Photos and Video

Photographers with experience!?

Why is it so hard to find a good photographer at a decent price? I don't want someone who says they are a "photographer" and they experience they have is from their own backyard. I got a million of those just on my FB page. I am willing to pay up $1,200. I just want someone with lots of wedding experience. Can I hold interviews for the position? lol I still have many days to go until the wedding. I just want to get all the big stuff out of the way and BOOKED! Money mouth
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Re: Photographers with experience!?

  • I think the going rate for an experienced photographer varies greatly by region. Here in San Diego you wouldn't find an experienced photographer for $1,200 for more than a couple hours. Photographers with a lot of experience who are good are generally in high demand. Those in high demand command higher rates for their services. Try asking your local board for recommendations in your area.
  • It is likely because of your low budget for photography. Most experienced professsional photographers, like you are seeking, have massive overhead such as paying 30% tax to uncle sam on all income, liability insurance, equipment insurance, business license, professional equipment, website, etc etc etc.. This is why most legitimate professionals cost $2k and upwards for wedding photography throughout the United States. It is impossible to run a sustanable business AND survive personally if you are only charging 1200 or less for a wedding. People who charge that low are usually:

    A. Just starting out with photography and for some reason thought it would be a great idea to start a business before actually learning photography.
    B. A hobbiest/recent college graduate just starting out with weddings and trying to build a portfolio.
    C. Someone with a camera that got a few compliments on the pictures they took in their backyard, so they thought that they'd start a business.
    D. etc. etc. etc.

    The common factors are the same though, these people usually are not running a legal business, they do not have proper experience to be working as a photographer, and they likely have a full or part time job that covers their actual bills so they dont need to make any profit at all off of your wedding to survive.... which coincdentally also means that they are just plain bad at business. 

    What are your package expectations for $1200? How many hours of coverage and what products are you trying to get? Perhaps, focus on spending your budget to get the minimal number of coverage hours needed with a good professional photographer whose work you like. Then, later down the road you can worry about prints, albums, etc.... you can always get products at a later date, but you can't redo the actual photographs themselves. 
  • You might want to look on for vendors and reviews of their services. You can also ask the ladies on your local board for suggestions.
  • Here is how it was explained to me because I felt the same way.
    I have been doing some research and most experienced photographers will put in an average of 65 hours into a wedding. That's about $18.50 an hour for $1200. Now if you get an album for your $1200 the wage goes down probably under $15 an hour. So if you go to get your car fixed you want a mechanic with experience and training. Labor cost are usually $35 an hour and up. Most photographers are self employed while most mechanics are employees with benefits. They have to cover their living expenses and offer top of the line product. I see you're in Cinci, OH. I am in Michigan and am finding very good photographers in the $1500 - $2000 range. You might want to increase your budget a little for what is one of the most memorable days of our lives. When you consider the national average price spent for wedding photography is over $2000 it looks better.

  • I would try Fotografie Atlanta, I just booked them and they have been GREAT! They met with me and my soon to be husband at a starbucks and they created a custom package just for us. They also have this amazing time line that is so helpful!
  • Most photographers that have a lot of experience will have higher prices. You can definitely find some that are cheaper, though. I would reccommend using google and type in  "inexpensive photographers in (name of city or state)".
    I definitely understand where you are coming from, but I wouldn't completely shut out everyone. There are many great photographers who are beginners trying to build their portfolio or build their business. If nobody takes the chance on them, they won't be able to grow. If you go this route, I would just make sure they do take professional images.
  • (PS: If you are hesisitant about this idea, maybe take engagement photos with them, and see how you like their work - just an idea, to give you more options within your budget...)
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