Dec 23 2009

Wedding Photography on a Budget: 5 Great Tips

Published by at 6:17 am under General

A wedding is a wonderful occasion, both for the happy couple, and their friends and family. As Hello magazine inspired weddings become more and more lavish, however, the costs of the typical wedding have also become exhorbitant. The average cost of a wedding in the US last year was ,000, and £20,000 in the UK. That’s probably the most expensive day you’ll ever have (unless you one day throw a winning lottery ticket in the wash). But more and more couples are feeling the pinch of the recession now, and are looking for a way of getting married on a budget, without spoiling any of the magic of the occasion. Couples are cutting down guest lists, asking for friends and family to help out instead of hiring caterers, DJs and videographers, and brides are increasingly considering pre-worn wedding dresses. Hiring a wedding photographer is one area where a lot of brides and grooms are not, however, willing to cut corners, and rightly so. Your wedding pictures are one of the few lasting memories you have from that all too fleeting day, and of course it’s something you’d want done perfectly and in style. Here are a few tips on how to stay within your budget for wedding photography without having to take a cut in quality.


1. Have faith in Google

Any wedding photographer worth their salt will have a website displaying their work, and the best way to find them is, as always, by Googling. Yet with the market being so saturated it’s easy for couples to miss out on some amazing photographers and great prices by not using the power of Google enough. Spend some time trawling through the Google results beyond the first few pages. After a thorough search you should have put together a good list of photographers that you can now start comparing on price and style. Another tip is dont just settle for the most obvious phrases when you’re searching – try a few different searches, being sure to look at surrounding towns and regions as many photographers are willing to travel to cover a wedding. My wife and I live in Sussex, and when looking for our photographer we not only searched “Sussex Wedding Photographer” – we also looked at other surrounding areas such as Kent, Hampshire, London and Surrey.


2. Beware of Hidden Charges

Gone are the days when your wedding photographer had to develop their own prints in a darkroom – its all digital now. That means the wedding photographer prices are now far less complex. However believe it or not a lot of wedding photographer still work on a pay-per-print model, where couples have to choose which pictures they want and pay extra for them! My money saving tip would be to stick to the photographer who will give you a CD with ALL the pictures in high resolution. Armed with this CD you can then trot down to your high street photo printers and get the prints you want in the size you want at minimal cost.


3. Optional Extras and Photo Books – DIY!

With digital photography the era of the traditional wedding photo album has passed. Today you have stylish wedding photo books are now the norm and extremely popular – but with a lot of wedding photographers adding these on to your package significantly increases the overall cost. But if you can be bothered and have a flair for creative design, you can now design photobooks yourself using specialist software downloaded from the net, and get them printed up at ludicrously cheap rates. The same goes for things like canvas prints and enlargements – all you really need are the original high res images!


4. Yes, There are a Few Swindlers Out There, But You Can Easily Avoid Them

Everyon’e heard a story about a couple who got scammed by a so-called “photographer” who ran off with their money. Such criminals, who it must be said are few and far between, lure couples in with a too good to be true package, often stolen photos, and once they receive the deposit you never hear from them again. They are truly tragic and horrible stories. But it can be easily avoided with vigilance. Make sure you pay any deposits via secure bank transfer as this can be traced in the event of a problem, and that you receive an invoice and receipt for your payment. Also make sure you get a legally binding contract from the photographer which states clearly what you are getting for your money and will protect you. And lastly, just make sure you have your radar up – try and visit the photographer, see lots of examples of his work and ask lots of questions.


5. Don’t be Tempted to Cut Corners!

My last tip is perhaps the opposite of a moneysaving one, but just as important as the others. In your quest to cut your wedding budget don’t go too far! It’s worth repeating that out of all the services you pay for on your wedding day, the photography is quite possibly the most important to get right. There are a lot of amateurs out there with little experience, talent and lacking in the proper equipment. By focusing purely on the price you could be misled into thinking these offer a great deal. But sometimes the biggest bargains can be found by going up one price point. Your photographer’s portfolio should always make you go “wow” – otherwise what’s the point of having a wedding photographer?

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