How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?

When you’re planning a wedding, one of the necessary costs to account for is a wedding photographer.

Step 1: How to budget

Photography usually runs between nine and fifteen percent of the overall nuptial budget. However, couples that value photography the most, can spend as much as 30% of their budget on photography. Experienced photographers will tell you that brides oftentimes underestimate the photography by about 50%. And what does this mean? It means you may end up spending about 50% more than you expected to pay. However, you want to get this decision right because you won’t get a second chance. Once the festivities are over, the tuxedos are returned, and all the guests have gone home, you’ll want to be sure your photographer took all the pictures that will – hopefully – make for a lifetime of memories.

Step 2: The actual costs

Generally, photographer prices range from $950 to $10,000, but they can even go higher. As a general rule, you’ll want to plan on spending at least $1,500 dollars. Plus, you’ll also need to pay between $15 and $45 for reprints. Naturally, the better the photographer, the higher the rates, so that a less experienced photographer might charge as low as $10 per reprint. On the other hand, a seasoned photographer may charge up to $40 for a print of the exact same dimensions. After all, you receive better service and a higher quality product from a professional. Therefore, if you intend on shopping over the phone to get price quotes, you may end up with substandard photography.

Step 3: Why is it so expensive?

But why is photography so expensive? Well, it’s because good photography is an art, not a commodity. Most folks can tell the difference between a good and a poor photograph. You also need to consider the process from the photographer’s perspective. Keep in mind that professional photographers need to average between $3,000 and $6,000 per wedding in order to make a living at their work.

Step 4: What if I'm on a low budget?

It’s sometimes difficult to get a high quality photographer for small wedding, with a particularly small budget, because these professionals can only work so many weekends a year. These artists usually expect at least one or two big weddings per weekend from May to October, and if he/she books your smaller ceremony, it may prevent him from then doing other bigger budget work. However, if you schedule your smaller wedding for an evening, or for early in the day, you may have more success in finding a professional photographer that can accommodate you. But once again, whenever you limit your budget, you are almost asking for lower quality photographs much of the time.

Most importantly of all, you need to be realistic about budgeting for wedding photography. Chances are good you already know someone who has hired a relative or friend to be their wedding photographer, and then ended up with severely disappointing pictures. In time, people may forget a less than tasty cake. They’ll also forgive you if the food is a little less than filling. But the photographs will remain with you, hopefully for the rest of your life. Therefore, make sure you do not skimp on the cost of hiring the right photographer.