Post # 1
I know this is a tough, subjective question. But I’m finding that photography costs a lot more than I thought. I live in Upstate NY. There’s a really well-known photographer around here. His basic, no album package is the lowest at $6500!
Then the ones that I look at that are still nice are all around 4000 – 4500.
Anybody that is 2500 or that range looks to me like they are just building portfolios. Or they are established, but just not really very good.
I am trying to consider different features – I know albums, etc. add to a package. But I’m still thinking this is way off – I thought I could find an awesome photographer for $2500 including an album.
Anyway, I’m kind of shocked when I read other recaps, even in big cities, where photography seems to cost less. What did you pay or what are you budgeting for? And if you feel like elaborating, what came with it?
Post # 3
The pricing in the poll is kinda strange. There is a huge different between $1600 and $3500, lol. $1600 isn’t too far off from what I paid, $3500 is nearly my whole wedding budget!
For a basic package I found a few photographers I thought were good that were between $1500-2000. Then there were others that I thought were quite good, but not good enough to warrant paying them $2000 more!
I think it’s really hard to tell how good a photographer is by their websites. After a photographer reaches a certain level of proficiency with lighting, framing, using good quality equipment, and post-wedding corrections I found that most are pretty similar. Different styles, yes. Different techniques, yes. But their basic pictures weren’t really all that different.
Some have been able to get in with a swankier clientelle because of their experience and they start to offer more and more crap in their packages and their prices slowly go up up up.
For me, the way I got a good deal was that I used a swankier photographers second shooter as my one and only shooter and got the swankier lady to do all the touchups and corrections. I also had her for a limited time (4 hours) and had a very simple package (just the CDs and a slideshow).
Find a photographer who’s work you like who’s willing to negotiate, and if you want a deal, be willing to cut stuff. You can’t expect to pay $1600 if you want e-pics, 12 hrs, 2 shooters, a book, and a trash the dress.
Post # 4
I would focus on the photography now, get the images, and you can always get a professional album made down the road. $2500 is a tough budget with an album, unless you limit the hours of the photographer.
For full coverage, you are talking about 8-10 hours of coverage, let’s call it 11 hours with travel. Processing the images and editing them varys but will take an average of about another 8-10 hours. Designing the album and doing final retouches on those images will take at least anohter 10 hours and probably more. The cheapest professional albums are around the 500 dollar mark. So take the 500 cost off the top for the album, and that leaves 2K left. For 30+ hours of work, that is around $65 dollars an hour. After taxes, insurance, and overhead expenses, which tend to be about 1500 a wedding, one couldn’t make a living, and would be out of business. I am not even counting health insurance premiums, and 401K contribution.
Also remember that a photographer only has so many weekends each year to work. To make a living, the photographer must gross at least 3-5K (or more) per wedding. Of course you can find newbies that charge less, because if they charged more than 2K, they would never get a chance to photograph a real wedding. This opens up an opportunity to find good value, but the risks are greater than if you used a season pro.