Many couples can’t afford a wedding photographer for their Big Day. After all; wedding photography can amount to at least 10% of the total wedding budget. Some professionals even charge as much as 30% of the total wedding expenses. While you can always look for small wedding photography packages, there are other tips and tricks which can help you to slash your wedding costs further. Let us take a look at these:
1. Reduce the number of hours
Do you really need the photographer at your rehearsal dinner? Is he going to visit the bride’s dressing room? Are you going to a separate site for portraits? Will s/he be around until the cake cutting and till the last guest has left? Photographers, even the cheap ones, charge based on the number of hours they put in. So reduce the number of hours if you want to save money on wedding photography.
2. Get friends to help
This one is a no-brainer. DIY wedding photography is the best way to save money. Assign the task of clicking your wedding moments to a talented friend or relative. Of course, you need to make sure that these guy/s will be present at the right place at the right time. S/he would also need to pass the camera to others so that they themselves get to feature in a few shots. You can always delegate the task to several members of your bridal entourage.
3. Forget the prints and photo book
These days, many professionals offer wedding photography packages on a budget. For example, you can get your pictures on a USB stick only and not get the prints. You can then print a few photos as per your need later. This little tip can help you save hundreds of dollars.
4. Shop around
When looking for affordable wedding photography packages, it is very important that you do your research.Do not settle for the first photographer you come across. Make sure you shortlist at least 4-5 different candidates, talk to each one about your requirements and then take a decision. Shopping for cheap wedding photographers nearby is very much like shopping for car insurance. So take your time and choose wisely.
5. Understand cost breakup
Once you have shortlisted several professionals who promise affordable wedding photography packages, you must take the time to interview each one. While comparing prices, look closely at the prints, proofs and albums. Some might seem to charge very low price for shooting but they might heavily mark up their prints pricing. In either case, you end up paying heavily. So get these rates cleared in the beginning.
6. Combine DIY and professional photography
Get a professional photographer to simply take formal shots of you and your bridal party. Then ask a friend or relative to take candid shots during the ceremony with their personal camera and upload them to an online website. This will save you considerable amount of money.
7. Opt to put the photos in the album yourself
You can considerably lower your wedding photography costs by paying for prints but opt to put them in the album yourself. This is a time consuming task, one which professionals charge heavily for. You can ask the professional to slash costs of their package if you opt to do this.
8. Consider hiring the same professional for all events
Many couples opt for pre-wedding or engagement shoot these days. When you hire the same professional to shoot all events, you can get him/her to give you bulk discount. Many professionals also build in the price in the total wedding photography package.
9. Negotiate for freebies
If there are no alternatives to a wedding photographer, you can always get your chosen professional to give you some freebies. For example, try to negotiate at least one free parents’ album with purchase of each bride and groom’s album.
10. Save on digital files and reprints
Most professionals will not sell you digital files or jpegs upfront as they want to make profit by selling extra prints later. Some of these professionals even keep a backup of the files for as long as 10 years. If possible, wait for a few years to get these jpegs. Ask the photographer if s/he will sell them at a later date. Most will be glad to do so at a bargain price. The same is true for reprints. Wait for a couple of years and then ask for reprints at a fraction of the cost.
Use these 10 easy ways and save money on your wedding photography.