Posted by: eliperrin | May 18, 2009

Affordable Engagement Photos


One of the areas where Luke and I have decided to spend a larger portion of our wedding budget is photography. We believe that after all the excitement of our wedding day subsides, our photos will be our most valuable purchase because they will help us remember the day, which, according to all the wives I’ve spoken to, goes by in a flash.  As part of our wedding photography, we decided to invest in engagement photos.  Luke and I don’t have a lot of photos of us together, except for ones we have taken ourselves.   These tend to mostly be those awkward, up-the-nose shots from one of us holding the camera out while we smush our heads together, trying to get in frame.  We felt that engagement photos were very much needed in order to update our “collection” with some decent photography.  Also, they will make great gifts for friends and family in the days leading up to our wedding.

While we are devoting more of our budget to photography, we still don’t have a lot to spend.  We had to be creative and flexible in our search for affordable photography.  I began my search on Craigslist, looking for photography students who might be willing to take our pictures for free or for a reduced fee if they could use our photos in their portfolio.  I found several students willing to do this on craigslist, and we exchanged emails and links to their flickr pages. However, none of their portfolios really had the caliber of work that I was looking for.  But we did find a professional photographer who was looking to expand his portfolio with romantic couples’ photography.  He gave us a FREE, one-hour shoot at a local sculpture garden.  We got some great photos from this experience.  However, the location and our poses were of his choosing because these were, after all, for his portfolio.  For us, many of the pictures came out looking a little staged, so we decided to find a paid photographer that would allow us to call a few more of the shots.

In the end, we found a wonderful photographer, also on Craigslist, Julie Taylor.  She has incredibly reasonable prices.  We paid $225 for a 2-hour beach shoot, which also included a high resolution CD of all our photos, 1 11 x 14 print, and 25 custom  save-the-dates.  We met her around sunset at Treasure Island Beach in Laguna.  She took photos of us in several outfits in varied locations throughout the park, so it looked like our photos were from several different shoots.  She was also incredible with sunset lighting. Some of our photos looked like they were ripped straight out of a magazine.  If you would like to see our photos and more examples of her work, go to http://www.ocsweetphoto.com/.  I highly recommend her.  She quickly responded to all of my email questions and was incredibly knowledgeable of locations.  She was also one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met.  We are definitely hoping to use her for our wedding.

Wedding Budget: $5,000

Spent to date: $225

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