, and he can Google like nobody’s business.


    I understand that people are often making wedding day choices with a budget in mind. What baffles me is that after the confetti has been scattered, the cake has been cut, and the music is over the only tangible thing that a couple has from their day is the photos. I would say to cut every single expense possible in order to hire a trusted professional who will capture your day beautifully. There are reasons that experienced pros charge what they charge – not the least of which is the pressure they put on themselves to shoot every single detail and every single moment.

    • Casey Slide

      You are absolutely right in that you pay for what you get. If you pay for an expensive, experienced photographer, you will not be disappointed. But even some couples will cut all the extras and still not be able to afford this type of professional.

      Also, great point about this concept being applicable to other types of professionals!

  • Amy

    Save Save Save, yes that is the way to go until every professional is working for nothing! Yipee!

  • Michael Novoseletsky

    What this article overlooks and often overloads brides with is latent pain. You can go cheap of course with the investment of your own time. But even brides with ample time on their hands can become easily overloaded.

    Many a brides have I known who say after the wedding “I wish I would have just hired a planner or other professional…” What happens is that they are not even looking forward to the wedding at some point and the words “I just want it to be over” have been uttered countless times.

    Certain points such as #13 “getting the rights”. The kicker is that many photographers are not charging you for the method in which your images are being delivered…canvas, album or disc. If you want the disc and the rights it’s likely going to be the same investment as prints or albums because you are investing in the art of the images and not the delivery method of those images.

    Aside from a few points, much of this article would do more damage to a bride searching for a vendor than good…I would highly suggest to stay away from most of this advice unless you do not care about your final results.

    • Miranda Mirsec

      Couldn’t agree more with you Michael! Its best to steer clear of most of this advice.

  • Sam

    Use your ipod for music instead of hiring a professional DJ. Buy your cake at walmart instead of hiring a professional to do it. While you’re at it use cigar bans for your wedding rings.

  • Kaitlyn

    simple wedding video – a cheap and great videography company imo located in toronto

  • XPentingAMinzing

    This is so true! I chose to go with Sharon Watkins Photography, a photographer new to the business too! She was awesome & edited images as part of my wedding package too. If you are on a budget, I would totally go with a photographer new to the business. Every bride deserves nice photos of her wedding!

    • Phoxy_Photog

      Yeah, I checked out her work. I guess if you’re ok with poor white balance, missed focus, oversaturated colors, and spotty lighting….
      At least her (most recent) newborn photos are pretty decent.

  • Rachel MacDonald

    This is poor advice. Very poor. No one will give you raw photo or video, and even if they do, it is illegal for you to alter that work unless expressed in contract.

  • Phil

    Poorly researched article. There are a few useful tips, but they are in amongst dross which doesn’t make any sense in the real world. Brides are thoroughly confused because of articles like this.

    I would suggest that you do some research before posting poorly thought out advice … although I guess you still get your advertising clicks either way so it doesn’t really matter, right?

  • MJSee

    Horrible advice. Hire a student? Ask a friend? My god. How cheap can you be on your wedding day. The one day of your life where you expect everything to be perfect including the images of the day. It’s the same thought that I have seen brides and grooms do with “Ipod” weddings. Hire a professional. Pay a decent fee. Most professionals will negotiate their prices and will always make their contracts clear and precise. There are usually never any “hidden” fees or clauses. As they are always outlines in the contract that you agree to when you sign a contract. A professional photographer by the way to those reading this article, has training, has experience and the job doesn’t end after the day is over. It begins. They have to spend days pouring through the photos they took, then choose the best ones and edit them so they are absolutely perfect. I Spent a month editing photos for one wedding, Spend roughly 8 hours a day going through them and the bride was so happy when she saw them she spent the next year recommending me. Charging a $1000 for 8 hours for 4 weeks is less than minimum wage. And this writer of the article wants you to think that getting someone CHEAPER is better?

    • Rager2sharp

      Yeah but for people that really can’t afford to pay 1000 for pictures because their whole wedding only cost 2000 this isn’t necessarily bad advice. Just because they don’t want to be drowning in debt over one day doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to remember it with pictures.

      • MJSee

        Sorry but if you can’t afford the wedding, then don’t have one. I don’t know where you get $2000 for a wedding. My wedding 4 years ago was $7000 and that was bare minimums. With my photographer being a wedding present paid for by a relative. If your area can have a nice wedding for 2 grand then kudos. If you hire a student or a “friend” take your wedding pics then all you get what you pay for. Wedding snapshots and not professional photos. Any idiot can take snapshots with a camera.

        A professional has the skills to take great photos, has the skills to edit them properly and spends a decent amount of time making those photos something the bride and groom will cherish for the rest of their lives. The author doesn’t point out that your risking bad pics,and unprofessional behavior or worse, a no show with a non professional. You have those risks with a professional but the degree is very much less so than getting a “friend” or student.
        Just because a friend, student or relative has an expensive camera doesn’t mean they will take a great photo either. That is misinformation that is out there. And as well, many professional photographers negotiate their prices to suit the needs of the client. Each client is different and has different requirement. Those package deals you see on photographer’s websites are usually negotiable. If you don’t want those prints, then you can negotiate a price for just the CD-Rom or even a thumb drive of the photographs. The last wedding I did, I spend 8 hours a day for almost a full month to edit the photos. To make sure the lighting was great, there was no dead spaces and with some to give some vintage feel to them at the clients request. So let me show you another way .. Let’s say a photo package is $1000. I take a month usually to edit. That is 8 hours a day during the weekdays. $1000 divided by 4 is $250 divided by 40 hours. That means I just made $6.25 an hour. That is below the minimum wage in both the united states and in Canada. As well as most countries. Now let’s say I was booked every saturday for the year. 52 weeks $52000.00 (would be great!) unfortunately most photographers are not booked for a wedding each week. A busy wedding photography will do maybe half that, maybe a little more. Enough anyway that they could do photography full time. These photographers have numerous cameras,. lenses etc, that cost money which brings down their pay as well.

        Here is another side to look at. Professionalism. Insurance etc. What happens if one of your drunken wedding guests trips over a tripod and breaks the $4000 camera? Will your event insurance cover it? It should. Will your professional photographer’s insurance cover it? It should. Will your “friend” or uncle have the insurance on the equipment? I doubt it. What if that Friend uncle or student gets drunk and insults the bride and ruins the wedding (it’s happened)…. can the happy couple sue the uncle, student or friend for ruining the wedding? Sure… but then you risk causing family feuds, hurt feelings, friendships dying. A professional you don’t have to worry about hurt feelings, or any of the above. You can sue them without losing a friend, relative etc. There are so many, many reasons why to hire a professional. If you can’t afford the costs of a wedding then wait, save your money and have the wedding when you can afford it. Your right about being in debt. Many people are having extravagant weddings with huge numbers of guests and end up spending the next 20 years paying for it. The best advice for this article should have been, if you can’t afford a professional then wait and save your money, because it will be worth it.

        • Cha cha bear

          If you can’t afford a wedding don’t have one honestly mate you need to get with the times. Cause I’m on a tight budget I shouldn’t marry the man I love, a marriage is not about what you can afford on the actual day, the meaning of why we get married is lost in your eyes of making money. SAD!!!!

        • MJSee

          No actually what I meant by “If you can’t afford a wedding then don’t have one” meaning if you can’t afford to have the wedding ceremony with the bells and whistles then don’t. Wait for awhile and save your money. There is a difference between having a nice wedding and just being cheap. This article chooses the cheap side. I’ve seen wedding photos done by non professionals and heard the stories from brides who regret not paying out that extra money for the pro photographer or pro dj. There are tons of horror stories out there for it. Hiring a professional is the cheaper way because they ensure you get the best possible photo’s you will cherish for the rest of your lives. It’s not about me making money, it’s about the best photo’s for the couple for the rest of their lives. And in this day and age you don’t have to spend 2 grand on photos. You can get a decent photographer for $600-$1200 depending on what you want. Saving that $600-$1200 Isn’t saving anything because if you hire a student or some relative who just happens to have an expensive camera means your gambling. And the odds are never in your favor that way. A professional will always negotiate and get you the best photos for your budget. Would you hire a friend to cater your wedding just because they have an expensive stove? Would you hire a student baker to bake the wedding cake? Do you honestly think any real photographer would do a wedding for free to “get exposure”? There are some but, not many. I might have said this previously but I did that when I started out and was warned by other photographers that I wouldn’t get “exposure” because the only exposure people would see was the “free” part. If you can’t afford the wedding then wait. Wait and save your money until you can have one with the bells and whistles you want. Waiting doesn’t cost you anything and can even save you a buck. Plus you have to remember those just aren’t YOUR photos. Relatives will want copies as well. Those relatives will be expecting professional quality photos. Not snapshots from Uncle Harry.

      • PhotoZealous

        Sure when you want to give advice on hiring cheap don’t use the term “professional”.. it is a disgrace to the actual professionals in the field.

    • Brittany

      This is wonderful advice!!! We CHOSE not to spend a lot not because we didn’t have it but bc of a personal decision. Please don’t be rude

      • Gryphyn34

        That’s fine. If you wish to save money. Go for it. I’m saying the advice is actually bad because it encourages people not to hire professionals and encourages them to use a relative or a friend who happens to have an expensive camera. Or a student who doesn’t know zip about wedding photography. Not only is it cheap and you risk bad photos or bad service from the photographer at the wedding, your risking the lifetime of memories that are part of those photos. It’s also very insulting. Many people out there have expensive cameras but can’t take a photo worth a damn. A professional has the experience and the equipment to make your wedding photos something to remember. If you chose not to spend money on a photographer and instead relied on a non professional, then all I can say is … you get what you paid for. Your relatives who are expecting professional photos will be disappointed. There are better ways to save money on a wedding and skimping on photos shouldn’t be one of them. Those are the photos you will cherish for the rest of your lives. You and your family. And the also get handed down through generations. A professional photographer will work within your budget .. the prices are not set prices on their websites. Most photographers will give you the best for the money you have to work with. You don’t need to spend thousands. You can spend hundreds and get a good photographer. I once met a couple who decided to use an IPOD for their wedding instead of hiring a DJ. The couple thought it was a great idea. Their guests hated it. They couldn’t request their favorite songs, they didn’t like the music being played but couldn’t complain to a DJ. The couple oblivious was dissapointed at the end when the Ipod cut out during their dance. You can do a wedding cheaply without skimping on hiring a professional. And if you can’t afford to pay the money out then wait. It costs nothing to wait and you save money during that time you wait so you can spend that money on a professional.

    • Miranda Mirsec

      I agree with you JMsee! I’ve been in the wedding industry for over 8 years and what you said is very true. Cheap and Photography are two words that should NEVER be in the same sentence. I’ve heard sooo many horror stories about what happens when people do go cheap that I could write a book!

    • tabi

      She never said cheaper was better. And yes, we have spent hours turned to weeks on editing, then on to the next job. No reason to treat people who can’t afford our work poorly, is It?

  • Dawn

    Great Article MJSEE is just being Rude

    • Miranda Mirsec

      MJSEE is just being honest. He is hoping to save couple heartache.

  • Miranda Mirsec

    I’m sorry but this is HORRIBLE advice! Not trying to hurt your feelings and I know you mean well but this is the kind of advice that ends up costing couples $$$ and heartache in the long run not to mention deep regret that can’t be undone.

    If a couple is SOOO strapped that they can’t afford professional images then my recommendations are:
    1) Wait and save
    2) skip the frills (do you really need a limo OR candy table)?
    3) Have a smaller wedding—the biggest cost incurred by a couple is the cost of taking care of their guests (food, beverage and venue) Smaller weddings cost less leaving money for things you will cherish forever (like photographs) so skip inviting the entire office, the entire church or people you barely know and stick with those that really matter..close family and friends. Rule of thumb…invite those you would call if you had a baby OR in an emergency.
    4) Rent a dress (if your budget is really small) Skip the $5,000 vera wang shoes or designer dress. What good will it do you to have a gorgeous dress if you will have no archival record of it.
    5) Just like with invite list keep your wedding party small–the more people the greater the cost.
    6) get creative with decoration…flowers are beautiful AND costly so go easy on the flowers. There are a million inexpensive ways to decorate (see Pinterest) Again they will only last a day but your wedding photographs are meant to last for generations.
    7) Off season and weekday weddings can open the door to savings so skip prime venues and days/months most in demand.
    8) Opt for cocktail hours with refreshments rather than a sit down dinner. Buffets can also help save $$. Many restaurants now cater so you CAN feed guests delicious food without breaking the bank!
    9) Have a rehearsal lunch a week before wedding rather than dinner the night before and keep it light. Or better yet invite ONLY those that are in wedding party (remember keep it small) over for dinner at home. If you don’t cook order in and make it a nice intimate gathering. Inviting a large number of people to a restaurant the night before for a sit down dinner and drinks gets costly

    10. Prioritize if photography is important to you then save for it, ask family for help and limit the amount of coverage you invest in. 2 hours of GREAT coverage beats 12 hours of crappy coverage any day.
    NEVER go free, student or friend EVER!!!! And if you must, hire a PROFESSIONAL for at least two hours (ceremony and formals) Trust me this is something you will NOT regret. Leave the “friend” or student for reception candids.

    Bottom line cheap will get you cheap…and if you are ok with that then great but too often I hear how important photographs are to couples then they skimp and go cheap. I heard someone once say “don’t be cheap with your love”…when it comes to photography it couldn’t apply more! Photographs are the single most important keepsake EVER don’t leave it in the hands of a “friend” or student…because let me tell you…a million things can go wrong on your wedding day that won’t be funny the day of your wedding but someday you will laugh about them…bad or missing photographs ARE NOT one of those things. Not having these will NEVER be funny.

    • Marie

      I think you missed the point of the article. If someone is looking to hire an inexpensive photographer or looking at creative options for photography- chances are they’re not having a limo or expensive decorations or a lot of extras or a big cocktail hour. Chances are they are dreaming to get married, are strapped financially with no end in sight, and want to be responsible with the funds they have. Your post sounds rather elitist and clearly you have no understanding for those who need to do a wedding event on a thin wallet.

      • Miranda Mirsec

        I’ve had the pleasure of working with many couples on very small budgets that still managed to prioritize resources in areas with the most impact. My point was if you have to skimp on photo coverage, skimp on time not quality, go on a payment plan or save for key essencials. I’ve seen too many horrible things happen in regards to this topic, trust me you wouldn’t have to search for or long to find couples that would agree. I explained in detail Marie because I believe its important to not miss-lead couples.

  • The Pro Photographer

    You know nothing about what your talking about… hire a student photographer ..? what happens if it rains hard or the suns low ?? photographing a wedding is not just taking the Photographs it is dealing with people in all kinds of conditions. Amateur and student photographers are not Pro Photographers. Theres a big difference. Do your research before putting a load of crap together.
    Rant over.

    • Marie

      Your comment is pretty ignorant. If someone is following this advice, it’s because THEY DONT HAVE ANOTHER OPTION. The author is not saying a recent grad will be the same- she’s saying it’s better than grandma taking your pictures if you are financially strapped. Get your head out of your butt.

  • Mark

    Although I’m a wedding photographer myself, I grew up in a town where not many people could afford a wedding, let alone a photographer. Many couples would either put it off or ask family and friends for support, as they were likely on a fixed income that was based off minimum wage. They would usually come to me for advice –respectfully, nobody asked me to perform services for free. Here is what I recommended…

    1) Have two people that the couple deems to be reliable and non-drinkers to take photos. They won’t need a DSLR or impressive camera in general, just something that is reliable and has a full or long battery life –having knowledge of photography and composition helps too. Having people as dedicated photographers also motivates these people to feel responsible for the job. They will likely produce better work if they know that they have this responsibility.

    2) Make sure there are two
    or three people max. Far too often couples just think that more cameras are
    better than one. Unfortunately if all those cameras are firing at once, people
    will be getting in the way and nobody will actually get good shots where
    everyone is looking at the same camera. Even as a wedding photographer I often
    shoot with a 2nd shooter to get the shots that I simply cannot get. Two is also
    a good number since one person may get ill, drop the camera, or somehow become
    incapable of shooting the rest of the evening.

    3) Either announce it yourself, or have the MC announce the evening’s photographers and ask politely that nobody get in their way during the ceremony or reception. As a wedding photographer I often request this too if I notice a lot of people brought their iPads or other toys.

    4) Make sure they give you their memory cards at the end of the night. This is important, as that’s the easiest thing to get erased or lost if your friends don’t have a workflow.

    This definitely won’t produce results anywhere near what a professional can do. Hiring a professional photographer is a gamble, yes. But hiring the right photographer will be able to translate what your ideas are for your wedding into photographs. They all are a little bit different and those differences are what make them valuable.

    I don’t think offering advice like this will hurt the industry –most people who would resort to these standards would otherwise not hire a photographer anyway. I’ve had two friends follow this advice and one of the photographers at one of their weddings ended up becoming my assistant for a season and is now my second shooter.

    • tabi

      Excellent advice. And you’re right, it won’t hurt us a bit. Yet, so many are so butt hurt over it. Keep on being honest. Its refreshing.

  • Sohail

    Some of the ideas are great specially for those who aren’t able to afford a PROFESSIONAL wedding photographer. The points author really missed out were items like your floral arrangement will be in the trash, the food you served will be in the tunnel somewhere, and the venue you rented will be returned to the owner. There are only 1 thing that will be passed down as family heirloom and it’ll be your wedding photos.

  • omnivor

    Cheap, reliable and skilled. Pick two.

  • PhotoZealous

    I wish you knew what you’re talking about… please don’t follow this horrible advice. You will end up with disappointing results… there are ways to save money in a wedding and most people look at cutting photography costs when other than your marriage the only thing that will stay for life are the photographs and videos from your special day!

  • Jammy Pens

    Wedding photography is not something that should be left to a student or someone that it is trying to start out. Your wedding is a once in a lifetime event and once its done, there is no redoing it. There is no second chance when it comes to a wedding. The advise in the article is a lot of BS. I personally listened to advice like this when I got married and now 15 years later, I have no wedding photos. The person we “hired” was taking photography classes, but they had no idea what the pressure of a wedding day was like. They took 10 rolls of film and not a single photograph turned out. No offense, but your tips are way off.

    • tabi

      The day of film turning to image is kinda moot. Anyone can point and shoot. It might not look perfect but they will have memories. The advice is not horrible, if people can’t afford to pay a photgrapher. if you can afford it, you should hire a professional.

      I’m a professional and I offer low budget options but it’s hard to do, when I’m booked with full weddings. If you want a budget photographer, choose weekday or off season. As for a 2 hour shoot and ceremony only. Many will accept, most won’t offer. Ask for only the best images to be edited professionally. Plenty of options.

  • WinterWrens

    I appreciate this list and do have a few friends that do photography and have the whole pro setup.

    I’m a little annoyed by these comments, though. They are incredibly haughty, elitist and short-sighted. Most of them come off as though they are written by wedding photographers who have a chip on their shoulder because people over the years have exclaimed at their costs and they are so used to jumping to defend themselves. I wonder if you all think that the people who are seeking to save money are just money grubbers out to pinch pennies. Some people do not have help with their weddings and they simply can’t afford $2,000 or much, much more for a photographer with all the bells and whistles. I see so many wedding blogs that make absolutely no mention of price whatsoever but exclaim over these elaborate events. I wish I was lucky enough to be a bride for whom expense was no consideration, however I and I’m sure many other people are not so lucky. I am making my wedding dress, putting together my own florals and baking my cake. No it will not be in Brides magazine, and yes I do wish I could afford the kind of wedding that could be, but my partner and I are poor. We have to make choices about where we spend our money, it isn’t just handed to us by our parents, and we would rather put the money towards a buying our first home and starting our life together than having slightly fancier pictures.

    To be clear, I don’t think this article or any other is suggesting that professional photography is not worthwhile or is even overpriced. Much like journalists of today are infinitely more talented than the average Joe blogger yet are undervalued in their profession, I have no doubts that professional photography would be the optimal choice for pictures on my wedding day and I also don’t doubt that the prices that many charge are commensurate with experience and skill. That being said, I don’t think anyone should be tearing down the writer of this article for trying to help problem solve with brides whose budgets do not allow for styled photo shoots and all day coverage with assistants etc. but still want to have pictures of the event. Nor should they be saying someone’s pictures will be a “load of crap” if a pro doesn’t do them. How vain and judgmental can you be?

    Summary: Try to be a little more understanding of people who are trying
    to save money on their wedding. They do it because they have to, not because they don’t
    think photography is worth it.

    • Tabi

      I understand where you’re coming from completely. I was the same. I had more money to spend but wanted to take our son on vacation after. I didn’t want a wedding to cost more than we put into his college account. So we did it low budget. I found a photographer who shot the ceremony, decor, after with wedding party, and some family, then she left. We did the rest with my dslr. I was a starting out photographer then, so I did my own photo editing. She charged me 2x the cost of an engagement shoot. I paid her $250 for 2hours of work. That way I got professional wedding photos on a budget. Now this is a service I offer to my clients, as long as I don’t have a full day wedding booked. I will edit some of the photos I take for them to have truly good images. I can’t afford to spend a week of editing for a cheap rate, so we work out an amount.

      Just letting you know, you do have options. And if you know someone that handles their way around image editing software, your options will be better. The editing is the most extensive part, for me at least. Don’t be afraid to ask around. A studio/portrait photographer may be a good fit. They can do your couple, bridal party, family shots, then you can have friends do the rest.

      My advice is to have someone with at least an extra level dslr and another shooter. Put one with you and your maids prior to the ceremony and one on the grooms side. Make sure one gets his reaction as you walk down. Give them a list of specific shots to take. Make sure no one goes up in front of them.

      When you get your images, don’t be freaked out if they don’t look great. You’d be surprised at what some of the professional ones looked like that I edit for others on the side. (Some professionals aren’t that great and we have to pick up the pieces). Congrats and good luck.

      • WinterWrens

        Thank you very much for this advice! I really did want some nice still shots of the ceremony and some formal pictures, but was worried that it was either all day or nothing. I personally have a ton of photo editing experience as I design websites so that’s another great idea. I have friends who are journalism photographers so I was just going to ask them to take pictures and share them with me.

        One thing that I think really bugs me is how big photography has gotten. It’s part of this selfie culture where everyone is always posing for a picture any time they leave the house. I certainly want to commemorate my wedding with beautiful pictures that I can hang in my house like so many other people have done. But I don’t necessarily need to feel like I have a Kim Kardashian paparazzi cloud following me taking a picture of every.single.angle. I like your suggestion of trying to compromise. I sort of assuming that photogs wouldn’t do that but you have inspired me to ask about my options!

  • Brian Cady

    If you are in the Tulsa area, I am starting a photography business this spring. I recently moved here, but I have experience shooting weddings back in Michigan. I am targeting budget minded people. Maybe it’s your second marriage or you are just on a tight budget. What my plan is is to come in and shoot the wedding and reception if you wish and then give you the cards from my cameras and leave. You get all the shots and all the rights up front. You do the editing, put together your wedding album, etc. My fees are going to be $350 for the wedding and $500 for wedding and reception. I can edit for an additional fee if you wish. I would rather leave editing up to the client because photographers go for the shot. We don’t always know what shots are important to you. Maybe a bride crying in her maid of honor’s arms would be important to have. We as photographers might cut that shot for bad lighting or whatever. The decision should be yours. My goals is great shots at an affordable price without all the gimmicks. You get to own all the images, because hey it’s your wedding and you paid me to shoot it. It only makes sense. I use a canon full frame main camera and a crop backup and have a series of canon l lenses. You won’t sacrifice quality with me, just price. Brian…810-955-9435

  • Paul

    How romantic, cheap wedding photos (you charmer I hear her say).

    If your partner wants cheap anything, I suggest a new partner to marry or in fact why bother because it’s most likely going to end in divorce as most separations are caused by money stress.

    If you really insist on cheap photos ask the priest or chauffeur to take some pics, I guess it all depends on your standards. There are lots of people with very low standards as well as high standards. Again I personally wouldn’t marry someone with low standards but I guess I’m a bit old fashioned.

    • WinterWrens

      When I said ‘How vain and judgemental can you be’ in my previous post, I didn’t mean to test the limits of your snobbery. I see you clearly did not get that message.

      Personally, I didn’t realize that charmer = enough money to afford a wedding photographer. I thought charm had something to do with your personality not your salary. I guess all those girls out there who fell in love with waiters and social workers should just move on and find a real ‘charmer’ right?

      Your condescension makes me want to vomit.

    • Paulisadouche

      It amazes me how people don’t realize how much they reveal about themselves without even knowing it.

    • Tabi

      Not old fashioned at all Paul… old fashioned typically means somewhat charming, a bit of a gentleman, etc. You sir, are stuck up, with a stick stuck up your snooty (fill in the blank). People who think like you end up miserable. We’ve all seen the movie of your life man…
      “Boohoo, I can’t believe she left me for him. What’s he got that I dont?.. ” answer: a fatter wallet, nicer car, and more stuff.

      Most separations end in money stress? Not hardly. Working in family law, prior to working in my passion (photography), I can assure you, money is a factor in many fights. Communication and cheating are to blame for most separations. However, many marriages do start out in a financial strain- kind of ironic seeing as you think they should blow money on the one major thing before the marriage…

      It’s sad that you put so much weight in material things. Personally, my husband and I are conservative in finances, and we do just fine. Going strong for 13 years. We didn’t do a big wedding. We had a budget of about 4x what we spent, but I decided the money had a better place elsewhere.

      You will make some bimbo a happy woman for a few years, then another man will.

      I get the feeling you are a photographer that feels like you are worth more than others want to pay, but some people can’t justify the cost. Who are you to decide they aren’t marry worthy? If so and this is your true feeling, you have no place being the man behind the camera at a celebration of love. You are one of them that give the rest of us a bad name. I’ll take a drunk groomsman with a camera over a douchebag with a vanity complex any day.

    • http://ecofrugality.blogspot.com/ Amy Livingston

      Funny you should say that, because studies show that the MORE a couple spends on their wedding, the LESS likely the marriage is to last.

  • Jeff B.

    Quite frankly, this is some of the worst advice I have ever seen. To assume that “just anyone” can do this work is an insult to professionals everywhere. In a nutshell, you get what you pay for.

    • tj

      An insult to professionals everywhere? Not hardly, as most professionals are proud of their work and know where they started. We aren’t all so insecure.

      She made it clear that one should expect what they pay for, and in no way did she imply just anyone can do this as professionals. But dude, anyone can take pictures. Anyone. In fact, my 9 year old son has become quit the little shooter in training.
      Someone’s grandma won’t use their little point and shoot to capture what I do, just as she won’t send the work straight to Walgreens for printing and expect the same quality as it will be when I’m done editing. But this article and others like it, are not about the same quality with cheap or free alternatives – it’s about getting what need if you can’t you pay for what you want.

      Man, it annoys me to extreme levels when so called “professionals” get a stick all up in the *** Anytime someone offers advice to brides who can’t afford a high cost photo/videographer. A professional does not act like God’s gift to the world of their profession. Its nice to be in demand in your line of work but at what cost to others.

      Yes, photographers get a lot of crap from others with lack of appreciation for the actual work involved, which really is alot; But the simple fact is, some couples cannot afford it, especially a really experienced wedding photographer. We know we aren’t getting rich. We know our work is worth it. But much like we can’t afford to cut our rates, they can’t afford to pay them. We have brides diy their entire weddings, dress included. Weddings being done for $1000 plus food cost, but they are supposed to budget more for the photographer than for the day itself? It’s just not a possibility or the price is not justifiable in their budget.

      There’s no shame in it. Yet so many professionals have to treat them like 2nd class citizens. Lets face it, we were beginners and something made us step it up a notch, so why give up and comers a hard time?

  • Leslie

    Lots of condescending people commenting I see. I saw someone suggest that if you can’t afford a great wedding, don’t have one. Jeez. Glad you’re not my friend! We’ve spent $1500 on our wedding and that was a dress, his clothes, my daughters dress, the license, the fee for the judge, hair/makeup/nails and flowers. 17 people came to our courthouse wedding. They paid for their own meal, the out of town family stayed in our one bedroom apartment (we were there too, slept on the floor) and my friends mom took a couple pictures. Yes, it was CHEAP, extremely cheap. My parents just filed for bankruptcy and I have no other family, his family is a bunch of unemployed drug addict drunks, and our 18 month old daughter was born super prematurely and has enough problems that I am a stay at home mom. These circumstances were mostly unforeseen (his family has always sucked), does that mean I shouldn’t be allowed to get married to the man I’ve spent almost a decade with? Just cuz we couldn’t afford a grandiose ceremony? I just wanted the marriage, the REAL reason for the ceremony. I think many of these negative nellies are scorned photographers who see this as a belittling of their profession. It’s not. Some people, like myself, can NOT afford photographers. Every person I consulted had their basic package priced above my entire budget. Not skin off their backs, there will always be couples who can afford it. This article was written for those who can’t. Get off your high horses.

  • Minty Fresh

    Lmao, I actually found this article to be very helpful as me and my fiance are getting married soon. Fortunately for us, we’ve run into a lot of package deals and we’re both working full time.

    It would be easier for us to wait another year and save up even more for an all-expenses paid sort of wedding, where money isn’t an issue but I guess we are just itching to get hitched.

    And the photographer and videographers are something that’s starting to make me wonder what to do in terms of a reasonable price considering our venue is a mansion, but our guest list is small (tiny compared to others).

    Most charge for the hour with packages and deals, but am looking for something more intimate since there aren’t that many of us and am wondering if a big showy photographer lashed with professional across his/her chest will really be necessary or just another expense I can cut down.

    With pinterest pretty famous these days, most brides my age (early twenties) get a lot of ideas from them and want something similar but in our OWN taste, but I still want people to take photos at the wedding of us and of course I’ll just delete the ones I dont like or that are blurry, I’m sure there will at least be a FEW good ones aside from the professional ones, but I still want them.

    And people forget that students start somewhere but that doesn’t necessarily mean they lack the skill, they just lack the experience.

    This article was helpful, I don’t get why everyone is feeling all bent out of shape.

    • Phoxy_Photog

      It’s not just the quality and artistic look of the photos that may suffer. There are many behind-the-scenes things you need to consider.

      Sadly, a lot of newer or amateur photographers are not legally operating their business nor are they insured. They are skating by dodging paying taxes and could get in trouble with the IRS eventually. And not having insurance is a risk to them/their personal assets (should something bad happen) but let’s say a camera breaks the week before the wedding- unless they have a disposable $2500+ to drop on a new professional camera, insurance is there to help them quickly replace broken or stolen equipment.

      Professionals, like real professionals, will have at least one backup camera, for the above scenario or if something happens DURING the wedding. Stuff does happen. A photographer recently shared that her camera’s shutter broke in the middle of a wedding- a fatal camera problem. We also have safeguards in place to protect the images- dual memory cards (file corruption happens more than you’d think), extra hard drives (I save everything to four places plus online cloud storage). All of these are in place to prevent YOU from losing your precious photos.

      Having backup equipment, insurance, being legal, etc. are the “little things” that are extremely important.

  • David


  • miguel escamilla
  • Charlie

    The writer of this article forgot to mention that you have to be able to sleep at night after you stiffed everyone of their wedding by making them pay for their own dinner, got terrible shots from some new student photographer or “friend”, spent 4 days wasting your time trying to figure out how to make your own album and every other moronic idea this article scraped together to basically make a few advertising dollars. You sir, are a scumbag and I hope couples looking to get married will ignore your surefire tactics to ruining a wedding. BTW, your article could have been written by a college student…for free.

    • http://ecofrugality.blogspot.com/ Amy Livingston

      Which part of “professional or qualified amateur photographers and videographers capable of producing professional-grade material” did you not understand? He is not talking about handing the job over to Uncle Bert who always tweets nice pictures from his vacation; he’s saying if you know a professional, see if you can wangle a set of photos at cost for your wedding gift. (It worked for us.) And where is there *anything* in the article about making your guests pay for their own dinner?

  • Photo Sesh

    The days definitely matter. Sometimes schedules are full, sometimes they’re open. Prices should reflect that. We know a lot of talented professionals that look for some extra gigs if it’s convenient. Nothing wrong with filling up your schedule. :-) #PhotoSesh #plugin

  • Phoxy_Photog

    This is ridiculously horrible advice… unless you want to severely anger any photographer you come in contact with or end up with horrible photos and horrible prints.

    Sure, if you can’t afford the quoted rate, that’s understandable. Everyone has a budget. But if you can’t afford the photographer, politely tell them and then look elsewhere. Don’t haggle them, or try to negotiate with them. Don’t act like you deserve to get steakhouse quality and service on a McDonald’s budget. There are actual reasons professional photographers charge what they (we) do. Working from a home office or shooting a wedding on a weekday isn’t going to change the price.

  • https://www.facebook.com/app_scoped_user_id/100002829401585/ Stain Jones

    This is probably the dumbest thing I have read in 2016. Potential brides, please ignore all of this advice…

  • Hugh Anderson

    … oh, and when that new baby is almost here, call me. I have a friend that is DYING to deliver a baby, and they’ve read a ton of articles online about it.

  • OhDearDear

    Looking at some of the comments, I think there’s plenty of wedding photographers with a chip on their shoulder. This IS good advice for people on a budget. The author is clear about what to expect if you cut your budget for photography. To give you some sense of perspective, my parents (and I dare say, many older people) only have a couple of wedding shoots taken by someone who had a camera. The wedding was a simple event for family and friends and self-organised. Church, followed by a reception at my grandparents house. As for the infinite disappointment, stress and doom & gloom that will come to you if you don’t hire the best wedding photographer money can buy… well, it’s the kind of think scare stories the whole wedding business thrives on… scaring customers into thinking that if they don’t have a perfect fairytale wedding it will spell the end of their marriage. Thank you for the advice. We’re getting married because we love each other. And that is not dependent on getting professional wedding shoot.

  • http://www.donumstudio.com/blog Donum Studio LLC.

    20 ways to jeopardize your wedding memories.

  • http://www.3d-architectural-rendering.com/3D-Floor-Plan.html Nicoli Redmayne

    Great advice here ! And sound advice too. Disappointing how many wedding “professionals” have spammed the comments section though. They look desperate for work unfortunately and show how difficult it canbe for couples to find real professionals in an over saturated market.

    • Phoxy_Photog

      … Maybe because the author has no idea what they are talking about.
      Sure, if you want a budget option, follow this advice, but do not expect to get good work or a professional experience. You might get lucky with a beginner who has talent, but that’s pretty rare.

  • Rob in Oregon

    I’ve been involved in wedding photography for 37 years. In that time, the market has changed drastically. In every major city, there are probably 10,000 people with expensive digital cameras who want to make money at photography, and not that many weddings to go around. They don’t need much camera knowledge, they just set everything to “program” and blaze away. And you know what? They get pretty good photos! The days of a photographer making a middle-class living full-time at wedding/portrait are just about gone. All the guys my age have quit the profession. I have dropped back to part-time, and have packages that are very inexpensive. Brides, it may take a while, but if you look, you can find someone pretty talented who doesn’t charge a lot. Just make sure s/he has insurance. My wife read a statistic online that said the more a couple spends on their wedding, the more likely they are to divorce. And, the $3,000.00 photographers have very little left after paying their expenses. I know; I used to be one of them. Whenever I post something like this, I get a lot of angry feedback saying that people like me are ruining the profession. Wake up, guys! The profession is already ruined. The digital revolution is here. Market forces cannot be contravened. Don’t take 20 years of your life to finally figure out you’re wasting your time. Photograph weddings for fun, rather than thinking you’re going to get rich. Brides, save your money for a down-payment on a house!