Post # 1
So, we are working on our wedding budget, so I am pricing out the vendors in our area. For photographers, the general range seems to be $800-$3,000, depending on the package. Then, I found an amazing photographer’s website- beautiful, artistic pictures with stunning clarity, tons of ‘Best of…’ awards, seems fun to work with, etc. His cheapest package starts at $5,000, and for a comprehensive, all-day type package he costs $11,000. So, he’s a bit out of our range, but it made me curious. What kind of crazy budget do you have to have to spend $11k on photography? If he’s good enough, is it worth it? Are prices like that more standard in bigger cities or high-income areas?
Post # 3
Any well established pro will be over 2K for full coverage and a disk of images in most parts of the country. Albums, prints, etc are extra. The higher end photographers charge what they do because people are willing to pay for a particular style they offer or brag about who they are using because the photographer has stamped their brand into a high market. It doesn’t mean they are any more skilled or will deliver a better product, just they are targeting a higher end market of non price sensitive buyers. They probably have better marketing materials such as a nicer website, nicer packaging, better customer service, a real office or studio to meet customers rather than a bedroom office,etc.
It’s not much different than the old navy, gap, banana republic or buying a basic cotton T shirt at macys, bloomingdales, or Sax.
Post # 4
@MissBananaBread: USER is right on. For every photographer in every state there’s a bottom line number that a pro is going to charge based on cost of living, taxes, state laws regarding business licensing, insurance rates, etc. This is the minimum a pro can charge and still make enough to feed themselves pay rent, and keep the business going, and I would agree it would be around $2,000-$2,500 for most places, but even higher for places with higher costs of living/doing business. Then there are photographers who charge $10,000+, and they do so because they can and because clients will pay them that. I agree that in many cases it has more to do with status/brand/marketing (cough Jasmine Star cough) than actual talent (I know photographers who charge half what Jasmine charges and put out phenomenally more creative and beautiful work) but some photographers who charge that really are at the top of their game and have something unique to offer clients.
Post # 5
I agree with over 2k for a good photographer- what you get with someone who charges that much is time EDITING your pictures. They dont’ just poof come out that way when a photographer takes the picture on their camera. So someone who charges 5K and up spends a LOT more time editing your pictures than an $800 photog who just makes half of them black and white and calls that his “style”. I imagine most of the photographers that are expensive have very advanced computer editing skills.
Post # 6
My photog has a 2K minimum and she is amazing. She takes the time to edit EACH picture and I haven’t had a shoot with her for myself or anyone else who didn’t have at least 500 pictures. You have to make sure that you don’t get swallowed up by a pretty website and good marketing tools either. Make sure you talk to people who have used a couple different photogs and also feel free to ask for samples of their work besides what’s on the website (which is usually the best photos)