(Closed) How much should a photographer charge?

posted 8 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

photography is very high; for good quality!!! in my area the cheapest photographer with good quality is $900. and we have some that go up to $10,000!!!! you can sometime find the little local photographer that dosent charge much because its thier passion..thats what i did!!

Post # 4
117 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think $5000 is a little high, at least for the Denver area. We were quoted on the low end around $1,500 and on the high end around $5,000. It just depends on what packages you want, how many photographers you want, and what you get for your $$.

It was important to me to have 2 photographers to capture more moments, to have copy rights to all images on a CD, to have an engagement photo session included, and to have a discount for a weekday wedding. Think about what style you want too. I really liked the journalistic style where the photographer is an observer, not someone staging the event.

Here is who we are using. Check them out and see if you like their style. We just booked them on Wednesday! http://davidlynnphoto.com/

Good luck!

Post # 5
381 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

We got an amazing one for $3000, his pictures are absolutely stunning. I think it depends on your area and what the competitors charge.

Post # 6
7300 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

There are photographers who are amazing who charge under $1000 and then there are those who have been around forever and have a demand and they charge whatever they want.

I don’t know the exact itemize breakdown on why a photographer would charge $5000 while another would charge $1500 for the same quality and hours/package.

I would like to know a cost breakdown. I know people in a local photography club that charge under $1000 and their photos are amazing! I also know photographers (male has done their websites) and they take the same quality photos but charge $3000 for.

Research is the best way. Compare portfolios as much as you can. I’ve seen photos from a NIkon D40x look as amazing as photos from a D300. A lot of a photographers work is in post editing, and anyone can learn the tricks of photoshop. ^_^

Post # 7
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

How long is a piece of string?! Seems to be the most flexible cost issue in weddings, from what I can see. Seems to vary wildly by area, and then experience and style, before you even think about packages etc…

I was delighted with our find, got him for 12 hours (!), lovely journalistic style, for 1300 euro, so ca $1800. Which compared more than favourably with many round here – you’d wonder how it can vary so much, in times like these… But I have heard a lot of people say that if you find someone whose work you love, they will often be far more flexible on the cost than you might expect.

Post # 8
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I found a photographer that I LOVED and the package I wanted was $5000, i did TONS more research and at the end of the day, no one compared to her quality for less money (IMO).  The only photographers that I contacted who I thought were comparable in quality, were the same price or more.  So I’m paying $5000 for my photographer (coverage is unlimited day of, 2 photographers, 20 spread/40 page album, cd with all high res images and rights to print them).  My sister paid under $3000 for the same coverage (except the rights to print) and her album quality is bad and pictures were not edited well; my parents felt that the extra expense for my wedding photography was worth it (I’m lucky to have such great parents, but I am sacrificing a few other things to work them into the budget).

It all depends on the area of the county and what you are lookng for I suppose.

Post # 9
317 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I can’t really answer how much someone should pay for a photographer….it really comes down to your budget and how much someone is willing to spend.

Sometimes photographers are more expensive than others with lesser quality and personality. Awards, experience, and reputation will jack up their price.

I found great photographers that had buff packages for $3000, and photographers for $5000 that had comparable talent and packages. It was a hit or miss from my experience.

I booked one that was $4500 for 12 hours w/two photographers, DVD, flushmount album, engagement session, and save the date cards. I’m in LoooOoOove with her work, so it was way worth it for me!! 


Post # 10
5147 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m paying $3000 for a package of engagement photos, ceremony & reception (on different days) and some photo credits.

Post # 11
2858 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011 - Bartram's Garden

The short answer is that a photographer should charge whatever people are willing to pay!

But, honestly, I think it depends on geographical area and what’s included in the pirce (i.e. albums, prints, second shooters, etc.) Here in Philly, I saw some photographers for about $1k whose work I didn’t care for at all, and some for over $5k whose work was STUNNING.

We ended up going with a fairly new photographer with a fabulous portfolio, and we got them for a steal, but it didn’t include any albums or prints.

Post # 12
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

What are you getting for the money? CA is VERY expensive (I got married in San DIego). Remember that if your photog is doing post processing, you are paying them for about 40 hours of work on top of the hours at your wedding, the time spent meeting with you/conversing with you, etc. They probably have over $10,000 worth of equipment in their bag that has to be upgraded on a regular basis, editing software is scary expensive, there are web hoting/website costs, overhead, professional associations, the slideshow site usage fees, plus any time/wholesale costs of albums or second shooters in the package.

Photography also has a pretty narrow profit margin for most of the photogs out there…

Post # 13
852 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Like others said it depends on your area and other thing

We are paying $2600. 
We get the following for this price.

  • Engagement Photography Shoot
  • CD with shared copyright of all Engagement Shoot photos.
  • 10 Hours of wedding day coverage
  • Two photographers on wedding day (for full ten hours)
  • Fake photo booth manned by the second shooter
  • CD with shared copyright of all wedding day photos

I think that isall…

Post # 14
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

One suggestion for bringing the cost down:  Consider getting only a disk of the images and reproduction rights, rather than buying all the albums and prints now.  If you do this, and later want (and can afford) more, you can always get them later.  However, if you compromise on the quality of the photographer now, there will be no way to get great photos later.

You can also look on Craigslist, or contact your local photography school, to find up and coming photographers whose rates are still low.

Post # 15
2867 posts
Sugar bee

I agree with 2dbride, try to buy a disc w/ rights because honestly, that’s the best way to go.  You can always find a place to print pictures, but you can’t always get those perfect/ideal pictures if you have a bad photographer.  Geographical location does play a huge part in the cost of photography, try searching a state or a couple of cities away and pay for the transit fees.

Post # 16
4419 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@divergirl:  It depends on what is included, the amount of time the photographer is quoting, and how many assistants will used.

We just booked a photographer yesterday for our wedding.  Of course, we’re eloping in the middle of the week, which is considerably less expensive.  Here are the things we looked at:

1. The photographer’s style and whether we liked the work.

2. How long the photographer will take pictures and what is included in the price.

3. Personality

4. The reviews that the photographer has on sites other than the photographers website.


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