Updated: October 25, 2023
How much does a wedding photographer cost in 2023/2024?
There’s no one size fits all, but I’m here to be your guide all things wedding photography related. I’ll do my best to break down the wedding photographer cost average for you. If you have any questions or you’re looking for a wedding photographer, I’d love to connect.
Why do wedding photographers cost so much (or so little)?
The saying is true, you get what you pay for. A higher price tag usually comes with more experience, vendor relationships/connections, refined style, elevated client experience and other intangibles. Photographers who live in big cities also usually charge more because their cost of doing business is higher.
KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
What is included in their packages?
Is an engagement shoot included?
Will there be one or two photographers on the wedding day?
Do they include heirloom quality albums?
Do they create a timeline for you?
Are they available for unlimited consultations?
Will they do a venue walk-through before the wedding and scout photography locations?
Do photographers sneakily overcharge?
A lot more work goes into wedding photography than most people realize. I’ll break it down for you:
2–3 hours for meet ups/initial consults
2–3 hours of engagement session travel and shooting (local to LA)
6–8 hours of engagement session editing, exporting and delivery
2–3 hours of wedding day timeline prep
2–3 hours of venue tours/scouting the best photo locations
10–20 hours of wedding day-of travel, shooting, back ups and editing sneak peeks
48–60 hours of editing, exporting and delivery of the final gallery
6–8 hours of design and communication with the bride to create the wedding album
That’s potentially 108 hours of actual labor alone. Keep in mind that the cost of our equipment and other expenses have not yet been factored in. Most professional photographers show up to a wedding with more than $10,000 of equipment in their bags.
Costs you don’t see:
Business licenses and insurance
Cell phone and internet bills
Website and domain fees
Assistants and staff
Professional services (like CPAs or lawyers)
Software subscription fees
Marketing and advertising costs
AVERAGE PHOTOGRAPHER COST FOR WEDDING
Wedding photographer cost average for a full service wedding (engagement shoot may or may not be included). Let’s break it down by experience level.
Brand New: $0– $1000
This photographer has never shot a wedding and likely shoots on a camera from Costco. I’m not knocking this by the way. We all start somewhere. My first camera was from Costco!
Beginner: $1000 – $2500
This photographer may have shot one or two weddings and is trying to figure out if the wedding industry is where they want to work. They probably do not own a professional camera or lighting.
Amateur: $2500 – $4000
This photographer has decided that they like the wedding industry and they’re trying to build a portfolio. They may have only shot a few weddings and are still trying to find their style.
Growing Amateur: $4000 – $5000
This photographer may shoot weddings semi-regularly but probably not full time. They are growing their portfolio and vendor connections. They are starting to invest in professional camera gear and lighting.
Professional: $5000 – $7500
This photographer is likely full time and weddings are their niche, but they are still serving a large volume of clients. Most are committed to giving an above average wedding photography experience but are not usually able to be super hands on with their brides. Because they are making enough money to invest more in their business, they will have more education and more advanced equipment (which means better photos!). Most professional photographers are published and have connections with magazines. Your wedding might be published.
Luxury: $7500 – $20,000+
Packages may start at $8k, $10k, $12k, or beyond…
The luxury market is all about client experience and the intangibles. If you book a zoom call with me, you will quickly realize what makes the luxury experience so unique.
Photographers in the luxury space not only live and breathe weddings but they likely take on a limited number per year; however, they likely teach and train other photographers and may have a team of associate shooters available for hire at a lower rate. On the flipside, you might choose this photographer and be willing to pay for their services, but they might not choose you. They are very selective on which clients they accept.
Ready to get started?
I understand that sometimes there is a bit of sticker shock, but here’s what you have to decide—IS BEING ABLE TO PRESERVE YOUR MEMORIES FOR GENERATIONS AND RELIVE YOUR WEDDING DAY A PRIORITY?
If so, I would love to connect. It is my joy and my honor to capture your big moments, quiet moments and all the in between. I want you to remeber how it felt for a lifetime.
I have a few sample packages listed on my OFFERINGS PAGE, but I typically create custom packages to meet the needs of each of my individual couples. If you want the best and are looking for an advisor, trusted friend and seasoned pro in the wedding industry, I’m here to help!
Let’s chat wedding details!