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  • Writer's pictureChynna DeStefano-Pasquale

A Budget Savvy Bride's Guide to Freelance Photography

Roses, Forks & Champage

You're engaged and you're starting to plan the biggest party that you'll ever throw in your life. Things add up quickly and you're starting to get budget savvy and are searching for ways to save money (but not necessarily cut corners). Your friend tells you that maybe you ought to consider hiring a freelance photographer to save some cash. You think the idea sounds great- but then you wonder- exactly what is a "freelance photographer", how do they save you money and where exactly do you find them? You've come to the right place to get some answers- around 2 years ago, I had the exact same questions.

What is freelance photography?

To put it simply, a freelancer is simply a person who isn't employed by single company or client and is typically self-managed and often provides services to many parties.

Black and White Bridal Shower

How do the services of a freelancer compare to that of a studio?

There are of course pros and cons when it comes to comparing a solo freelancer to a studio that could employee several to dozens of photographers. When it comes to using a studio- you're usually safe when it comes to making sure that if your photographer falls ill, someone will show up to your wedding. What this also means though is that the work you see online for the studio could represent the best work done by the most seasoned photographers at the studio and not necessarily the person who shows up to photograph your wedding. When it comes to a solo freelance photographer, you can be more certain that the work you see on their website will closely reflect the product from your wedding day. Also in my past experience, the effort put into your photo collection is often much greater when it comes to a freelancer who relies on client experiences to grow their business more so than a studio located inside a venue or that is a preferred vendor who is promised work and is used to the typical "grind".

Why are freelancers usually the more affordable alternative?

First of all, freelancers usually don't have as many maintenance costs. They usually don't have to pay rent for a studio or maintain equipment for dozens of photographers. Furthermore, freelancers keep what they make and typically don't have to pay any commissions for their bookings. This allows them to keep their rates low- beside the fact that they are usually more willing to be flexible when their work yields pure profit for them.

Black and White Bridal Brunch

What's the bottom line when it comes to quality?

Of course quality of the photo are related mainly to the experience of the photographer and the equipment used. However holding all other things constant- you will usually find that if you like unique photography, you'll enjoy the collection by a freelancer more than that of a studio photographer. Why is this? Studio photographers who shoot weddings every weekend tend to get into a "grind". They won't often go outside the box and sometimes it isn't even their fault. The studio for which they work might prescribe what is expected of them and they may have it dictated to them what they can and cannot do during photo capture. Freelancers are often more daring, being that they only answer to themselves and use their own equipment. Furthermore, freelancers are constantly challenged to keep up with photo trends since they rely solely on their client experience and their final product to continue to grow their business rather than being a preferred vendor or using the marketing that large studios are capable of.

I started my freelance photography business in 2017 to serve budget savvy brides in New Jersey and offer an affordable alternative to the more expensive studio photography that we often feel trapped by. It can absolutely be hard to find a freelance photographer in New Jersey, but I advertise as much as I can so couples looking for affordable photography can find me during their search! I absolutely suggest you check out Bridoll Photography's new packages for 2018-2019! There is a package for every need at a cost everyone can afford- whether or not someone else helps pay for your big day! I offer freelance services in Northern NJ and the surrounding areas including Bergen County, Essex County and also offers services in New York and Pennsylvania.


Chynna DeStefano-Pasquale is the owner of Bridoll Photography and an avid lover of weddings. She has been serving the Wedding industry since 2016 and also offers family and party photography.

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