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Michigan-Grand Rapids

Affordable Photographer?

Can anyone recommend a photographer who charges under $1000 for photography? It seems like all I can find are photographers that charge $1500-$4000! I want someone who has a strong portfolio and someone who I can purchase a CD of all the images with copyrights. I really want nice pictures for a price I can afford and that is less than $1,000. I want ceremony-recption coverage. Any recomendations appreciated!
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Re: Affordable Photographer?

  • I got the same sticker shock when I started looking for photogs, I didn't really find any under $1300 who's portfolios I liked.  Looked at one for $600 all day coverage -- the pics were SCARY!  You might try a local college for photog/art majors that would like to expand their portfolio.
  • I found one today for $950 and her porfolio was nice so I am going to look into her a little more. It amazes me how much they charge and many of them only give you a CD with the images and if you want prints you have to pay even more!? Crazy. I am going to have photography as my minor and if I ever do weddings I am going to make it for a much more reasonable price. I understand it is their job and that the memories and good photography is important, but JEEZE! I thought about putting an ad up at the college, but I really want someone who has more experience so they don't miss the key shots. I just don't want to spend 1/3 of my budget on just photography.
    February Siggy Challenge... Honeymoon Destination:
    Honeymoon Cabin in the Smokey Mountains
    Gatlinburg, TN
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  • Brad Legg Photography?  His packages start at $800, but there are time limits.

    With that said, photographs are one of the only things that last forever.  Flowers die.  You only wear the dress once.  People throw out the invitations.....Sure you want a cheap price on the pictures, but I really feel like you get what you pay for.  And with a lot of photography packages just because they're done taking pictures at your wedding, doesn't mean they stop working for you.  Most good photographers spend hours editing all the pictures they took.  I hear SO often from people that cheaped out on the pictures that they regret it years later.  And if you are minoring in photography, you know how much work it can be. 
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  • I'm using Amy Higley, if you google her name you will be find her website and view some of her work.  She's located out of Middleville but travels.  Like someone mentioned above, typically quotes under $1k are for a shorter time frame but in our case it works out perfect.  We're having the ceremony and reception in the same venue!  I can't speak to her end product or total experience until afterwards, we're getting married on NYE....I can let you know after then.  Good luck!!!
  • In Response to Re: Affordable Photographer?:
    [QUOTE]I found one today for $950 and her porfolio was nice so I am going to look into her a little more. It amazes me how much they charge and many of them only give you a CD with the images and if you want prints you have to pay even more!? Crazy. I am going to have photography as my minor and if I ever do weddings I am going to make it for a much more reasonable price. I understand it is their job and that the memories and good photography is important, but JEEZE! I thought about putting an ad up at the college, but I really want someone who has more experience so they don't miss the key shots. I just don't want to spend 1/3 of my budget on just photography.
    Posted by greeneyes04[/QUOTE]

    They give you a CD so that you can make prints cheper elsewhere!  I use shutterfly.  If you order all your prints from the photographer there's a huge up-charge!
  • Check out Wolbrink Studios Photography www.wolbrinkstudios.com. Prices start at $750 for a package.
  • I used Monica at http://www.butterflykissedphotography.com/
    She and her husband were awesome with our wedding photos on september 1.  We booked her earlier during the year and her prices were a little cheaper but her prices are still affordable
  • My photographer Frame by Frame photography by Tricia Brummel (she has a facebook page) charges 1,000 but there is not a time limit and you get a disc and proof book which I thought was an added bonus. Her engagement sessions in particular have great lighting and she does really great work (engagement session is included with the price). 1,000 was my max budget but for me I thought it was worth it because pictures were very important to me. There are so many great photographers out there (even college students) that do great work for cheap! I actually did alot of my research on facebook since alot of the younger photographers or newer photgraphers don't have website. Hope this helps!
  • Thank you everyone for your suggestions! I really appreciate it. Hopefully I will find someone that fits our budget and expectations. Thank you all. Photography and Entertainment are very important things to us because the entertainment is what people remember and photography is what you keep for memories. I just know it can be done for much less than $2,500 and still be just as wonderful. Being a budget bride means you have to search for the best for the cheapest price! :)
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    Honeymoon Cabin in the Smokey Mountains
    Gatlinburg, TN
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  • edited October 2012
    Be very careful when looking for a photographer.  There are low price ones and high price ones alike that all take BAD pictures, or have bad customer service.  This is your wedding, you can't afford to have a shoddy photographer.

    Most decent photographers are about $1200+.  You can find a few out there that do a decent job for less than that, but they are usually people who have not been in business for very long and just haven't built up their reputation yet.

    There are a ton of factors that go into what photographers charge.  An excellent photographer will be carrying around $10K-$20K worth of gear, or even more.  A good photographer will likely have at least $7500 worth of gear, and most will have a second shooter.  Bouquet tosses and that first kiss at the alter only last split seconds.  You will need someone who knows exactly what to look for and can not only get the shot, but have it in focus, bright, and crisp.  A good photographer knows how to deal with tricky lighting situations and still take flattering photos.  There are more minsters/priests than you know who won't allow flash photography during the ceremony inside of a dark church (usually from the very back!!!).  Unless your photographers have some really kick-a lenses, they are not going to be able to get you good pictures.

    I hired Lewis Hizer when I got married to my first husband about 8 years ago.  He is still in business and getting great reviews, so you know he's good.  Photography was actually MORE expensive back then because there weren't as many photographers out there using high end film cameras (yep those were the film days lol).  He is about $1400 last I checked, but for that I can tell you you are going to get AMAZING photos. I see he advertises a little bit now, but mostly I think he got his business through happy customer referrals.

    One other thing to look for in a photographer is their basic demeanor.  Are they the type that is going to take charge and make sure that everyone is lined up in the most flattering manner?  Do they notice if hands are in pockets and eyes are closed?  Do they know exactly what all the important shots are, and are they willing to work with you if there is a special one that you want?  Do they know the most flattering lighting situations?  You would be stunned at how many "pros" out there are running around with less than $1000 worth of gear, basically taking snapshots that your uncle joe could do just as well.

    Oh and one more thing... ask your photographer what file format they shoot in and how much they typically edit.  Those bright glowing photos on their websites and facebook pages typically go through 10min. to a half hour EACH of editing.  Now multiply that number by like 800 pictures. That is how many hours the photographer is actually sitting behind his/her computer at home working on your pictures after the ceremony. Trust me, even for the best pros, they do not come off the camera looking as stunning as what you are seeing on their websites. That all comes with good editing software and hours and hours of experience with it.

    So, if you still think you want a photographer that charges less than $1000, I can tell you you might get very lucky and get a relative beginner who just happens to have loads of talent, or you might get the hobbyest with a $600 camera and a kit lens, no pro lighting, and very little experience with dealing with you and your guests.

    I am pretty familiar with Muskegon area photographers too. If you need any info on any of those, PM me.

  • Oh and wanted to add on my last post.... Usually really good photographers shoot all in RAW format and then make lighting and color adjustments and then convert them to Jpeg.  So-so photographers tend to shoot in Jpeg and give you the pictures straight from the camera, and they're not nearly as good.
  • https://www.facebook.com/NorthOf9Photographs

    She does a wonderful job just got done doing my engagement photos!!!!!!!!!!
    Really listens to your needs and very creative with unique things.
    She is only 750 for full day coverage and she will travel to you for a prep wedding photography goal! 

    Smile Hope this helps!
  • ebaer88ebaer88 member
    10 Comments First Anniversary
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Casually-Unique-Photography/208675555795?fref=ts

    This is who we used for our photography, she's just getting into the business and is so inexpensive! We're getting our engagements, 4 hours of the wedding, and a bridal session for $350!  : )  One of my favorite things about her is that she will give you a CD with a copyright release and all of your photos, this way we can get them printed wherever we would like. Much better than paying thousands and getting only a few copies of what we'd like, and overpaying for those!

    We just had our engagement photos done and love them, plus she is so fun to work with. 

    Good luck!  
  • You get what you pay for. The reason packages get so expensive is because it includes paying 1-2 professional photographers for an entire days work, but then you're paying for another 2-5 days of photo editing (depending on photographer). Have you ever edited photos? It takes a LOT of time. If you want cheap, you may luck out, but chances are you'll get cheap looking photos with no editing done on them.

    Goodluck!
    image
  • Our photographer:  www.facebook.com/willowjanephotography
  • Shannon Martinez photography. She did my wedding and was amazing as well as affordable
  • We are Using Felicia Holland. Cheapest prices I've seen with amazing pictures!

  • You get what you pay for. The reason packages get so expensive is because it includes paying 1-2 professional photographers for an entire days work, but then you're paying for another 2-5 days of photo editing (depending on photographer). Have you ever edited photos? It takes a LOT of time. If you want cheap, you may luck out, but chances are you'll get cheap looking photos with no editing done on them.

    Goodluck!
    I would typically agree, but my photographer rocks and the prices are good. You just have to do a little research to find a quality photographer :)
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