(Closed) HELP: How much to pay first time wedding photographer?

posted 7 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: How much should I pay first-time wedding photographer?
    $500 or less : (25 votes)
    63 %
    $600-$800 : (14 votes)
    35 %
    $900+ : (0 votes)
    other : (1 votes)
    3 %
  • Post # 3
    4803 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I think she should be paid less than a wedding photographer with experience.  Even though she takes great fashion photos, she probably doesn’t have much experience with what shots to capture at a wedding.  Make sure you give her a list of photos you want!  At the same time, she knows her way around a camera and probably knows how to edit. 

    Have you asked her what she would like to be paid? 

    Post # 4
    4755 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Unfortuantely you have to make a name for yourself before you can charge the big bucks. That said shooting weddings is a LOT different than shooting models in clothes. You need to know what to shoot, where to shoot, and how to handle a bride a groom and a dress. Shooting fine details, and candid shots are all significantly different than what she currently shoots.

    I’m guessing if your area averages $1000-2000 for a premium photographer? If yes, than I think $500 is acceptable. I suggest you ask HER what she thinks a fair price is before you offer.

    Post # 5
    399 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    @LittleAudrey: I totally agree with vmec. Fashion photography and wedding photography are two totally different animals. She may be spectacular at posing people but may not be as comfortable or capable of getting the candid moments. Fashion photographers for the most part are used to having the lighting set-ups they need and sort of all the time in the world to get the perfect shot (and have perfect models to shoot). Wedding photographers have to be ready at a moments notice with usually less than ideal lighting situations. It doesn’t mean she can’t do it, of course, but these are things to consider.


    Post # 6
    606 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2011

    I agree with PP that you should ask her but I would think 500 is fair

    Post # 8
    10366 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2010

    @LittleAudrey:“If lighting goes wrong, there’s always photoshop, right?”


    Photoshop can’t magically fix things that are more than an exposure or two off, even with RAW files. Your friend will know this. If she’s a fashion photog, she’ll know her way around a studio setup, but may not know as much about single speedlite techniques. I’d specifically ask her about that, because if you are having an evening reception it will be critical that she knows how to use it, and use it well.

    Post # 9
    26 posts



    I have been shooting event promotions for a public affairs office for two years. I am trained for documentry photography in the streets of New York for 18 years. And I curretnly teach “Life Photography” at a community center. And I will not touch weddings with a 10 foot pole.


    A wedding is the most dificult, physically gruleing supreme challenge for a photographer. It requiers the very limit of every skill he or she has. From technical speed and precision, artistic composition, people skills, adaquate equipment and foresight. These are the very skills a beginer does not have. They will learn in time but no one should just “do” weddings. Traditionally, an apprentice would shadow a master for years and learn the ropes, learn theory on wedding photography, the 150 obligotory shots, mounting and album design, printing skills, etc. I don’t care how many awards she has won, frankly I’ve seen pure junk win awards.


    I’m not being snooty, I’m just being upfront about what the job requiers, and I don’t think anyone who does their first wedding alone will not mess it up. With wedding photographers the phrase “you get what you pay for” proves itself time and time again.



    Post # 11
    1405 posts
    Bumble bee

    I agree even a beginner that charges 1000 that has done weddings before would make me more comfortable than an experienced portrait photographer that has not done any weddings.  Events are totally different, the style, speed, and equipment used is different too.

    Post # 12
    5654 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: April 2011

    We’re in the same boat with our photographer…

    When I called him in the beginning of planning we agreed on 500 for our engagements, bridals (which I nixed for a TTD), and the day of… We get ALL the files (of what comes out good) and he got pics for his portfolio…

    He was more than generous and more than happy to do it.. especially considering the fact that after doing our engagements and adding them to his portfolio he’s gotten a number of weddings that he’s been able to charge MUCH more for 😉

    500 is a good price in my book!

    Post # 13
    7770 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Can she get in there to adjust her equipment to the lighting?  Also, how many hours?  I think $500 sounds good though.  🙂

    Post # 14
    739 posts
    Busy bee

    Just make sure you and she both sign a contract that outlines both of your expectaions.

    Post # 15
    4770 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: November 1999

    She should do the wedding for free to build her portfolio.  500 is a bit insulting, you don’t work for slave wages since you’ve never done it if you’re gonna pay her pay her for her time and effort and 500 assuming you want the photos edited is a bit of a slap in the face.  Unless she proposes you that number I wouldn’t offer that.

    The topic ‘HELP: How much to pay first time wedding photographer?’ is closed to new replies.

    Find Amazing Vendors