April 24, 2018

Wedding Photography Pricing

Wedding photography prices can range from a very basic low budget under $1000 to a luxury high budget upwards of $10,000 and even more. It is dependent on the overall scope: how many photographers and assistants, how many location shoots, how many prints, proofs, special albums, hours of coverage, and extras. Photographers will usually offer packages that outline certain terms and have various options at additional costs.

The Basic Package

Wedding photography prices for a typical basic package may include one to four hours of coverage by one person, one shoot location, proofs either online or in an album, and a limited number of prints or a CD that gives access to prints at will. The problem with such a limited service is that the customer has little influence on what photos are taken outside of what was originally agreed upon once the event has begun.  There will not be much spontaneous interaction. The scope and representation of the event is limited.

Moderate package

A moderately priced package may include more hours, the use of an assistant or a second photographer, larger number of proofs and prints, more album or multi-media options, or a second location. There most likely would be more of a mix of candid and posed shots and spontaneous/unplanned action shots. This widens the scope to represent more of the entire event.

Deluxe package

Wedding photography prices for deluxe packages can range from expensive to very expensive, depending on how far the client and the photographer are willing to take it. Services may include multiple shoots ranging from the rehearsal, the engagement, the precession, ceremony, reception, studio portraitures, and more, additional staff, unlimited prints, specialty albums, digital slide shows, unlimited coverage and a whole host of special options.

If the sky is not the limit, figure out what is the most important to you. What is the minimum you would be happy with? What do you want for your family and friends?  Informal photos could be taken by family members or a trusted friend and is one way to cut down the cost of wedding photography prices.

There is truth to the adage you get what you pay for.  A new photographer has to start somewhere, but do you want to be their training class?  Wedding photography prices are determined not only by the experience and expertise of the photographer, but by how they spend their time and what type of equipment they use.

The time spent taking pictures on your wedding day varies from one photographer to another. Some may charge by the hour while others may set a time limit per location, while others devote the entire day and do whatever it takes to get it done, (which may require several hours of preparation). It is important for you to know what to expect beforehand. You do not want to be left wishing certain shots were not missed.

Experienced photographers will send film out to a professional lab that specializes in wedding photography as opposed to the photographer who is forced to consider cost over quality and send it out to a bargain lab.

With digital photography the editing is normally done by the photographer himself or his staff. This can vary from a few hours in Lightroom to hours of professional editing in Photoshop and other editing software. The amount of time spent on editing will certainly have a big influence on the photography quote, but in the end you will be able to see the difference in the quality of the end product.

The type of equipment used is an important factor, and represents the sophistication and skill level of the photographer. Simple techniques need only simple, low cost equipment, while more elaborate techniques require more sophisticated equipment. Are there back up cameras and other equipment in case of failures? (This happens more often than you may think.) Is the equipment properly taken care of, serviced, and stored?

You can get a feel for this by visiting the photographer’s studio and asking to see their equipment. After looking at their portfolio ask to see several albums that they have done for customers. What they are able to show you signifies a greater depth in experience and expertise. Insist on albums that will portray a whole wedding and not jus the best work of the photographer. You don’t want to just see his best work only, you want to see how he or she handles everything, from getting dressed up to the end of the day.