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Photographer - independent vs. hotel


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#1 gujarwala

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    Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:41 PM

    I noticed Carribbean resorts offer their own photographers in their wedding packages, but usually only include 10 or 15 photos as part of the basic package, but I assume you can get them to take more pictures if you pay extra.

    Then I also noticed there are several independent photograrphers in the Carribean (many that have ads here) and professional looking website and it appears they speak good English too. I imagine they cost more than the hotel photographers but I am thinking of choosing one because I do value the qualify of photos taken.

    Do you think one is better off finding an independent photographer vs. using the ones employed by the resort? How much extra does it cost? (I know therer's probably a large range, but what's the avg. range?) Do the hotel photographers stay with you for most of the day and evening and continue to take quality pics?

    #2 Princess402

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      Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:23 AM

      There is certainly A LOT of discussion on this forum about photographers. Do some searching through the threads and you will learn a lot!

      I can't really comment about the quality of resort photographers in general because some are good and some are bad, but I think that most would agree in any case that there's no guarantees you will get a "good" photographer. I put good in quotes though because good or bad photography is really so subjective!

      Which route you choose to go for photography depends a lot on what you are looking for. Resort photographers can be cheaper, if you only want limited coverage and photos. I am bringing in my own photographer because I also value the quality of photography, and really love my photographers' style. But on top of this, I also think it is a good value money-wise. I get my photographer for my rehearsal dinner, full wedding day, and TTD the day after, and I get all my photos on CD. A local photographer would cost me way more for the same coverage, and particularly with resort photographers you get only a limited amount of photos and if you want more you will pay for it.

      I'm sure that others will have other points for you to consider, but I hope this helps you :)

      #3 gujarwala

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        Posted 08 June 2010 - 01:49 AM

        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Princess402
        There is certainly A LOT of discussion on this forum about photographers. Do some searching through the threads and you will learn a lot!

        I can't really comment about the quality of resort photographers in general because some are good and some are bad, but I think that most would agree in any case that there's no guarantees you will get a "good" photographer. I put good in quotes though because good or bad photography is really so subjective!

        Which route you choose to go for photography depends a lot on what you are looking for. Resort photographers can be cheaper, if you only want limited coverage and photos. I am bringing in my own photographer because I also value the quality of photography, and really love my photographers' style. But on top of this, I also think it is a good value money-wise. I get my photographer for my rehearsal dinner, full wedding day, and TTD the day after, and I get all my photos on CD. A local photographer would cost me way more for the same coverage, and particularly with resort photographers you get only a limited amount of photos and if you want more you will pay for it.

        I'm sure that others will have other points for you to consider, but I hope this helps you :)
        Thanks for the response, wouldn't it cost more overall to bring your own photographer once you include paying for his/her vacation as well?

        Also from your post did you mean that the local photographers in Mexico would not give you your photos on CD? (as you mentioned an advantage of bringing your own is that you get them on cd).

        #4 Princess402

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          Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:42 AM

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by gujarwala
          Thanks for the response, wouldn't it cost more overall to bring your own photographer once you include paying for his/her vacation as well?

          Also from your post did you mean that the local photographers in Mexico would not give you your photos on CD? (as you mentioned an advantage of bringing your own is that you get them on cd).
          Oh sorry, no I think most local photographers (ones you would hire locally but are independent to the hotel) would give you your photos on CD, but many resort photographers don't, or it is a surcharge to get them. Many resort wedding packages might include, for example, 50 photos with the option to buy more or get your photos on CD. If you want more than 50 photos, you should look into how much more you are going to be charged for the extras because it can get quite pricey! I think some people go with the resort photographer for the reason of cost, but if they buy more pictures it can be much more expensive than they thought.

          As for your first point, this is going to totally depend on who you are comparing. If I compare what I am paying to what I would pay for the resort photographer, then yes I am probably paying more to bring in my own photographer. But photos are a big deal to me, and I am just not happy enough with the work of resort photographers. So I am spending a little more to bring my own, yes. But compared to what I would be paying to hire someone locally, I feel I am getting a good deal, even with paying travel costs. There are some AMAZING local photographers in the Cancun/Mayan Riviera area, many of whom are vendors on this forum. And what they charge varies quite a bit. For what I am paying, I could afford to hire someone locally instead for sure, but the photographers I really love in Mexico I could never afford! That being said, there were also lots of photographers I inquired with from outside of Mexico that I could never afford to fly in either! So I definitely had to take some time and do my research so I could find the right person at the right price for me.

          Like I said, photography is such a matter of personal taste, but for the style I like I truly feel like bringing in my own photographer is saving me a bundle and allowing us pretty much unlimited access to a photographer for our trip. My best advice to you figure out what you want for photography and shop around! Good luck :)

          #5 MDLady

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            Posted 08 June 2010 - 10:43 AM

            Our resort didn't have a photographer so we hired a local photographer. When doing my research, many of the photographers offered only hard copies of the photographs and would not give them on CD. Which means that guests or even us would have to pay to order more pictures. I did not want that at all and instead found a photographer who gave me 5 CDs worth of pictures from our wedding day and rehearsal. Now we can order whatever pictures we want and print them in any size we want for us and all of our guests without going through the photographer or worrying about copyright issues. If that's important to you, then make sure to ask that question.

            #6 taylorwd

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              Posted 08 June 2010 - 11:00 AM

              We brought our photographer with us because we didn't like the two options our resort gave us. Yes, if you're comparing straight dollar amounts it cost more with paying for the travel. However, we got so much more coverage than we would have if we'd used theirs. My photog was with us the entire wedding day, from noon until 11pm. We also did a TTD session the day after for 4 hours. I got all my pictures on a CD and a photo book was included as well. When you take all that into consideration, paying to bring one down was at least the same and, in the case of one of the resort choices, cheaper than using theirs.

              It really does come down to whose work do you like better and what's your total budget for photography.

              #7 blckrevpower

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                Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

                I was very naive when it came to wedding photography. I thought it would cost no more than $1500 to $2000 for a great one! I was WRONG!!!
                I learned that the resort photographer will take a lot of pics but then only offer the couple mediocre ones and try to get them to pay extra for the better photos.
                we decided to hire someone stateside and fly him over to Jamaica with us. he's not cheap, but worth it!!! We are getting three days of shooting unlimited for a great price.
                If you decide to go with your own photographer, make sure he or she can shoot beach weddings. Destination weddings are VERY different from church or stateside weddings are far as the lighting is concerned. You don't want to hire someone for less money who doesn't have the experience. Well, i wouldn't want to take that chance on wedding photos. good luck with your search.
                start researching photographers EARLY! the amazing ones are booked at least a year in advance. and be ready to change your date if you find someone that is just for you guys as a couple. .. we had to and don't regret the decision!
                "Bart, with $10,000, we'd be millionaires! We could buy all kinds of useful things like...love!" --Homer Simpson

                #8 TATrisha

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                Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:38 PM

                As the ladies above have noted, this is personal preferrence.
                Not all resort photographers are terrible. But most certainly aren't cheap. For instance, at the resort where I got married, you got 10 free wedding photos (6x8 in size). if you wanted digital negatives, it was around $20 a photo. To put together an album alone you would need 80-100 photos, so that's $1600-2000. And honestly they aren't the best quality.

                Now, photographers IN the area. Wow. There are some AMAZING photographers in the Riviera Maya. Seriously, A. Mazing! There are also some who are not so amazing. But Elizabeth Medina, Del Sol, Juan Carlos (Cabo)... these are some of the best. They too aren't cheap. But you honestly get what you pay for when hiring photographers in the area, and these ones are great!

                Flying photographers in... this is where it gets tricky and it's not always the "you get what you pay for" idea. Sometimes, yes. But sometimes photographers just like photographing in beautiful locations. Or want to grow their portfolio, so will give you an amazing deal. Typically this will run anywhere from $2000-5000+ (including travel). It really depends on the photographer and their fee. But, wouldn't you rather pay $2000+ for FULL wedding coverage (full day coverage, trash the dress, full resolution disc of 1000 pictures) versus paying $2000 to a resort photographer and getting 100 kind of not so good photos of your wedding day? What's a better value??

                ~Trisha~

                Destination Wedding Photographer & Travel Agent
                www.faberphotography.com - My latest destination wedding photos can be found HERE

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