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The Big Picture: Wedding Photography

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The Big Picture: Wedding Photography

Morgan Gray is a writer from New York, USA. She has recently been asked to be her sister's maid of honor. The wedding will be next fall in Upstate New York.

Morgan is so inspired by the wedding planning process so far that she wanted to reach out to Arabia Weddings’ community, hoping that her experience could prove useful to others. 

The Big Picture: Wedding Photography

  • Picking the right person to capture the memories on your big day is arguably one of the biggest decisions of your wedding.

My sister and I used to look through the photos of our parents' wedding day as we were growing up, though I'd never really given much thought to them myself until she asked me to be her maid of honor.

I'm absolutely thrilled to help her through this huge process, but she and her husband-to-be are straight out of college, so their budget is tight. Wedding photography can be one of the biggest drains on your wallet, so I've been looking into ways to cut down to save her and her fiancé a bit so they can splurge on their honeymoon!


No one likes this part, but especially if you're in a situation like my sister's, the price is definitely one of the top factors for any couple arranging their wedding.

How do you go about getting quality photos?

  • First off, it's crucial to have your budget down pat, and then assign yourself a range that you're willing to pay.

Be smart about it! If there's a photographer you really admire but can't afford, you can ask him or her to refer you to a colleague, or to a school which will offer fresh photographers who won't charge so steeply.

  • New photographers will do great work, but remember that you tend to pay for experience.


Once you have a few photographers in mind and have looked through their portfolios, it's smart to meet with your potential people.

Something that might not be immediately obvious is the need for a photographer with a personality that meshes with yours.

The last thing you want is someone overly pushy, or the opposite, who makes you feel awkward in front of the flash. And you don't want your guests to feel like they're being followed the whole night—that'll certainly take away from the candid photos!

  • Look for someone who's open to your ideas and brings some of his or her own to the table, and easygoing with the camera. It's hard to take a bad picture when everyone’s having fun!

Packages and Rights

  • It may all seem overwhelming when you're negotiating the packages with the photographer, but it'll be much easier when you have your budget and purpose in mind. 

My sister is pretty artsy, so we're going to arrange for a package that includes the rights to the photos so that she can post them online and print them out whenever she wants to make collages to send to family and friends.

(I definitely recommend getting the rights—they may seem an unwieldy cost, but you never want to run out of the prints! If you absolutely can’t afford it now, many photographers are willing to sell you the rights later, too.) There are also pretty basic packages if you have an exact amount of photos you want. Remember that you can negotiate and apply your own needs to the package.


This is huge. No one wants to awkwardly stand around on the big day and wonder what they're supposed to be doing for the photos! What's the venue for the wedding? Is there more than one location? If so, who's driving? Do you want a lot of individual photos, or a big group shot? Do you want your new husband sweeping you off your feet, or are you going to dip him? Do you have back-up plans for photos in case of bad weather? Are there going to be before-and-after photos?

  • The possibilities may seem endless, but a good photographer will have fun thinking up scenarios and poses for the big day. Guidance is key!

It's the Little Things

If your budget is really tight and you can only afford to hire a photographer for a few hours, there are other—very fun—options you can keep in mind, and ways to make the wedding a little different and special.

  • If the photographer is only going to be there for a little while, why not hand your guests the reins? You can hire a photo booth—who doesn't want a picture of the bride with a funny mustache or crown? You could even pass out disposable cameras to your guests: they're a great blast from the past, and the negatives are a gift that'll keep on giving. 

The options may seem endless, but once you set your own boundaries, there's no limit to the fun you can have documenting your special day. It's hard to take a bad photo at a wedding, but there are many ways to make sure the pictures aren't just good, but beautiful!