Cheap Wedding Photographers
There are pros and cons to hiring an amateur over a professional, and here are a few to assist you in making the decision.
Pros of hiring an amateur
Cost savings is the biggest reason to hire an amateur.
You will get to keep the negatives or if they are using digital you will likely get to keep all the photos in raw or full size format.
You won’t get charged for reprints.
The person you choose will more than likely have a lot of enthusiasm for photography because he/she is still fresh.
If you use a friend or family member your guests will probably be more comfortable with them.
Cons of hiring a amateur
The amateur may take more photographs but many may not be useable.
Camera quality, they may not have a professional medium format camera, if you want really great photos, try to rent one or have the amateur you hire find one.
If you want to make sure just the right moments are captured make a list of the images you need captured.
Things to keep in mind when using an amateur
If you do go the amateur route assign a family member to handle the details, one that wants to do this and enjoys it. If you have no such member in your family that can choreograph the photography, hire one, you will still save thousands over a pro, the good ones start a $5,000 and go up from there. You can find amateur photographers at local colleges in the art and visual art departments. Post an add on the bulletin board. Many times photographers with shoot the wedding for free in order to build their portfolio, I myself would not try to get someone free I would advertise that you are prepared to pay a nice hourly rate of around 30-60 dollars per hour, you will still save a bundle of money. When you meet the potential candidate ask them if they have ever shot a wedding before and if so how many. Ask to see some of their work, even if they are just starting out they should have some photographs to show you.
Use this as a range of what you should give them and what you should get, or at least in this range for an amateur;
1 Wedding album with around 100 pictures
4x6 images of all the film/images
All the negatives or if digital you should ask for a disc with all the full size images on them.
Get all of this in writing before you pay them a deposit.
Paying a deposit of up to 50% is standard, so expect it.
A good plan that would be fair to everyone would be to pay 30% up front 30% when they show up at the wedding and the balance after you receive the photos.
If the amateur only has one good camera try to get a really good camera (either borrowed or rented) and have another family member use it to capture photos that are even more unique. This covers three bases really:
1. If your photographer doesn’t show up your covered.
2. You will get twice as many photographs from a different perspective.
3. If the amateur has any problems with his/her camera you can let them use this other backup camera.
If they have an extra camera and they are willing to bring it, great.
Another great idea is to give disposable cameras out to your guests as wedding favors. Many of your guests will send you the best shots. Now they even make disposable digital camera, so your guests can just email you some good shots they took.
Consider renting a good camera if the amateur you hire doesn’t have the best camera. You can usually rent a really good Nikon with zoom lens and high flash for about 100-200 dollars, just make sure you try the equipment out before your wedding day, you will be glad you did.
If you choose a amateur photographer that is an expert in Photoshop they can take any picture and make it black and white with ease. But make sure you are prepared to pay them extra for this service because it is time consuming, they can really make the magic happen and give you a really great work of art.
Wedding photography tips
200-400 film speed for indoors and 100-200 for outdoors is about right.
If hiring an amateur is just too risky for you then here is a good guide for hiring a pro at a reasonable prices.
Selecting a wedding photographer
Photographer Interview Checklist
Checklist for hiring a photographer
- Ask to see entire wedding albums, not just individual photos or albums of their favorite shots. Look at a variety of candids as well as “formals.” Look for crispness of the images, the quality of the lighting, if there are shadows, and how the story of the day is told.
- Ask about their favorite wedding photographs. How do they think a wedding should be covered? Do they take a traditional or photojournalistic approach? What aspects of a wedding do they think are important? These kinds of questions will give you valuable insight into whether the photographer is right for you.
- Is the person you’re meeting with the actual photographer who will be at your wedding? Are the photographs you’re looking at ones that he or she has actually taken rather than a compilation of work from the studio?
- Are the photographer familiar with your site(s)? If not, will she visit it or speak to the person in charge at the church or synagogue and/or the site director at the reception venue?
- Does the photographer come with an assistant? Does the assistant take photos as well?
- In what format does the photographer shoot — 35 mm or 2@bf1/4? Does the photographer also shoot digitally?
- What sort of lighting equipment does the photographer use?
- Approximately how many and what sort of proofs or contact sheets will you get to choose from?
- When can you expect to get proofs after your wedding?
- Who owns the proofs? Who owns the negatives?
- What is the photographer’s cost structure?
- What are the additional costs for albums or reprints?
- Are there other expenses such as parking or travel? How many hours are included? What are overtime charges? What would the photographer charge for shooting the rehearsal dinner as well?
- Are the final prints chosen for your album custom cropped and colored? Is retouching provided?
- When can you expect to get proofs after your wedding? How long will it take to get the finished product after you make your selections? Will the photographer help you map out your album?
- Do they offer many kinds of albums? How many pages do they consist of? Are different layouts and formats available such as panoramic, color-toned, or progressive action frames?
- Do you like their work? (Ask to see entire wedding albums, not just individual photos or albums of their favorite shots. Look at a variety of candids as well as “formals.” Look for crispness of the images, the quality of the lighting, if there are shadows, and how the story of the day is told.)
Selecting a wedding photographer - tips
- Always specifically state who the photographer will be. Verbal promises don’t mean a thing, if they refuse to commit to a photographer on your contract by name, then leave immediately and do not sign, you'll regret it later, I guarantee it.
- Clearly itemize what you are going to receive.
• Which sizes
• How many albums, and their types.
• When you will receive them.
Once you choose your album, don’t change anything. They love to charge extra for all those little changes and it gives them more time to sit on your money. Give them no reason to blame you for the delay or overcharges.
There are many fine studios in this day of digital photos, that let you log onto their web site and choose your proofs and photos just a few days after your big day.
Shot list for the photographer
Wedding pictures before the ceremony
Wedding dress lying over a chair
Zipping up or buttoning the wedding dress
Mother of the bride fastening the bride’s necklace
The bride’s garter
The bride’s veil
*The bride’s bouquet
A close up of the brides shoes peeking out from under the dress
Bride looking into a mirror
Bride looking out of window
Bride and bridesmaids putting on makeup
Bride pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
*Bride hugging parents
Bride touching up makeup
*Bride and parents leaving for ceremony
*Bride getting into car
Groom tying tie
Groom looking out of window
Groom pinning corsage/boutonniere on mother/father
Groom hugging parents
Groom and parents leaving for ceremony
Wedding pictures at the ceremony
Outside of ceremony site
Parents arriving at ceremony site
*Guests walking into ceremony site
*Bride and father getting out of car
*Bride and father entering the ceremony site
Parents being seated
Grandparents being seated
Bridesmaids walking down the aisle
*Bride walking up the aisle
*Flower girl and ring bearer walking down the aisle
*Groom (nervously) waiting for bride
Alter or canopy during ceremony
*Close up of bride, just before she makes her entrance
*Bride and father walking down the aisle
*Groom seeing bride for the first time
The back of the bride and father walking down the aisle
Father of the bride and bride hugging at the top of the aisle
Shot of audience from the bride and grooms point of view
*The unity ceremony
*Close up of bride and groom saying the vows
*Wide shot of the bride and groom saying the vows
*Exchanging the rings
Close of up hands
*You may kiss the bride (the kiss)
*Bride and groom walking up the aisle
*Confetti being thrown over bride and groom
*Outside the ceremony site
*Bride and groom hugging guests, laughing and getting congratulated
Bride and groom getting in car
Bride and groom in back seat
Posed photography before the reception
(these can be taken before the ceremony to save time)
*Bride alone (full length)
Bride with chief bridesmaid
*Bride with bridesmaids
Groom with bridesmaids
*Bride with parents
Bride with siblings
Groom with siblings
*Bride and groom together
*Bride and groom with bride’s parents
*Bride and groom with bride’s immediate family
*Bride and groom with groom’s parents
*Bride and groom with groom’s immediate family
Bride and groom with bride’s siblings
Bride and groom with groom’s siblings
Bride and groom with bride’s entire family
Bride and groom with groom’s entire family
*Bride and groom with entire wedding party
*Bride and groom with flower girl and ring bearer
*Groom with parents
Groom with best man
*Groom with best man and ushers
Bride with best man and ushers
Wedding pictures during the reception
*Bride and groom arriving
*Bride and groom greeting guests
Bride and grooms table (head table)
Musicians or DJs
Place card table
Close up of bride and grooms place card
Decorations (specify which)
A shot of bride and groom with guests at each table
Bride with school, university and/or friends
Groom with school, university and/or friends
The buffet or dinner serving
*Bride and grooms first dance
*Bride and father dancing
*Groom and mother dancing
*Bride and groom cutting the cake
Bride and groom feeding each other cake
*Toasts and speeches (specify who is giving them)
Bride and groom drinking champagne
*Signing the marriage license
*Bride throwing bouquet
Groom retrieving garter
Groom throwing garter
The getaway car
Bride and groom leaving party
*Bride and groom driving away
All of these topics are covered on www.BrideToBeWaysToSave.com
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