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Photographers & DJ question

Good morning all!  Hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend.  

Now that school has ended for the semester and I actually have some semblance of a life back, I've actually started planning and contacting vendors.  I'm seriously considering two photographers (Elizabeth Craig & Randi Voss) and will be setting up meetings with them in the very near future.  I'm wondering, realistically, how many hours should I hire a photographer for?  The ceremony itself doesn't start until 5PM and the reception lasts until 11PM.  There is no time between ceremony/reception (well, there's a cocktail hour), so I'm intending to take pictures prior to the ceremony.  I'm thinking that 8 hours is plenty, but the next step up for Craig Photography is 10 hours.  How long did you have your photographer for?  

I'm also considering having a second photographer.  For those who did... was it worth the extra cost?  Do you think it made a huge difference?  For those who didn't, did you wish you had paid the extra to have a second photographer?

And finally (sorry, this got long), anyone used Craig Lawrence & Red Hot Chameleon Entertainment?  I'm pretty sure I got the name from the recommended vendors list, and based on our e-mail interactions, I quite like Craig himself.  Any help is appreciated!!
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Re: Photographers & DJ question

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    edited December 2011

    My photographer didn't have a time limit, but was there about 9 or 10 hours (we had more time bet. ceremony and reception though). I think 8 hours would be enough for you. I only had one photographer, but if I could do it again, I would choose a photog that has an assistant. My photog didn't capture all that I thought he would- thank goodness guests took some pretty good pics. Don't a lot of photogs come with 2 photographers for the day? I'd choose someone like that, instead of hiring a separate one (maybe I'm misinterpreting your post, but that's how I understood it). HTH some!

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    hartman.lisajhartman.lisaj member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I am using Randi Voss and I think her package B comes with 2 photographers and 8 hours of time, I can't remember off hand the cost though. Sorry!

    If it does help, Randi is very nice and helpful.  I love her! She is also great at communication which is a big plus for me.

    HTH
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    edited December 2011
    I had my photog for nine hours, but my times were exactly the same as yours and I also did photos beforehand.

    I actually had my photog start at 12 noon, we did getting ready pics with girls and guys for two hours, then formals with parents, then shots around the city until 3:30, then around Heinz Field until 5, ceremony at 5, stayed at reception until 9 or 9:30.

    By second photographer, do you mean someone hired through Randi or Craig Photography? Like adding on to your package? I think it is nice to have, but not necessary. Many times, this second photog is someone in training, so you might get some great shots, and you might not. I had a second photog at my wedding and he was a professional, not someone in training, but someone with his own business who agreed to help out my photog for the day. That is worth it to me, but probably not on someone just in training. (A true second pro shooter will be pretty $$, IMO). So definitely find out about the second shooter's qualifications, Google them, find their blog/website, and if you like their work, I'd do it.

    However, if you want to skip the second photog, you can certainly do that too. I am fully confident that my photog would have had PLENTY of great stuff on his own. Second shooters only emerged as a popular thing about 10 years ago, so it really is optional.

    If you are talking about just hiring a second photog, not through Randi or Craig, then you probably cannot do that given contract stipulations and that wouldn't work out well anyway! ;)
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    edited December 2011
    Hi, we used Craig Photography and absolutely loved them.  They arrived at my parents' house around 11AM, for our 1 PM ceremony.  They were there for getting ready, our ceremony, pictures around town after the ceremony, and then our reception.  We had all of the "stuff" in our reception finished by 9, so I would say that we had them for about 10 hours.  They asked if we needed them for anything else before they left for the evening.  With your ceremony not starting until 5, I'd say that the 8 hours would be more than enough (since they would arrive around 3).

    Also, why would you need to hire a second photographer with the Craigs?  They work together as a team, so therefore they are 2 photographers.  I don't think they missed a great shot all day.  If you want to see some sample pictures, here's the link to our bio:  
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    Ash2985Ash2985 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Sorry, I must not've been clear.  With Craig, I can get Elizabeth by herself with the one package, and there's another package I could get that includes Elizabeth and her husband.  I'm wondering if it's worth the jump to the higher package to get both instead of just Elizabeth.  You're all super helpful though, and I really appreciate the input!
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    edited December 2011
    Oh - they changed their packages from when we booked in 2008.  When we booked, the 2 photographers were standard on all packages (we actually booked their lowest package back then).  If I had to book one or both, I would go with the higher package to have both of them.
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    edited December 2011
    Hey there,
      I've heard wonderful things about Randi Voss and seen her work.  She's great.  Elizabeth Craig did my friends wedding last year-her pictures are more traditional, but very pretty as well.  My photographer does unlimited day of hours, so I'm no help there.  He also has a second photographer with him free of charge.  I like when there are 2 photographers because one can focus soley on the bride/groom and wedding party, the other focuses on everything else.
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    LaFemmeRousseLaFemmeRousse member
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    edited December 2011
    Hi!  I've loved the work I've seen on here from both Elizabeth and Randi, I don't think you can go wrong there!

    I haven't had my wedding yet, but my photographer's package comes with unlimited hours and a second shooter.  My ceremony starts at 4 and I don't think the reception will end until around midnight.  Dana is likely coming over at 1 or 2 PM to start getting ready pictures and bridal portraits, so ultimately I think she'll be around for a little over ten hours. 
    7.17.10

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    Ash2985Ash2985 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I know, LaFemme, it's going to be super hard to choose between the two, but I think I'm going to end up with Randi.  She's less expensive than Elizabeth Craig for both herself and her assistant, and I like her pictures just as much as I like Elizabeth's.  It may just come down to cost because I love both and they both get rave reviews from everyone.
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