Broke-Ass Tag: Wedding Photography


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1920s Kodak Pocket Junior Camera from Etsy seller ReCreative85

Now that we’re past the holidays, and the New Year, I feel like I can hit the ground running. Our wedding is in nine months! In the last week, we’ve finalized paper choices for our DIY save the dates, completed our registry and hired a photographer.

Let’s talk about wedding photography for a moment, shall we?

One of my largest struggles throughout this process has been finding a photographer. Wedding photography prices are simply through the roof. I come from a service-based industry — I understand the value in a service and what a challenge it is to convince someone you’re worth a particular amount of money. I also understand that wedding photography is a luxury item. I was surprised, however, at the lack of photographers who offer no lower cost options at all. My assumption is that the whole day is shot (har, har) whether they have booked three hours or 10 hours, so they simply don’t offer three hours, which, from a financial standpoint, makes absolute sense.

From (a nightmare) bridal show to online inquiries, photographers in my area were providing pricing for their lowest cost packages in the $1400 range. It was discouraging. I started kicking around the idea of reaching out to the local art college to see if any photography seniors would be interested in shooting our wedding, even though I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. I was at a loss for what to do.

Everyone wants nice pictures from their wedding. Long after your flowers have died and your dress has yellowed, your pictures will still exist in a nice frame in your house, or on your desk. I didn’t want to be disappointed by bad composition, bad lighting or bad timing each time I glance at our wedding photo.

We had a pretty specific type of photographer in mind which narrowed the field even more. Not only are we looking for someone reasonably priced (a.k.a. within our budget or at least in the ballpark), but also someone who deviated a bit from traditional wedding photography. When it comes down to it, we both hate having our picture taken. We want the posed shots kept to a bare minimum and a photographer with enough experience and artistic talent to take it upon themselves to creatively capture moments in time.

That’s what wedding photography is, after all, isn’t it? You’re capturing priceless and fleeting moments in time from the best day of your life. It’s an important thing.

Lo and behold, after a few months of discouraging searching and procrastinating, I came across Big Sky Photo. I don’t remember how, or from what Google search or website. Not only was he probably one of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet, but the photos he brought that weren’t posted to his website or Facebook page were so well composed, artistically thought out and exactly what we were looking for.

I was so relieved when we left. This has been the biggest struggle for me so far; not my dress, not the venue. The photographer.

How have other BABs handled to steep cost of wedding photography?

  • 12/23

    BAB contributor Peach wrote a really raw post last week about not loving … or even really liking her wedding photos. This week, she gets over it, but it’s a little bit of a process. For very real reasons.

    My Wedding Photos Made Me Ugly-Cry, Part II: Getting Over It

    So why the freaking out?  Two reasons.

    First, there are just so damn many pictures of me. Not odd in the big picture (pun intended). But for someone who would much rather be the observer than the spectacle, the amount of All Up In My Business is downright bizarre and mildly upsetting.

    Or maybe it’s the fact that the Great American Wedding Factory shoves nothing but perfectly posed, styled, airbrushed and photoshopped images of bridal perfection into every social media outlet possible. Months later, I’m still weeding out the Twitter/Pinterest/Facebook/Instagram overload of All Things Bridal from my feeds. And I certainly know I’m not alone in feeling that we brides are expected to live up to a Schmyle Me Shpretty stereotype that is virtually impossible. That is, unless you’re a twiggy, well-financed heiress with connections to the most expensive venues, florists, caterers and oh, yeah — access to a group of friends who haven’t eaten in the last 10 years, all who happen to be the same height and can each afford $500.00 dresses. Bottom line: To be expected to live up to this standard isn’t just daunting, it’s CRUSHING.

    All that said, believe me when I say there is not a single thing I would want to change about how our day went, or how it looks in our photos. My husband and I stuck with our wedding vision throughout the whole process and our simple, elegant garden wedding was perfect. Which just proves the point that you don’t need to have a damn rare succulent-filled peonies bouquet or tulle-strewn, twinkly-lit vineyards for it to be deemed a gorgeous wedding.

    And I have no doubt that upon a further review (perhaps with a giant glass of vino) I know I will find that there are more than enough of photos of myself that are pleasing to my critical eye. They will be lovingly shared with family and friends who will treasure the memories, not for whether or not my dress is pinching my armpit fat, but for the love that we all felt that day. As for me, this moment of freaked-out-ed-ness will pass. Perhaps with many years and a few kids in between that day and this one, I’ll even look at the picture album I’ve yet to create and say … “damn, what was WRONG with me. I look smokin’!”

    Therefore, to the voices in my head that night, this recent bride would like to say “shut the fuck up.” I looked hot. And our wedding was awesome.

    This is what 36 years old looks like. Credit: Lee Patterson Photography

    Fairy-tale worthy. Photo Cred: Lee Patterson Photography

    Fairytale-worthy. Credit: Lee Patterson Photography

    One of my favorites. Makeup by Andrea Carter Artistry. Photo cred: Lee Patterson Photography

    One of my favorites. Makeup by Andrea Carter Artistry. Credit: Lee Patterson Photography

    Absolutely, positively love this. Photo cred: Lee Patterson Photography

    Absolutely, positively love this. Credit: Lee Patterson Photography

    That first blow with wedding photos can be really hard, and emotionally draining, especially after you’ve poured so much time, money and effort into orchestrating this celebration … it’s more than deflating. But with time, there is a really good chance that you’ll start to see beyond your own perceived flaws and realize what the day was all about: You, marrying the person you love most in front of the people you adore most. Everything beyond that is just extra, even the photos.

  • 11/10

    ** This post is brought to you by our friends over at Autographer. How 'bout a whole new perspective on your wedding day ... like, literally? Autographer, who makes rad hands-free cameras that are mountable, clippable and wearable and operate on a long-life battery, is having a huge contest. Like, huge y'all. Like, help-you-with-your-photography huge (and there might be a trip in there, too). See,…

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    Coming up with a meaningful wedding ceremony from scratch proved to be quite the challenge!  We ended up using many sources...traditional Christian ceremonies, literature we both loved, inspiration from wedding blogs, and my amazing Grandfather/officiant.  In the end, I'm so so so happy with how personal and emotional our ceremony was!  Here are a few highlights! We used "Sigh No More" by Mumford and Sons…

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    Wedding photography is so important; it's one of the few things you'll be able to keep after the big day is over. But fitting a quality photographer into your broke-ass budget can be a challenge, especially in a major metro area. Luckily, LA Budget Wedding Photographer has your back! LA Budget Wedding Photographer operates under the principle that being on a budget is no excuse…

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    I wish we could say that we woke up refreshed and well-rested the day of our wedding, but what couple ever does?  The stress and work of the week prior, plus the "catching up with old friends" shenanigans of the night before led to not the best sleeping conditions.  But, on the morning of June 15, who cared?  We sure didn't!  It was our wedding…

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    Hey newlyweds! Congratulations! Your wedding is finished, you survived the big day and now you're ogling all your gorgeous photos and reveling in the memories of your fantastic party, full of heartfelt moments and sweet shenanigans. But what are you going to do with all those gorgeous moments caught on camera? And as for all you soon-to-be-weds, how would you like a sweet-ass deal on…

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    Bringing personality to a wedding while still keeping costs low  is a challenge all couples face. Etan and Megan added a great amount of character to their celebration with lots of DIY décor, and a group of people willing to dig in their heels and help this self described “bookish” couple. This Los Angeles duo focused on celebrating what they absolutely loved without going overboard.…

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    You guys. Ena at One Art Photography gets it. She gets your budget, she gets your wedding, she gets your unique love story and she gets your need to have all three of those work together. She went through the frustration of trying to find a good wedding photographer on a shoestring budget for her own wedding, and she wants to save you the grief.…

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