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How Much Should A Wedding Photographer Cost

What Influences The Price

why do WEDDING photographers COST so much???

If you wonder what affects the price of wedding photographer services, lets see the main factors to consider.

Location. If you dont know how to choose a wedding photographer, pay attention to where a person you will hire is based as it will significantly affect the overall price. For instance, LA-based photographers usually charge from $4,000 to $6,000.

If you live in Louisville, the price will range from $3500 to $5500. So prices in your local area might be significantly different from those that other people pay.

Experience. Its hardly surprising that pro-level photographers charge more for their services as they have more experience and can take perfect photoshoots to capture the best moments of your wedding. They have impressive portfolios and have taken pictures of hundreds of weddings, which is why they know how to re-schedule photo sessions, keep tensions low and solve any timeline issues.

If you hire a local photographer, they might have already taken photos at the venue you have booked, which will help them organize everything more quickly. In addition, experienced photographers have advanced skills, which help them fix any issues with lighting, avoid possible misunderstandings and deliver the best possible results under any circumstances.

Time of the year and day of the week. The overall wedding costs will depend on the date and time of the event that you are planning. Depending on the season, the prices for catering and photography services can vary by 30%.

Scaling Up Doesnt Lead To Effortless Profit Increases

Some photography businesses scale up in order to increase their profits. However, this also brings huge risks. Entrusting the biggest day of someones life to an independent contractor is incredibly risky. What if they dont show up? Get a better offer? Book their own client?

Plus, it is still only the business owner and maybe a small admin team, that has to deal with all the actual business and client management side of things. That means still the business owner commits to:

  • Being on call 24/7 to respond to client inquiries the minute they hit the inbox with a personal, not automated, message.
  • Doing meetings and phone calls evenings and weekends when clients are not at work.
  • Dealing with the turnover of independent contractors and their training, image review and scrambling to find someone if they fail to show up to a wedding.

Either way, its fraught with risk, pressure and high stakes. And still there is a huge amount we give up in order to take on these liabilities our summer months, every Saturday in summer in a good season, plus those evenings and weekends to talk to clients.

To scale up in wedding photography means taking on so-called associate photographers. To find out more about that and exactly what it means, check out the dedicated article linked below:

Average Price For A Wedding Photographer

Wedding Professionals* $800-3600. Sydney Wedding photographers costs are listed here as a comparison to the business events focused genres.

Beginner wedding photographers prices start obviously on the low side as they have limited experience, just check out their Portfolio. On the opposite side, some do top consistent work and charge accordingly. Some wedding specialists near us can easily double the top rates with average photography packages from around $6000 and up.

Many wedding photographers prices are quoted for a standard 8 hour day. They typically have a selection of wedding photography packages to offer. 12 hour shoot days are pretty standard.

Recommended Reading: Wedding Budget Spreadsheet Google Sheets

Should I Get A Second Shooter For My Wedding

When it comes to the great one versus two wedding photographers debate, the right answer tends to vary from photographer to photographer, and often depends on the size of your wedding. If youre having a very intimate and small wedding, having just one photographer present may suffice. However, if youre hosting a larger wedding with lots of guests, you will likely need a main photographer as well as a second photographer, and perhaps assistants to help with lighting and coordination. 34 percent of wedding photographers include a second shooter in their starting rates, but for many, it’s a separate charge.

Having a second shooter can be beneficial in capturing different perspectives and angles throughout the dayand can make your wedding-day timeline run even more smoothly. With two photographers on hand, both your and your future spouses getting-ready processes can be photographed at the same time. Its best to discuss your specific wedding and needs with your photographer to determine the best staffing situation.

When Should You Take Your Engagement Photos

Wedding Photography Prices and Packages

Couples usually take engagement photos about three months before their wedding date. You should work with your photographer to determine the best time for your needs. Some couples will adjust their timing to have a warm-weather engagement shoot, but dont shy away from a winter photo session. We find winter engagement shoots to be among the most intimate, cozy and romantic!

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Choose A Less Popular Wedding Season

Having trouble setting your wedding date? While many factors come into play when making a decision – like major life events, your work schedule and your budget – you should also look at when booking venues and vendors is most popular. For Canada, thats September . Suppliers tend to be busier and hike up their prices during this season, so you may want to book during the off season. Winter weddings and spring weddings can be just as lovely, so you should have no trouble putting together a dreamy celebration. Pro tip: weekday weddings can also help you spend less than the average wedding cost in Canada.

Do You Have To Negotiate With Wedding Photographer

In retail, you can easily ask for a price match with the same item because it is comparable. But in fields like this, there is no straight comparison, and it can be a huge turn off to negotiate with wedding photographer. Even if budget is not an issue for you, you should ask too.

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Set More Than One Price

Every wedding is different. So why should wedding packages all be identical? Offering multiple options helps couples find the option that fits their needs best. And it keeps things fair for the wedding photographer.

Offering different packages allows the couple with the 20-minute backyard wedding to choose a different option than the couple with the huge ceremony and big reception.

Price the different options based both on the time involved and the products delivered at the end. For example, I have a budget ceremony-only package, a full wedding package, and a full wedding with an album and a large canvas for the wall.

Calculate The Total Cost

Wedding Photography Pricing – what should you charge for photography?

We need to add up the soft cost to the hard costs in order to calculate the total cost of the album.

In this example, we know that the total soft cost was 380 minutes. In order to turn this into a dollar value, we need to determine the per-minute wage. Lets say that the photographer in this example wants to be paid $60,000 per year. This means that his hourly wage is $30/hour , and therefore his per-minute wage is $0.50/minute .

This now shows us that the total soft cost is $190 , and if we add in the hard costs of $385, we can calculate that the total album cost is $575.

Recommended Reading: A Practical Wedding Spreadsheets

Why Cant A Wedding Photographer Give A Service At The Price The Client Is Looking For

The reason for this that the wedding photographer needs to be able to earn a living. What you are paying for is the experience, the years of training, the equipment, etc. It all adds up.

Yes, you could argue that there are some photographers that do offer wedding photography for a lot less than £1,000. Notoriously, if you said that to a wedding photographer they would no doubt tell you that you get what you pay for. What they mean is that they people who offer their wedding photography for less are usually the ones who have just started out or the quality of their work is subject to dispute.

Pass On Pricey Details

Glamorous details on items you’re indifferent about spike costs without adding any fun to your day. Free yourself of the pressure to upgrade and instead make honest choices based on what you want. As a general rule, before you sign a contract, look through the itemized list of what you’re buying and ask yourself, “Will anyone notice if we don’t do this?”

Read Also: Google Sheets Wedding Budget Template

What’s Included In The Cost Of A Wedding Videographer

You may think that youre just paying for your final wedding videos, but actually theres a lot more to wedding videography prices than just the actual videos. Here are the main things that are typically included in a wedding videographers cost.

  • Videography Service: You are paying for your videographers time and presence at your event, usually for a previously agreed-upon number of hours. Any extras, like drone footage, or travel expenses can add to this cost as well, as can additional team members.
  • Post-Production: The editing process is actually the most time-consuming part of creating your wedding video. Sometimes the editing will be done by the same person who filmed your wedding, other times a separate editor will work on your wedding film. Your videographer may also allow you to make a round of edits to your wedding video, but additional edits may cost more.
  • Final Product: Your wedding videos will likely be provided to you via DVD, Blu-ray, or USB drive. A highlight reel may also be made available via YouTube or Vimeo for easy sharing. If you require additional copies of your wedding DVD, Blu-ray disc, or USB, you will likely incur additional charges. Some videographers add personalized packaging to your final product, which can be a nice touch.
  • Equipment: Your videographer should have the most up-to-date equipment that is in working orderfrom high-definition cameras to lighting equipment and more.

Average Wedding Photography Costs In Atlanta And Savannah Georgia Area

Wedding Photography Prices and Packages

For the Atlanta and Savannah areas in Georgia, Ive found that most local photographers get grouped in the following starting price ranges:

$0-500

$500-1200

$1000-2000

$2000-3000

$4000+

Again, these are very generalized starting price ranges. You can spend $10k with many of the photographers that begin at the $4k range! And finally, please remember that these categories of pricing are not fixed. Im sure there are some times that you can truly get a good deal at a lower price range however, in those instances you are going to forfeit the peace of mind and assume the risk associated.

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Individual Artists & Small Studios

Individual Artists: In between the low-priced high-volume photography studios and celebrity wedding photographers are wedding photography boutiques wedding photographers operating on their own or with a small team of 1-3 other professionals. You can rest assured knowing exactly who will be there to document one of the most important days of your love story.

Small Studios: Small studios are often a collective of wedding photographers working together to run a small business. Youll have the same personalized, high-quality service you might receive from a boutique photography studio, with the added benefit of being able to choose from several closely-connected pros to find the perfect photographer to match your wedding day needs and style.

Both of these types of photography businesses are fully equipped with backup equipment, liability insurance, and the technology and skills to support any kind of wedding day. As a general rule, most photographers within these two groups have a starting price range around $4,000. Personally, this is where my photography business falls when it comes to artistry and business processes, and you can learn more about my services and offerings on my investment page.

Postponing A Wedding Let Your Photographer Know Asap

This is a topic that has come up a lot recently because of COVID, and its never a pleasant conversation to have. Its heartbreaking for the wedding couple and a source of concern for photographers if wedding photography is their only source of income.

As a destination wedding photographer in Europe, I try to keep my wedding postponement policy as flexible as possible, because I can understand that the situation is hard enough for the wedding couple without adding to their stress.

If you find yourself having to postpone your wedding day, then my advice is to let your photographer know as soon as possible, because that gives you a bigger chance of being able to secure another date in the future easily. Photographers can be booked out months and even years in advance! So talk to your photographer and propose a new date as soon as you can, so that if the photographer is available on the new date they can hold it for you right away. Michaela wedding photographer

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Whether Your Photographer Specialises In Weddings

‘A major factor on cost will be whether your wedding photographer is full time,’ says Joe. ‘There are many photographers who shoot weddings alongside other part- or full-time jobs. This means they do not have the financial requirements of a full-time wedding photographer. A photographer who has a full-time job elsewhere can afford to offer wedding photography for a few hundred pounds. I started out this way to gain experience.’

READ MORE:How to Choose Your Wedding Photographer: 8 Foolproof Steps

Think carefully about pursuing this option – the skills you want in a wedding photographer aren’t just about taking pictures. You want someone who, having shot plenty of weddings before, understands which details to capture, as well as knowing how to get the best of out people, arrange group shots, deal with guests who don’t like having their photo taken, be unobtrusive on the day and carry out precision editing afterwards, among many, many other wedding-specific skills.

‘Experience means a wedding photographer is more likely to read a variety of situations and deal with testing situations more effectively,’ says Joe. ‘Photos are such a huge part of the memories of the wedding you want confident you have the best person behind the camera.’

How Much Should You Invest In Wedding Photography

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost

Now we answer the question of how much you should actually invest. In essence, it boils down to a few questions you need to ask yourself. Also, forget the 10% rule. It’s a myth.

  • How much do you care about your wedding photos and experience?
  • Are you having a standard wedding, luxury wedding, elopement, or destination wedding?
  • Where does your photographer live? Are they traveling?
  • Do you want a wedding film?
  • What about extra things like engagement sessions, prints, etc.?
  • Let me break down a few general scenarios I see couples in:

    • If you’re having a standard wedding in a normal city and care deeply about your images and experience, you should spend anywhere from $3000-$6000, and a little more if you want photo/video.
    • If you’re having an elopement in the U.S. and care deeply about your images and experience, you should spend anywhere from $2000-$5000, and a little more for photo/video. Some photographers may charge travel too.
    • If you’re having an international destination wedding and care deeply about your images and experience, you should spend anywhere from $5000-$9000, and a little more for photo/video. Most photographers charge travel for these, but some don’t.

    PRO TIP: If you want a photographer that is a little out of your budget, ask them about payment plans! Many photographers offer them to make it easier for you, including us. We know it’s a big investment, and are here for you!

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