So you’re getting married in 4 weeks, that castle on the hill is costing you a pretty penny, and between the catering, the wedding cake, the entertainment and the plane tickets, you’re not sure how you’re going to make it through the biggest event of your life without putting your new family into serious debt. That’s not even including one of the most essential components of any wedding, your wedding photos. Fortunately, you’re pretty handy with a DSLR, and you’ve got a nice network of friends who are into photography themselves and are willing to help. While you might be able to shave up to 10% off your wedding expenses by dropping the professional wedding photographer, can you really trust something as important as your wedding photos to friends and family? With a little planning and finesse, it turns out you can—here’s a quick guide on how you can leverage your resources to do your own wedding photography on a budget.
If you’re reading this blog chances are you’re into DSLR photography, and since “birds of a feather flock together” chances are high that there may be friends and family who are handy with a camera. They don’t have to be professionals, but pick 3 or 4 photography buffs and christen the one with the most experience as the “lead” photographer.
A little bit of planning can go a long way—before you can divvy out shots to your photographers, you need to know what photos you want to have in your photo album. Check out the standard offerings and wedding packages of professional wedding photographers to get started on a list of poses you’ll want to have in your wedding album. To help you get started, you can generally break up a wedding album into four categories: before the wedding, during the ceremony, formal poses, and the wedding reception. You can even do your own engagement session a week or two in advance before the wedding.
Put your best photographer on the important shots—walking the aisle, the wedding kiss, and cutting of the cake. One trick that has worked for brides in the past is to take advantage of the infinite monkey theorem and use sheer numbers to get the shots that you want. With the right planning, you can divide up 4-5 desired shots among your fleet of photographers, and pick out the best at the end of the event. Take care not to go overboard with the cameras though, because nobody likes having the paparazzi flashing cameras in their face.
What self respecting camera buff doesn’t have Photoshop? Still if you don’t think you or your network have the skills to properly post process all those wedding photos, consider hiring a pro to do the post processing for you—you’ll have already saved a ton by forgoing having a professional photographer at your wedding.
The Wedding AlbumThere are few ways you could go about making the actual wedding album. These days it’s as simple as sending your favorite photos to the album maker of your choice. Try BrideBox or Milkbooks for traditional custom orders, or create your own using Blurb and DIY tutorials on the web. The possibilities for creating your own album are endless, and with the money you’ve saved on wedding photography you can create an album that will last generations.