I'm Hannah B, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I'm a lover of intricate details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, mama, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!
There are so many aspects of wedding photography that everyone — brides, photographers, family members, random people on the Internet — love to talk about. We LOVE oohing and ahhing over the beautiful details, the emotions, and the once-in-a-lifetime moments captured in wedding photos. But there is one aspect of wedding photography that doesn’t get addressed head-on as often:
That’s right, I went there. The cost of photography is an important part of the wedding budget, yet it’s something that many couples aren’t really aware of until it’s staring them riiiiiight in the face! So how much does wedding photography cost, anyway? The short answer is this: it depends. You may be able to find a photographer in the newspaper who is willing to shoot your wedding for $500. And high-end photographers who specialize in the luxury market range up to $25,000 and beyond. Needless to say, the range is HUGE. That’s the short answer. For the long answer, keep reading, friend!
There are three big factors that impact the cost of wedding photography:
Prices for wedding photography vary dramatically from city to city. You can probably look up average prices for wedding photography where you live. In the Buffalo area, for instance, the average price of an 8-hour wedding photography packages hovers right around $4,000. You might find that prices where you live are double what couples pay in other cities! No matter where you live, though, you’ll discover that professional quality wedding photography is going to be a significant investment.
It can be difficult to compare apples to apples with wedding photography because there is no “standard package” that all photographers offer. For example, some photographers charge an extra fee for having a second photographer, while others include that in their pricing. Some include the printing rights to your photographs in EVERY package, others do not! When considering photographers, remember that everyone will structure their pricing and packages differently. Make sure that you don’t make assumptions based on a price listed on a website. Find out what exactly that price includes. If you are comparing photographers, make sure you are comparing the same set of products and services side by side. Ask the questions that need to be asked in order to approximate an apples-to-apples comparison.
This is a HUGE factor that SO many people forget to take into consideration! You may find two photographers in the same city, offering the same products and services, whose prices differ by several thousand dollars. How can that be? Usually, the answer comes down to skill and experience. When I was just starting out in wedding photography, I didn’t have much experience, and my prices surely reflected that. As the quality, consistency, and artistry of a photographer’s work increases, their pricing does as well. The phrase, “you get what you pay for,” typically rings true when it comes to wedding photographers!
Remember, just because you see a handful of photos on a photographer’s site that you love, that doesn’t mean you will see that level of quality throughout a full wedding gallery. Every photographer can probably show you a few really stellar images. The difference in a higher-priced photographer is that you will likely get SOOOO many more photos that you will cherish from your wedding day than you will if you opt for a budget-photographer. There is a HUGE RANGE of skill and overall quality between low-end and higher-end photographers. And much like any industry, the higher the demand… the higher the cost! When you invest in a photographer, you’re not simply investing in 8-10 hours of coverage on a wedding day; you’re paying for years of experience and professional expertise in every step of the planning process!
One final thought … Your wedding day will be fleeting. You will be caught up in a whirlwind of people and excitement. Your relationship and your wedding photos will be the only things that remain when that whirlwind is over. Your photos will be the only way to tangibly preserve your precious memories of that day. When choosing a wedding photographer, please consider carefully and don’t let the question of cost be the only determining factor!!!
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