Sunday, January 11, 2015

Ways to Save on Photography

According to The Knot , in 2013 the average cost of a wedding photographer (from those surveyed) was $2,440. That cost was up from the average of $2,379 in 2012. Not all of us have $2,500+ to spend on the photographer and any images that we might want printed, so here are a few tips on how to cut costs when it comes to your photographer:

#1 Book early.
Sometimes a photographer will give you a discount if you book one year+ in advanced, or if you book during the off season or on a week day. It is possible to save up to a couple hundred dollars doing this.

#2 Reduce the hours of coverage and build your own package.
Photographers will offer packages in different price ranges based on how many hours they are expected to shoot for, and there is a price increase for having a second shooter. If you are having a short ceremony and a 2 hour luncheon or cake and punch reception, you should only need a photographer for up to 4 hours, depending on how long you want them with you before the ceremony.

#3 Go digital.
Some photographers will let you purchase all of the rights to your images for what seems like a large fee, but when you can order images online from places like Target and Costco, you will save a lot more if you pay for the digital rights, rather than paying up to $20 for a single 8x10 print through your photographer. This also allows you to email images to mom and grandma so they can see them and print some of their own.

#4 Network.
Do you have a friend or relative who is a photographer, professional or not? If you know someone who is a photographer it can never hurt to ask if they will photograph your wedding at a discounted price. For our wedding we hired a friend to take pictures with her DSLR camera for about 2 hours. For her time and all of the edited and unedited images we paid her $150. And that includes a tip.
Wedding Day Visit to the Aquarium

#5 Go off the "Professional Photographer" grid.
Pave the way and buy a DSLR camera for yourself from Target or Amazon, teach a friend how to use it, and have them take the ceremony and group photos, as well as any candid shots during the reception. You can invite guests to take pictures with their own cameras and phones and share them by using a Custom Hashtag, or by inviting them to use WedPics. Wedpics lets you and your guests upload unlimited photos and videos, you can add accommodation and registry info for your guests, there are apps for Apple and Android phones, and you can order prints directly through the website or app. They even have printable info cards, info posters, and a scavenger hunt that you can customize with 14 color choices and 4 patterns.
Back of WedPics App card
There are also websites like Thumbtack that let you search for professionals in your area and receive quotes for free. I used Thumbtack when I was searching for a photographer, and while I didn't hire her for the wedding, I did use her for a mini Valentine's Day photo shoot with my son.

Have tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments below!

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