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Pennsylvania-Philadelphia

Photography Help

Hello everyone,

I am getting married in the West Chester/Exton area.  I was wondering if anyone used a photographer that they really liked.  Also around how much were the packages?  any help would be great, im lost! ThanksSmile

Re: Photography Help

  • ButtonsPepperButtonsPepper member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    First stating your budget would be helpful. There are a LOT of great photographers in the Philadelphia area, and prices go up yearly, so what most of us used, our prices won't be the same as what they are now.

    I used Sarah Schulte, and I loved her and would use her again in a heartbeat. Here are other photographers I really liked a lot.

    Sarah Schulte Photography (mine, you can see pictures in my wedding album link)
    Kamilla Harris (If sarah didn't do my wedding, she's who would have, for sure hands down)
    Candid Moments Photography
    Jenn Childress
    Ryan Estes
    Sandor Welsh
    Marc Anthony Photography (used him for my photobooth and people LOVED him, SIL also used him for her actual wedding and he did a great job there too)

    I know there are more I love I just can't think right now...
  • edited December 2011
    hoffer photography- i have not used them yet, but a friend of mine had him this past summer and her pictures are amazing.  his packages range from 3k-12k.  he and his wife are extremely helpful and nice and can work with what youve got.  
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  • edited December 2011
    My photographer is pretty great and unique. Sharyn Frenkel Photography.
  • edited December 2011
    I heart BlackSilver Imaging. They're not too pricey, and their work is great. www.blacksilverimaging.com
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  • edited December 2011
    We used Denise Mabilog and she was awesome to work with! Our pictures came out great and she was very willing to work within our budget:

    http://www.denisemabilog.com
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  • edited December 2011
    I would ditto just about everyone BP posted about and defnitely Hoffer Photography my number one, hands-down, love and adore everything he does favorite - i am so mad that I didn't know about him before my own wedding, he is amazing and worth every penny you would spend, even though you would have to spend an awful lot of pennies for him :).  I used Candid Moments Photography (Doug Burns) for my own wedding and was extremely happy with the results, though - I'd be happy to send photos.  I will also add Mike Landis, Rich Lavigne, and Cindy Guessford to the list (she's another who costs a lot of pennies but is worth them).  I also like Erik Matey...whom someone recently used and I always forget who it was.  tacco, maybe?  EIther way, the photos were purdy. 

    Although I would agree with BP that as an old married lady my estimates might be inaccurate, since photographers' prices go up yearly, most of the people she and I recommended will probably fall in the $3-5k range for a comprehensive package.  If you are trying to figure out a budget, I would say that the 3-5k range is probably a good ballpark to have for a photographer will will take wonderful keepsake photos that you will love and treasure forever.  There are plenty of other peple out there that you will find for under that amount, but I personally can't recommend any of them because I am a photo snob :P I will say, however, that there is no need for you to pay more than 5 or 6 grand for amazing wedding photos...beyond that price you are pretty much just paying for a name, in my opinion.
  • edited December 2011
    Here are a few more to consider:

    Mike Landis
    Erik Matey
    Todd Zimmerman
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  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Wow. Now I am panicking. Five to six GRAND?!! Thats like a third of my entire budget. And here I was hoping to find a capable photographer for under $1000. I think I'm going to go crawl in a corner and bawl right now. This is what I get for planning a wedding directly after college...
    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Stacylynn702Stacylynn702 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Erin Keough Photography.  She is my photographer and she's more affordable.  I believe her prices have increased since I booked but I'm sure she's more in your price range.
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  • edited December 2011
    5-6 grand for me would be the absolute most it would ever make sense for anyone to spend. JJM, you can find photographers for under $1000, for sure.  They just wouldn't be anyone I would personally recommend. If you want someone with a photojournalistic style who brings along professional experience with shooting weddings, a second shooter, etc. I would say that minimum you should budget is about 2-3k. If you want to look for a bargain it's not uncommon for people to look on Craiglist or at art schools in the area for photography students. You will sacrifice a lot here, but there are definitely diamonds in the rough.  Every great photographer had to start somewhere....some of the people recommended a lot on this board who now fetch 3 or 4 grand were only $1500 (or less) when they started a few years ago. Sarah Schulte comes to mind - I remember being newly engaged, and one of the more experienced brides on the board then had booked one of the first weddings she ever shot because she was looking for a bargain.  

    One person I would definitely recommend who might be lower in pricing is Georgi Anastasov. (http://www.georgianastasov.com/), He was our second shooter to Doug Burns at our wedding and is incredibly talented, albeit probably a little more difficult to work with because his English isn't great.  I am fairly certain that getting him on his own is significanty less expensive then hiring Doug would be.
  • edited December 2011
    I'm telling you, BlackSilver. Seriously. I've seen a lot of their work. They're based out of Coatesville/Downingtown, so it won't be hard to meet with them, and they're very affordable. (Think 1500 for 2 photogs and a video)
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  • Stacylynn702Stacylynn702 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I should add that Erin includes e-pics. 
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  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thanks, ladies. I realize I joined into this post a little late and right now I'm sitting on the couch crying because I'm just completely stressed out. Finding a talented and artsy photographer has been my big stressor for the past few weeks. I really wanted to book our photographer before the end of the year (def not going to happen) because the wedding is in September. Unlike Pumpkin, I'm getting married in Bucks County, so it's definitely a different geographic area, but not by much. I'm from Collegeville though, and I've been searching and searching, and maybe I'm doing something wrong but I'm coming up with the same old cookie-cutter photographers and I'm just so exhausted and really defeated. Back to my search...
    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • edited December 2011
    I wouldn't worry about location or distance when it comes to photographers.  Most will not charge you regardless of where you're getting married unless you're asking them to travel upwards of a few hours in the car.  Many of the ones that have been recommended here so far will travel from Baltimore to NYC no problem :) 

    If there's any way, you might want to consider upping the budget as much as you can, though.  It may seem like you are paying an arm and a leg for photos, but when you consider a detailsed breakdown of the many hours that a good photographer puts in to photograph your wedding, post-process your photos, create your album, and prviode service to their clients,and the amount they spend out of pocket in equipment, travel, and overhead, they are atually barely pulling a profit at the end of the day if they're charging 2-3k pr client. Also, at the end of your wedding day they are all you have left.  The flowers die, the food gets eaten, the DJ or the band goes home, you will probably never wear the dress again, but your children, their children, and their grandchildren will be seeing your wedding photos for years to come.  In my opinion, there are plenty of places to penny-pinch with weddings but this isn't one of them. 

    Finally, if there's someone you really like that is just a little bit of a reach, it cannot hurt to e-mail them and be up-front about your budget to see if 1) there's smething they can customize for you in terms of a package and 2) if they can't make it work, as what up-and-comers they know that they might be able to recommend to you.  Many photographers have a network of second shooters or others that they know and would be willing to help.  Additionally, if you are willing to sacrifice a few hours of coverage, a second shooter, an album, etc., people will custom create a package. 
  • Stacylynn702Stacylynn702 member
    2500 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ditto LRM as far as distance.  I'm in Philly and my photographer is in Lancaster.   She met with us for the first time here.  Then she came down for e-pics and again for the wedding, no charge. 

    What is a cookie cutter photographer?  You should be able to tell your photographer exactly what you want.  That way he/she can accomodate your needs/wants.  I realize they each have a certain style but the pics you want should be communicated to your photographer.  I messed up on that one when I couldn't find my list the morning of the wedding and just bagged the idea and trusted her.  She didn't let me down.
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  • edited December 2011
    I used Stephanie Glover, and we were very, very happy with her and her shots.  We spent $1300 and that included a second shooter and the rights to the photos.  If you would like more info, I would be happy to give it.

    And you are right- not everyone has that kind of money.  IMO, you can find decent photogs for less, you just have to be willing to look in different spots and negotiate on what is included.  You may want to check out new and budding photogs as well- especially ones in college still building their portfolios.
  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011

    Budget wise, we are paying for the wedding ourself, literally NO help from anyone. He's 27 and I'll be 23 (and a recent college grad with student loans to be paid), definitely no where near established.

    I guess my issue is that we are having a low-key brunch wedding with no more than 75 guests so justifying over $1000 just seems ridiculous. If we were having a more traditional 8 hour "wedding day" I would understand it a bit more. Our ceremony is at 10:30am with reception beginning promptly at 11:15 until 2/2:30. That's a total of 5 hours (including getting ready photos) that we would actually use the photographer, and it's a down time. As strange as it sounds, I was ideally hoping to spend around $650 because we are not interested in prints or anything /> All I want is a talented photographer and edited digital proofs. I guess I'm just in denial.
     
    I'm probably just having a rough hormonal day as well.. FI saw a picture of the dress I fell in love with and without any prodding from me, said "beautiful, but not for a wedding." WTFudge. Drama, haha.

    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • edited December 2011
    You should call some local photography schools and see if you can hire a photog student to do it.  You could get some nice work for a good price that way.  None of the photographers mentioned above will be under $1000, even without albums.
  • edited December 2011
    JJms - I just thought of someone I know who recently graduated from photography school and is looking for work.. I asked him and he said he'd do a few hour brunch wedding for $500.  Here is his FB album of another wedding he did:
  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Thank you!! That was incredibly kind. Luckilly you are connected... I think I need to start utilizing my LinkedIn and FB to see if I have any contacts. I will definitely check him out :)
    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • edited December 2011
    The other one you can check out, who is used pretty often in DE for low key, low budget weddings, is Pete Lounsbury.  Just google his name, and his site comes up.
  • edited December 2011
    good idea going with a student who already has wedding experience.  it does not hurt to contact any/all photogs you are interested in, they will be able to work with you.  you just wont be able to get all the fancy extras they offer. 

    stop sitting in a corner and start reaching out to some of these photogs!!!!  Laughing
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  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I was up to 2am last night... It's very possible I may have found our photographer. Turns out I have a connection afterall. Just have to wait to see if she's available and if the commute is doable considering she would be coming from DC.

    For the time being, I'm off of my photography kick Still so much more to conquer!

    THANK YOU ALL! Happy New Year!

    P.S. I've been active on a few other boards, but I think you'll be seeing me a lot more often (and hopefully not as stressed)
    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • ButtonsPepperButtonsPepper member
    2500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    JJM - another option to keep costs down is to ask just for the pictures on a CD with rights, that way you can do your own album/prints later on. Picaboo has great options for editing your own album, and some books you can chose are really inexpensive. Doing things like prints and albums will help cut your costs on a photographer as well.
  • JJMsBrideToBeJJMsBrideToBe member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Button, that's exactly what we are doing! Like I said, I'm pretty sure we found our photographer... Ugh, just don't want to jinx it yet. :)
    "It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • edited December 2011
    Congrats JJM - one less thing to stress about :)
  • edited December 2011
    Oh I hope you found a photographer!  So far that has been the hardest for me!! Actually a few of the photographers the ladies have mentioned were on my top 5 list, but I went with Matthew Szoke. He is based out of West Chester.  He was fabulous in our meeting and all the photos he showed us and were referred from other weddings were stunning. The package and pricing was UNHEARD of too. I am talking $3000.00 for up to 10 hours of coverage by 2 photographers, engagement shoot in Atlantic City,  a dvd, rights to our photos etc... So if you're still looking, be sure to take a look at him!!
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