New York-Hudson Valley
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Looking for a Photographer around Westchester

Looking for a photographer for my wedding 11/18/11- What is an average price? What is too low/too high? How many hours do you need a photographer for? Is it better to have two photographers vs. only one or is it really not needed? Should Albums be in the package or purchased seperately as needed? Please w/b all suggestions!!! Thanks!

Re: Looking for a Photographer around Westchester

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    Woodsy62Woodsy62 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I researched HIGH and LOW for the perfect photographer...so heres my input.

    I hired Alexa Miller of Bright Bird Photography based on a recommendation from another "Knottie" on this board.  She does beautiful work!!  www.brightbirdphotography.com

    The average price is around $3,500 for wedding photography in this area it seems like.  My personaly opinion is that anything over $4,000 is too high - you can get the same quality for less if you shop around. 

    Usually they stay for 8 hours, but you can hire them for longer if you think you need it...most photographers say that 8 hours is sufficient.

    They also say that if you have a large wedding, over 200, it is recommended to hire a second photographer so you dont miss any shots and get things from different angles etc.  But if your wedding is 150 or less a second photographer usually isnt needed.

    We are not getting the album included because you can get much cheaper albums through Kodak, Snapfish etc. (granted your photographer provides you will a CD of all the high-resolution images) that look just as nice and you can design them yourself.  But that is totally up to you.  The albums purchased through photographers can get very expensive.

    Hope this helps!
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    edited December 2011
    We are using Alfonso his company name and website is www.photographybyalfonso.com

    He takes classic and artsy wedding photos. He has an assistant photographer who goes to every wedding with him. His packages range from about $1800 - $5000 depending on what you want. $5000 would be with a videographer and all that jazz.

    I picked him the day we met him. He showed us over 7 albums of all different styles and did not try and sell us on any package. He actually told us if we wanted to have my sister (also a photographer) do our albums that would be fine and he would customize a package for us.


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    edited December 2011


    Congrats and welcome!

    What is an average price? Photographers (like venues) will vary greatly. The best isn't always the highest price, and the cheapest may not be horrible. Best way to start, figure an amount that you are ok with and go from there. Remember, that the package doesn't always reflect everything you will end up getting, a $3600 package may be seen as fine and do-able, but when you add on everything, you may spend over $6,000! So find a number that is good for you and start there. If you say that (for example) $3500 - $4000 is what you want to pay, you will have a lot more good photographers to select from, than if you only want to spend $1000. Also, most only require about $500 to a third down, and about two thirds paid by your wedding date. The remaining third is usually paid when you get your proofs. So,  you can select to use wedding money for that final payment. Therefore, you would need less ahead of time, and that could maybe allow you a more expensive photog. Not that that means they will be better, but if you found one you love who is higher than you want to pay, that's a way you could make it work. Also, ordering albums later can also help stretch your budget!

    What is too low/too high
    ? Again, it all depends on your budget! (The knot says plan on 10% of your budget. That is maybe a good guideline for the rest of the country, but not so much for the hudson valley) It goes on how comfortable you are with the person. we saw ranges from $850 to $10,000! Ended up spending over $6000. But that was after everything was factored in. The package we selected though was $3600. So it jumped quite a bit! But I am pleased with the images we got.

    How many hours do you need a photographer for? Ideally, you want someone to be there for basically most of the day. Don't base a decision on "hours". Your ceremony can take anywhere from 15 minutes to just over an hour (and sometimes longer if their are additional things added). You want someone who will be with you ideally for at least an hour before your ceremony, your entire ceremony, at least an hour afterwards for pictures. afterfactoring any travel, you are already at four hours and your reception hasn't even begun! There was a post a short while ago about the "staying to the end" issue. Some do, some don't, some have their assistants stay. Either way, if you have a good photographer they will get the important stuff. Is it annoying if they leave early, especially if they said the'd stay? Hell, yes! But, you know what, it's important that you have pictures to cover your day. The "leave after the cake cutting" is quite common. But quite a few will stay until the end of the last dance. The bigger issue, I think, is WHEN are you cutting your cake? There are venues who will have the bride and groom cut the cake very early so everything still looks nice, but if that's the case, how much of the reception will your photog miss if he left hours early? 20 minutes early might miss some fun dancing shots, but if they were there for the bulk of your reception, he (or she) should have gotten other fun dancing shots earlier in the night. I know I'm rambling, but this is a hot topic for me. But I will say, don't spend a fortune for that final hour of fun dancing pictures. But do find someone, that you like and feel comfortable with, and whose skill you admire, who will be with you the bulk of your wedding day.

    Is it better to have two photographers vs. only one or is it really not needed?  Well, you will not usually get two. What you mostly see is a photographer and an assistant. As pp said, sometime the amount of people will dictate how many from the company come. Some base it on your package. My sister's guy based it on the size of her bridal party! Again, a better question to ask the company - does the assistant take pictures? Having a second point of view is always good, but if you have a smaller size wedding (smaller size includes up to 125 people!) one person (who is a skilled wedding professional!) should be able to do the job. (Having an assistant would be a help to that photog, but they know know what they are needed.) For photographers, and venues, and DJs - it is extremely important to go with professional companies that have experience with weddings!

    Should Albums be in the package or purchased separately as needed?
    It depends on what you mean when you say "purchased separately". Do you mean wedding albums from the photographer purchased separately after the fact. OR, purchasing your albums separately from a photo website. The different photographers out there all have their own packages and some have albums included in package 2, 3 and 4. But not in package #1. Others have packages X, Y and Z all listed in their brochure with no albums listed except for a line that says "albums sold separately". and still others have flyers that state (only) "we will custom make a package to fit your budget" (Um, yeah, thanks, but give me an idea to what you cost!)

    Anyway, it's up to you to decide if you want your photographer to take on the creation of the album, or do you want that responsibility on you. I'm happy that our photographer was the one to do our album. I'm don't think I would have been able to find a company online to trust to do as good a job. However, I have used shutterfly to make two quickbooks from our wedding.


    But also a lot of girls have done their own professional quality albums online and have gotten great results. However, a friend of mine decided to go that route and her wedding was over a year ago, and she still hasn't gotten around to doing her albums yet! We've had ours back for nearly two months!

    So that's something you need to decide.

    Good luck with yor search! HTH!


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    JonieBJonieB member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thank you everyone really helpful!
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    edited December 2011
    We used Arbor & Ivy Photography-Joe was great!

    -prices are much lower-he works out of his home, which I guess lowers cost- Included were: engagement session-one photog.-unlimited pics/time-high resolution pics on CD. We are doing our albums online.
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    woodfrogswoodfrogs member
    First Comment First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011

    Costs are so varied in this area, it's hard to say. I would imagine you could get someone quite decent for around $2500 but what that will include will differ.
    Try to get someone for the whole day(8-10 hours), some will specify hours, some will just say the "whole day". Some companies you get 2 photogrpahers regardless of the package, I reallt like the idea of different angles, different points of view, etc. Make sure that youi take that into sonsideration when looking at prices.
    And while some places have albums that you can order, I don't know that the quality is the same as the companies that the pros use. You have to remember that an album will also include design time, and approval time, those factor into the price also. Look at different album companies and see what you get for your money.
    Good luck.

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