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Advantages/Disadvantages of hiring a photographer for costs only?


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#1 MarieSam

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    Posted 18 October 2008 - 08:22 AM

    I wanted to know maybe from some brides who have done this or photographers who have offered this deal ~ What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a photographer for costs only (i.e. travel fees, accommodations, etc.)?

    For instance, because you are getting such a great deal, do you feel....hmmm...bad or hindered from asking for certain shots, or requesting certain things?

    #2 coppergoddess13

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      Posted 18 October 2008 - 05:02 PM

      I was originally going to be doing this, and then it didn't work out with the photographer. The main disadvantage I had was that he made the offer, and then he began getting more and more DWs, and eventually the emails made it seem like he was regretting it, but would follow through to keep his word. I got the contract, and it had been pared down to just the basics (I would have had to pay another $400 to actually GET my pictures on CD, for instance), and it ended up making me uncomfortable. I would just make sure they are really happy to be doing it 'at cost'.

      Also, I'd be really clear in setting out how much coverage you are getting. Do you get a couple extra shoots (for TTD, e-pics, family pics, etc) if you want them, when will they start shooting on the wedding day, when will they stop shooting. Make sure its in the contract!

      #3 RedDiamond

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        Posted 20 October 2008 - 04:30 PM

        Whatever you want/expect, get it in writing. There are a few major advantages to U.S. brides using a U.S. photographer, especially for cost:

        1.) You have the option for legal recourse in your own country if anything happens to go wrong.

        2.) You can save yourself a considerable amount of money. Many destination photographers charge for travel and the photo package. You literally could save yourself thousands of dollars.

        3.) Don't EVER feel bad asking for certain shots or ideas. If they are shooting this to improve or expand on their portfolio they probably want the best ideas possible. So if you come up with something that they don't, they'll probably be thrilled to photograph it. The only time a photographer might turn an idea down is if the lighting is bad or the idea seems dangerous, and in all honesty some photographers will still take the chance... just for the opportunity.

        4.) For many photographers offering this sort of deal it's also about the referrals, and in order to get those you need to love your photos. Many photographers will go out of their way to make sure you get the best service possible in order to gain referrals. That's whether you are paying for it or not. No photographer wants bad images out there.

        5.) Another question some people wonder is if your photographer needs to be at the same hotel as you/your guests. I can't speak for all photographers, but for us the answer is no. We've photographed plenty of weddings where we were put at a less expensive hotel so the couple can save money, and we have no problem with that. As long as it's clean, that's all that matters.

        6.) Ask about the staff and equipment that will be used for your wedding. Having a photographer with an assistant (not shooting) is a lot different from having two photographers who are producing images for you. Also, if you have a photographer show up to your wedding with nothing but their camera, you probably shouldn't expect the same images as a photographer showing up fully prepared with various equipment. It's just a good idea to check.

        #4 latinalocany

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          Posted 20 October 2008 - 10:16 PM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by RedDiamond

          Whatever you want/expect, get it in writing. There are a few major advantages to U.S. brides using a U.S. photographer, especially for cost:

          1.) You have the option for legal recourse in your own country if anything happens to go wrong.

          2.) You can save yourself a considerable amount of money. Many destination photographers charge for travel and the photo package. You literally could save yourself thousands of dollars.

          3.) Don't EVER feel bad asking for certain shots or ideas. If they are shooting this to improve or expand on their portfolio they probably want the best ideas possible. So if you come up with something that they don't, they'll probably be thrilled to photograph it. The only time a photographer might turn an idea down is if the lighting is bad or the idea seems dangerous, and in all honesty some photographers will still take the chance... just for the opportunity.

          4.) For many photographers offering this sort of deal it's also about the referrals, and in order to get those you need to love your photos. Many photographers will go out of their way to make sure you get the best service possible in order to gain referrals. That's whether you are paying for it or not. No photographer wants bad images out there.

          5.) Another question some people wonder is if your photographer needs to be at the same hotel as you/your guests. I can't speak for all photographers, but for us the answer is no. We've photographed plenty of weddings where we were put at a less expensive hotel so the couple can save money, and we have no problem with that. As long as it's clean, that's all that matters.

          6.) Ask about the staff and equipment that will be used for your wedding. Having a photographer with an assistant (not shooting) is a lot different from having two photographers who are producing images for you. Also, if you have a photographer show up to your wedding with nothing but their camera, you probably shouldn't expect the same images as a photographer showing up fully prepared with various equipment. It's just a good idea to check.
          Great feed back thanks!

          #5 SunBride

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            Posted 20 October 2008 - 10:40 PM

            Hi, I would think the only major disadvantage is that chances are you are not getting a very experienced DW photographer (maybe a very experienced photographer but likely not one who has done a lot of weddings).

            In my case my photographer charged travel + 800$. The only thing is that she insisted that I give her TONS of time to take photos because she said at her previous DWs the brides didn't give her much time and she was disappointed that after the travelling and being gone for a week she wasn't overly happy with her work due to lack of time. I didn't mind at all her demanding lots of time, I wanted lots of photos so it sounded like we were on the same wave length! I also thought her demands were reasonable seeing as she was just trying to make sure she could do a fabulous job. But later as the date approached she kept demanding I give her more time, even though the wedding day schedule I had drafted allowed a few hours for photos (i.e. like 3-4 hours just for photos), she was insisting she needed more (1 hour of bridal party only, 1 hour with each family, 2 hours bride and groom not to mention photographing events as they happened such as preperations, ceremony reception) and she was very insistent saying that we had an "agreement" that I would give her tons of time. So that was frustrating because I thought she was going overboard and making the photos completely take over the day. In the end, it was not the end of the world, sure she stressed me out by always being on my back about it and making me change my wedding day schedule, but the advantage is that I ended up with a ton of pics. Still, I wish we could have gone about it a little differently but overall I was satisfied.

            So anyways, I guess the lesson to be learned from that experience is to be careful about making a "deal" or "agreement" with the photographer that because they are giving you a good price you need to give them something in return.

            #6 MarieSam

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              Posted 22 October 2008 - 07:17 AM

              Thank you so much everyone for all the info and suggestions!! It is much appreciated as I come closer to booking my photographer.

              The photographer we're looking at actually has tons of wedding experience (her blog is updated constantly), and she has done destination weddings before both domestically and internationally ~ our locale just happens to be a place she'd love to visit and shoot! YAY for beautiful locations!!

              She and her husband are offering:

              - to shoot our engagement photos locally
              - 2 hours during our Welcome Dinner
              - 8 hours the day of the wedding
              - a TTD session the following day

              We will get all edited images on a high resolution DVD 6 to 8 weeks after the wedding ~ So I think we're getting a great deal!

              She is uber talents and I LOVE her work. We happened to get very lucky when another photog whose contest I participated in was unavailable for my date, and she recommended her -- a close friend and photog she often works with. The deal should get closed today and I will update for sure!!!

              Thanks again everyone, your insight was so helpful!!!

              #7 ~*petals*~

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                Posted 22 October 2008 - 08:47 AM

                Good luck, MarieSam!!

                I'm doing the travel-costs-only thing too and so far, it's been great working with my photog!

                #8 MarieSam

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                  Posted 22 October 2008 - 10:32 AM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by ~*petals*~
                  Good luck, MarieSam!!

                  I'm doing the travel-costs-only thing too and so far, it's been great working with my photog!
                  Awww thanks so much ~ I totally remember seeing your engagement pics before and loving them! If ours end up being as nice as yours, I'll be thrilled!!!

                  #9 Jacilynda

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                    Posted 30 March 2009 - 02:05 AM

                    MarieSam did this all work out for you? I feel soooo good after reading this thread. I had asked several photographers from the states who's work I LOVE if they would do this as well. We would take care of their flights, hotel, food. and if they want to stay longer than our wedding weekend they are more than welcome to. We will only be paying for the food for certain days, but we are giving them our free room that's avail for 2 weeks and the price of their flights are the same if its 3 days or 2 weeks. In return we are wanting 2 hours for our rehearsal/welcome dinner, all day wedding day, and TTD. They are a married couple so we'd have 2 photogs and it wouldn't be like they were leaving family behind (they don't have any kids).


                    I've been reading the photog pricing thread and it made me feel HORRIBLE for even asking these photographers! This thread makes me feel so much better.

                    Plus their work is so great and I'm sure BDW girls will be booking them in the future after my photos, HA!!!!!

                    #10 MarieSam

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                      Posted 07 April 2009 - 06:37 AM

                      Hey Jac! Don't know why I didn't see this till now?

                      Anywho, I remember seeing your post the other day about the photographer you chose -- their work looks fabulous so I'm sure you will end up with wonderful photographs documenting your time in Akumal
                      MarieSam did this all work out for you? I feel soooo good after reading this thread. I had asked several photographers from the states who's work I LOVE if they would do this as well. We would take care of their flights, hotel, food. and if they want to stay longer than our wedding weekend they are more than welcome to. We will only be paying for the food for certain days, but we are giving them our free room that's avail for 2 weeks and the price of their flights are the same if its 3 days or 2 weeks. In return we are wanting 2 hours for our rehearsal/welcome dinner, all day wedding day, and TTD. They are a married couple so we'd have 2 photogs and it wouldn't be like they were leaving family behind (they don't have any kids).

                      I've been reading the photog pricing thread and it made me feel HORRIBLE for even asking these photographers! This thread makes me feel so much better.

                      Plus their work is so great and I'm sure BDW girls will be booking them in the future after my photos, HA!!!!!





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