How Much Does a Wedding Photographer cost?
The cost of a wedding photographer can vary A LOT. Experience, location, equipment, coverage, and so much more can all carry weight on how each individual photographer charges for their services. SO, what should you take into consideration and prepare for?
Location. Are you looking for local wedding photographers or wanting to fly someone to your destination? A lot of wedding photographers will travel, some for free and some for an additional price. This depends entirely on each wedding photographer! Just make sure to keep in mind that you may be paying extra to bring someone somewhere they are not local to.
Experience. Newer photographers can cost a lot less if you are okay with having your wedding be more of a learning opportunity. Yes, some newer photographers are incredibly good already BUT some are still making simple mistakes. If you decide to cut your budget and find a low-cost beginner, just make sure to look through several final albums and see what kind of images might be in your final album. Also, make sure to communicate with them! Let them know what moments are most important to you for capturing so you have no missed moments. Overall, photos are one of the few tangible things you take away from your wedding. If it is important to you that someone captures your day, and captures it WELL, you may need to consider a budget that matches an experienced skillset. The market is heavily saturated, so make sure to do research on styles you love for the cost you feel you can do!
Gear. Wedding photographers bring their best and most trusted gear to weddings, but the cost of that gear can again, vary from photographer to photographer. The cost can be high to make sure you are getting quality care on your wedding day. Although having good equipment doesn't always mean an expensive photographer, keep in mind that it still might. Experienced photographers often bring back up cameras, extra lenses, extra memory cards, extra batteries, extra flashes, and more just to make sure your day is covered.
Coverage. How many hours are you wanting your photographer to photograph your wedding day? In my experience, 8 hours of coverage is the most popular for covering the day but some people opt for less or more depending on what they have planned or what they budgeted for. When thinking about cost per hour, something to keep in mind is that coverage is not the only time the photographer is considering. For every hour comes additional time culling, editing, organizing, and uploading images. Even though your wedding photographer might only spend 8 hours with you on your wedding day, they may take weeks getting images back. More coverage will cost!
Lifestyle. One thing that isn't often considered in cost is the photographer's lifestyle and personal situation. A family of one might look different than a photographer with a family of more. Pricing may reflect the personal care, decisions, and goals of each wedding photographer. And although this might not be something you'll discuss with them, just know you are supporting their livelihood - however that looks like!
Additional offers. Some photographers like to go above and beyond and offer things like an engagement session, professional print services, a photography team, studio sessions, and more. This may alter your price if you're looking for extras!
Popularity. Are the photographers you're looking at often booked out months or years in advance? This is definitely something to consider when booking but also something to keep in mind when working on your budget. If someone is in high demand, they might be a higher price. This still depends person to person but definitely something to think about!
What do they bring to the table? Are they helping build your wedding day timeline? Are they offering an extra set of hands to help throughout the day? Are they sending welcome goodies or thank you gifts? These little perks can sweeten the experience with your photographer, and is definitely worth paying for even if these little things aren't mentioned in their packages. Customer service is huge in the photography industry and for those who go above and beyond, they might be priced to reflect that.
How to look for wedding photographers. I have found tons of wedding photographers online on Facebook pages, Instagram, TikTok, Google, Yelp, and so many other search engines and social media platforms. With that many places to look and so many options for wedding photography, how do you narrow it down? When posting on something like Facebook, consider adding as many details as possible (wedding date, location, and specifically your budget) and see who reaches out already knowing they are available for your wedding day and location while also being within your budget. Connecting with photographers should often consist of phone calls and meetings to get to know them and see if they vibe with you, because after all, they'll be by your side pretty much the entire day. Make sure to ask to see full albums so you can see various lighting situations and color/style consistency, that way you have a general idea of what you're getting from them! See if they fit your ideas of posed images or candid moments, if they tell a love story through their photographs, do they capture the things you want to see on your wedding day? Do they make your portraits look natural? Do they capture detail? Do you love their image style? Capturing the day may look different for each photographer and couple, so getting more information is better than not having enough!
So, how much is a photographer for a wedding? It depends on so many variables, but overall there are a lot of photographers in the world and there is no doubt you will find one within your range that you love. Good photographers are absolutely worth it and no number can define how a photograph can live through time.