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Wedding Photography On A Budget

Updated on June 2, 2009

How Much Does The Photographer Want

When you are planning your wedding, you should try to stay within a budget of percentages.  For example, your largest expense is that of the hall and catering for your wedding reception, most times.  Another big chunk of your investment in your wedding is your photographer.  His job is crucial.  He needs to capture your wedding day in perfect style. 

He needs to grab every last tear, every last little smile that you and your guests have.  It is no small task.  When planning your wedding, your photographer should be, therefore, one of the people that you pay close attention to so that you can fully learn what they can offer to you and how much it will cost you.

Don't Go Too Low

A mistake that too many people make when selecting a photographer is looking for the most affordable solution. The pictures will be the same, right? This is not true and you could cost yourself many memories if you do not seek out the right type of photographer for the event. Imagine them missing important shots or setting up people that simply do not look good in that stance.

Photographers costs are based on several key things, all of which you need to learn about before hiring them. The right photographer is able to get the perfect pictures every time.

Most photographers’ rates are based on several things.  Each of these is important for you to take into consideration.


The fact is that you want your photographer to have the best possible skill level.  Experience is the best and only way for them to have this skill.  Even someone that has studied for years in picture taking is not necessarily going to have the experience working weddings like your own.  You want to ask the professional how much experience they have in weddings in the style and culture that yours will be in.  They need to know when to be ready to take pictures! 

They need to know about things like lighting, timing, appropriate behavior and your desire.  Also, take note of the fact that the person you are talking to and considering photographs from should be the same person that is going to do your own wedding.  Be sure to ask which photographer will be used for your event


Before you hire a wedding photographer, you want to see what their photography skills have produced.  Unlike other service providers for your wedding, they are able to show you what the final results have been for other weddings they have done.  You should be able to look through their portfolio to find the perfect pictures. 

These are often their best work, so take that into consideration when looking at them.  Do they offer the style and design that you would like?  Do you like their work?  You may want to ask for references of other clients especially if they say they have done work that is not available for you to see.  This will allow you to see the finished product, an important consideration.

What's It Going To Cost Me?

The costs of photographers ranges based on their experience and their demand.  Some people are able to give better picture quality than others.  Some provide more unique poses and interesting shots that can be a great way to entertain everyone and to get everyone smiling.  In addition, some photographers will charge extra for things like long drives or for multiple locations of shooting. 

All of these things can only be determined based on your individual wedding plans.  For this reason, you should always ask for a quote from the photographer before you decide on the right photographer.  The quote should give you detailed information about what the photographer will do and how much it will cost you.  This could range from as low as $500 up to $5,000 depending on who you hire and what you would like them to do.

One way to get a lesser price on the photographers is to consider packages.  Sometimes, in order to secure more of your business, they will provide you with things like parent photograph books.  Some will allow you to keep the proofs while others will not. 

Most photographers offer a range of packages to help tailor your wedding pictures to the effect that you would like.  Packages are a good way to drop the price if they provide you with the number of pictures and the photographs that you actually want.  Consider them closely.  You may also want to ask the photographer about their professional opinion on other photos that you should have, or what is the most popular choices for other couples. 

Since this is likely the first time you are hiring a professional photographer for a wedding, any assistance they give you can be much appreciated.  With that in mind, do not allow them to over suggest to you.  A good quality photographer will be honest and upfront and give you assistance and direction in regards to your wedding photographs.

So, while you are sitting there thinking about all of the beautiful wedding photographs that you will have, be sure that you have taken the time to select the best photographer for you. The best ones will be easy to get along with and friendly. They are the type of people that cause you to smile. After all, you want everyone in your wedding to be smiling at this beautiful day!

Packages are not the only way to get a good price.  Most photographers, especially those that are working on their own, will provide for some flexibility in their pricing.  In special situations or through good negotiation, you may be able to get the price down a bit. 

This may mean losing a specific location in terms of photo shoots, or it may mean bringing in other business to the photographer.  All of these things are important to consider, but perhaps the best way to get the price you want is to know the market.  Get several quotes from photographers and compare them.  What do they offer to you and is it what you want?  You can often negotiate using these quotes from several companies.

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      Jeremy 8 years ago

      Very well done. Good information, and not a blatant attempt to sell. AND great, professional images.