(Closed) photography budget- what did you include?

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@amyeliza:  Personally, I think you should go for the best photographer you can afford, and not worry about getting albums or other extras included right now.  You can always buy them later or on your own… but one thing you can never have back is your wedding day to be rephotographed.

The best way to approach the search for a photographer is to find the style of images you really love, and find a photographer whose work moves you.  You want to find one, who, when you see those photos, you think “Yes, I would LOVE if those were my photos!” 

After you figure out what style you like, then you’re ready to determine what price range this is going to fall into.  Pro photography starts around $2.5k depending on where you live.

It’s better to book a better photographer that includes less, than someone who makes mistakes and/or is inexperienced and includes more.  A free album isn’t worth much if you don’t love the photos in it!

Post # 4
1360 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I thought photographers in Costa Rica would be super expensive, most bridal things are (read Pronovia dresses that in the US sell for 2k here sell for 6k) so I was super bummed looking for photographers. I fell in love with one on style me pretty, Ale Sura and immediatley figured she was out of my price range (hoping to pay less than 2500). Contacted about ten but disnt really love any of them, out of a whim I contacted her, and lo an behold, her basic package is 1400!!!! 


It includes: Engagement session, all day coverage of the wedding (12 hr total) 200 prints in different sizes, unlimited number of photos, all of which will be profesionally edited by her and of course the rights to all the images. Since it is still under budget I am also adding a photobooth (which includes a second photographer for the full day) for 500, a boudoir shoot for 300 and a full sized book and four miniature ones for 600. Its a bit over budget but I think she is so worth it!




Post # 5
8576 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

We are mainly just looking for a photographer that we LOVE, and hopefully get our the rights on CD.

We won’t bother with albums or prints, but we’ll have the cd to print them by any means we want.

Post # 6
1735 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

We’re on a very tight budget, so when I went photographer hunting, I set a $2k limit. There were a few things I absolutely had to have. I wanted an engagement session, two photographers on the day of the wedding, at least 8 hours of coverage, and an edited hi-res disc or flash drive of our photos with a print release. I wasn’t as adamant about albums or canvases or prints, but if they were included, that was a plus.

@seAprilbride: +1. You have to love their work first. If you don’t love their pics of other weddings, you’re not going to like your own, either! I didn’t even bother meeting with a photographer if I didn’t like their work, even if they were less expensive than other options.

Post # 7
23 posts
  • Wedding: July 2013

The photographer we booked is $2500 (off peak rate). This is for photos from when I’m getting ready to well into the reception. Get all the photos on a disc professionally edited. No albums or prints but we can go and print as many as we want later. I will probably do our own album as well as these can get really expensive. He’s an Aus photographer and I love his work – Tom Hall Photography.  Photography was the one thing I was happy to spend a bit more money on.

Post # 8
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

This year most of my clients are going for coverage and skipping any extras. Out of all my weddings this year only 3 did an e session and none ordered an album. Their priority is the coverage as all the rest can be done after.

Post # 9
700 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Ours was ~$3K and included 7hrs wedding day coverage, as well as a 2hr engagement session and 1.5hr bridal session. We booked the best one we could afford and nixed all the extras (their packages included albums, prints, etc). We have all the printing rights to all our pictures (about 1K from the wedding and a few hundred from the sessions) and we’ve already bought our album and our parents’ albums from ShutterFly (about $300 for everything we wanted), as well as tons of prints for frames, scrapbooking, etc. I’m so glad we went the route we did – very similar to the suggestion in the first response.

Post # 10
12247 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

All I wanted was adequate coverage for the main events (ceremony and luncheon, with pictures between) and a CD with all those images and printing rights.

Our photog is doing 6 hours of the wedding and two hours of the rehearsal dinner, we’re getting all the pics on CD with printing rights, and it’s costing us $950!

Post # 11
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Another tip… don’t get hung up on the different numbers brides post here and what they are getting for that amount.


you don’t have any idea WHAT they are getting, because you can’t see the work of the photographer they booked.

There is NO WAY to determine who is getting a deal and who is not based on the numbers alone.  You absolutely have to see the photographer’s work.  What is acceptable to one bride might totally not be to another bride.  YOU have to do the research and determine the style and quality of the photos you desire.  THEN you are ready to determine a price range.

Post # 13
1651 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

For my wedding I chose:

1) Style – I gotta love her style. I am flying her over from Vegas to Socal

2) 8 hours coverage, no engagement session (I wanted it but it was impossible because all 3 of us – Fiance, me, and her – live in different cities)

3) Digital files

4) I am making my own album since I’m a professional photographer – so, it’s not fair a comparison – but it is something that I budgeted for

My budget for my Socal wedding is $2500 + about $500 in travel considerations

I also am having a second wedding in Boston where I will have similar requirements but I expect to pay $4500. The difference is because the cost of living in Boston is higher for the same talent as my Vegas photographer

Post # 14
1314 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2006

@seAprilbride:  Yep.  The numbers here are just numbers.  Few if any are posting the websites of the people they are hiring.

Post # 15
841 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

@amyeliza:  My budget for photography is $2500, and we are meeting with a photographer next Friday. The things I care less about are thank you cards, photos of me getting ready, and reception photos. I just want really nice shots during and after the ceremony an engagement shoot, and probably an album. I might go over budget to about $2800 depending on the package we get, but I have ranked photography as one of my top 3 most important things for the wedding day so I’m okay with that.

Post # 16
5950 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I just did coverage for the day. I made my own albums and am very happy with them. I really don’t understand why you would pay your photographer thousands of dollars for something you can easily produce on your own these days.  It was differnt back in the day, but these days it’s not necessary.

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