Cheap Wedding Photographers

Trying to find cheap wedding photographers can be like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.

Don't get me wrong, there are some great wedding photographers out there who charge very reasonable fees for what they do. But there is no getting around the fact that a professional will cost a sizeable amount of money.

At this stage you'll probably already have decided if you want to go down the professional wedding photographer route or not and I'm not here to change your mind.A professional will undoubtable provide you with fabulous pictures but what if you simply don't have the money for a professional?

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You do have options and if you're going to use a professional there are some tips below that may help you reduce your expenditure. If you simply can't afford or don't want to use a professional there are also some ideas for how to get loads of pictures for little or no expense.

Making your final decision will, as always, depend on your budget and whether or not your wedding pictures are near the top of your priority list. Bear in mind if you do go for an amateur your pictures may not turn out as you expect. That's the risk you'll have to decide whether or not you're prepared to take.

First things first, as with everything else connected with your wedding, you have choices, so there's no need to panic.

cheap wedding photographers

Your cheap wedding photography options:

  1. Use Friends and family as cheap wedding photographers - this is usually the cheapest option and my personal favourite. If you want to explore this option sit down and consider whether or not you have any friends or family who are either talented amateurs or maybe even professional photographers?

    If so, talk to them to see if they would be interested in doing the wedding photographs. While this should be cheaper (or free if being given as a present) you should only go down this route after careful consideration.

    Are they good enough to take your precious wedding photos? You will only get one chance and if they don't turn out as you imagine them, that friendship could become strained and you won't get a second chance to re-take your pictures!

    If you do use friends or family, check out my wedding photography tips page to get more ideas on how to stand the best chance of getting your wedding photos right if you decide not to use a professional photographer.

    A family member took the majority of our wedding photos and we were delighted with the results. Both he and us were confident in his photographic ability, which is essential.

  2. Use a student - is there an art college or photography course in a local college near you? If so, go down and have a chat with the lecturer and ask if there are any particularly promising students who would be prepared to take your wedding pictures.

    This should be cheaper than a professional as they won't have a lot of experience and it gives them an opportunity to build up a portfolio. Their lack of experience can be a risk, but alternatively you could end up getting your wedding photos taken by the next David Bailey.

  3. Use a professional - this is obviously likely to be the most expensive option, but at least you can expect high quality pictures. Yes, it will cost more but as ever there are ways of reducing the cost

    i) Negotiate - always, always, always negotiate. Never accept the first quote. Shop around and get several quotes, then armed with these quotes go to the one you like the best and explain that you have these other prices that are cheaper but that you'd like to use him/her. They may reduce their price (or they may not) then you'll have to decide if you want to pay it.

    ii) Let them use your pictures - ask them if they can reduce the price if you allow them to use your wedding photos as samples in their portfolio. Many will already have it written into their contract that they can use your pictures (they will own the copyright).

    iii) Plan carefully- by planning the timings for your wedding day photos carefully you can reduce the time required to take the pictures and therefore the amount of time the photographer needs to be there. You could also agree to have less photos taken in the first place.

    Note of caution - always involve the photographer in this time saving exercise as they're the ones with the experience to know if you've allowed enough time to get all the photographs you want.

    iv) Don't have an album - ask your photographer if they can just supply the digital images on disc. That way you won't have to pay them for printing and mounting the pictures in a wedding album, as this can be expensive. Before choosing your photographer speak to them about the various options as some may not be prepared to give you the images on disc.

    If you can get a photographer who will supply you with the digital images, you can then make them into a wedding album on-line. This will be a cheaper option but probably won't be as high quality as the photographer would prepare. But you pay your money and you make your choices.

    This is a good option for the photographer as well as they don't have to spend days editing, printing and mounting pictures. Instead they can edit and save to disc in a day or two. This is a cheaper option for you and you can print your pictures out as many times as you want.

It's extremely important that you think very carefully about your cheap wedding photographer as you won't get a second chance.

No matter who you decide to use, you should always have at least one meeting with them prior to the wedding to decide on the type and style of photos you want, what are the essential photos you can't live without and to arrange the timings and locations of any extra photos you want (such as at home, getting ready etc.).

But bear in mind different locations will mean more time, and if using a professional, more time means more expense.

A good way to get some natural and unusual photos on the day is to buy disposable wedding cameras and leave these on the tables for your guests to use (bear in mind the quality can be dubious and I wouldn't suggest these in place of proper photographs, but they can be a good way of getting some fun pictures).

Just don’t forget to get the Best Man to collect them for developing (which you'll have to pay for). Otherwise the guests may take them home with them.

There's no reason why you can't use these tips, regardless of who you choose to take your wedding photos. Hopefully I've shown you that cheap wedding photographers do exist, whether you choose to use a professional or a talented amateur.

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