How much does a wedding photographer cost in 2022/2023?

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 and other intangibles. Photographers who live in big cities also usually charge more because their cost of doing business is higher.

spanish hills country club wedding photographer | the bride and groom enter


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

romantic bride and groom portrait at spanish hills country club


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 – $2000

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: $1800 – $2800

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: $2800 – $3800

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: $3800 – $5000

This photographer lives and breathes weddings. They are full time and weddings are their niche. They are committed to giving an exceptional wedding photography experience. Because they are making enough money to invest more in their business, they will have more advanced equipment (which means better photos!). Most professional photographers are published and have connections with magazines. Your wedding might be published. 

Luxury: $5000 – $20,000+

This photographer not only lives and breathes weddings but likely takes on a limited number per year (15-20 at most); however, they likely teach and train other photographers and have a team of associate shooters available for hire at a lower rate. You might want 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 chat?

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 standard premade packages, but I can also custom create a package that meets the needs for your day. If budget is an issue, I happily offer affordable payments for each of my couples. If you want the best, I am happy to help.

Let’s chat!

You might also enjoy these posts:

Wedding Planning Advice & Tips

Do I Need Engagement Photos?



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Wedding Photographer Cost Average

April 1, 2022

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