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3 Wedding Photography Options for ANY Budget

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Budget Wedding Photography
Photo credit: Ben C.K. (Benck’s) / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Wedding photographs are a big deal.  A very big deal.  Because when it’s all over, all you and your spouse will have left of the big day are your memories and the photographs and video.  So who you hire to photograph your wedding is, in my humble opinion, the 2nd most important decision after who you choose to marry. First, some background.  Here in NYC, some wedding photographers charge around $5500 and up, others charge around $2500 for the same service.  Usually it covers a full day, around 8hrs and may include 1 or 2 shooters (2 photographers).  The difference in price obviously has to do with quality.  But don’t be fooled.  There are many great photographers who charge $2500, and many average photographers who charge $5500.  Research is key when looking for budget wedding photography.  Before you choose a photographer, study their online portfolio like it’s your job. And I personally wouldn’t even consider booking a professional wedding photographer who doesn’t have a beautiful website that includes an extensive portfolio of weddings. That said, on to the budget wedding photography options.


Budget of $0:

  • Yes, it is possible to have amazing pictures with a budget of $0.  One of the most wonderful things we received after our wedding was all the photos our guests took.  They included us in photo streams and posted them on Facebook.  Not all of them were perfect quality but a lot of them were!  In fact our guests were able to capture private moments that our photographer wasn’t even around for.
  • Just about everyone has a smartphone or an iPad nowadays which takes excellent photos.  And trust me, even if you do have a professional photographer, your guests are going to take a freaking ton of pictures anyway.
  • Simply let the guests know by word of mouth a few days before the wedding that you will be depending on them for pictures.  Then at the actual wedding, you can make an announcement towards the end thanking them all for coming and reminding them to send you their photographs.  They will send them to an email address you have already set up for the wedding.  For example,  johnandjane@gmail.com.


Budget of up to $1000: 

  • Craigslist is a good bet.  There are many photographers who are building up their wedding portfolios and are thirsty for work.  It may take some searching to find a good one but they’re on there.
  • Thumbtack.com is also a great site.  It’s so simple and easy to use.  Simply enter the price you can pay and you get bids from photographers in your area.


Budget of up to $2000:

  • If you find a photographer you like who is charging more than $2000, say $2500, negotiation is key.  The photographer may be willing to drop his or her price if you are willing to take less time.  For example, only using them for the ceremony and 2 hours into the reception, a total of  4 hours as opposed to the usual 8.  If the photographer agrees, you would just have to cut the cake and toss the bouquet early if it’s important for you to capture those moments on film.


Do you have any other money saving photography tips?  Please share them in the comments below.  We’d love to hear them!


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