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  1. #1

    Default CSA Wedding - resort photographer vs outside photographer

    Hi ~ my fiance and I are getting married in May at CSA and chose the Tropical wedding package, which includes a photographer and a 1-hour photo shoot, and also includes 12 5x7's, 8x10, and CD of selected photos. Does anyone have any experience, reviews, advise, feedback, etc on having used the resort photographer? We've thought about using an outside photographer, but it's $500 plus whatever photo package you chose from them, so it could get very $$ and we are on a limited budget. Another note, we are going by ourselves - no family or friends (although we have asked one couple, but they haven't accepted or declined at this time), so it's not like we'll have someone there to take additional pictures of the ceremony, or us getting ready, etc.

    What all does the photographer do? Is it really just the one photo shoot, which would obviously be after the fact? Do they take any during the ceremony? Do the 5x7's have to be all the same pose, or can you pick a few (one pose per sheet obviously)? Is the CD just the 5x7's and 8x10 that we select prints of? I'm at a lose & don't want to feel that we missed out on capturing our moment!

    For anyone who used an outside vendor, can you please share your experiences, costs, inclusions, etc?

    As much info as I can get the better I'll feel. It is the only thing I am really questioning about the entire process....

    Thanks so much in advance,

    Gina & Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Gina & Jason,

    Congrats on your upcoming wedding! We're on a tight budget for our upcoming CSA wedding as well. Photography ended up being our second biggest expense (after our room). If you're choosing the Tropical package mainly for the photography upgrade, you might be pleasently surprised what you can get for your money with an outside photographer. Their rates are negotiable. Check out WPA Jamaica. We're using them for our fall 2012 wedding at CSA. You can view portfolios online for each of the photographers to see their work. We're getting a photographer of our choosing for 3 hours with all photos included on a DVD for a little less than what you are paying for the current Tropical wedding package (this doesn't include the $500 resort fee). Another option: You might get more value for your $$ if you go with the free One Love package (if you are staying the minimum number of required nights) and then add on the resort photography as an extra. The Tropical package has you paying for sparkling wine and cake for 10 guests which might be money better spent elsewhere if it is just the 2 of you. Just my opinion, but hopefully it helps!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    468

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    Congratulations!! I really cannot help you with the professional photos but I will say you will meet others once you are at the resort. My hubby is usually the unofficial photographer at many weddings when we are on vacation. All you need to do is ask! Plenty of people will love to take your camera and shot some pictures for you!

    We actually met a couple on trip advisor and were their witnesses at their wedding this past April while in Jamaica. Their wedding was beautiful, pictures were beautiful and everyone had a great time!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

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    Gina & Jason,

    Congratulations! My wife and I just got married at CSA last month and we used the photographer & videographer on the resort. They absolutely took pictures during the ceremony itself, while we had champagne & cake afterward, and then a huge number of photos immediately afterward. Picking out the photos we wanted was the hardest part! The CD will give you very high-resolution digital pictures so you can easily reprint additional photos after you are home. We went with the free One Love package, and added a photo package separately, but we had something like 135 pictures to choose from and select the prints we wanted, and those were the photos that were included on the CD as well. For us, it was by far the best option.

    Hope that helps!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Gina & Jason,

    Congratulations! My wife and I just got married at CSA last month and we used the photographer & videographer on the resort. They absolutely took pictures during the ceremony itself, while we had champagne & cake afterward, and then a huge number of photos immediately afterward. Picking out the photos we wanted was the hardest part! The CD will give you very high-resolution digital pictures so you can easily reprint additional photos after you are home. We went with the free One Love package, and added a photo package separately, but we had something like 135 pictures to choose from and select the prints we wanted, and those were the photos that were included on the CD as well. For us, it was by far the best option.

    Hope that helps!

  6. #6

    Default

    We were married at CSA back in 2008, before the outside vendor cost went up. I looked at a lot of other coupleís photos at that time and we decided to go with an outside vendor. We didnít have a lot of guests (14), but we wanted the memories of lots of special photos of the two of us. They took a lot of artistic and non-posed photos, before, during and after the ceremony. Everyone thought the photos were so amazing. My favourites are those taken back on the beach after the ceremony and garden reception. They were such an awesome couple to spend so much of our day with as well. I made slideshows to music, and a photo book for parents and grandparents. I still look back at them often and reminisce. We also framed the best beachy ones with blue sky, turquoise water and tall palm trees and have them hanging on our walls.
    It wasnít cheap of course, but overall for the amount of photos they took (over 700!) we felt it was good value. We prioritized our budget. I had a simple dress made for me instead of spending thousands like many brides do, didnít hire a band, didnít get upgraded cake or site flowers and decorations, etc.. To this day, I feel it was the best wedding decision we made, (next to getting married in Jamaica and at CSA, of course).
    Itís a personal thing. Some people are perfectly happy with a few nice photos taken by the resort photographers and have other priorities (like the dress, for example). Another option is to have the resort photograper take pictures of the ceremony, then go off resort and meet up with a photographer to take some more photos. We just love to have lots of photos of everything - every vacation - so our wedding was certainly no exception.
    You don't want to have any regrets. Ocasionally I think I should have splurged for a more elaborate dress, but I never regret the photo decision one iota.
    You just need to decide what your priorities are and how much you want to spend on photography.

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