(Closed) Average Cost of Photographer

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 16
Member
511 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

I think that is very reasonable for photography. Does she mainly shoot people or objects/landscapes? I think that if you are going with a hobby or less professional photographer (even if they are just as good) you want to make sure they are very comfortable with adapting to lighting (since they will be shooting all day) and comfortable with shooting people. Look through their portfolio and decide if you feel that their skill and attention to detail is what makes the photos, or if the scene is doing all the work. You want to know that they have what it takes and if they have beautiful photos but not a high level of skill, you probably shouldn’t go with them.

Post # 17
Member
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Our photographer was also building her portfolio for our wedding, so we got a discounted rate.  I think we paid about $1500 for full day coverage by her and 1 assistant, over 600 hi-res edited images on a USB drive and an online gallery, print rights to all images, and an engagement session with something like 30ish edited photos.  Printed photos and albums were extra (or I could do them on my own through any service I chose).  Now, her rates start at $2500 for 8 hours of coverage.

I think $500-900 is WAY cheap and I’d be skeptical of what I’m getting for that price.  However, if your preferred budget is $2k for the entire wedding, does spending possibly about 50% of that on photography make sense?  Will the leftover $1,100 cover all the rest of your wedding costs?

Post # 18
Member
1647 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

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bblaizis:  I would just have realistic expectations. In the industry here, I paid $4500 for my photographer. Most photogs in the US don’t make a living off of wedding photography as their only job until they charge >$2,000 (because taxes take away 1/3 and operational costs take away another 1/3). That being said, if photography is not your #1 priority and you like the quality of her photos and you are willing to take that risk, then it is what it is.

You mentioned that 

“My fiance really hates having his picture taking (as I mentioned above), so we are leaning towards less posed and traditional poses and hopefully more candid/creative ones.”

For that reason alone you actually don’t want to go with an amateur. Professionals with more experience, not less, know how to work with people so that they feel at ease. Someone with only one wedding’s worth of experience would get nervous and may freeze in this kind of situation, which means you actually NEED MORE time, not less, and more practice. I offer engagement photos to all my wedding clients regardless of whether they like photos or not, because I can guarantee you it’s like a trial run – always results in better wedding photos. 

 

Make sure you two like the photographer as a person, esp your Fiance who would have to like to be around her to be photographed.

Post # 20
Member
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

We’re currently looking at a photographer that costs €2250 for 14 hours. This includes a 30-page photo book, approximately 700-900 edited images, an online gallery and a custom usb drive with the final photos and a photo booth with props. I still have to find out if the number of images includes the ones captured by the photo booth, but this person is currently our front-runner. He’s also a member of the International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers (https://www.ispwp.com/), which is an independent society that “vets” photographers. I looked at their membership application and it’s quite extensive.

While I think you can find cheaper options that also produce high-quality images – obviously there are a lot of talented photographers who need to start somewhere – I do think the risk is higher when going for photographers who have just recently begun their career. Photographers who have shot a lot of weddings tend to be faster when troubleshooting specific situations – lighting issues, camera malfunctions, portait set-ups – that comes with experience. I think the more weddings you photograph the easier it is to anticipate the shots that you want to get, ask the right questions, stand in the right place, etc.

I was initially thinking about working with a photographer who I know on a professional basis (he photographs events that our organisation hosts and is rather good), but my main concern was his lack of experience with weddings. Pictures are the one thing that you have after the wedding is over, so I want to give us the best chance of getting images we’re happy with. Also, since the market is saturated with people who buy DSL cameras and create a website with their best photos (and not all the photos from one wedding), I prefered going with a photographer who had been vetted.

Post # 22
Member
7245 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

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bblaizis:  For under $1,000 I can almost promise you won’t get anyone to include an album. Our cost for albums, before we mark them up, is usually in the $300+ range depending on the specific album. If you find someone to include one, it’s likely to be a pretty cheap consumer lab album. 

A good deal is subjective, especially without seeing the quality of anyone’s work. Do you have websites for any of these people?

Post # 23
Member
4242 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I would be VERY wary.  100-200 pictures isn’t that much.  We have almost too many to choose from on our disc — 1100 — but at the same time I would say I LOVE only 20-30% of them which I think is pretty normal.  So 20-30% of 100 is…20-30 pictures.  How important is photography to you?  Remember you really only get one shot at this and if you want good and gorgeous pictures, it is best to err on the side of caution and pay for more pictures.  You do get what you pay for.  I completely understand wanting to cut costs, but photography is something I recommend NOT cutting costs.

For the record we found a photographer for $2000.  We got a complementary engagement session, 12 hours of coverage (2 photographers), rights to all of her edited images, and 1100 edited images on a disc to choose from.  Her pictures were FABULOUS and I was amazed with what we got for how little we paid for it.  She is fairly young, but was still professional and wonderful to work with.

Post # 25
Member
7245 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

View original reply
bblaizis:  Can you share their websites/facebook page? What they offer package wise really doesn’t mean much without knowing the kind of quality their work is. 

I totally understand working with a lower budget, and I get that everyone has to start somewhere. The problem is too many people jump into wedding photography without mastering just basic photography first. There’s nothing wrong with being new to weddings, there is something wrong with being new to photography and booking weddings. Like I said before, at that price range you’re likely getting someone with pretty low quality work. It’s not a slam against them, or your budget, it’s just one of those cases where you really do get what you pay for. More often than not, anyone in that price range is going to be no better quality than a friend w/ a camera who has no experience. That’s the main reason I suggest to couples to hire a good quality photographer for 2-3 hours (enough time to cover the ceremony, family formals, and bridal party / bride & groom photos). If you can find in your budget to stretch it to a 4th hour you can get the first little bit of reception. After that let a friend take photos.

Post # 26
Member
4227 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2015 - Hotel Ballroom

I paid $500 for my photographer. 

Looking back, we got REALLY lucky because in most cases, you get what you pay for.

Post # 28
Member
22 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2016

I agree with others that you get what you pay for, but if photography is not a huge priority for you, that price is amazing! Photography is one of the items we decided we’d be willing to splurge on, but we were still shocked by the quotes we received back. It was impossible for us to find a photographer under $3k who could produce the quality and style of photography we wanted. We were very fortunate in finally securing a very well known wedding photographer for a little under $3k, but we are actually going with her associate photographer program which is half the cost of what it would have been to go with her. She is going to edit all our photos herself though, and is also going to do our engagement session. 

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