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Tips On Using Student Photographers

Student photographers are a great alternative to pricey ones, especially those that are looking to build their portfolio.

Things to look for in the portfolio:

1. Appropriate sharpness
Are the photos clear? Are the important details crisp and in focus? Make sure they don't look blurred, with too much photoshop.

2. Appropriate blur
The main subject should be in focus, the background should appear a soft blur, depending on the type of photo. If it is a portrait, there should be no noticeable background subject. If it is a photo that is taking into account its environment, make sure only the appropriate elements are in focus, and the rest of the details are slightly blurred.

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3. Appropriate lighting
Lighting should be smooth and even. No extreme highlights or shadows.


An image with extreme highlights, and little shadow detail

The same image with a more even light. Also notice the background is slightly more blurred.

4. Appropriate framing
In lay man's terms, this is appropriate zoom and crop. Images should fall within the rule of thirds. If you're potential photographer likes to place everything in the center, they do not know what they are doing. For head shot type photos, the eyes should usually fall on a "third".

Also, a little crop is a good thing. Whole body shots are not always necessary. However watch out for strange cropping of arms and hands. If the image feels weird, it probably is.

Things to Consider

1. Do an engagement shoot, or at least a test shoot
You will see the photographer's working style, and if it is appropriate for you.

2. Make sure they come to the rehearsal to take pictures
This is probably the best indicator of how the images will turn out from the actual ceremony.

3. Pay the photographer
Inexperienced or not, if you pay them, they will have more incentive of taking the gig seriously. How much is up to you. For point of reference, starting out I charge about $200 for small ceremonies, four hours max. Considering this is an investment of preserving your wedding day, this is very fair for quality photos.

4. License to Print
The inexpensive cost of photos is likely due to lack of printing cost. Most likely the cost of the photos is for a cd or dvd of the images, with the license to print. You may not own the right to the photos (basically you can't sell them), but you should be able to get a license to print anywhere you choose. Also be clear about how many photos you will receive. Some photographers are picky about which ones they release. Negotiate to make sure you are getting a fair deal.

5. Portfolio Use
Your images most likely will end up in the student's portfolio. That is the tradeoff for a good price on photos. If you'd rather not have publicly posted wedding photos, do not use a student photographer. Also, inform attendants that their photos will be published for portfolio use.

Where to find student photographers

1. Colleges
Look for students about to graduate who have experience in shooting at least portraits.

2. Craigslist
Don't be too picky, or else you'll ward off some potentially good photographers. Also, mention a negotiable price range. Again, you don't want to count out anyone too soon.

3. Friends and Family
Be careful with this one. Just because they have a good camera does not mean they are a good photographer. Don't even begin ask unless you're really sure.

Final Words
You should feel comfortable choosing your photographer. If you have concerns, mention them. The last thing you want to do is lay awake at night, worrying about your photos.

About Me
I am an aspiring wedding photographer. In an effort to market to budget brides, I got caught up into wedding planning. I love the challenge of creating an affordable-yet-elegant wedding. My blog can be visited at LuxeBudgetBride.com. If you'd like to contribute, just let me know!

(no subject)

I had always imagined a really diy wedding where we would rent a room and have a cold buffet delivered by a restaurant and people would serve themselves. I even wanted to make my own cake. We had discussed a budget of 5000$ and I thought half of it would go to the reception. I felt it was totally doable for about 100 people. Was I dreaming? The venue we were considering is 40$/hour, so I think I was off to a good start.

One of my best friend is director of a reception venue. Here is their website: http://www.lamaisondeschamps.com/ (ok, the website isn't working for me right now, but it used to so I hope it comes back... and it's all in French)
The place is really pretty, it's an old mansion and I especially love the garden where there is a nice arch where we can get married. And there's a view on the river. However, their wedding package starts at 77$ per person. My friend wanted me to get married there, I said it was too expensive so he made me a price. He is a very good friend, so the price is very good. And I want a dry wedding, so that helps too.

The price includes for a reception of 100 people:
- the place outside for the ceremony with sound system
- non-alchoolic punch
- the reception room
- an entree of my choice
- a soup of my choice
- a main course of my choice
- a wedding cake of my choice
- silk flowers centerpieces
- use of the sound system
- service
- taxes
all that for 4000$.

I realize this is a very good deal. But it's still over my budget. I also realize it's possible I won't be able to stay within that budget anyway. If I decide to go with the all-incluside venue, there is still tons of other stuff I can diy, right? Any insights on this from more experienced wedding planners? (We ourselves are at the very beginning of planning.) If not, then it's ok, it was nice just to spell it all out in writing.

(sorry for the x-posting)

Ideas for low budget videos

Hey guys! I have some ideas for low budget videos:

One option is to have a friend or family member film your wedding, then a company like Well Spun Wedding Films (http://www.wellspunweddings.com) edit it. It saves a lot of money, and you'd still receive a beautiful end product.

Another option is to do a partial day shoot, available with Well Spun's new brand, Hitched on Film: http://www.hitchedonfilm.com The prices end up extremely low that way.

Also, both companies offer the non-traditional wedding film.

Location is usually not an issue- they're located in all the major US cities.

(no subject)

has anyone used light in the box? i havent really heard much about them. any information on any other online site. i have my heart set on an alfred angelo dress, but alas, it is way to expensive for my budget.

For you Low Budget Brides

I just bought two of the same designer dress in different sizes because I feared the original dress was not going to fit. 
My worries may be your gain.
If you love Maggie Sottero I have the dress for you.  Dress style:Natalina
Never worn or altered.  New with tags and certificate of authenticity. 
Retails for $1090 +   Yours for almost 1/2 the price: $600 w/ shipping in the continental USA.
Pictures available upon request.
Please let me know if you have questions.  Thanks!  apie0402 @ yahoo . com

Introducing Wedding Elves!

Wedding Elves is a soon-to-be-launched startup company dedicated to putting together great weddings on a realistic budget; please check out our LJ userinfo if you'd like to know more.

As we get our business together, we'd like some input from potential customers.  Here's a link to a survey we've made (we used a free-but-secure third-party survey site in order to keep costs down,) and we'd greatly appreciate it if you could take the time to give a wee startup some much-needed feedback.  Thanks in advance!

The link to our poll on rentable wedding decorations is on our journal here:  http://weddingelves.livejournal.com/972.html

Also, if there are specific circumstances that you'd rent decorations under, we'd like to know!  All feedback on the idea is welcome; thanks in advance!