Help! I want good/quality wedding photography, but I need it to be cheap!
Congratulations! You're probably reading this because you just got engaged, and you value preserving your memories in an artful way. I wish you all the best on your new life together, whether I'm your photog or not! Many people starting out in life | adulthood | marriage are not the most well off, and a lot of times parents get the expenses of the wedding. That's totally understandable, and for those who are not fortunate enough to have parents that can and will do that, you are probably feeling extremely overwhelmed right now pricing everything out! Don't despair; Just keep an open mind! Some of these ideas will help you to get your photography cheaper, and then some of these are ideas are if you absolutely can't get your photography cheaper.
Day/Date/Timing-All very important! If you plan your wedding during the off-season FOR off-season for your area, chances are you may be able to get a photographer that will cut you a deal-especially if it's planned out super early. You will most likely find a quality wedding photographer at an affordable price. BUT I WANT EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY AND AFFORDABILITY! PRO TIP ALERT!
*Whispers* Plan your wedding on a Mon-Thur.
I certainly can't vouch for everyone, but I can say from experience I'm much more willing to work with a budget during those times. It frees me up for my money-making Sat's and Sun's to...well, make money, and I am able to tell a young couple that I can photograph their wedding. WIN+WIN. You have to understand, though, the average (as in non-celebrity) wedding photographers don't make a lot of money like you may think. They do it, because it's their passion-they love it, but they have a lot of business expenses and time that has to be spent editing, running the business, etc. It has to be worthwhile for them to walk out of the house, because they have bills too.
Contact your top 5 favorite wedding photographers in your area. Let them know what your budget is, and ask them if they can do anything for you. Be humble. Tell them how much their work means to you; Describe a few of their pictures to them in your email, and TELL THEM WHAT YOU LOVE ABOUT THEM. Most importantly-tell them that you know that their time and talent is worth more than you can afford. Don't say, "That's too expensive," and just leave it at that. I'm telling you, when someone contacts me and explains my value to me and that I'm just too expensive for them, but they love my work and get excited over certain images-I am going to do everything I can to work with them. I value my time, I value my money, but I also value art and people-If I didn't, then I would be in the wrong business.
"I value my time, I value my money, but I also value art and people-If I didn't, then I would be in the wrong business."
Bummer-Your favorite photog can't do it for the price you need. Ask them for a referral. Photographers are always meeting other photogs, AND we have second shooters we've trained up we can personally vouch for! We may know someone we feel confident about who has the style you are seeking and just needing to build their portfolio. Why ask cousin Bubba for a referral or just find some random art school kid when you have knowledgable people in the field you can ask?
Your family, friends, guests, co-workers for help. "In lieu of gifts, please..." Ok, so you may think this is tacky, or you're afraid your guests will think this is tacky. I hate to break it to ya, but great-grandma IS going to think this is tacky; however ------>>> PRO TIP ALERT-if your guests are mostly 30's or under, chances are they aren't going to have a problem with this.
Make your engagement / save the date announcement a full on pinterest engagement fail. Make it funny! Ask them to help you make your photos pinterest worthy by donating to your wedding photog fund. Most likely people will WANT to help you, and they won't feel obligated or that it was tacky. I appreciate when people tell me what they need or want, or if they want a dang gift card party and where to get the gift card from. WHY? Because I know my hard earned dollars are going to something that 1.) won't be regifted, 2.) put in a closet and wasted, 3.) returned without the receipt and they never got full value back from it.
Skimp out on some of the other aspects of your wedding to be able to afford your photographer. People are there to celebrate YOUR day! Do what YOU want, spend the money on what you want. Ask friends and family to help prepare the catering, so you can put your money towards a photog. See what venue prices are in the off-season as opposed to the wedding season. DIY the decor, the possibilities are endless!
The last option I will discuss on this post, and one that I don't exactly recommend-especially for someone starting out in life-is to get a credit card to cover the amount. Like I said, I'm not recommending it; however, if you've exhausted all other options, this may be the route you want to go. Just remember-pay if off as soon as you can, so your wedding photography costs don't end up costing you twice what they were in the first place!
You CAN have the wedding of your dreams without going into the hole. I hope these things help you, and if you have any questions please reach out!
Fine Art | Documentary Style Wedding Photographer
Rock Hill, SC
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