*not my photographer... image from here
After a few months of internet searching and researching my options, I finally made a deposit on my photographer yesterday. As I mentioned before, I was determined to take the advice from all the comments that suggested "investing*" as much as possible in the pictures. So, before I even took a look at the prices, I made sure that the photographers met certain criteria:
1. Their images needed to be timeless. Artistic poses mean nothing to me; I really want someone with the talent to capture moments and expressions.
2. Printing rights needed to be offered with each package at no additional cost.
3. They should have plenty of wedding experience including a wedding at my venue. This sounds really picky, but I do have a popular venue so most experienced photographers in my area would have been there before. I figured that this would mean that they would come with lighting and angle ideas.
Then, once the photographers matched up with the criteria above, I went with my "get less, pay less" strategy: After finding that a photographer had the talent and style that I wanted, I reached out to them to see what type of package they could offer me based on my minimal needs. I did not need:
*a 7+ hour package
*any prints or albums included
*an engagement or bridal session
*any special extras like "save the date" magnets or thank you cards
The photographers who would not/ could not lose the package add-ons were simply dropped from the short list. Why pay for something that I didn't want or need? Luckily, there was a highly recommended (by a close friend) and talented photographer out there that could offer me everything above! As of now, I'm receiving a custom package including two shooters for five hours at the one-photographer price of $1,950 ($2,111 after tax). With that, I'll have a disc with printing rights and an online gallery for my family members to order from at their hearts' content.
I am wondering if I'll end up wanting to bump up to six hours for an additional $200, but I'm just not sure if I'll need that many hours. For a brunch wedding (without a large bridal party/ tons of formal shots), do you think five hours will be okay?
*Oh, and as a bonus, my photographer heads the page with the package fees as "pricing" rather than the standard photographer "investment." For some reason, seeing "investment" written on those websites really irks me.