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How much does wedding photography cost?

January 7, 2017

 

As you probably expect, and like every other product/service for sale out there, wedding photography pricing is all relative.  There are several factors to consider when answering this question and we'll use this blog to discuss a few of them.

  1. Location, Location, Location!
  2. YOUR Budget
  3. WHEN YOU BOOK!
  4. What's products/services you need
  5. How Important is wedding photography to YOU?

Let's break this down one-by-one:

Location, Location, Location

I didn't just use this title because it's a well-known phrase that's been used for over 100 years.  I chose this phrase because there are three important locations to consider when deciding what your wedding photography budget is.  

  • Your Location - Where you live.
  • The location of the photographer. (this is a big deal when calculating travel fees)
  • The location of your wedding/engagement photography session. 

The further apart each of these locations are, the more you should expect it to effect your wedding photography cost.

YOUR Budget

Statistically speaking, the average bride and groom will spend between 15-32% of their overall wedding day budget on their wedding photography.  Obviously, each wedding budget is different.  When deciding your overall wedding day budget (and by extension your wedding photography cost), there are a couple factors to consider:

  • Chances are, this is a one in a lifetime event - your ideal budget is probably less than what your dream wedding would cost.  Figure out whats important to you, what that costs, and build from there.  
  • 15-32% of your overall wedding budget may seem like a lot, but consider this: When all is said and done, all you have left from your wedding day (aside from a new spouse) is your memories and your photographs.  Prioritize your wedding photography!  

WHEN YOU BOOK!

This one is a tip that will vary in it's effectiveness based on each wedding photography to you speak with.  Generally speaking, though, the further out you book, the better pricing you'll receive.  There is a gamble that if you wait 'til the last minute (within a month or two) that a photographer that has availability will happily give you a discount because you're filling their schedule.  HOWEVER - the greater likelihood is that you'll get a higher price for a last minute booking.  At Moreau & Company we don't charge extra, but we also don't offer discounts for last minute - "fill the calendar" kind of work. 

Another thing to consider, is that if a photographer is going to raise their prices, it likely will happen on a yearly increment.  You can keep the cost of your wedding photography lower by booking far enough in advance that if the photographer raises their prices you're locked in at the lower rate.

What Products/Services you need

Most wedding photographers' cost is dictated by what is included in their pre-decided packages.  As a wedding client, you reap the rewards of an industry professional building a package that they've identified as being the best value to you.  One way to keep costs down is to only pick a package that includes the things that you want.  Customizing packages is a great way to eliminate the features that you deem unnecessary and potentially lower your wedding photography cost. 

How important is Wedding Photography to YOU?

 This is by far the biggest factor in how much your wedding photography will cost you. No, you can't expect a wedding photographer to raise or lower their pricing because of how much you like their work (although it sometimes doesn't hurt to ask).  However, with wedding photography ranging from $1,500-$10,000 (with the average being right around $3000) there are a lot of options out there.  Dependent on how important it is to you that you capture one of the biggest moments in your life to share with generations to come (no pressure), you can set your wedding photography budget, which is worth expanding if you can afford to do so, and find a photographer that is within your budget and whose style you love. 

 

Recap:There are a lot of wedding photographers out there.  The average bride and groom spend between 150-32% of their overall wedding budget on their photography.  Throughout the United States, wedding photographer costs anywhere between $1,500-$10,000 with an average wedding photography cost of about $3,000.  Wedding photographers all have different expenses, levels of expertise, motivations, and styles.  all of these things factor into how much your wedding photographer will cost.  That said, at the end of your wedding, your photography will prove to have been your best investment, hands down. INVEST IN YOUR WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY - It's worth it!   

And! When you're ready to book a wedding photographer in Cleveland, Ohio, Colorado, or for your destination wedding - Contact us.  We'd love to talk with you about providing the wedding photography for your big day!


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  • By Shawn Moreau - Cleveland & Colorado Wedding & Engagement Photographer
      (The Best Fine Art Wedding Photographers in the City!)
    We're glad everyone has benefited from this. If you come across anyone else who is looking to figure out how much wedding photography costs, and why, please let send them our way! We're happy to help in any way we can!
  • By anonymous
    Great article about the cost of wedding photography. Good Read!
  • By Richard Gilmore IV
    Wedding Photography costs as much as you're willing to spend. The more you're willing to spend, the better experience you'll have. My advice to anyone who is hung up on the cost of wedding photography: just remember that "Wedding photographers all have different expenses, levels of expertise, motivations, and styles. all of these things factor into how much your wedding photographer will cost. That said, at the end of your wedding, your photography will prove to have been your best investment, hands down."
  • By Shaniqua Nelson
    I've always wondered why wedding photography costs so much - this article breaks it down nicely. I'm not to the point where I need wedding photography yet, but when I do, I now what what it costs. I'll be calling you.
  • By anonymous
    I've been searching for a good article about the cost of wedding photography. This is the most explanatory article I've come across. Thank you!