• Images
  • Text
  • Find a Couple + Registry
GO
Photos and Video

Is our photography budget realistic?

Hi all!

Right now, my fiance and I have an overall 30k budget, with $3,000 going toward a photographer and a videographer. I'm really hoping to get nice pictures and need someone to cover the day (starting with getting ready around noon, reception lasting until 10ish). It'd be great if we could get two photogs as well. Is it realistic to get that for $1500-2000? I just want to get an idea before starting research, to cut out the frustration we had when venue hunting.

Re: Is our photography budget realistic?

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Really depends on your location. My photographer was $1550 for the entire day and only 1 photographer. But we researched photographers that were anywhere from $2000-$5000. I would think that $1500-2000 would be a good starting point, but I don't wanna get your hopes up. 

    image
    OurWildKingdom
  • We're located in Philly suburbs, and our reception will be in Northern Delaware--forgot that part! :) and thanks!!
  • I know for my area, that would be realistic, but you need to look at the whole package. For that price does that cover just the taking photos portion or does that include any prints, because you are going to want prints, even if you go to Walgreens (which actually does a great job printing). In all reality, you don't need your photographer to stay until the end of the reception. By the end of the reception most guests will have left or you risk some photos of a few very drunk guests. Have photographer do first half of reception & make sure to get all the key things like dances, toasts & etc done during that time frame. Also if you need to make room in budget for photography, skill the getting ready photos or reduce it to when you are getting your dress on. When you think about it, do you really need the memory of what you looked like with your hair getting done & half your makeup done? It's probably more the memories of you and your girls being together & a good photographer can get those after you are all dressed. And make sure you really check their portfolio to see how photos are edited. Not all photographers have the software to do better editing. Also make sure to have it in your contract how long it will be before you get your photos. Many weekend photographers despite being good photographers can take months to get photos back because they are juggling their regular jobs, their families and doing your photos along with taking photos for others. A full time photographer can get your photos back to as soon as 1-2 weeks.  

    OurWildKingdomjaprincess24
  • You CAN find a photographer for that budget, but it's a matter of whether or not picture quality etc and timing are important to you. Videographers are usually $5k - $10k, but some include pics too. Photographers in my area Denver co are usually $3k - $4500 and up.

    2 of my friends hired cheap photographers ($2500 and less) and hated their pics. But they both had videographers, so pics weren't important to them.

    I totally agree that a photog isn't necessary for the ENTIRE wedding; I hired a really good photog for just ceremony and post-ceremony portraits at my first wedding. $450 for 1 hour well spent.

    Would you be willing to only have a photographer for the ceremony? Or willing to hire a friend to take pics? If not, I would be wary about hiring a professional under $3k UNLESS it's a new photographer with good equipment. Compare the pics of a $3k photographer to one charging $4k or more; there's often a significant difference in quality. But that difference may not matter to you. Photographers are very willing to negotiate- so if one starts at $4k, ask about cutting down number of photographers or amount of time.

    If I could do it over again, at a budget, I'd probably hire just hire my videographer at $4500. He provided still pics from video that were amazing! He's new to weddings, but has won an Emmy and Icon award already - check this out:



  • I meant compare a phot charging $1500 for a full day to one charging $4k; there's often a significant difference in quality
  • I'm just outside of Denver (wedding is in Longmont) and my photog is $1650 for 2 shooters for 8 hours.  Are her pictures as amazing as the $4k+ photographers?  Probably not, but they're still perfectly lovely and I get along with her very well, we've already done our engagement session with her.  Our entire budget will top out at 18k, and I'd rather provide my guests with liquor than pay for an expensive photographer.

    So, to the OP, you just have to figure out your priorities for your wedding.  If the photos are super duper important to you, yes, you will have to up your budget.  But I bet you could find one that's perfectly good in your price range.  I don't know about videographers though, since I'm not having one.
    Married 9.12.15
    image
    [Deleted User]
  • I'm in Central Jersey and am paying $9k for my photographer (who comes with a second photog + assistant). She only does a limited number of weddings per year so there is a much quicker turnaround and attention to detail. Yes, it's steep and way beyond what we initially budgeted, but after reaching out to over 30 photographers and interviewing a few in person, we knew this one was completely worth it! I think everyone has their own vision for their wedding photos and that is a personal decision as to what one is willing to pay. As PPs have mentioned, it depends on your priorities. Photography is in our top 3. We just received our engagement photos and are obsessed with them - no regrets thus far! 

    We actually had the unsigned contract for a videographer ($2800) and decided to nix that for the entire day as we're finding most people say they could have done without and we're feeling the same; now we're looking into just having the church ceremony taped professionally instead. 
  • We were willing to pay $6k for the photographer I wanted...but that left little room for a wedding video that I really also had my heart set on.  my girlfriend used weddingmix videos for her wedding last march – its a free app that collects everyone’s photos and videos then editors create a full wedding video from the scences you like best. 

     I'm pretty sure I'm going to use them too because it's so much more affordable than hiring a professional videographer, plus I like the idea of seeing a ton of wedding moments through my guests eyes

    I saw on FB about their summer promotion that gives a  free short edited wedding video made from all the photos and videos: http://www.storymixmedia.com/weddingmix/weddingmix-lite/

    BUT they also have packages that offer camera rental and longer videos (that's what my girlfriend got and she was super happy with her vid)

  • For our wedding in NH we were looking at a little over $2K for a decent photographer.  We were referred to ours by a co-worker so he gave us a nice little referral discount and over all I'm pleased with the photos.  Sure it would have been great to have a second shooter but it would have meant sacrificing other areas of the wedding.

    As for videographer...unless you have your heart set on one I think you can do without.  In our case one of my relatives just filmed the ceremony (15 minutes) on his iPhone and the quality of that is more than enough for us.
  • For our wedding in Pittsburgh we are spending almost 4k on a photographer alone. We are not doing videography, so it's really important we get good pictures taken. There were definitely cheaper options, but this woman (and she has an assistant) seemed to be reliable and have a fantastic portfoilio and package options. She also included engagement photos in her package so we were able to do a test run shooting with her. She also includes the photo release in her price so we can get the photos printed anywhere we want (and forever). We used the engagement photos for our save the dates.

    I had a friend use a "family friend just starting out" in photography. She spent far less than I am...but she never ordered a single picture because they turned out terrible. The photographer had no idea what she was doing.
  • I haven't found a photographer that I liked for under $4000-$5000. We're in South Jersey right outside of Philly. We're looking for a journalistic type of photographer 6-7 hours, that includes an album & either a jpeg or CD of high res finished photos. The cheapest I've found is $2100 for 7 hours, 1 photographer and nothing else included. The photographer has an a la carte type price list and with what we'd like to have we're right back up to the $4000 mark. It's very frustrating because we've only budgeted $2800-$3000. Let me know if you have any luck because I cannot find anything!
  • The photographer I think I'm going to use was recommended by a friend, and I know they shoot weddings nationwide.  The work I've seen of theirs is fantastic, and they are very budget friendly.  We're on a limited budget, but I really wanted great images, you know?  I'd be happy to provide you with their information.
  • I'm in Oklahoma so the pricing is probably different, but my cousin is a very well-known family/wedding photographer in the area and I believe her packages start at $2,900. We really wanted to include her as a guest at our wedding rather than a vendor, so my fiance has a friend who does occasional photography outside of his full-time job and we are getting a GREAT deal at $850 for engagement and wedding photos without any time limit on the wedding day. He takes beautiful photos and we have been happy thus far, but when doing research, I found that most of the good ones started at around $2-3,000. It sounds like your budget is realistic for a photog, but you might have to splurge a little more for a videographer if you really want it. I looked into it but we decided that other things were more important and that we'd be happy with good photos.

    Of course, like others have said, it depends how important photos are to you. They are very important to me, and I've heard from multiple people that that's the one thing they wouldn't want to skimp on because your photos are most of your physical, tangible memories from that day.
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its

    I'm in Oklahoma so the pricing is probably different, but my cousin is a very well-known family/wedding photographer in the area and I believe her packages start at $2,900. We really wanted to include her as a guest at our wedding rather than a vendor, so my fiance has a friend who does occasional photography outside of his full-time job and we are getting a GREAT deal at $850 for engagement and wedding photos without any time limit on the wedding day. He takes beautiful photos and we have been happy thus far, but when doing research, I found that most of the good ones started at around $2-3,000. It sounds like your budget is realistic for a photog, but you might have to splurge a little more for a videographer if you really want it. I looked into it but we decided that other things were more important and that we'd be happy with good photos.

    Of course, like others have said, it depends how important photos are to you. They are very important to me, and I've heard from multiple people that that's the one thing they wouldn't want to skimp on because your photos are most of your physical, tangible memories from that day.

    There are many threads advising against hiring friends or family as vendors at your wedding. I don't recommend it. It can destroy your relationship if it doesn't work out as planned.
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • We live in the Poconos and are paying $999 for our photography. Finding videography for cheap is our problem!
    Live like there's no midnight.
    Our Fairytale Wedding- May 20, 2017
  • If you have any universities or art schools nearby, consider posting an add on their campus (but also, make sure you see sample photos for any responders -- you want to know they are legit and you like their style... and make sure you sign some kind of contract with them laying out expectations and obligations clearly). I was able to get two photographers for a great price under your recommended budget, who are former high school students of mine. They are trying to build their portfolio, have professional equipment, and did a great job with our engagement photos. Helping them build their experience, while helping us save some $$$. Win win. 
                        


    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • For anybody who can't find a photographer in their area at their budget: my husband and I couldn't find an affordable photographer that we liked here in Southern California, so we found one that we liked in Arizona. It was cheaper for us to book her and fly her out than it was to hire someone around here. She had a second shooter that she found on Craigslist (seemed a little sketch)- the photos still turned out beautiful. For those of you in Jersey- woowza you are paying a premium! It might be good to consider an alternative like this. 
  • I was able to stick within my budget for the photographer, but I really had to do a lot of research! We're just outside of Toronto, and wow do we pay a premium! The photo/video team I originally wanted charged $9000+ tax... I was so sad. My budget is $4000 for photo and video. I tried to find the cheapest I could for both, while still providing high quality services. I'm still in the process of finding a videographer, but was I was able to find an amazing photographer charging $1900 who brings a second shooter with her, for 10 hours on the day of, and gives us the rights to all photos. 
    It is possible!!! Good luck!
  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    @brittany1234567, this is a zombie thread. No one has commented on it in six months. Proper etiquette is to not post on zombie threads.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards