When I set out to plan my wedding, I had zero intention of hiring a photographer. Professional wedding photography seemed like the kind of thing only fancy people who didn’t have a $10,000 budget in New York City could afford. But after discovering wedding blogs and seeing that all kinds of couples hire photographers, FOMO crept in and whispered: “Why shouldn’t you too have gorgeous photos to immortalize all your hard work?” (Spoiler alert: Years later, I’m really glad I do.)
Of course, having a change of heart didn’t mean magically having a change of budget, and actually affording the kind of photographer I wanted to hire seemed impossible, until I stumbled across this insider knowledge: There are some incredibly talented photographers out there who are actually willing to work at all kinds of price points. Most of them do this by offering a sliding scale of packages that range from unlimited hours and all the bells and whistles for $$$$$, to a more basic package that’s way more budget friendly.
I still breathe a literal sigh of relief when I think about how lucky we were to find a one of those photographers back then, and that is why I’m super excited to be able to tell you guys about Gina Clyne Photography today. Gina is based in Los Angeles, California, but shoots all over the world (more on that, plus a sweet deal down below), and her rates start at just $1,800 for six hours of coverage. I know, right?! Gina could be easily charging three times as much, but she has deliberately decided to keep her rates super accessible. As she told us:
I believe that wedding photography prices should not be intimidating or exclusive. Weddings come in all shapes and sizes and I think services should be scalable as such. I understand that not everyone has the resources or chooses to use most of their resources for one day.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Not only is Gina Clyne super experienced (think living and breathing photography since high school, shooting weddings since 2011, and in business since 2013 photographing approximately twenty to twenty-five weddings a year all over, along with art performances, book signings, and music and fashion events), but she is a hundred percent APW people:
I found APW kind of the same way an engaged couple might first try to find vendors when they are unsure where to start: Google. I felt that if I looked hard enough on the internet, I would find my tribe, people who had the same sensibilities as me when it came to life and thinking outside the box, and couples who would naturally translate that attitude for livin’ to their wedding days. I was typing phrases like “alternative wedding blog” and “non-traditional” or “modern weddings,” and other kinds of silly word couplings, trying to find the language for the specific kind of couples I wanted to meet… and that’s when I found APW. Living on the pages of a glossy wedding magazine isn’t for everyone, and I think I relate most to couples who make loving and practical decisions for themselves and their guests. APW couples are thoughtful, smart, and adventurous, and I’m game to follow along for the ride, whatever that may be.
And you guys, sometimes that ride is to crazy and amazing places like this unbelievable prom-themed wedding. As the couple behind it said about Gina, “Some of the vendors we spoke with seemed a bit confused why we would want to do something like that. But from the moment we told her, Gina got it. Truly. And even more importantly, got us. She came prepared, having done lots of research beforehand on prom imagery—both in the literal, Google image search sense, and in the fantasy prom sense of Sweet Valley High covers and John Hughes movies. She showed up hours beforehand to scout the school and figure out the best places to inspire both of those ideas.”
Gina Clyne Photography’s packages start at $1,800 for 6 hours with 1 photographer and go up to $3,650 for 10 hours with 2 photographers, with lots of options in between. She also has reasonable travel fees and has traveled all over the world, having photographed weddings throughout the U.S. as well as in India, Mexico, and Jamaica. And because she adores working with you guys (thirty-two couples from Los Angeles to Massachusetts to Louisiana to Florida to New Mexico to Northern California and counting since she joined APW three years ago!), she’s offering a $250 credit toward travel anywhere in the world for the next three weddings booked through APW!
And not only is Gina watching out for her clients’ budgets, but she’s also here to help total strangers: For every wedding Gina books, she makes a Kiva loan to a womxn from another country who is trying to grow her small business and improve her quality of life—over fifty loans to date! Gina says that becoming a small business owner has changed her life for the better, so she wants to do her part to help another person in need to realize their small business dreams.
But first and foremost, she’s in the business of helping you realize your wedding dreams. As she told us:
For me there is no go-to template for every wedding. I respect your choices and I am not interested in making you do anything you don’t want to do. I want you to recognize yourselves in your photos. I want you to feel respected and supported. For example, we do timeline work before your wedding so I can get a sense of the flow of your day, but most importantly, so I can safeguard your day-of experience. I got married this year, and I understand all the vulnerability and emotions that come with your day, while also understanding the mechanics of a wedding day from a vendor point of view. I will do everything in my being to be vigilant, prepared, and open for spontaneity, while gently leading you when you need leading. I shoot all kinds of weddings and events, and I’m always up for the challenge to document your custom-made day.
If at this point you’re starting to wonder if this Gina Clyne person is possibly not real, but an avatar of the perfect wedding photographer, well, I wouldn’t blame you. But rest assured that I’ve gotten to meet and hang with Gina in person, and she is every bit as excellent as all of this and more. And if you don’t want to take my word for it, there are also a billion client reviews like this one:
I found a write up of Gina’s work on A Practical Wedding, and when we looked at her website we agreed that she had that exact style that we were looking for. When we looked at her pricing we worried that it was too good to be true! We contacted her about possibly coming to the East Coast for our Summer Camp wedding; we had a phone call meeting and then met her while she was in NYC opening a show which featured her work documenting an artist. In person she was relaxed, fun, and very competent.
When the wedding weekend finally arrived, she arrived early and greeted us like old friends. Neither of us felt super comfortable with the idea of a photo shoot focused on us, but Gina totally made us feel comfortable the whole time. The pictures turned out incredibly. She captured so many wonderful quiet moments that we would have otherwise missed, and she also managed to get all the big moments too, from the speeches, the first dances, and the feel of the dinner and party! We absolutely recommend Gina to anyone who wants a painless and fun experience as well as photos that not only capture the moment, but are themselves objects of art.
—Rose and Ben
So if you’re in Los Angeles (or well, anywhere in the world) trying to cram your champagne tastes into a beer budget, 1) I feel you, and 2) go email Gina Clyne. (And if this is all speaking to you, but you’re not quite sure you can even swing $1,800, email Gina anyway, because a little bird told us she makes room in her business model to take on a couple of low-budget outside-the-box weddings each year.)
GINA CLYNE is offering a $250 credit toward travel anywhere in the world for the next three weddings bookED through APW!
Click here to get in touch.