Those who live in San Francisco know how expensive things in the city can be, and a San Francisco wedding photographer is no exception. In a city brimming with creative talent, most brides can expect to pay anywhere from $3000 to $7000 to have their wedding day photographed.
If you want to find a quality San Francisco photographer for your wedding day but are on a budget, keep reading for three great tips that will save you money without sacrificing the photo memories of your big day.
Ask Photographers to Match Competitor's Prices
When requesting quotes from multiple wedding photographers, don't be afraid to ask a favorite to match a competitor's price. Most photographers are willing to negotiate, especially if it means they may lose a valuable booking. Obviously, the provided packages should be comparable before you request a price match.
The best way to request a price match is to respond to a photography quote with examples of prices from other local photographers. Explain that you're on a budget but would love to work with your particular photographer. You'll find that many are willing to do a little negotiation.
Book Last Minute
Booking at the last minute is risky, and you may not get the specific photographer whom you want. But because there is so much competition in the San Francisco area, there are going to be a lot of providers who will be available on your wedding day. Waiting is especially effective during the slow season.
Last minute booking also means you have a lot more negotiation room. So, if a San Francisco wedding photographer is advertising $3000 for 5 hours on their website, ask them if they'd accept $2500. Most photographers would rather make the $2500 than stay home that day and earn nothing.
Go Out of Town
You may have to pay for travel time or gas expenses, but you can often still save money by booking a photographer outside the San Francisco Bay Area. Check rates of photographers in Concord or San Jose and you'll see discounts as steep as 50%, meaning that extra $100 to $200 for travel is worth the added savings.
Shop the Bridal Expos
A bridal show or exhibition is a great way to meet lots of wedding photographers in one, easy location. You'll also find most providers offering unique specials or discounts as a way of luring prospective brides to their booths or tables. Many also provide discounts for booking at the actual Bridal Fair.
Try the San Francisco Bridal Show or the Bay Area Bridal Expo, both of which are big wedding shows with numerous vendors. Take the opportunity to meet and greet photographers, interview them and get a feel for their personality and style.
You can find an affordable San Francisco wedding photographer, but you just have to be willing to negotiate, take the risk of last minute booking or invest the time into hitting the pavement at a bridal show. For your once-in-a-lifetime wedding, it will be well worth the time investment.