How to reduce the cost of photography at my wedding

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by vertigo, May 5, 2007.

  1. vertigo

    vertigo TPF Noob!

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    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.
    I’ve just got engaged myself, so I’m looking to save money when I get married (I didn’t realise that a wedding costs this much!). Anyway a few ideas I’ve 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. I’ll 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 photo’s of each other. It should reduce costs and hopefully provide a more personal touch to the pictures.
    Anyway, those are the ideas I’ve 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?
     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    The problem I see is that you are taking a huge gamble on a once in a lifetime event.
    You might luck out, but you might end up with a ton of underexposed direct flashed orange shots.
     
  3. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Without wedding experience you'll be lucky to find anyone able to shoot what you want.

    Scrimping on a photographer is not a great idea. You may be lucky to find someone with a few weddings under their belt and keen to work for less money - and yes a portfolio is a must.

    Disposables can be great for capturing nice images but in the hands of a novice you'll most likely get a bunch of crap images.

    Do yourself a favour and budget for a decent pro in your area. There may even be one here willing to help you out. Wedding photography is very different from any other genre. It takes skill to do it right. Posing is an art that not everyone can do.

    Wishing you luck whatever you decide......

    JD
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Forst of all, and this is outside of me being a wedding photographer disposable cameras on the tables are almost always a waste. if you consider how much it costs to buy and develop those cameras, sometimes hundreds, and you are taking a gamble of wether anyone is ever going to use them. In my experience as a wedding photographer when I see these cameras on tables I find myself compelled to tell people to try and not shoot the events i.e. cake cutting, first dance, etc. otherwise you will end up with multiple low quality shots of something the photographer is going to get anyway. And as far as what you are describing that you need from a student, good with crowds, going to get the entire dress, etc that sounds familiar I think you are describing ah... what... a wedding photographer. depending on where you are from you should be able to find a lower cost photographer to shoot your wedding but do not think you are going to get high priced results. your photographer costs alot for a reason experience and skills with a very high stress occupation. One thing I can tell you for sure after all this rambling DO NOT unless you have a guest list full of budding shutterbugs DO NOT pass out disposable camreas to your guests this is almost always a waste of money.
     
  5. justphotos

    justphotos TPF Noob!

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    I have to agree with you totally there.
     
  6. brighteyesphotos

    brighteyesphotos TPF Noob!

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    Depending on your location, why not inquire with your local college and see if there are any students WITH the experience? I am a student of photography and have shot three weddings to date with two more coming up. I don't charge as much as others do. If you really want to save money, do a search for budget photographers (I do my work for brides who are looking to save and still get quality photos). Ask the local college if they know anyone. Maybe they have a recent graduate who would be good and wants to add to their experience. Most colleges require their art students to have a working portfolio. Many photographers who are trying to have their work shown will have a portfolio of sorts.

    I hate to say it, but myspace could be a good tool for you here. There are many people on there with a sampling of their work and may work for less than other photographers with more experience. I just have to warn you, it's a gamble for your biggest day. I wish my ex and I had budgeted for a photographer instead of relying on a family friend. I got all the usual posed shots but hardly anything artistic or different.
     
  7. THORHAMMER

    THORHAMMER TPF Noob!

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    do you think that anyone who has lovely and beautiful wedding shots on their wall, coffee table etc... would in 10 years look back and say, man I wish I didnt get all these priceless shots? I wish I had saved a measley 500$ from my wedding and hired someone who didnt care about the shots. ?

    Things come and go., but that day is priceless, have it done properly if you can and you will never regret it.

    good luck!
     
  8. KaraM

    KaraM TPF Noob!

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    There is a very popular wedding forum with local boards where you can go for recommendations for photographers and such. You might check out what other brides in your area have to say.
     
  9. gmarquez

    gmarquez TPF Noob!

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    Plus, you can get that weird, distorted, partially out-of-focus look on all of your table shots, kind of like using a Lensbabies, but not as pleasing. Another benefit is mis-framed and badly lit photos as guests take pictures in any and all lighting conditions using that tiny flash. :mrgreen:

    Been there, done that. Don't solely rely on tabletop disposables for your table shots.
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Honestly I wouldn't use them at all. Use the money you save on them and budget a little more for the photographer.
     
  11. LeeLeeMelis

    LeeLeeMelis TPF Noob!

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    Any good photographer would be worth the money in the candid photos alone, save the money and dont go with disposable cameras on the tables. If you really care about having good photos, short cuts can be made on all other areas of your wedding. I got married less than two years ago so I totally understand where you are coming from in how much weddings cost! Go to a couple of bridal shows, these folks are dying to have your business so they'll probably be willing to work something out. Perhaps have them only stay for an hour of the reception? Stuff like that makes it less $$. Good luck and congratulations!
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My aunt asked me to photograph her wedding. I am by no means a pro, but she left me no choice, and I told her in advance don't blame me if you get horrible photos.

    They turned out really well, some of her friends said even a pro couldn't do better (but they clearly haven't seen some of the photos floating around here). The point is you are taking a big gamble. In my case it was luck. But someone else I know had a friend shoot the wedding on a Canon Powershot S3 IS. I took mine along and did some basic work. Bit of fill flashing, and bounce light off the roof with a large white card. After showing here two photos I took that day she was just perplexed at how good they were. An example of a bad wedding photographer.

    So if you are going to get one I hate to say it but also look at their equipment. An SLR and shoe mount flash are a minimum. If you are going to get a friend or an arts student, even they have only so much they can do with their equipment.
     

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