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Most people are aware that as soon as they start planning their wedding, they're going to have to set aside a few thousand dollars for the wedding photographer. That alone can be a tough burden on the wedding budget. What if I told you there's a way of saving money on your wedding photography? It involves letting go of the idea of hiring an expensive professional. But don't panic yet. I'm not saying you should strap on a GoPro on your wedding day or make a collection of iPhone photos from your guests. I have a much better solution that deserves some serious thought if you're about to plan your wedding. Most photographers charge over $2,000. Granted, most of them have years of experience behind, but c'mon, we're talking about taking pictures here. There are things you can do with that kind of money that are a lot more fun. Let's break everything down into phases. So if you are working on a budget, or simply want to do something a little different, or adventurous… keep reading.
Phase 1 - Equipment
Most wedding photographers use professional cameras and lenses that costs thousands of dollars. There's obviously no sense in buying that gear because we want to limit spending and save the money for something else. The solution is renting. There are a lot of companies that specialize in renting equipment, so you shouldn't have trouble finding anything.
Some of the most popular choices are the Nikon D810,the Canon 5DMKIII and the Sony SLT-A99V. Now, for any of the systems you pick, you're going to need three lenses: an ultra-wide lens, a standard zoom and a telephoto zoom for "snipping"
Most respectable wedding photography businesses send two photographers to a wedding, and that makes a lot of sense. You don't want any important or funny moment to be missed. That means you're going to have to get two of these kits.
(Succes Tip #1: How to get wedding clients to come to you)
You'll also want to ask about insurance because you don't want to cover the expenses if your uncle Bob knocks down a camera after serving one drink too many. Estimated rental cost: $1,000.
Phase 2 - Accessories
When it comes to accessories, professionals have different working methods. I'm not sure of this is the case, but I'll bet some of them charge extra for bringing a spare flash. Otherwise, I can't figure out how they justify putting such hefty price tags on a service that is based on taking photos. Anyway, those beautiful photos that you see on Pinterest often require some accessories like studio flashes and soft boxes. Again, you shouldn't buy them since you're only going to use them once, so renting is the way to go.
Estimated cost: $100
Phase 3 - Manpower
Obviously you're going to need someone to operate those cameras. Your best bet would be to get a couple of not-so- close friends that won't mind they weren't invited to the wedding. If not, just post an ad and look for some college students. I guarantee you will have lots of mails and phone calls from candidates looking for some easy money. You can solve this problem with an estimated cost of $300.
Phase 4 - Education
You're going to want to train your hired photographers. Those cameras can literally take amazing photographs by themselves, but they have to be pointed at the subject correctly and that requires some basic training. Not to worry, the Internet is full of tutorials. There are also local photography workshops, not to mention book stores that can provide an awful lot of help.
Estimated cost: $150
Phase 5 - The wedding
This is the best part, the one you've been waiting for. Before the wedding, instruct your hired photographers to be merciless. Have them fire those cameras like machine guns without missing anything, not even the waiters. Professionals know exactly what and when to shoot, so to make up for that you should end up with at least 5,000 photos from your wedding.
Estimated cost: free.
Phase 6 - Editing
No digital photo is complete without some basic editing. You're in luck with this one because you no longer have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on Photoshop. You can get a monthly subscription to Photoshop CC or Lightroom for about $20. Since Photoshop isn't the easiest software to use, so you might want to invest some time in learning the basics. I recommend at least four days just for the basics, but if you really want to be confident when starting to edit your wedding photos, I recommend two weeks of intensive training. Some tutorials and online classes might be very helpful as well.
Estimated cost: $100.
Phase 7 - Storage
Your wedding photos are definitely going to be priceless memories and you're going to want to take good care of them. A physical hard drive is necessary, but you can't put all your eggs in one basket. Get a cloud storage account and back everything up.
Estimated cost: $60
Phase 8 - Printing
Photography belongs on paper and you'll soon realize that after you see your photos. Printing might not be the best way to save money, but it's worth having at least a selection of photos printed from your special day. (Tip: Best way to communicate with your clients, use Ubookoo)
Estimated cost: $200
(Success Tip #2: This simple deck of cards can make you a better photographer.)
Phase 9 - Enjoy your savings
If you do everything like I said in this method, you will save an astonishing $90. But don't be too hard on yourself. There are plenty of things you can do with that money, and if you're smart enough, you're going to use it to treat yourself with something nice. That way you won't have to think about having made the decision to cut back on a pro photographer. You see, wedding photographers are not bad people. It might seem like they're reaching into your pocket and taking out the money for minimum effort, but after you get a chance to see what goes behind those beautiful wedding pictures on Pinterest, you might have a change of heart. Of course, there are plenty of photographers who charge way more than $2,000 and using this method instead of hiring one will actually save you a pretty penny. But there is the risk that the difference between those results and what your hired students will produce will give you headaches and ruin your honeymoon. It's really up to you to figure out what's more important.