7 Best Alternatives to a Wedding Photographer in 2024

No wedding photographer? No problem. In this guide, I'll show you some of the best (and cheap) alternatives for a wedding photographer.

Ella Levy
Ella Levy
Founder of Kululu
January 1, 2024
📕 Table of Contents
Why you should collect photos?
Why you should collect photos?
7 Best Alternatives to a Wedding Photographer in 2024

Wedding photographers are expensive. I get it, you get it, your bank account gets it.

Does it mean you shouldn't have any memory from your big day?

It does NOT.

In this guide, I'll show you the best alternatives for a wedding photographer. Let's dive in!

Just looking for the alternatives? skip the intro and scroll down to the listed options.
📕 Table of Contents

Do I need a wedding photographer?

First things first - do you even need to hire a photographer for your wedding? 

Well, it's a big question and depends on what type of person you are,  what kind of job you need a photographer for, what budget you set for it, etc.

Let's break it down.

What do you need a photographer for?

Wedding photographers do all sorts of stuff - taking pictures before the event starts (couple & group shots), during the wedding/ceremony, taking guests' photos, filming and preparing a wedding clip, etc.

Understanding exactly what type of job(s) you want your photographer to do, we'll help you decide where you should invest your money and where you can save it and go for a (cheaper) alternative. 

Bare in mind that some photographer jobs will be hard to replace - some things requires a human-touch by a talented professional. Having said that, for some other tasks you can find really good alternatives.

For example, you can hire a photographer only for the pre-wedding couple shots but use the alternative for collecting photos & videos from the actual wedding day (party, ceremony, etc.). That way, you can enjoy the benefits of both worlds while saving money.

Why hiring a wedding photographer might not be for you?

A wedding photographer may not be an option for many couples. Here are some of the main reasons why:

  • It's too much money - Whether it's because you can't afford a wedding photographer, stick to a specific budget, or just don't want to go with all the over-commercialized craziness that wedding has nowadays (I totally get it).
  • You're having a small wedding -  It might be in a small church/venue, in the courthouse, or at a destination wedding. Sometimes it's not big enough to justify a full-fledged photographer.
  • You're not the type of person - Some couples feel awkward with all these staged photos and rather spend that time celebrating and having fun with their loved ones than have a camera in their face all the time.

Wedding Photographer Alternatives

Now that you know better why you should (or shouldn't) have a wedding photographer and what part you need them for - let's see the possible alternatives. I made sure to mention for which part of the wedding photography this alternative can be a suitable replacement. 

1. Collect your guests' photos with Kululu

Wedding Photographer alternative

Thankfully, it's the 21st century - and almost everyone has a DSLR-like camera in their pockets in the shape of an iPhone. In fact, your guests take tons of photos during the wedding (the ceremony, party, overall vibe, etc.), and it will be a shame for you to miss it.

Kululu helps you easily collect your wedding photos and videos from your guests. You sign-up and get a digital album you can share with your guests via a QR code or a direct web link. In addition, you can stream all the photos on a live slideshow (on a projector, TVs, etc.) during the event for everyone to see in real time!

alternatives for a wedding photographer

Your guests will capture parts of your wedding that a traditional photographer would never have access to - behind-the-scenes, authentic moments, and just a good vibe (these are your friends and family, after all).

Unlike Google Photos/Dropbox or other apps that help you collect photos,  with Kululu, guests don't have to download any app. This makes the experience much smoother for everyone which leads to more uploads by everyone (even non-techy audience) . And for those of you that care about the small details, you can also decorate and brand your album so it doesn't look like a generic album app.

Can replace a photographer for:

  • Collecting guests' photos from the entire event (candid photos, videos).
  • Getting the ceremony photos & videos.
  • Sharing the photos taken during the event with your guests with ease.

How much does it cost? 

There's a free plan with a limited upload capacity. 
Paid plans are $39-$199, depending on your chosen plan.

Learn more about Kululu >

2. Use a friend or photography student to take photos

There's a good chance that one of your friends or family members has a good camera and decent photography skills. Yes, it sure won't look like photos made by a professional photographer - but you know,  it's all about trade-offs in life. The results should be good enough to put in a frame and hang beside your sofa. In return, you can offer that pal to skip the wedding cheque/present. Win-Win.

Alternatively, you can find an amateur photographer, perhaps a student, that can do the job for a symbolic/bargain price and also be used as another project to his portfolio. Again, it won't be as good as one of these super-talented-experienced photographers out there, but it won't cost like one, either. Where to find one? My best suggestion is to search/ask in Facebook groups of local photographers around your area (or find a "friend of a friend").

Alternatives for a Wedding Photographer - use a friend

Can replace a photographer for:

  • Taking pro-like couple/group photos.
  • Getting the ceremony photos & videos.
  • Getting guests' photos.

How much does it cost? 

If it's family or a friend, probably zero + extra shot in the bar.
If it's a student, a few hundred or even for free in return for using your event as a testimonial for their portfolio. 

3. Do-It-Yourself with a Photo Booth

It's not uncommon to see a dedicated location for a photo booth at weddings nowadays. Besides helping you get some fun photos from your wedding, guests really enjoy it, especially after a few shots.

In general, there are two types of photo booths:

  1. Rented photo booths - ones that you rent from a company and usually "come with a human" that handle the situation for you (decorations, setting up, helping your guests to take photos, etc.). This type is usually more expensive since it involves a service provider.
  2. DIY photo booths - instead of paying someone else, you set up everything yourself. I'll be focusing on this type since I assume that if you're looking for alternatives for a wedding photographer, you are probably on a budget.

Practically speaking, creating your own photo booth is pretty straightforward - all you need is a stand, an iPad or tablet with a photo booth app installed (here are some examples), and set some decorations to make it fancier. You'll get many fun moments at your wedding. However, the "scenery" will be limited to your guests at a specific location at your event (where you set the photo booth). 

Can replace a photographer for:

  • Taking couple/group photos.
  • Getting guests' photos.

How much does it cost? 

Assuming you have an iPad/Tablet, the costs are only for the photo booth app ($30-$100), and the rest goes for background decorations (which are optional).

4. Share Disposable Cameras with your guests

YesI'm talking about these 1990s cameras we used to have - but bear with me for a second.

Apparently, it's a "thing", and many couples bring disposable cameras to their guests so they can take these old-school photographs. Besides the fact you get stylish photos of your wedding.

Well, there are some downsides:

  1. It might be a burden for (some) guests.
  2. The quality of the photos would be as it was in the 90s (not good).
  3. You'll have to do some hard work getting these photos out of the disposable cameras one-by-one.

That said, it can also be a fun attraction for the guests to participate in such a thing. So it really depends on your (and your guests) mood.

Wedding Photographer alternatives - disposable cameras

Can replace a photographer for:

  • Collecting guests' photos from the entire event (candid photos, videos).

How much does it cost? 

Prices range between $10 to $80 per camera, depending on the quality. And yes, you can find it on Amazon. 

5. "Popcorn" Camera

The Popcorn Camera is an engaging way to capture moments at your wedding. Guests pass around a camera, each taking turns to photograph, leading to spontaneous and candid shots.

How to set it up?

Get some old Sony camera and just put it out there at your wedding with a small note that explains the concept.

How much does it cost? 

Free, if already have some old camera.

6. Magic Mirror Photo Booth

The Magic Mirror Photo Booth brings a modern twist to capturing wedding memories. It's not just a photo-taking device; it's an interactive experience:

  • Interactive Technology: Features a touch-screen interface, resembling a mirror, that invites guests to engage in the photo-taking process.
  • High-Quality Images: Equipped with a DSLR camera, it ensures professional-grade photographs.
  • Customizable Experience: Often includes playful animations and prompts on the screen, adding to the entertainment.
  • Sleek Design: The mirror's elegant appearance can complement the wedding decor.
An example for a magic mirror

How much does it cost?

The cost of renting a Magic Mirror Photo Booth can vary widely, but you can generally expect to pay between $400 to $1000. The price can fluctuate based on factors such as the length of the rental period, customization options, location, and additional features or services included in the package.

7. GoPro Guest Cam

Transform your wedding into an adventure with the GoPro Adventure Cam. This little camera packs a punch of excitement:

  • Guest-Powered Highlights: Watch your wedding through the eyes of your loved ones as they pass around the GoPro, capturing laughter, dance moves, and the occasional selfie.
  • Vivid Memories: The GoPro's robust design means it can go anywhere – from the dance floor to the bouquet toss!
  • Instant Replay: Relive the moments with ease, as the GoPro makes sharing the day's fun with everyone a breeze.

How much does it cost?

Depending on whether you opt to rent or buy, prices can vary. Rentals can be as economical as $50 for the day, while purchasing one might set you back anywhere from $200 to $400.

Comparing between all wedding photographer alternatives

Let's compare the price, guest interaction level, and uniqueness of these options side by side:

Alternative Cost Interaction Uniqueness
Kululu $ High High
Professional Friend Photography Free Medium High
Photo Booth $$$ Medium High
Disposable Cameras $$$ High Not really
Popcorn Camera $ Medium High
Magic Mirror $$$ High High
GoPro Guest Cam $$ Medium High

What's the Verdict?

Choose what works best for you according to your needs and budget. 

Alternatives for a wedding photographer shouldn't be complete replacements. As I said earlier, you combine different alternatives to replace one aspect of your photographer. For example, you can get wedding photos by using services like Kululu to collect wedding pictures from your guests. You can also stick with a photographer and use some of the alternatives above to enhance/upgrade the photography setup. 

It all comes down to your needs and budget. But at least now, you have the option to have no photographer at your wedding but still have saved photos and memories from your important day.

Enjoy your wedding!

The easy way to get all your wedding photos 🤵👰
Kululu is a simple and fun and easy way to collect all photos taken by your guests using a Digital Album & Live Photo Wall.
Use Kululu at your Wedding
No Apps required from guests