(Closed) Wedding Photography Poll

posted 11 years ago in Photos/Videos
  • poll: Is $2000-2500 the best I should expect to do?

    Yes, photography just costs a lot, this is a fair price

    No, you could find a better price and still get high quality pics (please explain how)

  • Post # 3
    605 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: March 2010 - Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

    yeah, tell me about it. i was totally floored when i saw photography packages.  you may want to try putting an ad on craigslist or searching through craigslist for up and coming photographers who are willing to receive a lower rate in order to build their portfolio.


    geographic area: san francisco bay area

    cost: $1800

    package: 6 hours coverage, disc with 200-250 edited images (no engagement shoot, no 2nd photographer, only 6 hours, etc.) and that was the lesser expensive of the final options i was considering!

    however, i did consider some craigslist possibilites that were $1000 and under.

    Post # 4
    18628 posts
    Honey Beekeeper
    • Wedding: June 2009

    Location: Colorado

    Cost: about $4,000

    What I Got: 8 hours, about 400 edited shots from the wedding all on CD and edited, 2 shooters, $200 credit for albums or pictures, album with most wedding pictures, additional session (engagement, bridal, TTD)

    EDIT: I can’t vote on whether yours is a good deal because you didn’t say what sort of things you get for that price.

    Post # 5
    6593 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: August 2010

    This was the biggest sticker shock for me too but it was really important to me so I went for it!

    Our package is $2300 for all the edited digital negatives and 5 hours of shooting with 2 shooters!

    I did consider the cheaper options but photography was REALLY important to me and the quality was just not the same of the students/beginners that I found!

    Post # 6
    545 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: December 1969

    Oh, I went through that. I think that while $2000-$2500 can get you good photography, but if your budget is low, I think you can definitely find something lower.  Like pp said, find new talented photographers who are trying to expand their portfolio.  You can try posting a “looking” thread in the Classified section here on WB and post your budget and what you are looking for.  I did that and I got tons of responses! 

    As for the photographer we are using, I am in the Boston area.  We are getting 2 shooters, 7 hours of coverage, 1 hr. engagement session, and a disc with all the edited images in HD for $1995.  We had to negotiate for a while to get the package we wanted, though and normally I think the package is normally $1000 more than we are paying.  So, negotiate, if you can!  We didn’t get prints or albums b/c that’s the most expensive part and we figured we’d print them later on as we don’t have the budget for that now.  I think you might have to skip those for now if you have a low budget.

    I spent a LONG TIME looking for a photographer and I literallly went to hundreds of photographers’ websites.  Also book early as photographers who are affordable and good book fast!! My top 3 choices were booked when I contacted them. Another reason to book early if you find someone who’s a good photographer and new is that their prices jump so fast once people discover them and you want to lock your price. Good luck!



    Post # 7
    4122 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2010

    Geographic area does have an impact, unfortunately, if your in Connecticut, your in a higher cost of living and therefore, those prices seem completely normal and to me, low.

    Now, if you were getting married say in Salt Lake City, where there is a HUGE number of lower budget mormon weddings (in general, they don’t do things as we do them. Everyone chips in, people get married really young, and it’s just their culture not to spend big money.) I’d say that’s really high.

    That being said, right before Christmas I shot a last min. VERY tight budget wedding.  I’ve also shot weddings where my commission was probably equal to everything else combined…. but because they hired a good pro, their $20 of daisy’s looked like $200.  Their homemade cupcakes looks like they came from a bakery, her smile in her portraits said she just had the best day of her life (which she did!).  

    You “can” find “cheap” photographers, but that’s one of the things I kinda cringe on.  I say get who you LOVE no matter what the price. The one that makes your heart jump when you look through their work. You can find cheaper but do you want to.

    At the end of the wedding your food is gone, there’s only the picture of it. That’s usually about 60% of your budget right there, gone. The music ends. Drinks are gone.  Flowers are already wilting and dying by the end of the reception if they even made it that far.  Your dress will have another $200 or so spent on it being stuck inside a box never to be seen again and shoved into your attic.  Chairs, linens, rentals go back. The cake is gone.  Centerpieces have been stolen by your family.

    At the end of the day, all you have left is your pictures.  Everyone deserves to have amazing images of themselves, high quality ones at least once in their life.

    Then there’s this post.  I don’t know how much her photographer cost, but this bride wouldn’t put a price tag on these pictures.

    Weekend Mountain Wedding: A Dance with My Papa


    Post # 8
    472 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2010

    We’re getting married on Cape Cod Ma, which is an expensive area, so to cut costs we decided to look for an up-and-coming photographer and found a great one!  We researched a ton and I got first hand recommendations from brides that used her (from local boards and The Knot) and she was highly regarded. We also decided to cut down the time she’ll be there and asked a relative who is a great amateur photographer to snap shots during the rest of the night.  So we’re paying $995 for four hours and we’ll own every picture on the CDs.  I wanted to do the editing and printing myself so although it’s more work it saves a ton.  I truly love her work and can’t wait to see the results!

    Post # 9
    13561 posts
    Honey Beekeeper

    Honestly, the photographers I love that have the kinds of photo packages I want are looking to be about $4000. I am wishing I could get a photog. in your price range.

    You really just have to decide how important photos are. Often, you get what you pay for. You can probably find someone with high quality work that costs less, but you’ll have to really hunt for it. Otherwise, you may sacrifice quality; and you just have to decide how you feel about that sacrifice.

    Post # 10
    1051 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    We’re paying about $2000 for TWO photogs all day, full rights to all photos and a limited number of touched up ones.  Since we have the hi-res proofs, we can always go back and get more touched up at a later date when we have more cashola

    Post # 11
    2015 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2009

    We paid $5K for our photog and it included:

    – A second shooter
    – 10 hours of coverage
    – A DVD of color-corrected images
    – An online gallery of our images to sent to people

    Our photographer was based in Upstate NY, and that’s also where we got married. She was our dream photographer, and was also by far our biggest splurge. We cut back on a few other things to hire her. I gotta say, it was worth it for us. Photographer was super, super important to both of us, and since we’re both in marketing/design, we have specific taste in photography, and she met the requirements.

    Post # 12
    2394 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: April 2010

    Ouch.  I had a similar experience, but found that bargaining works wonders.  We live in NYC and were initially quoted around $2,250.00 for an engagement shoot, eight hours of coverage, an album, an online gallery, a print credit for guests and a disk of all images.

    We reduced our price to $1,750.00 total by cutting out two hours of coverage, and scrapping the album and print credit.

    Post # 13
    2702 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2010

    I’ve been doing heavy photog browsing/shopping in the Metro-Detroit area

    For our list of priorities:

    -8 hours wedding day coverage

    -1 hour rehearsal coverage

    -unlimited print rights/dvd of all images

    -modern photojournalistic style with traditional poses for the ‘rents

    -associate photog

    -some editing

    -online proofing/website

    -free e-session

    It’s been averaging the $2500 mark, with album options it’s at least $3500+.

    Post # 14
    1116 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2008

    Location: Seattle

    Package Cost: $1650, plus travel expenses, total just under $2k

    Included: Unlimited/all-day coverage with 2 shooters, dvds with high res images – about 3 hundred edited/retouched and about 3 thousand raw images and a slideshow, online gallery of images for 1 year

    No engagement pics or albums.  Our photog’s rates have gone up about $800 for this same package since she is now more established.

    Some of our family portraits didn’t have the best lighting and were posed a little awkward, so that was dissapointing, but more experienced photogs in our area would have cost $3-4k for like 6 hours of time…we love the other photos, so it was worth the compromise it in hindsight.

    Post # 15
    2560 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2010

    Our photography cost is: $2830

    We are in: Alberta, Canada

    Our package includes: Engagement session

    8 hours primary photog & 5 hours second shooter

    250 fully retouched, high-res (printable to 16×24) digital photos with full release rights on cd

    All proofs printable to 4×6 with no watermarks on cd

    We can add-on a photobooth with all proofs on cd for $350


    Post # 16
    1269 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: January 2011

    Location: Seattle

    Package Cost: $1200 + tax

    Included: 9 hour coverage with 2 shooters, dvd with full copy rights, 1-11×14 print, 100-4×6 prints, online photos for a year, all photos will be touched up and some will have creative/artsy effects applied.  She will also take unlimited pictures all day.  I am getting a better deal though because she has an off season special and then getting an additional $150 off because she shot my sister’s wedding.  Otherwise this would’ve come to $1500 + tax.



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