Wedding photography and videography is another potentially large expense to take into account when budgeting for your wedding. Whilst you may want to keep the cost down, it is important to remember that your wedding photos and video are your lasting memories of the day.
If you would like to use a professional photographer check that they are a member of a professional organisation such as the British Institute of Professional Photographers (www.bipp.co.uk) or Master Photographers Association (www.thempa.com).
This will reassure you that they have reached a certain level of competence. Check that they have relevant up-to-date insurance so that in the case of anything going wrong the wedding photographs can be staged and taken again at a later date.
Other things to consider when choosing a wedding photographer are: how long they have been doing wedding photography, whether they have any experience at the particular venue(s) you have chosen, if they will be the actual photographer at your wedding (some people sub-contract work out), and if it is possible for you to see some of their work.
Ask your wedding photographer to sell you a disk of all the negatives complete with a ‘ license of usage’
One top tip for cheap wedding photography is to ask your photographer if they will simply sell you a disk of all the negatives (at a good resolution and with a ‘license of usage’) rather than an album.
The cost for the disk of negatives may seem quite high initially but then you will have all the photos from your wedding, and will be able to print out as many copies at whatever size you would like. You could make up your own album, frame your favourite photos, or perhaps get copies to send to family and friends.
This is a good way to have professional but overall cheap wedding photography. If your wedding photographer is not willing to do this, perhaps they will just provide the photographs and let you purchase your own (cheaper) album elsewhere.
If you feel that a professional wedding photographer will be too expensive you could ask a friend or relative who has an interest in photography (and a decent camera) if they would take some photographs for you. (Amendment to original article – Obviously there are negative aspects and risks associated with not using a professional photographer – please see forum for (much!) discussion on this.)
If your local college or university does courses in photography you could see if one or more of the students would be willing to take some photos of your wedding. This is another good way of getting cheap wedding photography as students will be cheaper than professionals.
Most wedding photographers will charge more, the longer they are at your wedding. Try cutting the hours the photographer is with you to reduce the cost of the photos. Do you really need a photographer while you are putting your make-up on or at the end of the evening ‘do? Likewise, check whether or not there will be any extra charges if the wedding runs over and the photographer has to stay on longer than initially agreed.
Many people now provide single-use cameras at the reception for guests to take pictures with. This may be useful to get some snaps of the reception or evening ‘do if your wedding photographer is not covering this.
Another idea for cheap wedding photography is to set up a wedding website where your guests can upload all the photos which they took at your wedding. Set up a wedding website where guests can upload their photos of your wedding or ask guests to send you copies of some of their favourite photos they took at your wedding.
Please note that this article has been amended due to concern over the use of the term ‘copyright-free’. (I had intended this to mean that the couple would then be free to print out images for themselves, make up their own albums etc – not that they then owned the actual copyright of the photos.)
Even though many photographers advertise that they will provide wedding photographs on a DVD ‘copyright-free’ I am reliably informed that a ‘license of usage’ is the correct terminology to use if the photographer actually wants to retain the legal right to use or sell the photos themselves.
If you are going this route its probably best to clarify exactly what you are paying for with your photographer so as to avoid any confusion.