(Closed) Photographer Costs? Is it worth it?

posted 7 years ago in Reception
  • poll: How much are you spending on photography?
    < $1,000 : (21 votes)
    17 %
    Around $1,500 : (30 votes)
    24 %
    Around $2,500 : (22 votes)
    18 %
    >$2,500 : (50 votes)
    41 %
  • Post # 3
    2493 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I signed a temporary contract with my photographer but am still debating what to do. Our photographers have a one person deal (1 shooter) for $1750+13% tax for 8 hrs, plus free e session, photos copywrite free on a disk, etc, or 2 shooters for 6 hrs for $2000+13% tax plus free e-session, disk, etc. I am going with a cheap photographer (average I found for 6 hrs was around $3000) but I love their work. Our total budget is $20,000.

    Post # 4
    6892 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: March 2012

    Our photography package we chose was $1,700. It’s gone up in 2012, so we’re glad we booked early, I think this particular package is now $1,900. That being said, our photographer had a number of packages ranging from $1,000 (for like 4 hours, 1 shooter) up to well over $3,000. We just went with the package that fit our budget and met our needs.

    ETA: Our budget is around 8-10K. I LOVE our photographer’s work, she’s amazing.

    Post # 5
    5667 posts
    Bee Keeper

    This was the one thing where I took cost out of the equation. Pictures are so important and if you love the photographer then go for it. If they cost $2700, so be it. If you fall in love with a photog that costs $1500, well even better! If you can reasonably afford it the photog of your dreams just do it.

    Post # 6
    3241 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2011

    In general I do think it is worth spending the money on photography.

    The photographer we had was $2,400, our total wedding cost about $22,000. Unfortunately we got a dud of a photographer personality-wise. The wedding planning for us was done long distance, so I was only able to speak to her over the phone. The phone conversations were fine, so I sent her the deposit ($1250) but when we met in person I knew I’d made a mistake with this particular photographer. Unfortunately the deposit was non-refundable. We received some beautiful photos from the day, but her attitude made the whole thing a sour experience for me. So my advice would be to meet with the photographer in person before booking.

    Post # 7
    3261 posts
    Sugar bee

    Our budget is 26k. We’re paying 5k for photography/videography. Your pictures are going to last far longer than flowers, cake, and food ever will.. so I think if you really love the photog, go for it.

    Post # 8
    14657 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2011

    Photography was about 15% of my budget.

    Post # 9
    2542 posts
    Sugar bee

    Our budget is about $15 000. Our photographer comes in at around $2300, and that’s for 8 hours of shooting, all the editing, and a HI-RES disc of our pictures. In My Humble Opinion, photography is worth the money. It’s the only thing you have to remember the day by. I am actually the most excited vendor-wise about our photographer – he does fantastic work and I am so excited to see how ours turn out!

    Post # 10
    2253 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    Photography and viedography will come out to about $5300, and thats only after I negotiated to take off $1100 by paying cash. It’s about 15% of our budget. I think it’s worth it because it covers unlimited photography and videography for two days (reception and wedding on different days), 2 large canvases, engagement and bridal session, 1-40 page photo album, 2-20 page parents’ album, raw and edited video, highlight video, copyright and usage rights to all my photos on a Hi-res CD. It was by far my biggest cost after food, and well worth it in my mind. 

    Post # 11
    4887 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Our photographer is 10% of our estimated budget.  We didn’t so much focus on dollar amounts as we did quality of work, but we definitely got lucky and found a great photographer (a married couple!) who take amazing pictures for the right price.  It exists, just take your time and look around.


    And yes, ‘proof’ of the day is very important to me.   We’re also dropping serious cash on our videographer and I have zero regrets!

    Post # 12
    1894 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I’m in Chicago, and our photography costs were around 15% of our budget. I went a bit over budget for our photographer because it was a high priority of ours.

    Post # 13
    2161 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: July 2011

    $1500.  I’m so happy with my choice too.

    I’m glad to have nice pictures, but even 6 months later, I rarely look at them anymore.  I’m glad I didn’t go overboard, especially now that we have found out we need to pay for IVF unexpectedly.

    Post # 14
    562 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I’m an avid hobbyist photographer so it was the most important part of the day for me.  That being said I’m also a realist and refuse to break our budget ($6k).  I set myself at a goal of $1500-$1800 for a photographer with a  good package and this is who I nabbed!…


    I love his style.  Communication with him has been great.  I do like the fact that he was a photojournalist  previous also.  He seems very polite but also exuberant and his reviews on wedding wire were great.  We are getting his 6 hr package ($1500) and he is charging $125 for travel (about four hours roundtrip from the Milwaukee area to Wallace MI).  

    He also included a link to other wedding proofs in his initial email.  That way I could see what the day looks like overall, not just the pretty ones because, let’s face it, they all don’t end up stunning lol!

    Btw the picture that really really sold me on him is in gallery 3, 4th row first picture. I love the tree and the editing on it and could totally see it blow up as art 🙂

    Hope that helps and good luck on your search!

    Post # 15
    913 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    Rules of thumb are just a starting point, you definitely should adjust them according to what’s most important to you. We are eloping so our photos are going to cost more than everything else combined! (Excluding travel costs since we count that as honeymoon.) It is really important to have nice photos. I saw some elopement photos from someone who charges $300 and they just look like snaphots a friend might take.

    Post # 16
    1474 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

    @Aure: I totally agree with this! We had our eyes on a certain photographer before we were even engaged. We contacted him soon after we got engaged, before we’d set a date or set a budget or anything, to find out his prices. And yes, there was a lot of sticker shock. But photos were the most important thing to us, and we found a way to make it work. We ended up going with his B team, which was quite a bit cheaper, and we worked hard to save money in a lot of other areas. In the end, I have absolutely no regrets. We loved working with our photography team (they are so kind and so much fun), and we have loved the pictures we’ve seen so far (still waiting for all of our pics right now). I would absolutely do it all over again.  

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