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How to Find an Affordable Wedding Photographer

How to Find an Affordable Wedding Photographer

Where can the bride and groom find an affordable wedding photographer in Toronto? As I mentioned in a previous article, the average cost of wedding photography in the GTA is over $3,000. If that is the case, how can you find a Toronto wedding photographer under $2000? Lots of vendors advertise affordable wedding photography offers on sites like Groupon, Wagjag, LivingSocial, etc. Will they deliver similar quality? This article answers all those questions to save you lots of money. Before we start, if you are looking for a wedding photographer under $2000, please check our special offer at

1. Use Google Alerts to Receive Notifications on Great Deals

Google Alerts is easy to use and it will email you results on a regular basis. Type affordable wedding photography in the search field in GoAlerts and you are set. If you are looking for the exact term, please add quotation marks. Bingo! Google will now email you once a day the results of its search. When you book your photographer, deactivate the alert. Done!    

Image of google alerts window to help brides find affordable wedding photographers. Find an affordable photographer using Google Alerts.

2. Established Photographers Know Affordable Wedding Photographers

Contact the photographers whom you love and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it! If their prices and packages are above your budget, wait for a promo photographers usually post on social media. Also, you can ask them to refer you a low-cost colleague to document your Big Day. Many brides consider myself a reasonably priced wedding photographer. I also know quite a few people who offer affordable prices should you have a very low budget.

3. Use Websites that Compare Wedding Packages

There are hundreds of specialized services providing quotes from reasonably priced photographers. How does it work? The bride provides the wedding day and budget and photographers bid on the job. The websites then allow you to compare prices. Others list the photographers' profile and prices. Here are a few of the websites you want to use. Eventective, Snapknot, Weddingful. All of the above allow you compare the most affordable prices and packages on the market to get the best deals possible. 

Find a cheap wedding photographer using a professional service that compares local photographers' prices and packages.Use SnapKnot to find a reasonably priced wedding photographer in your area. 

4. Blogs Have Vendors Collectives

Blogs have vendor collectives and you can definitely find a reasonably priced photographer in this list of 100 wedding blogs. Even better, if you don’t have the time, I did the work for you! Here is a comparison of Toronto prices from 50 studios. Enjoy!

5. Photographers Communities Can Help

Another great way for the price conscious bride and groom to leverage social media and the web is to post on photographer groups. As you can imagine, there are a lot of Facebook photographers groups and web forums. Also, by attending photographers Meetups you can find many budget friendly photographers. Here is a " link to groups and meetups. should you want to follow that road. I am sure you can find someone offering competitive wedding packages.

6. Universities and Colleges can Refer you Good Student Photographers

As a Toronto wedding photographer, I hire students. Without a doubt, educational programs give students solid technical foundations. Still, schools don’t teach photographers basic business skills. As a result, many graduates and students are unaware of the market prices and charge very low fees. Admittedly, such photographers will not succeed in business! Yet, if they deliver your wedding and engagement photos, you should be fine. Ryerson, Humber College and Seneca College offer educational programs in the GTA.

7. Have a Destination Wedding

A destination wedding costs about half a local event in Toronto and many photographers want to enter the destination wedding photography market and could document your big day for free. You will still need to cover the transportation and accommodation for the photographer, but not her fee. Some photographers including myself include an additional engagement photo session in the package.

8. Classifieds Abound in Photographers Under $2000

A very quick way to find low budget photographers are classified portals. Searching on classified sites such as Kijji and Craigslist will allow you to find lots of budget photographers. While most of their photos are often cheesy and of low quality, sometimes you find a talented photographer under $2,000. My recommendation is for you to post an ad on Kijiji and Craigslist. Kijiji scrambles emails so there is no risk to be called by every photographer in town. Also, check periodically the postings and you might be lucky. As you can see in the image below, the company also provides beside coverage:  an online gallery, an engagement photo session, 2 professional photographers, a wedding album and video, images from your special day on a USB memory stick. 

Image of a Kijiji post that will help you find a discount wedding photographer.  This Kijiji ad was posted by a low-cost wedding photographer and proves that you can not expect good quality at such a low price point.
9. Find an Affordable Wedding Photographer on Quora

Quora is a perfect platform to ask questions and receive answers from experts in the field. Why not use it? Simply login with your google or facebook account and ask the question "how can I find a cheap wedding photographer near me". Even better, check their large answers database and maybe another bride already asked that question before. Done! Here is an example of answers to a bride looking for "good and affordable wedding photographers in Toronto"

10. Have a Different Type of Reception

Are you going to have the most amazing Star Wars themed reception? Are you getting married in a unique location? King Edward Crystal Ballroom, I am looking at you! If that is the case, I bet most photographers will give you a great deal to have such an event in their portfolio.

11. Bridal Shows

During bridal shows, many photographers offer promos to attract engaged couples. As such, visit the shows on an opening day and collect marketing materials. When you get home, compare them and select the least expensive photographers. If you like their work, book them. As a bonus tip, attend shows outside large metropolitan areas such as Toronto. For example, a show in downtown Toronto is over $2,500 and low-cost photographers cannot afford it.

12. Forums and Discussion Boards are a Great Source of Referrals

There are a lot of forums and discussion boards where you can find your ideal vendors. Yes, some vendors pose as brides but you can easily spot them. Even better, message the brides who post there and ask them feedback on their vendors.

13. Cheap Vendors can Refer Bargain Photographers

In the industry, many vendors cross-refer business. Even more, they offer bundle deals. First of all, that saves you time getting a list of vendors referred by someone you trust. Second, often the photographers offer a slight discount if say a cheap wedding venue referred you. Also, photographers will treat you better when the wedding venue sent you. After all, nobody wants to ruin a good business partnership by providing bad quality.

14. Ask your Friend to Photograph your Big Day

If your budget is really low, you can ask a friend to photograph your special day but do not expect good wedding pictures. Why? Weddings are difficult to photograph, no matter if your friend has the best camera in the world. Trust me on this one! Call your friend only if you have a really low budget for photos. So many things can go wrong only to ruin your wedding photos and your friendship that I do not recommend it! You are better off booking a cheap photographer.

15. Ask Friends for Referrals

Still looking? If that is the case, ask your friends if they know a bargain wedding photographer. Also, I have noticed smart budget brides inquire on Facebook about photographers. Just post and wait for your friends to refer you their photographers! Every year I receive a lot of inquiries through this channel. Also, many photojournalists provide great offers when a former client refers a new couple. I know I do!

16. Deals Websites Feature Many Great Offers

Websites such as Groupon, WagJag, RedFlagDeals, Buytopia, LivingSocial,  Tuango, are full of great offers. Unfortunately, the wedding pictures quality is usually not as good as their prices. Also, be aware that many vendors going out of business post on these websites. A few of my price-conscious brides tried to cut their cost, only to realize the quality offered was terrible, so they booked me in the end. As usually, buyer beware!

17. Search Google Ads to Find a Cheap Toronto Wedding Photographer Under $2000

Google ads that appear on top of the page can help you find your budget-friendly photographer. Just google the search terms Toronto wedding photographer under $2000. To increase your chances, search at different times of the day on different days of the week. Why so? Because cheap photographers have low budgets, their Google advertising campaigns can run only a few hours a day. Here is the result of a search for the terms Toronto wedding photographers under $2000. [caption id="attachment_749" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Image showing a cheap wedding photographer under $2000Cheap Toronto wedding photographer under $2000. When analysing their wedding packages, it proved that actually, a regular 10 hour day of shooting cost over $2000.


Tip1: Avoid Fancy Downtown Studios or Photographers who Run Print, TV and Radio ads.

While fancy studios might pose as affordable, they are in fact expensive. Stay away from companies who run print, radio, TV or billboard ads. Those costs add up quickly and to cover their advertising costs, studios overcharge couples. Also, avoid downtown photographers! Why is that? Well, rent in a downtown studio can cost up even 10, 000 per month. Who is going to pay for it? YOU!

Tip2: Avoid Cheap Venues' Vendors Lists

Most venues have preferred vendors lists. Seemingly, that is a great way to find your bargain photographer, but in fact, it isn't true. Why? Often establishments charge listing fees that photographers will pass onto you. While you might think you are getting a great deal, you will, in fact, pay above-market prices.

Quality Considerations

Hiring a cheap wedding photojournalist puts your photos at risk. As usual, please do your homework and make sure you are not making a decision based only on price. Quality is also important! If you are getting a great price and good quality, now that is a great deal! Please read about the risks of hiring a cheap wedding photographer in this article.


There are plenty of ways to book a discount or budget-friendly photographer. Instead of focusing on prices alone, check quality and referrals and more important,  assess the provided value for money. Ideally, your cheap wedding photographer also delivers decent images. Here's how you can find an affordable wedding photographer:

  1. Create a google alert for the keywords: "affordable wedding photographer" or "budget wedding photographer" or "cheap wedding photographer"
  2. Ask established photographers if they know any photographers who meet your budget
  3. Check Eventective, Snapknot, Weddingful as they allow comparisons between the prices and packages of various artists
  4. Look for vendors collectives among the  top 100 wedding blogs
  5. Photographers' communities and Facebook groups can help
  6. Universities and colleges can refer talented students
  7. Have a destination wedding and some photographers might document your day at cost
  8. Check Kijiji and Craigslist for photographers under $2000
  9. Quora is a good place to find good and affordable photographers
  10. Have an original wedding so that photographers will compete to document it
  11. Bridal shows are a place where many vendors offer discounts
  12. Check forums and discussion boards. Among the thousands of them, I can recommend
  13. Ask cheap vendors if they know a good and inexpensive photographer
  14. Ask your friend who is passionate about photography if she can photograph your wedding
  15. Ask friends to refer their wedding photographer
  16. Check deals website such as groupon, wagjag, redflagdeals and others
  17. Google "wedding photographer under $2000" and you will find quite a few artists advertising their services on google

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