Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

Very confused. Which would you choose?

I have been freaking out for days, and so I'm looking for some advice.

I have two photographers that I've found that seem like viable options. We are trying to keep the wedding as low budget as possible, but we still want everything to look great and photos are really important to us. So here's my conundrum:

One is a husband and wife team who haven't shot a wedding before but have assisted and seem prepared, professional, and personable. No reviews or client testimonials, and not a huge gallery on their website, all because they're a new company though they've been shooting for awhile. They answered all of my questions and seem like they know what theyre doing, but i cant tell if their style matches what I'm looking for. They would edit most of the pictures and give all taken photos to us on a flash drive. They're only charging $800 for two shooters for a full day.

One is two separate companies that often work together as dual shooters. Absolutely stunning galleries, lots of great reviews, awesome style. Would give the edited photos to us on a flash drive (and possibly the unedited ones as well, haven't asked yet, as we originally felt they were out of budget -still do, but they stand out). They're charging $2900 for two shooters for a full day.

Which would you choose and why? I'm paranoid about making the wrong choice, because we won't get a chance to get these pictures again, but it feels so awful spending almost $3000 on pictures.

In related news: anyone know of any good, inexpensive photographers in the Central New York area? -_-'

Thanks everyone.
KnotRiley

Re: Very confused. Which would you choose?

  • Go with the second choice. Photos are all you have left once the day is over. I spent around the same amount and it was hard to stomach, but it was totally worth it once we got the photos back.
    haleyk620RevivalPhotography
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Agree w/ PP.  It sucks paying the money, but good photography isn't cheap.  I would not want to risk my wedding photos with someone inexperienced.  And I'll be honest.....here in NJ, $2900 is more on the lower end.......I've seen lots of places start at $4-5k.
    RevivalPhotographyAcdelgado18
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    @DanikaMarie0227‌ please tell op about your photog. I really like his work and so far you seem really thrilled as well. I want to say he was affordable too...

    OP, on the second option, are you sure the stunning galleries are the work of those two shooters, or are there other photogs working for the two companies?

    With both your current options, it's important to identify the actual images shot by each of the 4 photogs so you can make an informed desicion.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • Go for the $2900 option! You already know they are experienced, you like their style, and they stand out to you. My fiance and I are splurging even more than that on our photographer, but she was the first thing we knew we wanted to book after we got engaged. Those pictures (besides the marriage) are the only thing you have left after the wedding day. You'll feel more confident on the day of that you're pictures will be stunning (so one less thing to think about!), and you'll look back on them for years to come knowing you made the right choice :)
    Acdelgado18
  • CarolynnS58CarolynnS58 member
    First Comment
    edited February 2015
    @photokitty‌ That is an absolutely great question, and one I forgot to ask. I'll have to make sure that the people I've been in contact with (and seen the reviews of) will actually be the ones shooting, and that they are the ones that actually took the photos in the galleries. Thanks so much for the advice!
    photokitty
  • Look into Johnny Wolf Photography. He does a great job (from what I've seen and we've done our engagement photos with him as well). I really struggled with choosing a photographer as well. He is around the $3000 price range. However, like you mentioned, that's lower end in this area. Good luck! 
    image
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    OP, I can't imagine getting quality images for $800 from two shooters, that's roughly $30 an hour, not including editing. With proper equipment and insurance, no professional photog could offer their services at that price, let alone your area.

    Remember, you get what you pay for...

    Keep looking. GL! :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • I don't know if more money means better pictures - I booked with a girl that was relatively new to the wedding industry when I booked her (although she did have a few weddings under her belt).   She was much cheaper then some of the more well known photographer's in my area but I couldn't have been more pleased with the results.  Since then she has really made a name for herself, booking tons of weddings(and i think raised her rates a bit).  That being said,  I don't think i'd choose the $800 options - it seems too cheap for anywhere in NY, and I would want someone with at least some wedding experience.     I would keep looking at some other options.  Whereabouts in NY are you?   
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer

    Our wedding was only the second one our photographer ever did, and we paid $700 for her (she asked for $500).  She, also, has booked multiple weddings off of ours, and has done incredibly well for herself in the last few months.

    Was she a little rough around the edges?  Sure.  But, when it comes down to it, all you really REALLY need from your wedding are, what, maybe a half dozen pictures?  How many are you REALLY going to put up around your house?  We needed a few family shots to give away, I wanted a picture with each of my bridesmaids to give to them, we put a few on our Christmas card, and we've got three or four hanging up.  She gave us a disc with over 500 pictures on it.  Math is in our favour that some of those would be decent - and they were awesome.

    All that to say - I vote for the little guy :)

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • never go with the untested photographer.  The day is way too important.  The person may have nice photo's of birds and mountains, but that's not what you're looking for on your wedding day.  You need the expressive candid shots that will help you remember your special day for a long time to come.
    CarolynnS58
  • CarolynnS58CarolynnS58 member
    First Comment
    edited February 2015
    I ended up meeting with and booking the more expensive photographers yesterday, and as soon as I did I felt such a wave of relief. One of my friends put it well: "You're not just paying for pictures, you're also paying for peace of mind during planning, during the wedding, and every day you look at the pictures after your big day."

    Thank you everyone for taking the time to add in your input and advice! It means a lot. :smile:
  • I ended up meeting with and booking the more expensive photographers yesterday, and as soon as I did I felt such a wave of relief. One of my friends put it well: "You're not just paying for pictures, you're also paying for peace of mind during planning, during the wedding, and every day you look at the pictures after your big day." Thank you everyone for taking the time to add in your input and advice! It means a lot. :smile:
    You made the right choice! The choice I wish I had made when I booked the cheapest photographer I could find! Still paying for it...
  • I didn't skimp on photography either.  I knew what photographer I wanted and was even willing to change my date around his availability.  I'm sure you won't be disappointed.  

    One thing you might want to consider though, is having the less expensive couple to do an Engagement shoot.  I did this with a husband and wife team.  They did photography part time, but I knew they did good photos.  Our engagement photos were great, but they did struggle a little with lighting and filters etc.  It cost me $400.  For the wedding, we spend over $3000 and it was worth every penny.  They were so experienced, they knew how to direct us and because it was "game day", there was no time to waste or experiment.  We were also in Hawaii, so the sun went down really fast.  We needed someone completely experienced who knew how to maximize every minute!

    Both were worth every penny.  Having said that, I have several girlfriends who spent big money on their wedding pix and less on their engagements and like the engagements more!
  • $2900. As others have said it will give you piece of mind.

    image

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    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • So glad you went with the more experienced photographers.  More expensive doesn't automatically mean better, but I am a photographer myself and can tell you without a doubt that you should NEVER book a photographer for a wedding that has never done one before. NEVER!!!!

    Weddings are one of the hardest events to shoot.  Not getting too technical here, but basically white dress next to black tux does bad things to digital photographs in the hands of an amateur. You need someone who has the technical expertise to make you both look great, who can move fast, who can wrangle great aunt Sophie, keep the groomsmen in line and focused on the task at hand, and not hand you photos where your dress looks gray because the photos weren't shot correctly.

    "Not my first rodeo" and all that!
  • Go with the second choice.  Photography, in my opinion, is one of the most if not THE MOST important vendor, because it will be the only memories you have of your wedding day if you're not also doing a videographer.  

    You want professionals with plenty of experience, especially since they usually keep your timeline in order the day of.  $2900 is a good amount of money, BUT, you will not regret it believe me!  I personally am splurging on my photographer for my upcoming wedding because I know how important it is for me to have amazing photos to remember the day.  To stay on budget, I'm just cutting in other places.

    Best of luck from 1 bride to another!  



  • Acdelgado18Acdelgado18 member
    First Comment
    edited March 2015
    Agreed!  Shooting a wedding is a completely separate type of photography!  Just because I take great pictures of my family events doesn't mean I'll do a great job at a wedding.
  • As a photographer, steer clear of the couple. They will eventually build up their portfolio and get the kinks out, but your wedding shouldn't be the guinea pig. And to really (hopefully) close the issue, consider this: there are so many different styles of photography, and even being a second shooter at the wedding doesn't require the gear, insurance, time, or knowledge that a wedding specialist would have. How many cameras do they have? You don't want them switching lenses every time they want a tight shot vs a creative fisheye pullback of the ceremony. And are they insured? Up to how much? Do they bring lighting gear (and I'm talking about more than a flash on the camera)- that is going to take your images to the next level. 

    Pros have done this before. They won't forget to get a picture of you tossing the bouquet, and they'll have a knack for finding that moment when you tearfully hug grandma. They will take that "meh" period after the dances and dinner where its just a bunch of people dancing in weak lighting, and make it look like your evening was a full energy celebration, with sweet and loving moments snuck in there as well. 

    True, in five years or so, you may have just one picture of your wedding left on your walls and the rest will be dedicated to baby, or furbaby ;), but you will certainly never have wall worthy pictures if  don't invest with the right photographer. Props to all the newbies out there, but as I tell my clients, "if its between me and a Funsaver, I'll do your wedding." Let those clients be the one the new shooters practice with :)
  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    mcadams1 said:


    Pros have done this before. They won't forget to get a picture of you tossing the bouquet, and they'll have a knack for finding that moment when you tearfully hug grandma. They will take that "meh" period after the dances and dinner where its just a bunch of people dancing in weak lighting, and make it look like your evening was a full energy celebration, with sweet and loving moments snuck in there as well. 

    True, in five years or so, you may have just one picture of your wedding left on your walls and the rest will be dedicated to baby, or furbaby ;), but you will certainly never have wall worthy pictures if  don't invest with the right photographer. Props to all the newbies out there, but as I tell my clients, "if its between me and a Funsaver, I'll do your wedding." Let those clients be the one the new shooters practice with :)




    Okay, OP, I know you've already decided on the more established photographer, and good for you.  BUT, please, can we stop bashing the photographers who aren't as experienced?  I mentioned before that our wedding was the second one our photographer did - and she still managed to get the 'must have' pictures and the tearful shots, too.

    And the statement that you'll never have wall worthy pictures if you don't invest with the right photographer?  That doesn't mean that the right photographer has been doing weddings for the last fifty years.  We have wall worth pictures.  The right photographer for us didn't have a lot of experience.  Inexperience =/= untalented

    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • jenijoykjenijoyk member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer
    edited March 2015


    Pros have done this before. They won't forget to get a picture of you tossing the bouquet, and they'll have a knack for finding that moment when you tearfully hug grandma. They will take that "meh" period after the dances and dinner where its just a bunch of people dancing in weak lighting, and make it look like your evening was a full energy celebration, with sweet and loving moments snuck in there as well. 

    True, in five years or so, you may have just one picture of your wedding left on your walls and the rest will be dedicated to baby, or furbaby ;), but you will certainly never have wall worthy pictures if  don't invest with the right photographer. Props to all the newbies out there, but as I tell my clients, "if its between me and a Funsaver, I'll do your wedding." Let those clients be the one the new shooters practice with :)




    Okay, OP, I know you've already decided on the more established photographer, and good for you.  BUT, please, can we stop bashing the photographers who aren't as experienced?  I mentioned before that our wedding was the second one our photographer did - and she still managed to get the 'must have' pictures and the tearful shots, too.

    And the statement that you'll never have wall worthy pictures if you don't invest with the right photographer?  That doesn't mean that the right photographer has been doing weddings for the last fifty years.  We have wall worth pictures.  The right photographer for us didn't have a lot of experience.  Inexperience =/= untalented

    But it can. I speak from experience. Our photographer was inexperienced and our photos were TERRIBLE. So, so, terrible. My champagne gown, which in real life had a beautiful gold lace overlay, is a bright glaring flat white blob in almost every single picture. As is our bald groomsman's head in some photos. The only usable photo of our wedding cake was one a guest took on their iPhone. I could go on and on.  You got lucky, for sure, but I think you are the exception and not the rule. 
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