Five Tips for Getting Professional Photography on a Bare Bones Budget.

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Are you recently engaged? It’s supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life, but getting there can be stressful. Wondering how you are going to afford all the details for your wedding? According to the Knot’s study of 16,000 brides and grooms married in 2014, the average wedding cost is $31,213. The average cost for a wedding photographer is $2,556 and does not include videography.  If wedding planning isn’t stressful enough, wondering about how you are going to pay for it can send you over the edge.  Here are five tips for getting professional photography on a bare bones budget.

  1. Consider hiring a friend or close acquaintance.

Now, you don’t want to give the job to a random guest on your list who isn’t qualified, but chances are you know or have a friend who knows a professional or qualified amateur photographer who is capable of professional quality photos. Don’t expect them to do it for free but they will probably offer you a reasonable friends and family discount.

  1. Consider a recent graduate.

Photography majors or anyone who is just starting to do photography as a side hustle may be willing to work for an even better price. The perks for them are getting to build their portfolio, meeting new prospects and gaining the experience. Just be sure they have adequate equipment and enough prior experience to pull off a wedding. They should have a second shooter to help capture all the details throughout the big day.

  1. Consider having your wedding during an off-peak time.

The most common time to have a wedding is Saturday afternoons from Spring to late Summer. If you are willing to go against the norm, often you can find multiple discounts, not just on photography. Caterers and venues often offer discounts for an event on a Friday or Sunday. If you have a date picked out in an off-season time, be sure to ask if they can offer a discount.

  1. Ask for a personal use release.

Most photographers and videographers will readily agree to personal use releases that allow clients to reproduce photos for personal use, sharing among friends, and posting on social media. If your photographer refuses, consider looking for another photographer.  A personal use release will allow you the ability to print your own photos for much less than a photography studio would charge.

  1. Shop local for a photographer.

Wherever your wedding is set to take place, consider finding a local photographer, so you do not have to pay travel fees. Often photographers add mileage or airfare to the cost of their services if they must travel out of the area for the job.
Ultimately, if you want professional grade photos of your big day, be sure to go with a professional. Professional photography services are expensive, but there are a lot of options and ways to lower the costs.  Happy planning and congratulations on your engagement!