Some Money Saving Tips
(ARA) - If you're not careful,
wedding photography costs can get out of hand in a hurry. The
typical couple spends about 7 percent of their wedding budget,
or $1,150, on photos and a video.
How can you make sure your wedding
is beautifully photographed and not go over budget?
You definitely don't want to
skimp on something so important; the photos will be something
you will treasure for years to come, but there are ways to keep
costs from getting out of control.
Here are some ideas from a few
professional wedding photographers for saving money without sacrificing
the quality of your photographs.
* Always hire a professional, but limit their time
taking pictures. You only have one chance to get it right, so
make sure you engage the services of someone who has experience
photographing weddings. You have several options, including a
"ceremony only" package which means the professional
would take all the formal pictures of the bride and groom, family
and wedding party and the ceremony, but wouldn't stay for the
* Choose a photography package instead
of purchasing all of the items separately. If there is something
you want that isn't included, ask the photographer if you can
swap it for something else without increasing the price.
* Be careful about choosing the
smallest or least expensive photography package. You may end
up spending a lot more money after the wedding for all the additional
prints you will need to buy separately that are not included
in the original package. It may be less expensive to purchase
a more comprehensive package up front.
* Be skeptical of all the extras
you are offered. Options such as a "Deluxe" or "Ultra"
wedding album or a framed wedding portrait will add up. What
really counts are the photographs, not the packaging.
* Have some designated friends
help you document the reception. Putting disposable cameras on
reception tables has become popular recently, but many couples
are finding that the resulting photographs aren't very good.
It works much better to choose just a few trusted people and
supply each of them with a high quality camera.
The experts at Crutchfield.com,
a leading source for online audio/video products, recommend loaning
your designated photographers a Sony DSC-U20 2-megapixel digital
camera. The camera is smaller than most cell phones, and very
lightweight (only 4.2 ounces), making it easy to carry around
at a reception. It's very simple to use, and it takes high quality
photos. Start-up is quick, so you can go from "off"
to "say cheese" in just a few seconds. A "burst
mode" setting lets you snap up to five rapid-fire photos
at the press of a button -- great for capturing action-filled
moments on the dance floor. The movie mode allows you to record
several seconds of silent, low-resolution video, which can later
be forwarded to friends via e-mail.
* Have a friend or two videotape
the ceremony. Most of us know someone who has experience with
a video camera and would be willing to record the wedding ceremony.
You could save about $1,000 on your photography bill by asking
your talented friends for their help. Crutchfield experts recommend
using a high-quality Sony DCR-TRV950 digital camcorder that lets
you capture professional-quality video and still images. The
Mini DV camcorder records detail and color accuracy in any video
you shoot; or you can use the digital photo mode to put those
pixels to work capturing still images. There's a jack on the
camcorder for sending full-resolution video to your compatible
computer for editing or viewing. A touch-panel view screen provides
easy navigation of the camera's menus. Extras like Super SteadyShot
for calming camera shake, and optical zoom for great-looking
close-ups give your amateur photographer professional tools.
* One unusual option: have a
trusted friend roam the reception with Panasonic's SV-AV30. This
versatile, digital A/V recorder/player can not only snap digital
photos and capture video clips, it can also record snippets of
audio. This is a great way to record candid moments at the party.