Short Answer: Sort of…
I guess the short answer isn’t very helpful on this one. These three variables will help you know when and how to negotiate prices.
1. Included items
Most photographers will have a three-package structure with low, medium and high price packages. Almost all photographers want you to book that middle package. Yes, they make more money on the highest package, but no one has enough time to do a big package every weekend. Sometimes the middle package might include items you don’t need. Maybe, they have prints or a photobook that you aren’t interested in. This would a be a good time to ask them if they could remove that item. Some photographers will adjust the price, others may substitute for something else. We take a different approach to pricing. We use a credit system so that no package includes things you don’t want. With our system you just pick the package that fits your budget and see what extras you want with it! Our packages are also special because you can use credit to add video for the store price. Meaning all of our packages with credit can be hybrid coverage. You can check out my blog post about hybrid coverage for more info.
Most photographers tailor their packages around a typical size wedding. If your wedding is going to be an elopement, you may be able to ask for a discount. Elopements can be much simpler and require less of the photographer’s time on the day and in editing. We love elopements and encourage anyone having one to bring it up with us. We have a post dedicated to our love of elopements.
3. Your Motivation
Why do you want to negotiate prices? Most photographers have carefully set their prices based on the amount of work, risk, and expense. Many photographers start their career with overly low prices, realized they could barely cover their insurance, and had to slowly raise those prices over time. It’s good to find a photographer that you love their art and want to support their work. Good photographers aren’t trying to rip you off and are in this for the love of the art. If you really can’t afford their work, you can bring it up. They may be able to work something out, but you should respect their effort by not just trying to get the cheapest price. You can check out our post about pricing to better understand why they are what they are.