(Closed) How much to pay for photography?

posted 5 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1193 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@lilyrose2112:  mine is 3800 but includes a lot. Engagments, bridals, 2 wedding day photographers with all daycoverage. Lots of prints, 2 canvas, parent albums, guest book and right to ALL photos. Photography was one of the most important thngs to me so I felt ok paying that much for a quality photographer!

Post # 4
979 posts
Busy bee

If pictures are important to you – then $2k+ is about right.  Good photographers around my area are $1800+.  I’m paying $1000 for mine though – I’m a pro wedding photographer and I have tons of pro photog good friends. My one good friend offered to shoot for $1k, plus e-session and boudior w/free makeup – but I have to return the favor and photograph her boudior’s, which I don’t mind at all! 

Just a little bartering 🙂


ETA:  I’m getting all edited high res files and non edited high res files, so I can edit them too.  




Post # 5
1848 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@lilyrose2112:  $~3100 for mine, tax included. I get 10 hours of coverage with the husband and wife team, print release, 2 hour engagement session, etc. etc.

You need videography too? That might be another $1-2K+. I don’t think many photographers also do video while shooting? Correct me if I’m wrong.

I’m also in a big city market, so everything is inflated. Philly is like the 8th most expensive place in the nation to get married. I believe it.

Post # 6
490 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I know I am lucky as hell to be good friends with a music/concert/art photographer who is giving us engagement pix & will shoot our engagement party (4 hrs long) next month for $100/hour. But that’s “best friend” price, you know what I mean?  We also know another photographer in Austin, TX who agreed to take some pix of us in front of Jo’s Coffee on South Congress as a gift which is amazing. We know we are crazy blessed to have people with those talents in our personal network who love us so much that they are cutting us ridiculous deals.


I know that rates for professional wedding photographers tend to start in the $2500 range. You can definitely hire a student/apprentice for more like $100/hour but that’s at your own risk bc students can be flaky. I don’t know where you live but if there’s an awesome art school nearby maybe send an email to one of the photography professors and inquire about whether there’s any A+ students who are trying to build their portfolios?


As for video I found a really cool app on Pinterest called Wedit. I pinned them to my weddng inspiration board bc I definitely plan to use them myself.


wedit sends the wedding couple 5 HD cameras in the mail 3 days before the wedding weekend. the couple passes them out to the wedding guests througout the festivities to record. the couple returns cameras to wedit to edit. wedit then edits the footage into an awesome video. you can capture moments from the entire wedding weekend! much more personal”


I have no idea what Wedit costs but a friend of mine from grad school has it pinned to her board (she’s getting married this wknd) so I will def inquire!









Post # 7
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Depends on where you live/where your wedding is. We lucked out and found an amazing photographer who we got for $1300 (9 hours day-of, DVD, two photographers, etc.). We booked her before her prices went up (twice in the last year), plus a referral discount. She’s also very inexpensive compared to other photographers here, which surprises me because those prices are in line with big city prices (plus their photography/editing sucks).

Anyway, $2k+ sounds about right, in general. Depends on what you’re getting.

Post # 8
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I posted on craigslist to find an amateur or student photographer looking for experience.  I got a ton of awesome quotes (in the $200-800 range) from people looking to build their wedding portfolios.  They aren’t professionals but a lot of them have awesome-looking portfolios. I believe photography is an art and not all professionals who charge $2000+ are good just as not all students or amateurs are bad.  But, I’d recommend posting an ad in your area to see what comes up!  


After about 30 different responses? I found a photographer who is doing a bridal boudoir session and shooting my whole wedding day (about 8-10 hours) with a 2nd shooter for $750 – that doesn’t include prints but it does include printing rights and a disc of all the images so that I can print my own for cheap 🙂 

Post # 9
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I picked one of the cheapest ones I could find.  About $4500.

Post # 10
3368 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

It really depends on where you live. I know up here in Portland, you can get amazing photos for $2500 for 8 hours, that’s about average and what we were going to pay. Obviously since we changed to an elopement that got cheaper, but photography was incredibly important to us and we were willing to spend a little bit. 






Don’t be afraid to try and talk to photographers about fitting in your budget a little bit more! I wound up going with a gal whose packages were normally $2500, but she agreed to nix the engagement session since we already had one and cut down from full coverage to 6 hours, and charge us $1500. She even said that if the wedding didn’t go the full 6 hours (we were going to do just a short dessert afternoon reception) that she would do a day after photoshoot for free. 






Ask around! The student suggestion is a great one as well.  




Post # 11
1159 posts
Bumble bee

My wedding goes over 2 days so i’m paying $950 per day plus free engagement shoot.

Post # 12
9675 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

I typically found most professionals start around $2500+.  I’m paying $3100 for 9 hours, 2 photogs, engagement session, discs with all edited photos.  No albums or prints.

$2K sounds about right to me (though just a little low)

Good video is probably another $1-$2k on top of photos.

Finding a student or someone who wants to build their portoflio is a good idea, just keep in mind they don’t have as much experience usually.  I would avoid (or at least think really carefully about) professionals who charge well under $2K.  There might be some gems…but most are not good or not true professional photographers.

Post # 13
739 posts
Busy bee

Do a search on here for your question. There are hundreds of posts about this topic and why good photography costs so much.

Post # 14
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

We are in the midwest and our photography team is anywhere between $1900 and $4000 depending on package. We went with the lesser price but our package includes at least 6 hours of photography, 250 edited images on a CD with a print release, a complimentary engagement shoot with photo CD and print release, plus a few other perks. We completely clicked with them when we met them (which was very important) and loved their style (we get 2 photographers). We were absolutely prepared to spend more if we had needed to. For me personally, photos are an integral part of the day.

Post # 15
351 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

we were in south florida and paid $1889 for a full day of photogrpahy that included getting ready @ 11 am and they left at 11 pm!!! Two photographers. The videographer was $1600 and it was also 2 people getting video of the day.

I would say shop around ALOT. We had a pretty laid out budget so we wanted to make sure we woulnd’t go over….with that being said, I also didn’t want to get mediocre pictures 🙂 so my coordinator knew our budget and looked around for months. Eventually, it was worth the wait and she found the perfect team.

I read PP’s write about hiring a student photographer….its a great idea. This was going to be our back up plan just in case we didn’t find anyone within our price range.


Post # 16
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@PizzutiStudios:  Amen.  This thread gets reposted once a week on average.

@lilyrose2112:  You will get a host of answers here, probably $0-$5000 and no one will post a website so you’ll have no quantifiable idea ofthe relative quality of any of these amazing “deals” brides will talk about.

$2500 is usually the amount you will be able to find a legit professional starting at.  That means someone who is insured, with back up gear, has some experience and talent.  Anything below that and you’re in the realm of amateurs or aspiring pros.  Photography is often a get what you pay for sort of business, so the lower the amount you pay often the greater the risk, and anyone willing to discount their services by 40-60% like some of these brides are talking about you should be wary of.  After all – why if someone is actually good would they need to do that?

Remember ultimately it’s not about what “stuff” you get in a photography package – it’s about having photos you love.  $2000 is bargain basement when it comes to pros, and when you factor in the costs of sustaining a business you’d understand how crazy it is for us to charge less.

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