Hire the Best Photographer for Your Wedding or Special Event without Blowing Your Budget

A Guide to Excellent and Affordable Photography

Weddings and other special events are exciting. They also cause stress. From the dress, to the cake or hors d’oeuvres, to the venue—getting it all in order can put quite a dent in your finances, time and sense of well-being. We have a few ideas to help you avoid pulling your hair out. These special event photography ideas also will help you avoid assigning grandparents to document the day to save money. Below is a handy guide for finding a skilled wedding photographer or special event photographer to fit your budget.

Explore Your Photography Options
If a wedding is your special event, check online or in the newspaper for bridal show listings. These expos offer a great opportunity to meet local photographers. Also, speak with other brides to discuss photographers they’ve used or plan to use for their big day.

Ask family and friends for recommendations. Did your cousin have his senior pictures taken recently? Who took those cute baby pictures of your friend’s newborn? Talk to other people you know who have used photographers in your area.

When you have a list to work from, interview the best wedding photographers and special event photographers in your area, including those you can’t afford. Inform them of your budget, and ask who they recommend within your price range.

Narrow the Field to Photographers You Like
Once you’ve found a few possibilities, set up consultations with each photographer.
Obtain recent samples of their work. Although the family portraits they’ve taken might look great, ask to see sample wedding images—preferably an entire wedding recently photographed. Make sure they’ve captured the complete wedding story, from lace detailing on the gown to icing on the cake. These are fine points you’ll want to remember when looking through your wedding album years down the road.

Weigh the pros and cons of each person and his or her work, then choose a photographer you feel comfortable with and whose personality you like, along with their sample event photos.

Strike a Deal to Keep Photography Costs Down
A photographer’s package deal might seem like a good way to save costs, but examine what you really need from a package. Negotiate a lesser price by eliminating unnecessary package products, such as cards, extra prints and albums. You can create several of these items on your own or have them made elsewhere at a more reasonable price.

Instead of buying a pricey photo album from the photographer, ask for the high resolution digital files with a copyright release. This way, you’ll have all the pictures from the event, and then you can create your own wedding album or special event album with help from a design-it-yourself online photo album service such as Fizara.com.

Perhaps you have something to offer that the photographer would trade for. Suggest an exchange of your service for theirs to reduce the cost.

It isn’t necessary for the photographer to follow you around all day long at your wedding or event. Some pictures, such as the bride at the hair salon on her wedding day or the last few hours of the reception, can be documented by friends or family. Informal parts of the event don’t require professional photography. Consider hiring your photographer for fewer hours to prevent inessential spending.

Save money and reduce stress by following this guide for hiring the best photographer for your wedding or special event. Capture all of your precious memories with an affordable wedding photographer or event photographer who helps you create a lasting record of your special day.