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How To Find A Cheap Wedding Photographer: 7 Tips For Couples

Kim Argosino
Kim Argosino
Couple and family smiling as our wedding photographer take a photo


If you’re here, you’ve probably experienced the sticker shock that comes with the phrase “wedding photography.” I mean, are they using gold-plated cameras or what? 

Now, I’m not saying your wedding photos should be taken by your cousin with shaky hands and questionable taste in filters. No, no, we’re on here to help you score top-notch wedding photography without blowing your honeymoon budget.

Ready? Here are seven tips to find a cheap wedding photographer for your big day!

Table of Contents

Tip 1: Start Early

When it comes to wedding planning, timing is everything, especially when it comes to securing a budget-friendly wedding photographer. The goal is to get the photographer of your choice but also unlock potential discounts and flexibility in the negotiation.

Customization According to Budget

Photographers who appreciate early bookings are often more open to working with clients to meet their budgets. This can include adjustments to the number of hours covered, additional services, or even the inclusion of engagement sessions. By starting this process early, you have plenty of room to negotiate fees based on the services you get.

Avoiding Last-Minute Rush

Last-minute decisions can lead to stress and a limited pool of available photographers. By starting your search early and booking in advance, you eliminate the need for rushed decision-making. Through this, you can make an informed choice that aligns with both your vision and budget.

Securing Popular Photographers

Talented and affordable wedding photographers are often in high demand. Starting the booking process early increases your chances of securing a popular and sought-after photographer. With an experienced photographer, you can rest assured that your investment won’t go to waste.

Tip 2: Research Extensively

If you want to score a wedding photographer who won’t break the bank, then you have to research extensively. Many wedding photographers offer fair rates, however, they might not have the skills you’re looking for. On the other hand, a highly experienced wedding photographer will likely come at a high cost.

Tap into Personal Networks

Begin your search for a cheap wedding photographer by tapping into your personal network. You can seek recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues who have recently tied the knot. Word of mouth is a powerful tool because you’ll have first-hand insights into the experiences of those you trust. 

Online Forums and Communities

If you can’t find recommendations through word of mouth, all you have to do is jump online and start your search there. Platforms like wedding forums, Reddit, or specialized wedding planning websites often have threads where couples discuss their favourite photographers. Participate in these discussions, seek advice, and gather insights to find a cheap wedding photographer for you.

Social Media Platforms

Social media is where everyone is at. You can find photographers flexing their portfolios on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and X (formerly Twitter). If you don’t have accounts in these channels (which we doubt 😉), then create one to connect with these professionals. Who knows – you may even find an unpopular photographer who meets all your requirements!
Couple smiling as our wedding photographer take a photo

Tip 3: Consider Emerging Talent

One of the mistakes you can make when choosing a cheap wedding photographer is overlooking up-and-coming professionals. Well, we can’t blame you for being a bit on the fence with new talent. However, if budget is your priority, you can look into local emerging photographers who will likely charge at a budget-friendly rate.

Budget-Friendly Packages

Local emerging photographers are generally more flexible with their pricing. It’s because they’re still building a portfolio and are looking to gain more exposure in the industry. By considering emerging talent, you can get quality photography without the hefty price tag that comes with more established names.

Building Long-Term Relationships

Why does building long-term connections with a photographer matter? When you reach another milestone in your relationship, you can reach out to the same photographer. And with an established relationship, they’ll be more likely to offer you favourable rates for their services. 

Customization and Personalization

Emerging photographers are often more open to customization and personalization. This flexibility can extend to the number of hours they cover, additional services, or even the style of editing used in the final photos. Just make sure to discuss your expectations clearly so the photographer can meet your demands.

Tip 4: Bundle Services

Another way to save on wedding photography is to bundle different services into one package. This is possible if the wedding photographer also offers complementary offerings such as videography and DJ services.

Limited Coverage Packages

Many photographers offer limited coverage packages designed for smaller weddings or specific time frames. These packages often come with reduced rates and are ideal for couples who only want key moments on print. Don’t forget to inquire about these limited coverage packages as they can provide a cost-effective solution tailored to your needs.

Incorporating Engagement Sessions

Some photographers include engagement sessions as part of their wedding packages. By bundling engagement sessions with wedding day coverage, couples can enjoy a more comprehensive experience at a reduced cost. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone!

Exploring Videography and Photo Booth Packages

To further maximize savings, explore photographers who offer packages that include both photography and videography services. Additionally, some photographers may offer photo booth services as part of their packages, which adds an element of entertainment for guests while contributing to overall savings.

Tip 5: Weekday or Off-Season Weddings

Choosing the right timing for your wedding can affect your overall budget, especially when it comes to photography expenses. Opting for a weekday or off-season wedding can unlock many benefits, including off-peak discounts and more flexible hourly rates.

Avoiding Peak Season Premiums

In addition to weekdays, consider planning your wedding during the off-season to further save on the cost of hiring a wedding photographer. Peak wedding seasons typically come with premium prices for venue rentals, vendor services, and photography. By strategically choosing an off-season date, you can avoid these peak season premiums and access more budget-friendly options for your wedding.

Leveraging Midweek Venue Discounts

Many wedding venues offer discounts for midweek bookings. If you’re open to a midweek celebration, inquire about venue discounts and take advantage of them! If you have various venues in mind, compare the discounts offered to find the best one for your budget.

Exploring Off-Peak Discounts

Many vendors, including photographers, offer reduced rates for services booked on days that fall outside the traditional weekend schedule. When planning how to find a cheap wedding photographer, inquire about these off-peak discounts and take note of the amount you’ll be able to spend.

Couple dancing as our wedding photographer take a photo

Tip 6: Be Open About Your Budget

While discussing money can sometimes be a delicate matter, it is a crucial step to secure a talented photographer who aligns with your budget. Remember, it’s always better to discuss your budget with the photographer than risk being surprised with unexpected fees.

Aligning Expectations

Communicating your budget helps align expectations from the outset. This includes discussing the scope of services, the number of hours of coverage, additional offerings, and any specific requests you may have. This ensures that both you and the photographer are on the same page, which minimizes misunderstandings down the road.

Facilitating Effective Negotiation

Being open about your budget is the first step in effective negotiation. It provides a starting point for discussions on pricing, package customization, and potential discounts. Photographers often appreciate clients who approach negotiations with transparency, as it enables them to find mutually beneficial solutions for the event. 

Avoiding Misconceptions and Surprises

Openly discussing your budget helps avoid misconceptions and surprises later in the process. It ensures that both parties have a clear understanding of the financial aspects of the agreement. Through this, you can avoid hidden fees and the photographer can enjoy getting paid fairly.

Tip 7: DIY and Collaborate

If you want to try creative photo ideas while also saving cash on your big day, then why not try the Do It Yourself (DIY) approach? By opting for this option, you get full control of your budget while also achieving your photography goals for your big day.

Creating a DIY Photo Booth

Making a DIY photo booth is a creative way to capture candid and fun moments during your wedding. To achieve this, set up a designated area with a backdrop, a camera on a tripod, and some props. After the wedding, you can compile these DIY photo booth shots into a unique and budget-friendly wedding album.

Guest Photography Challenges

Want to try something different? Why not organize a photography challenge? Provide disposable cameras or encourage guests to use their smartphones to capture moments from their perspective. Collect the cameras at the end of the event, and give a fun reward to those who took your favourite shots!

Use Personal Cameras or Smartphones

While it’s essential to have key moments professionally captured, encouraging guests to snap photos throughout the day can provide additional angles and perspectives. You can also request your family members to act as your personal photographer for the day. Just make sure they have top-quality devices and actually love taking photos!

What Questions Should You Ask Potential Wedding Photographers?

For couples with budget constraints, finding a cheap wedding photographer without compromising on quality is a top priority. To make an informed decision, here are essential questions to ask potential wedding photographers:

  1. What is included in your basic package, and are there any additional costs I should be aware of?
  2. Do you offer limited coverage packages for smaller weddings or specific time frames?
  3. Are hourly rates available, and how flexible are they in customizing packages based on our budget?
  4. Do you have off-peak discounts for weddings held on weekdays or during the off-season?
  5. Can we negotiate the terms of the package or discuss options to tailor it to our specific budget?
  6. Are there any DIY or collaborative options for reducing costs, such as contributing to the editing process or engaging friends with photography skills?
  7. What payment plans do you offer, and are there any discounts for paying in full or early booking?
  8. Is there a possibility of bundling services, such as combining photography with videography or including engagement sessions, for a more cost-effective package?
  9. Do you have any samples or references from past clients who had budget constraints, and how did you accommodate their needs?
  10. Are there any additional fees for travel, accommodation, or overtime, and how can we minimize these costs?
  11. Can we discuss potential cost-saving measures, such as using personal cameras for certain shots or collaborating on specific aspects of the photography process?
  12. Do you offer any discounts or referral incentives if we refer your services to friends or family?
  13. Can you provide a breakdown of your pricing structure, detailing what each package includes and any optional add-ons available?
  14. Are there any discounts or special promotions for weddings held on weekdays, during off-peak seasons, or for last-minute bookings?
  15. Can we discuss cost-saving alternatives, such as digital-only packages or the option to purchase prints and albums separately to accommodate our budget?
Couple holding hands as our wedding photographer take a photo

Final Thoughts

There you have it! In this article, we’ve provided insightful tips for finding a cheap wedding photographer without compromising on the quality of service. From starting early and researching extensively, each tip offers a unique approach to achieving memorable yet affordable wedding photography.

And when it comes to budget-friendly wedding photography, one company stands out. Photo Kings goes beyond the conventional, helping couples move past expensive photographers and unreliable freelancers. With the largest team in Canada, Photo Kings promises the best customer service, top-notch photographers, and competitive prices – all completely risk-free!

So, why settle for anything less when you can have it all – quality, affordability, and peace of mind? Take the next step in securing the perfect photography package for your wedding day. Contact Photo Kings today for a quote and let our expertise turn your wedding memories into timeless treasures!

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