(Closed) When does photography start becoming overpriced or way too expensive?

posted 9 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
1220 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2009

I looked at a lot of photography blogs and here on Weddingbee Pro before I decided on who to book.  There are a lot of photographers that love to do different color effects to pictures, some are over on the Pro side, that make the colors not pop.  I think it’s like a vintage look.  Other look like I could take them, as in not much processing done.  Others like to make colors super bright/super rich which is what I was really looking for.  You know, like those pictures that the color can’t possibly be THAT rich.


Once I got there, I went hunting for people that did that.  Granted we ended up going with a friendor since she can do the processing we wanted and I trust her but it was a process.  There was no way that I was going to lay out $5k+ for a photog.  We ended up paying about $2k.

Post # 4
349 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

I think this really depends on personal taste. What might look amateaur to one person will look amazing to another, so there’s really no way to conclude one way or another.

For us, personally, the photography was our biggest priority. So much so that we decided to not really create a budget for it, and we would just make it work with our overall budget by cutting back on everything else. For 10 hours, two photographers, a DVD of images and probably my absolute dream photographer, we paid just under $5K. But for us, it will be worth every penny, and out of all the vendors we’ve hired, we never worry about the photographer (which was also worth it). For a lot of people, I’m sure that seems way too extravagant, but for us, it was the right choice. We really compromised on my dress, flowers, we didn’t have a DJ and are not decorating the ceremony site since it’s in a garden, so we made it work.

I’m not a big fan of being over-charged by wedding vendors, but I think photographers are the only ones who can really get away with it. They’re the ones who probably work the hardest all day and there’s a lot of pressure on them to get the perfect shots.

Post # 5
613 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2009

photography was one of our ‘most importants’, but we still had a finite amount of moneyo to work with. we were able to contract with a great team and the package came to about $2000. with the extra stuff I added in after i saw the mock album, it will probably come to about $2700. while researching, i spoke with photogs with prices anywhere from $1k to $12k. one well know photographer in the area (we got married in MI) wouldnt do our saturday wedding for less than $10k.  so i think it really depends and there is someone for every budget.

Post # 6
599 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

For us, we have a lot of friends who take excellent pictures, and we aren’t into the stylish and edgey photos that are pretty popular with weddings these days, so paying an arm and a leg for photography was not something we were willing to do. We budgeted $1000 and ended up paying $500 to someone expanding their portfolio. I will do all the editing myself (as I am pretty good and experienced in this) and we will have tons of pics from my friends. I also scrapbook and will be able to make a great album for us for hundreds less than a photographer would charge us.

We’re feeling pretty good about the person we hired, and also good about not paying for all the extras (like digital manipulation, albums, prints, e-session, etc). We have our photog for 7 hours, I think it will be great!

Post # 7
2634 posts
Sugar bee

Besides marrying one another photography was our number one MUST have.  I searched for months and months and months for a photog.  SOOOO many were out of our price range and the “cheap” one just looked well, cheap.  Fiance is actually really into photography so it was hard finding someone within our budget that was up to par for his tastes.  We actually ended up bumping our budget up a little in that area and I’m really happy about it now, because eventually we found someone that we LOVED!

Post # 8
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

Although there are photographers out there I would have given my left leg for, I just couldn’t justify spending so much of my budget on photos. No, we didn’t go cheap and get a friend with a point-n-shoot to take our photos, but we found someone who we click with, love their work and know they will deliver on our wedding day. I think the line of overpriced is crossed when their fee is so much higher than anyone else in the area—like drastic. I also think if it’s too much of your budget then that’s where the line needs to be drawn.


1 hour engagement session + high res disc to print images

2 photographers

8 hours on wedding day

Proof disc and high res disc

Discount on anything ordered when we make our last payment—i.e. album(s)


*My sister used them last year so I know them somewhat. FH really liked them so that was huge for us–he’s a little shy.

Post # 9
7082 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

I have a very generous view of what a photographer should be paid, as they are key to recording your event.  I have recently been learning how expensive their craft is, and how hard it is to maintain the profit margin.  I also think that you have to remember that you are not just purchasing a “service from a vendor”, but you are purchasing art.

So you have to ask yourself how much you’d be willing to pay for this person’s art.  I can’t give you a hard number about what I think is too much, because it really depends on the artist.

Post # 10
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

Don’t worry about “not having anything left to take pictures of” if you have to rearrange the budget to get the photographer you want.  I feel that as brides we get so wrapped up in all the details and decorations that sometimes we forget that the day is about YOU GETTING MARRIED.  

You and your soon to be husband are what any good photographer is going to take pictures of.  Yes, they take detail pictures as well, but they are there to capture the emotions of your big day.  You could be getting married in a high school gymnasium, and I guarantee you’re still going to look at your husband with love and adoration.  A good photographer will capture that, and make it look fantastic, even in a gym.

With that being said, a good photographer doesn’t always equal the most expensive one.  I’ve seen photographers who advertise in small, exclusive bridal publications trumpeting that they charge $10,000 for a wedding.  Intrigued about what $10,000 pictures would look like, I went to their website.  They were terrible.

Look for the quality of images, and the style you’re naturally attracted to first. Then look at price.

The first photographer I wanted (and had wanted for three years or so, even before I was dating my husband) was $5,500 and my parents said no.  So I was forced to look for another photographer.  We ended up finding one for $2,300 and he was amazing.  The $2,300 included him, his assistant, and a second shooter for 12 hours.  It was an amazing deal and the pictures turned out wonderfully.  He now charges twice that (and he’s worth it).  

You may be able to find a great deal like that.  Good luck!

Post # 11
2767 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2009

i think they become too expensive when they start charging $5,000, they use old equipment, and they have no degree in photography.

I found my photographer for $1900 on craigslist.  He is giving us 8 hours of shooting time, all retouching and editing, a 5×7 proof book of every image, total copyright release to all photos right away, all photos on dvd in both hi-res and lo-res versions, and a $200 package to purchase prints off his website.  This price also included a 4 hour engagement session and a 4×6 proof book of all of the edited engagement photos (about 60 of them).  He is just starting up his business, got his degree in photography 2 years ago, and has a very professional website.  I like his work better than the people who were charging $5000+ and wouldn’t give you copyright release until a year after your wedding.

Keep looking, you’ll know when you find the right one.

Post # 12
79 posts
Worker bee

in a free market economy, anyting is too expensive if you cant afford it…however, if you can, its not too expensive….so you cant set a limit where something is too expensive…

you may find 15000 for a wedding expensive, but if you got clients who will pay that, then its not…its just who you aim for client wise.

and i disagree about photography degrees…i think its completely irrelevant to have a degree these days for something like photography where theres way more wealth and experience shared online than any degree can impart….just read and practice….

Post # 13
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

Look into what the costs would be without post-processing. Now that anyone can download a trial version of photoshop and run a single action (it does all the post processing in one click), you can literally get your desired style from anyone. Obviously you won’t be able to do much with the composition, but the colors are completely doable on your own.

I did book a photographer with a specific look, except we’re not buying an album. So we’ll get the raw images, not processed ones, and do it ourselves. (If you want to search for examples of Photoshop actions, look for the keywords lomo or vintage)

Here’s an example of a picture that I used a vintage action with:

pelican redux

You can find the original in that album somewhere. I highly recommend trying it.

But back to your question: I drew the line at 3,000. However, when a local Indiana photographer with really mediocre photos wanted 2,500 and I could get a dream photographer for 2,700 (but from Atlanta, eeps), I did it. So the Atlanta-ians are driving up and we just need to provide a hotel. It was justified to me.

Post # 14
541 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I actually found my photograher on etsy. He was living in the Boston area, but looking to book future weddings in the southern California area (he was moving here). I’m getting 5.5 hours for $1750 (post wedding bridal session included). Although, I noticed that he raised his prices a little bid after he relocated here. So I lucked out getting the Boston area prices.

Post # 15
102 posts
Blushing bee

Photography is always a great investment into your wedding. Not only will it remember you the day but it will also serve as a graphical evidence that you are really married to that someone! .. You never know complications and stuff.. 🙂

-JOKER From Chitown.

Post # 16
129 posts
Blushing bee

I won’t spend more than 900 or so.  Pics are great, but how many of them do you hang in your house??? 

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