Savvy August 2019

Photographer? How did you pick yours. Budget is 1,300

Tricia, on March 15, 2019 at 6:56 PM Posted in North Carolina Planning 0 25
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Hi. I’m having a hard time narrowing down the best photographer for me.

y budget is about 1300. We have talked to a lot of people but how do you know which one is the right one for you? What are you paying for a wedding photographer? I know that you get what you pay for but I can’t afford what I really want...yet won’t go too low either.


  • Janiya
    Expert June 2020
    Janiya ·

    Hi Tricia! I was able to find my photographer through a co-worker of mine who has turned into a very good friend and great support throughout the wedding planning process. We gave him a try with our Christmas portraits first to get a feel for what we liked and disliked. His work is AMAZING! He completely won us over. He owns a marketing company that specializes in photography and commercials. We couldn't pass him up with this experience. He is based out of Rock Hill, SC but is willing to travel to Charlotte, NC which is not far to be apart of our special day. We are paying $450 for photography and $450 for videography. This came in right under our budget of $1,000 for both photography and videography.

  • Sinéad
    WeddingWire Administrator January 2025
    Sinéad ·

    Hi Tricia! Looks like you’ve done some research on photographers but choosing the right one for you isn’t just about liking their photos (even though it is a pretty big part!)

    At the end of the day, only you and your SO will be able to tell if a photographer can give you what you want from your day.

    I’ve found some articles in the ideas section that may give you some guidance about choosing a photographer. I hope they help!

    Finding Your Photographer

    5 Ways to Research a Wedding Photographer, After Their Site

    How to Find a Wedding Photographer

  • Meghan
    Super October 2019
    Meghan ·

    I looked at all of the photographers in my area, as well as in the area of our venue, that had the highest ratings. From there, I checked their websites at their albums to see wedding photos, engagement photos, etc. I also read as many reviews as possible! I live and die by reviews!!! We ended up spending $2000 on our photographer and so far she has been absolutely amazing! Our engagement photos turned out great and she sends us random gifts along the way to keep our wedding planning process fun and stress free

  • Tricia
    Savvy August 2019
    Tricia ·
    Thanks for the feedback!
  • T'keyah
    Savvy June 2019
    T'keyah ·
    I’ve hired hislight photography but I am paying $2,000 for a photography & videography package that also includes a photobooth. His work is amazing & I met him at the wedding expo at the beginning of March. You can find him on the WeddingWire as well.
  • Rachel Langerhans
    Expert October 2015
    Rachel Langerhans ·

    Photography is usually one of a couple's biggest wedding investments, but for a good reason - there is a LOT involved (especially after the wedding is over)! And it's the only thing (besides a spouse) you have after the wedding is over

    Here are some important things to consider and ask when searching for the right photographer for you (aside from budget-related factors)...

    When it comes to planning a wedding, there are so many factors to consider when choosing your vendors.... Do you have a good connection with them? Are they within your budget? One of the most important vendors is your wedding photographer - the person who will capture the lasting memories from one of the most important days of your life! There are probably a ton of questions you have swirling around your mind and you're just hoping you remember to ask everything. This post will cover a few of the most important questions you should ask any photographer that you're considering hiring for your wedding day...

    -- What is his or her preferred style of photography? And what do YOU, as the client, prefer - a more candid, documentary style, or more posed/styled shots? There is nothing wrong with either choice, but each photographer has his or her own style, and this will help you narrow down your options. A photographer's style and editing will generally be consistent throughout different clients and sessions. If you like someone's work, but wish they did something slightly different, go with someone else rather than trying to change the photographer's style, because you'll only end up disappointed.

    -- Make sure to view FULL GALLERIES of events and sessions or example wedding albums! Anyone can post their best photos online in a portfolio, but you want to view full galleries so you get a better idea of what an entire wedding day looks like, and you'll have a good sampling of the types of photos you might receive for your day.

    Other information to ask and consider:

    -- What is included in the package you're considering purchasing? Time for photography only? Digital files? Prints? Albums?

    -- What is the delivery time frame for images/products [there should ALWAYS be a time frame specified in a contract!]?

    -- Does he or she have backup equipment?

    -- What is his or her cancellation policy? For both if you cancel and if an emergency comes up for him or her (does he or she have a back-up photographer/back-up plan?).

    -- What are your personal use rights after receiving the images? May you post them online? May you print copies for family/friends? [Note: Most, if not all, professional photographers will NOT allow clients to edit or add filters to any of their images - violating that is copyright infringement.]

    -- It's also important to make sure that you click with the photographer you hire - this is one of the people you spend the most time with, so make sure you get along well together!

    -- Professional photographers will also be registered as a business, have business insurance, and will provide you with a detailed contract.

    The list above should give you a good starting point to have a really thorough conversation with any photographer that you're considering hiring to capture your wedding day. When it comes down to it, the most important thing is that you shouldn't settle for a wedding photographer... Find a photographer whose photos you absolutely LOVE, ask lots of questions to make sure you're a good fit, and then hire him or her before someone else snatches him or her up for your date!

  • Emma
    Savvy October 2020
    Emma ·
    Well, mine had a 30% off wedding wire discount! We got along great when we met him and the prices were unbeatable.
  • Heather
    Expert April 2020
    Heather ·

    I'm not super picky when it comes to photographers. Of course those with years of experience have pictures that look amazing, but I searched those who have only been photographing weddings for about 2-3 years because their prices are typically lower. I chose a photographer that offers a second shooter, full-day coverage, minimum of 350 photos, and a free engagement session all for $1,000. My MOH and I didn't see any issues with her portfolio, all the pictures looked great. If you like their portfolio and have a contract you agree with, definitely go with them.

  • A
    Devoted November 2019
    Amanda ·

    We are spending about $2100 and then another $400 for a second photographer.
    We could have gone higher as FH didn't want to compromise on quality. I checked out as many photographers as possible to try to find the right fit.
    So Id say to just do as much research as you can, hopefully you'll find the best you can within your price range. Good luck!

  • MrsCase2020
    Dedicated September 2020
    MrsCase2020 ·

    We found out thru our wedding planner. We knew she was the right one but setting up a phone call to go over everything if we were to choose her we also had her email us with the prices. When we saw the reviews she had gotten from past shoots we knew we had to have her and with the amount of experience she had too. We hired Rachael McIntosh are paying 4600 for our photographer. It might seem pricy but this is my first and only marriage that I will be having.

  • Anita
    Dedicated December 2019
    Anita ·

    I got co-worker is a photographer who was more than willing to give me that friends and family discount.

  • Carol
    Dedicated May 2020
    Carol ·

    I did a lot of research. We are also on a budget $1200.00 for photographer. I researched on Wedding Wire, FB forums, Bridal Shows(go to bridal shows), word of mouth. We then put them in order of cost. We went with all day and two photographers ( we figured once we found our person then we can play with package and save money there. We then set up interviews with the 3 cheapest. (not that we are cheap we wanted to get a good photographer but we needed to stay within budget. A few of these were under our budget. Well, now we know why. LOL One never called us back to schedule an appointment, One we interviewed failed to bring a portfolio to the interview (really). One was just unprofessional lol. We kept on adding another one until we found what we were looking for. Finally at our 4th interview we found our Person who happens to be a team. We got two photographers for all day starting at 11:00 till good stuff at reception was over for 1500.00. A little over budget but we felt good about our decision. My advise, take your time and interview (remember you are in control of who you choose) and you will find a good match.

  • Nikita
    VIP April 2019
    Nikita ·

    Figure out your priorities, and shop from there. I told my husband (who's an artist) to find the photographer and gave him some requirements:

    1) Budget - ours was topped out at 2k

    2) Aesthetic - I wanted the photographer to really get inspired by our styles (a blending of city v. country) and work to combine them instead of separating them

    3) Personality - he had to jive with both of us

    The moment the photographer made me laugh and sounded legitimately excited about our event, I was sold. We ended up paying $1,500 for 1 shooter. He gave us 703 photos with a gallery we can scroll through, buy extra photos directly from, and just download to our computers. We're also getting a wedding album within the next 2-3 weeks.

  • G
    Dedicated March 2020
    Gabriela ·

    This was a huge what to do for me! Next to the food, the photographer is where the most money is spent. Aside from your FH and your dress the photos are all you have after the actual day. Unfortunately a few of my best friends have had some horrible experiences with their wedding photographers so I knew I wanted to do my due-diligence when finding mine.

    I spent a lot of time researching and looking at all kinds of different photographers and their style. Looked at their websites, facebook, instagram, pinterest, the whole nine. Some of them had very defined styles that didn't go with my style or personality. I read their bios and what they liked about being a photographer and a wedding photographer specifically.

    After weeding out a few due to price, style and or availability, I selected a few to meet with. I wanted to have the same photographer for engagements, bridal and wedding as my FH is a tad camera shy and wanted him to feel comfortable with whomever we chose. I had pretty much already made my decision that I wanted her after following her on instagram and scouring through her online portfolio, FH just needed some convincing. I had a few questions ready for her for our meeting but she totally blew my FH away with her "presentation" and "interview" she takes getting to know her couples to another level and totally made him feel calm and like they were already friends. She offered a few different packages and asked us questions about what was already planned, start time, location, theme, first look or no. gave us recommendations as to what package would fit us best. We splurged and went a little over our budget for her but with all the included features and her amazing eye to detail i couldn't be happier. We just got our engagement sneak peaks and I'm in love!!!

    Good luck in your search!

  • K
    Just Said Yes February 2020
    Katie ·
    View Quoted Comment
    What is his name?
  • Janiya
    Expert June 2020
    Janiya ·

    Hi Katie! His name is Tad Atkinson

  • Alli
    Devoted May 2020
    Alli ·

    Your budget sounds about right to be able to find someone affordable who will still take amazing photos!

    I found a few on here and got quotes. But ultimately, the owners of the venue I chose had some really good recommendations. I ended up choosing one with an hourly rate ($200 per hour) because my wedding ceremony/reception will only be a total of about 4-5 hours and not your typical "all day" affair. We also added a 2nd photographer for an extra $30 per hour and the total came out to just under $1000.

  • Gen
    Master June 2019
    Gen ·

    We spent $2000 for 5 hours of photography... Our photographers have kind of a training program so they always send 1 lead photographer, and an assistant who is in training. They ended up sending 2 assistants, so we had 3 photographers which was unexpected and wonderful!

    We chose them because they came recommended by our venue, and our photographer had experience shooting at our venue before, so she knew all the good spots to take photos and was comfortable shooting there. I believe this helped save so much time looking for the best places to take photos and such. She was such an expert on the venue and just kept directing us to new locations around the building and outside, I felt like I didn't have to worry about a thing!

  • Cassi
    Super October 2019
    Cassi ·

    My FH is super cheap honestly... hes never been in an industry where you have to market yourself (whereas I have) so realistically I was willing to pay up to 1800 for a photographer but he was thinking it would only be a few hundred dollars. so he was VERY sticker shocked when most of the photographers in that area were coming in at 3-4k for full day coverage and 2k for 4 hours... I found one that was $1200 and she didn't have a lot of reviews because she was new but it was within budget so I decided to meet with her and see how it went. Honestly... I fell in love. She was awesome, very down to earth. Her portfolio was amazing and my FH and I just vibed with her. She has been super easy going too! I got 12 hour coverage with two photographers (her and her helper) and an engagement session and it was probably the best option for us. I would try and see who you connect with best because the person you connect with best will be able to capture those raw blissful moments during all the chaos!

  • R
    Devoted October 2019
    Roxana ·

    I was kinda in the same boat as you but we were lucky enough to find our photographer through our venue. I think she's really talented and her cheapest package was $1,000 for 4 hours of coverage/printing rights/photo editing/second shooter. We're located in Northern VA and I think she travels. I'll include her website in case you're interested.

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