5 Alternatives to a Wedding Photographer

5 Alternatives to a Wedding Photographer

Your wedding day should be one to remember for the rest of your life. While you're in the process of budgeting and planning for your wedding, you may begin to wonder whether you require an official wedding photographer on your big day. If you're making a list of alternatives to wedding photographer solutions, there are a few you might want to keep in mind to truly make any dream wedding you have in mind a reality.

Why is a Wedding Photographer Expensive

Wedding photographers not only dedicate their entire day to covering a wedding's ceremony, reception, and other integrated activities, but they typically do so with years of professional experience under their belts. Wedding photographers are well-versed in choosing the right equipment, setting up lighting requirements, and even managing subjects from any angle, indoors or out.

It's also important to consider the length and duration of your intended wedding. While some photographers require clients to pay upfront, others may charge hourly or may offer a down payment solution before getting started. Comparing wedding photographs, their experience, and portfolios can go a long way when you're currently thinking of some alternatives to wedding photographer solutions for your own wedding.

Is a Wedding Photographer Worth the Cost?

For some, making memories is invaluable and worth a lifetime. When you're planning a wedding and considering alternatives to hiring a wedding photographer, you'll first need to determine if hiring a wedding photographer is worth the cost. Weighing your options will help you make an informed decision for one of the most important days of your life.

Pros of Hiring a Wedding Photographer

  • Experience: Professional wedding photographers typically have experience when it comes to capturing special moments, such as first dances, kisses, and ceremonial moments.
  • Reliability: A professional photographer will arrive at your wedding on time and provide you with the wedding photo package you're seeking.
  • Quality: Professional photographers are well-equipped with the right equipment to get the job done, offering stellar photo and video quality for the right price.

Cons of Hiring a Wedding Photographer

  • Risks: Unfortunately, there is always a risk of choosing the wrong photographer for your wedding, resulting in poor photos and/or video media.
  • Costs: Hiring a professional wedding photographer can quickly add up in costs, resulting in thousands of dollars in expenses.
  • No Guarantee of Outcome: Even if you hire a professional wedding photographer, there is no guarantee that the outcome of your wedding photos and videos will be as you envisioned.

Alternatives to a Wedding Photographer

If you're pondering alternatives to hiring a wedding photographer, there are a few options you'll likely want to keep in mind, regardless of your budget and where you intend to get married.

Crowdsourced Photos From Your Guests

Crowdsourcing photos from your guests can include asking guests to upload photos to a particular album throughout your event or even requesting photos and videos taken after the wedding itself. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to keep track of guests at your wedding, and can detract from enjoying the event itself.

How Can It Replace a Photographer

Crowdsourcing photos from your guests is a great way to save on the cost of hiring a photographer while providing you with photos from all angles and different guests who've attended the event.

How much Does it Cost?

Most often, crowdsourcing photos from guests is free of charge, although there is no guarantee you'll receive high-quality photos that are exactly what you have in mind.

Instant Spotlight for Wedding

Esstart's Instant Spotlight is a Wedding Photo Sharing App which provides a forward-thinking approach to capturing memorable moments, photos, and videos for all guests during your special day. Instant Spotlight is a live photo wall that encourages engagements, provides QR codes, incentivizes social media sharing, and even offers full wedding album downloads (for all attendees).

With Instant Spotlight, update photos in real-time using logos, frames, and wedding-specific hashtags of your choice. Create collections, flag inappropriate messages, and even filter explicit content. Print your photos live as they are taken and shared for the ultimate engaging wedding experience.

How Can It Replace a Photographer

Using Esstart's Instant Spotlight can replace your intended photographer by offering an array of services at the touch of a button. Additionally, with Instant Spotlight, place more power and control into the hands of your guests, rather than relying on one wedding photographer to get the job done right.

How Much Does it Cost?

With Esstart, you have numerous options. For a standard event, our services typically run $200. For advanced and more intricate events, Instant Spotlight's services can be utilized starting at $350. Esstart also provides a membership plan for those who host numerous events starting at $240 annually.


Photo Booth Rental

A classic option for any wedding or major event to make memories might include a traditional photo booth rental. Renting a photo booth is a unique way to encourage guests to take photos and engage with those around them throughout the event itself. Photo booths often come with a variety of themes, color schemes, and in some cases, even props for guests to wear and enjoy in silly photos.

How Can It Replace a Photographer

A photo booth can be placed in just about any location, allowing guests to take photos at their own discretion. With a photo booth, any guest can enjoy their special moment without attempting to find the photographer who is working on the wedding at the time.

How much Does it Cost?

Renting a photo booth will vary, especially based on the type and size of photo booth you're most interested in. Typically, however, a standard photo booth rental will run you between $425 to more than $1,000 for your wedding evening or event, depending on your location.

Hire a Student or Amateur Photographer

Opting to work with a local student or amateur photographer is another option when you're searching for innovative wedding photo ideas, and you're open to being creative and flexible. Working with a student or amateur photographer may require you to assume a bit of risk, but it also provides someone with an opportunity to begin fleshing out a portfolio of their own. If you're unafraid of a few poor shots, or you're into experimental photography, working with a local amateur or student photographer may be the right route for you.

How Can It Replace a Photographer

Hiring a student or amateur photographer is often cheaper and more affordable than working with a well-known or in-demand wedding photographer with years, if not decades of experience to their name.

How much Does it Cost?

In most cases, you will likely pay between $500 to $2500 for a wedding event session when you choose to hire a student or amateur photographer. Keep in mind that most professional photographers who shoot weddings for a living are most likely to charge $2000 per wedding session, based on the event's size, location, accomodation requirements/needs, and the intricacies of your wedding's requirements.

DIY Photos From Family and Guests

Asking family and guests to take photos and share them can save money, time, and hassle. However, there is no guarantee that you will receive the shots you're looking for when you're heavily reliant on guests who are there to enjoy themselves.

How Can It Replace Photographer

Numerous relatives, friends, and even co-workers can capture various moments throughout your special day from all different angles.

How much Does it Cost

Most often, asking family members, loved ones, and friends to take photos at your wedding will likely be free of charge. This will free up some of your budget to focus on other aspects of your wedding plans.

Choosing the Right One

Anytime you're brainstorming alternatives to hiring a wedding photographer, you'll want to take an approach that is right for the type of personalized wedding experience you're dreaming of for your special day.


Do I Really Need a Professional Wedding Photographer?

Not always. With a solution such as Esstart's Instant Spotlight, you can configure your wedding photos, collections, albums, and settings as you see fit without hiring an individual photographer.

Can Alternatives to Traditional Wedding Photography Provide Comparable Quality?

Yes! Many modern advances make it easier than ever to enjoy engaging and interactive experiences during your wedding, such as a live photo wall from Instant Spotlight (Esstart).

Are There Any Hidden Costs With Wedding Photographer Alternatives?

Possibly. As with any company or service you are thinking of using for your special day, you'll want to take the time to research potential fees, hidden costs, and up-charges before signing any contractual agreement.

Understanding various substitutes for wedding photography can help during the brainstorming and planning processes of one of the biggest days of your life. Whether you're seeking innovative wedding photo ideas to host a creative wedding or if you're interested in cutting costs, the right wedding photo alternatives will deliver in every sense of the word. To learn more about Instant Spotlight, visit Esstart's official website today.

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