January 3rd, 2011, 11:04 PM
Photography on a budget?
I've not yet gotten assigned to a wedding coordinator as we just booked our vacation. We're getting married at CTI on 6/6/11 and we have very little budget for a wedding. Pictures are so important to me (I take them myself, not a professional, but not too shabby) and I'm having anxiety about this.
What are my options? I will have one couple with us, our best friends, but I'm not sure how much I want to depend on them to be our video/picture people. Any advice/info?
January 4th, 2011, 03:35 PM
Every resort has a camera buff staying there, why not make some friends when you first get there or on the bus ride to the resort and "invite" someone to be your amature photographer!
Bring a half dozen disposable cameras too and hand them out to a few friendly gawkers, this way you will get a bunch of candid photos from different perspectives! These are usually the best ones anyway!
I have seen this work before!
January 4th, 2011, 08:04 PM
We booked Stacey Clarke for our wedding last year - as far as I am concerned you can't go wrong there!
At the end of the day photographing a wedding is not an easy job, it's all well and fine handing a camera etc. to a friend but as you only have your best friends with you wouldn't you rather they are able to celebrate your day with you than worry about if they are getting the photos you want? Stacey not only nailed the photos in only 2 hours but was an intrinsic part of the day itself.
It may sound like the true pros cost a lot but in terms of price per picture you actually get much better value for money as you'll get 200+ print quality images guaranteed.
Spend a decent amount, hire a proper photographer and enjoy the day!
Still having second thoughts, here's a (mangled)quote adapted from Jerry Ghionis, 'When the dress is wrapped up and in a box, the cake is eaten, the champagne is drunk, the tan has faded etc. the photos are the ONLY thing that remain just as they were that day'.
January 6th, 2011, 08:47 AM
What's it end up costing, Cheesemonkey?
I'm so nervous I won't have enough money, but photos are THE MOST important thing to me about this wedding (besides, of course, marrying the love of my life).
Can you give me some idea? I won't want any printed photos, only a CD.
I will look up Stacey in Jamaica to see.
January 6th, 2011, 11:34 AM
We hired Marica Roberts
for our CTI wedding this past November. She was $1,000 cheaper than the next closest person (Diana & Richard)
We got over 650 pics, and a DVD Montage.
I am VERY frugal, and I had just lost my job so I didn't have extra $$$.
I do not regret using her and her assiatnt Christopher at all.
Contact her, and let her know exactly what you want, she customizes her prices. Our package was for 300 pics, but we got more than double. She also does not do timeslots. We only used her for 2-3 hours which was more than enough time for just the 2 of us.
January 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
We've decided to use the resort photographer. I've been all over the boards researching this. So far, from the photos that other brides have shared, they do a nice job! Besides, one of my friends who is coming does photojournalist photography and didn't mind a few pictures for us. The prices aren't too bad. Maybe you should look into that. Good luck on your decision.
January 6th, 2011, 10:45 PM
we are getting married in Oct at CSS just the two of us. We hired Diana Campbell of digital memories she will work with your budget and everything I've seen and heard about her is great so I think she is a great option. look her up at
Originally Posted by avelezsolic
January 7th, 2011, 07:57 AM
I think Stacey might be running a sale at the moment - have a look at her Facebook page - I think it's got details on there - her main website has more images etc. to see.
Originally Posted by avelezsolic
Cost all depends on how many photos you are going to want - if it's only a few then the resort photographers are probably going to be your cheapest at around $600 but IIRC they start charging per image after 36 images...so when you hit 2-300 images you will probably end up paying more than for an outside photographer.
Also one of the key skills is the ability to direct the couple for the posed shots - this really is critical as it can make or break the photos, if you are relaxed and having fun it shows!
Look at the portfolio shots of any photographer you are considering to see if you like their style - no portfolio = no booking!
Also I would not necessarily let the inclusion of an album sway your decision - I would rather take the digital files and create an album myself using a printer back home (e.g. Blurb) - besides it means more room/weight in your suitcase for Blue Mountain Coffee and Rum ;-)
My wife and I had a very tight budget for our wedding but we knew that as family etc. would not be with us that the photography was actually really high up on the importance list as it was the only way family/friends etc. would get to see the day.
January 10th, 2011, 12:38 PM
To anyone getting married at CSS during the week of June 18th - 25th:
My wife, who is a professional photographer, said she would love to offer her services for FREE. She's looking for a way to write off our trip as a business expense. If you are interested you can check out her website at alicialooneyphotography.com.
Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
January 13th, 2011, 09:06 AM
thats so nice, I am arriving July 3 so I will just miss you!
Originally Posted by jtlooney24
January 18th, 2011, 03:39 PM
Do the photographers at the resort take more pics than just the 36 and then you pick the 36 you get? Also, do they do a DVD of the actual ceremony or is the DVD just the pics in a slideshow? Also, if you get the pics on CD, can you just print them at home as many as you'd like? I'm confused by this whole photography situation. LOL :O) Please help me! TIA!
January 19th, 2011, 12:16 PM
Yes, they take lots and you choose. I know that from doing the original research and asking that same question, however, we ending up hiring Stacey Clarke. With Stacey's we can do all sorts of things if we want to i.e black & white, cropping and printing in any size we want. I imagine if you purchase the CD with the resort photographer it is the same but you may want to clarify with them directly.
As for the DVD, our friends surprised us with hiring the resort videographer and it is lovely. It is not pictures, it is a movie. For us, it began when I walked out and ended in the garden after our cake/champagne. It was all set to our 5 songs that we brought on CD and the only speaking part was the minister & our vows. It is a wonderful keepsake and I tear up when I watch it and share it with others.
As for Stacey....here are 3 pics I'd like to share, otherwise I have posted my Facebook link to the album on several message threads.
Good luck making your decisions! It will all work out!
January 21st, 2011, 08:59 AM
Thank you for all the information Miasma. I did contact Stacy, and her prices are really reasonable. I'm just going to talk to future hubby about it. Your pics are so great!!! Thanks again for the help! :O)
January 21st, 2011, 11:26 AM
You're so welcome! I had to "convince" my husband at first too...maybe a man thing, but he is so happy now that we went ahead with her and agrees the pics are worth it.
January 24th, 2011, 09:11 AM
After showing Angelo a bunch of pictures that the resort's photographers took and some Stacy took, we booked Stacey. Not that the resort photographer's photos were bad. I just could not imagine picking only 36. I've talked back and forth with Stacey a few times now, and she seems really sweet. I'm very excited!!! :O)
January 24th, 2011, 03:30 PM
I believe I read in the wedding information section of the website that it's a $500 fee you pay to the resort to bring in your own photographer. Is that correct?
January 26th, 2011, 12:19 AM
That's so great! Don't even think about it, you made an excellent choice! Good luck and post your pics one day!
Originally Posted by klmurphy2005
January 26th, 2011, 12:20 AM
This is true but with Stacey, she splits that with you. She pays $250 directly to the resort and they will bill you $250 on your hotel bill and you pay when you leave. I don't think some of the other offsite photogs offer splitting.
Originally Posted by SunshineandFire
January 27th, 2011, 11:18 PM
can anyone give me an idea of what price range these 'off resort' photogs cost? We were planning on doing the resort photographer for the $650... but now that i've been looking at pictures, im thinking 36 is going to be too few... any information would be appreciated. Im hoping to spend as close to the $650 as possible but is that even close to what these other photos charge? im clueless!! Let meknow please. Thanks!!
January 29th, 2011, 10:17 AM
Ash, I am using Marcia Roberts and she can customize your needs. But don't forget to bring in an outside photographer the resort charges 500.00
I am paying over a 1000.00 plus the resort fee. If you can find it in your budget I really think you should hire an outside photographer.
January 29th, 2011, 04:41 PM
We have Stacey Clarke too. We are using her for an hour and half. I'm not doing before the wedding pics or trash the dress. So figure that will be enough time for ceremony and pictures after. The total amount we are paying is $1000. $200 down. Then a second payment of $300. Then $500 the day before the wedding.
January 30th, 2011, 06:16 PM
Yeah, i dont think we'll be able to swing it. I really like Stacey's photographs and she's only $1000 including the fee but thats still 400 more than we were planning on... we'll see what our tax return fairy brings us. lol
January 31st, 2011, 03:41 PM
Ashntommy, you should look at Diana Campbell she is reasonable and will customize the packages. with video and two days of shooting we are spending $2000.00 and yes I know thats alot but it does include two days photo and video and vendor fees so if you think about it she is very reasonalbe and she will work with your budget. Sometimes you have to send a few emails to get intouch with her so dont worry about that. Good luck.
February 2nd, 2011, 07:59 PM
This is the thing. I've been married before and hired a photographer, had a huge album of photos and never looked at them when we were married.
I am getting re-married for the 2nd. time next week at CSA (I'm 48 and my guy is 45). We are choosing the resort photographer because all we want are a few nice photos that we can place in a beautiful frame at home. The rest would sit in an album and that would be that. To us, the cost of our vacation is enormous (2 weeks). We want to do excursions and enjoy the resort and area. I don't want to trade my $$ on photos. Yes, photos last forever, but truly..... how many do you really need? This is what you have to ask yourself.
In addition, you said you were on a budget. The resort photographer is likely your best bet. I have seen Diana Campbells photos and Stacey Clarkes and they are indeed beautiful, but so are the resort photographers. It all depends on whether you want the fancy photos that depict the fantasy, or the photos that depict reality.
It's a big decision that only you can make based on your budget and what "feels" right. I, personally, don't think it's worth $1000's of dollars for a gazilion pictures.
February 3rd, 2011, 11:55 AM
Molly, thank you so much for writing that. It really helped put things into perspective. We're just starting out life together and that extra 1k that we would spend on a resort photographer could really go toward something we really need like pots and pans. (how lame, right?) I think we will just go with the resort photographer. It just makes me nervous that its only one day, adn you only get one shot at having great photos. there is no re-do. But we're planning on bring lots of cheapo throw away cameras and passing those out so we have lots of different kinds of shots and the resort photographer should get the job done no problem. Thanks again to everyone for all your comments and feedback. this board is a life saver!