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Photography Money Saving Tips

Wedding Photography: Some Money Saving Tips

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 reception.

* 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.

Crutchfield customers have access to technical help seven days a week, so if you need assistance with a product you can call toll free (888) 955-6000. For more information on audio/video products go to www.crutchfield.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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