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Photographers: Price

I'm new to this and have no idea what a photographer should cost. I found some around $1400 and i really like the work, but I also found one for $595. That seems like a big difference to me. It makes me weary. Is it a "you get what you pay for" kind of thing? What should I expect to pay and get for my money?
Thanks

Re: Photographers: Price

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    edited December 2011
    I feel like photographers are a total "get you pay for" deal.  We are paying a tad over $2k for ours.  We are not doing a videographer, and to me the photos are very important - they will last a lifetime.  I wanted them to be perfect.  I was willing to pay a bit more for photos and a bit less on something else that didn't mean as much to me (ie: flowers). 

    I'm positive you can find a great photographer within your budget... just make sure you know what your budget is first!

    Good Luck!
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    morgie44morgie44 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Photography is 100% you get what you pay for IMO.  Did you compare the packages of the two photographers?  Also it is VERY important if you are working with a studio to make sure that the photos you are seeing were taken by YOUR photographer, not just someone at the firm.   It is also important to see an entire wedding or at least the best of one wedding/blog post and not just the portfolio.  The portfolio is the best of the photographer's work.  Any photographer who works professionally is going to get a few great looking pics over time, but what makes someone good is consistently getting great images. 
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    edited December 2011
    word of mouth is the best way to find a great photographer....be very leary of big firms.  you might not always get what you thought you would...also just because somewhere is expensive doesn't mean they are good either
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    edited December 2011
    I agree with everything PPs have said. I really agree with seeing the whole wedding. I remember finding a few photogs who I liked their websites, but once I saw a whole wedding, I didn't at all. Also, meet with them. I met with one guy whose pictures I liked, but I didn't really click with him like I did our photog. You will be spending a lot of time with them so I think you need to click. Know who your actual photographer will be, not just a big firm that can assign someone a week before. Depending on the style you like I think over 2K is reasonable for Photojournalistic. Michael Rastall is less, and I like his work. My photog is Brian Kinyon, we will end up paying about 3200, but he is coming to our Rehearsal Dinner as well as we did an engagement session.

    It is definitely, get what you pay for, but just because they are expensive, doesnt mean they are good. And you can find some who are earlier in their careers who are great and less money. I'd say the key is research, research, research! :)
    Steph & Brandon 4.17.10
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio - Updated 7.2
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    edited December 2011

    It is utmost definitely you get what you pay for.  I'd say at least look at photographer through word of mouth....reviews on the board, family and or friends.  I would get the very best that your budget will allow you to afford.

    Photography was the most important thing on my list.  My DH and I decided to spend more money on photography and we are so happy with the results.   I highly recommend him and he's worth every penny.  Pics and reviews on bio.

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    jbll326jbll326 member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Yes, you definitely get what you pay for. As everyone else said, you should meet your photographer before you book them, as he/she will be spending more time with you that day than practically anybody else, so you ideally want someone that you get along with, and at the very least dont' hate. The big studios typically just assign your photog to you and you never meet them until the day of your wedding, which is a horrifying idea to me. Go off of recommendations for sure, cause you never really know what you're going to get otherwise.

    I highly recommend our photog - Jake and Jen Moreland of Two Birds Photography. We are spending $3,000, which is their biggest pacakge, and includes e-session and the rights to all of the wedding photos plus a ton of albums and prints.  They have packages that are WAY less than that. My friend used Hazelton PHotography for her wedding and absolutely loved them.  HTH!

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    IzzyBarIzzyBar member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I agree with everyone! But I do think experience is really important and how many years the photographer has been in business, type of education and how many actual weddings they have done.  What I have found is the more years of experience, usually the prices are a bit higher, but I think the extra dollars are worth it just to make sure that your wedding pics will be exactly what you expect.  And looking at a whole wedding has helped me in making a decision as well!
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    edited December 2011
    One more thing, rights to the photos, definitely make sure you get those:)
    Steph & Brandon 4.17.10
    Planning Bio
    Married Bio - Updated 7.2
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    edited December 2011
    We saved money by booking our photographer when she was still new. Her prices are now double what they were when we booked. Ditto pp about digital rights. You can order high quality prints online at www.mpix.com and save hundreds.
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    ladybug7485ladybug7485 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011

    While I do believe that you get what you pay for I also think that if you do some research you can find a really great photog that's more inexpensive then some of the big studios. It was important for us to find a independant photog and not one through a studio and also that we have rights to the pictures. We also caught our photog at a good time and ended up signing a contract before her prices went up as she is becoming more well known. I say do your research and find out why they are more inexpensive...Is it inexperience, low overhead cost because they dont have a studio, bad reviews, etc.
    Also, if you interview some and want to find out more info you can always ask for information on the boards, we are usually pretty good about feedback if we've heard of the photog! HTH

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    LBPE2011LBPE2011 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi Girls!  I would just like to throw in a different perspective for you... I am a photographer, but I just graduated college, so I only have about 5 weddings done so far.  I started out not charging to shoot the wedding, but charging for the album/prints.  (I added in a profit to the cost of the album, but it was not even close to enough for how much work it takes).  I agree with the posts above, that if you find someone starting out, and you look at their portfolio, it could be a great way to save some money.  Here is my advice... tip well!!!  It takes hours and hours to go through all the photos and edit them, and put them into a proof album.... giving a $100-200 tip to your new photog at the end of the night will mean a LOT to them, and is a very small cost to you.
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