Sunday, June 7, 2009

photographically torn - help!

Here's the dilemma...I've found my dream photographer. Like DREAM a huge fan of this artist and their vision. I contacted them on a whim "just to see" if they were available for our wedding which the answer was "yes!" and now I'm even more obsessed with them.

At first, I was so excited I wanted to sign on the dotted line right then and there. But being the fairly logical one, My Guy was trying to bring me down to Earth as the cost of this dream photographer is over 1/2 of our entire wedding budget. HALF!

I sortof mentioned this situation to my mom who was quick to suggest a family member to shoot our wedding. offense...but yea right Mom.

For some reason I'm willing to skimp on lots of things that many brides would never even consider (hello simple no frills dress!), I have almost all of our wedding stationary paid for (thanks to EarthlyAffair and Ink Obsessions contests!), and I'm not "bride-eyed" enough to think I can have whatever I want for this celebration. I know there are sacrifices to make. But somehow, for some reason, I'm willing to splurge on a photographer. This photog may not have anything to take photos OF, as we may not be able to afford flowers, or food, or wine...but we could have some exquisite photos. Ha!

I dunno what to do. I'm feeling slightly irrational going with this AMAZING photographer whose work makes my heart skip a beat. But the money makes me a lil sick to my stomach.

My Guy and I are going to attend the local Bridal convention tomorrow and bee-line it for all the photographer booths. At least, I think we'll attend this thing. I hate bridal conventions, so I can only imagine how much My Guy does (he's sortof a good sport though, and I'll make sure we hit up all the food and cake tasting stations). I can tell in about .5 seconds if I like a studios work or not - and for some reason - I have serious opinions about this matter (go figure....perhaps it's the Art Historian in me who worshipped my Photography classes?)

I wish I knew all the answers sometimes.

*NOTE: we did not attend the bridal convention...couldn't bring myself to do it. I really want to explore how I can pay for the photographer I want. Car wash anyone?


  1. Welllll.. I splurged a little to get my dream photographer too. Although it wasn't half my budget. But that also doesn't pay for any prints, so I guess it could get up there.

    You have to think of what's included - do you need all the prints that are included in the package (assuming there are some included)? Ours is just giving us DVDs with hi-res, unwatermarked files, and we can print what we choose at our own cost. Would you be willing to have the photographer there for less time to bring down the cost so that you can have them there at all? Once again, this assumes that there are different packages.

    If you really want this photographer, you can probably make it happen. You've just got to work with them to find a package/price point that works for you - perhaps you can tell them your situation/photo budget and see if they can custom tailor something that works.

  2. My fiancé and I agreed on the budget order of importance: paying to reserve the park we're being married in (and the minister fees, etc), booking a place for the reception (and food and dj of course), and the photographer. Everything else is just icing on the cake if we can afford it, but I'm a bit photog buff so the pictures were most important to me. We even scrapped the idea of a videographer because I knew I'd never watch the video again but those pictures would be priceless. (Even though they'll turn out to be pricey!)
    We struck a deal with the photographer to get the hi-res copies of everything with copyright release (which is really important if you're going this route). It usually costs more upfront, but you have more in the end rather than paying a smaller booking fee and paying per print.

  3. I know how you feel, photography was the most important to me as well. In the end, we took a big chunk of our budget to go with who we liked, but that was after negotiating a little.
    I agree with Alison--I would definitely ask the dream photographer if there is any wiggle room in the quote. You might be surprised of what she/he can offer.

  4. Oh, this is a tough one... Although my fiance and I have not yet set the date and are not planning anything, we have already decided on 3 components that are very important to us - excellent food, excellent photography and beautiful flowers. (The funny thing is - flowers are really important to him! Go figure!) Considering how expensive these three things get, we have agreed to compromise on everything else. We are seriously thinking of having a small intimate ceremony/dinner with a cocktail reception to follow at the house. So, I think if it is something important to you, there should be a way to work it in. Good luck!

  5. Yeah, I have to say that I agree with everyone else. If the pictures are what is most important to you- go with it! I know that if I can afford it, the pictures will be what the majority of my money is spent on. An aspiring photographer myself, I could not just hand over the camera to anyone. My fiances brother got married right around the same time we started to date and when I saw the pictures later on I...well lets just say I had to come up with nice things to say. At his aunts wedding they used the same friend who was a "photographer" (just because you own a Nikon does NOT mean you are a photographer!) and she did the same thing. His aunt had asked me to take some pictures so with my little trusty point and shoot I did- and guess what? They turned out BETTER than that woman's. Ugh. Okay, novel over now. =]

  6. Maybe you can get a la carte photography time & DVD of the negatives, and then get prints/ album later? Our photographers usual comprehensive packages are much more than we could afford. When I told her our budget, she came up with a few options for us to consider. We still went over budget on photography, but less so...

    The other thing to think about if you're in the early stages of planning, is that so many things end up costing 1/3 to a half more than we expected. We hadn't done much research when we signed the contract for the site and catering... figured that was most of our budget right there... and then found out that so many other things (photographer, invites, etc.) cost more than we had imagined.

  7. Our last serious budget meeting left us thinking that we would just ask friends to take photos and save the money, but a week of trying to wrap my head around not having the photos that were important to me just made me sick. I'm only doing this once and I want something to remember it by besides memories. So, we're in discussion on how to save that extra money. His parents were gifting us a rehersal dinner, but our thought is to skip that and see if they'll put the same money towards a photographer. In terms of budget, we haven't much to cut from but I don't care, my photographer will be there to take photos of people-this wedding will probably be the last event for a number of our relatives and I want to have pictures of them enjoying the day. If I wanted shots of stuff, I think I could trust it to anyone, but I want to have the emotion and the expressions.

  8. Our situation was similar... although it was more like 1/3. J thought we should just tell people to bring cameras, and I said that photos were the only lasting part of the entire shindig, besides the marriage. We ended up "settling", and I've been torn about the route we went. BUT, I also realized that we needed to be realistic. If it wasn't as important to him, how could I expect him to understand? Also, I thought that if I compromised on this thing, then he might compromise on something else. It really does depend on what your heart tells you.

  9. I say: go with your dream photographer.

    A fancy cake? Party favors? Gourmet cuisine? Place settings? Those things will all be forgotten.

    But pictures last FOREVER. That's what you'll pass on to your kids and grandkids.

    One of my biggest "regrets" from our wedding day is that we didn't spend MORE money on our photographer.

    So I say: go for it. Sacrifice in other areas. You'll be glad you did. :)



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