About 2 weeks ago we sealed the deal and paid our deposit for our photographer. While I don’t feel comfortable telling the entire world how much I paid, I will refer to some pricing. But first, let’s talk about finding a photographer, shall we?
I searched on the Weddingwire, the Knot, Craigslist, and did several google searches to find photographers. I also asked my sister-in-laws and anybody else I was comfortable with for recommendations. I got a slew of photographers, but the price was never right. I finally found one for $1500 that had everything we wanted, except maybe the quality in photoshopping and editing skills. Thus, I kept on looking, saving that photographer as a backup. I ended up finding mine through the person who was in charge of booking weddings at a golf course. She was also getting married in April, and said she was using this photographer because he had great poses (nothing cheesy). So, I emailed him and waited for the let down when I found out his prices. Surprisingly, he asked me where I was getting married because he was giving out discounts. He ended up giving us a HUGE discount off of his packages because we are essentially getting married in a forest that he stated “doesn’t even look like California,” and because he has no other pictures in his portfolio with the same landscape. Basically, we got really freaking lucky. This is a photographer whose lowest package starts at $3,000. Let me tell you, I did not pay anything near that. I ended up taking some albums off of the package as well and he met me even closer to my price range.
Things to take away from this:
1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to great photographers who are pricey, you never know what will happen
2. If a photographer is not willing to work with your budget or customize their packages to your liking, I would go with someone else. If they’re not flexible now, I doubt they will be flexible later. I had a photographer tell me that if I went with someone for $1500 my photos would suck, and that I should just make payments to her for the full cost of her package. Don’t let people talk you into prices you are not comfortable paying. Americans are already in enough debt, we don’t need people convincing us to spend more money than we had planned.
3. Make sure you communicate with your photographer and are up front with what you want. Also, make sure you meet with them and actually like them! We met over coffee and I thought my photographer was great! He was easy to get along with and even offered to go to our ceremony site to scope out good picture spots before the wedding for free!
4. Price does = quality, but you don’t have to spend $2000+ to get good quality pictures. You are able to haggle with most photographers to lower their prices or customize packages to bring the cost down.
5. If you are not satisfied, keep on searching and contacting photographers
6. We were told to meet with at least 3 photographers, but we really couldn’t find anyone with the same quality and price (since we got a huge discount) so we ended up just meeting with the one and choosing him. We also liked him right away, so that helped too! haha
I hope this helps!! If anyone in SoCal is looking for some good photographers, let me know!