The wedding day wouldn’t be complete without professional photos. After all, time flies and images are the only way to relive the special day. It’s also a significant cost that needs to be factored in before making final decisions about the wedding.
What is the going rate for wedding photography services? Pricing for a day of wedding photography coverage can be anywhere from $1,200 to $3,000.
This range is based on the national average for 2022. However, couples in the United States spend anywhere from $500 for student-level photographers to $10,000 or more for elite packages.
The average professional photographer will charge $75-$200 per hour, and most weddings require between 6 and 10 hours of coverage.
You may expect to spend anywhere from 10–15% of your total wedding budget on photography, with the exact amount depending on your location and the services you require.
Read on for information on wedding photography costs and how to set a spending limit for this essential service.
How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost?
Your wedding photography costs can be a significant financial outlay, so it’s essential to be well-informed, so you don’t end up with any unpleasant surprises.
The fact that photographers’ rates vary widely based on their level of expertise is one of the few constants in the photography industry.
The cost will vary based on various factors, including the hours needed to edit the images and the number of guests.
Fees for a student range from $500 to $1500, while those for a semi-pro range from $1000 to $2500. Pricing for a professional wedding photographer will generally begin at $2500 and go up to $10,000, with grandmasters of wedding photography charging $6000 and up.
The answer to this question depends on how long they stay at your wedding—anywhere from two to eight hours. Experience, advice, and teamwork—the whole shebang, if you will.
PRO TIP: Spending between 10% to 15 % of your total wedding expenditure on photography is reasonable. It is only the groundwork. Budget more if you want imaginative, fluff-filled wedding images. If you want the best wedding photos, you should spend more money on the photographer.
Price of Wedding Photography on Average in Your State
Most Bay Area wedding photographers charge $5,500 for a day of coverage, significantly higher than the typical $3,000–$4,000 spent by brides in Southern California on photography.
Spend between $2,500 and $5,000 on photographs for your big day in New York. New York City prices will be higher than the national average.
With an average of roughly $27,000 spent on a wedding in Illinois, the average couple likely spends between $2,700 and $4,000.
In Texas, the average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,500 (10% of the total price).
What It Takes To Have Your Wedding Photographed In The Bigger Cities
For 8 hours of coverage, the average cost of a wedding photographer in San Francisco is $5,000.
A professional photographer in the Los Angeles area may cost you between $3,500 and $5,000, with many couples opting to spend even more on a top-tier specialist.
In Chicago, a professional wedding photographer will run you roughly $3,500.
The typical price for a wedding photographer in Houston is $4,200.
In Dallas, the cost of hiring a photographer for a wedding is typically around $3,500.
The typical cost of a wedding photographer in Denver is $3.9k.
Jacksonville wedding photographers charge an average of $2,200 for their services, ranging from $1,000 to $4,000.
The typical rate for an eight-hour day with a wedding photographer in Philadelphia is $3800.
Prices for wedding photography in Pittsburgh typically range from $2,000 to $3,000, with some more lavish packages costing upwards of $4,000.
Pricing for an Australian Wedding Photographer
In Australia, the typical cost of hiring a wedding photographer is $3,211. It is an increase of 8% from the charge last year.
New South Wales
The expense of a photographer is a significant factor in why weddings in New South Wales cost more than the national average.
A professional photographer will earn an average of $3,896 in New South Wales. It is because there has been an increase in the number of lavish weddings in New South Wales, resulting in a greater need for professional wedding photographers in the state.
The average cost of a wedding photographer in Victoria is $3,080, slightly less than the national average.
It is excellent news for engaged Victorians, as weddings in the state are notoriously costly, especially as many couples put the cost of food and drink ahead of the location of the ceremony and reception.
In Queensland, the average cost to hire a photographer is $2,672, a slight rise from the previous year. Photographing a wedding here is much more affordable than in New South Wales or Victoria.
In South Australia, the average cost of a wedding photographer is $2,741. It follows the pattern of weddings in South Australia costing significantly less than those in the east. It is consequently lower than the national average, as is the case in Queensland.
Wedding photography rates on the West Coast are consistently lower than those on the East Coast. A wedding photographer will earn an average of $2,893 in Western Australia.
Capital Territory of Australia
All states have seen price increases for wedding photographers, but the ACT’s increase is higher than the rest of the country’s.
In Australia, the average cost for a couple to have their “Hollywood moment” captured on the steps of parliament is $3,292.
Wedding photographers in Tasmania are now less expensive than a year ago, which is excellent news for engaged couples as the state is home to several picturesque locations.
A professional photographer’s rate can be more or less than the average of $1,838.
The Northern Territory has slightly cheaper wedding photography rates than the rest of the country.
Even if fewer weddings are north of the Mason-Dixon Line, that doesn’t mean photographers up there don’t have great photo ops. The approximate cost is $2,850.
The Typical Wedding Photography Package Includes the Following
A common misconception is that all wedding photography packages are equivalent. Having a grasp of the fundamentals, you may now be curious about the potential returns on your investment.
It would help if you fully grasped the range of pricing tiers and bundles at your disposal. Prices, packages, and inclusions might vary significantly from one photographer to the next.
The following are some of the most vital factors to think about while comparing wedding photography packages:
Depending on how long you need your photographer, your wedding photography cost can rise or fall significantly.
Wedding photographers typically provide their services for 6-10 hour sessions.
The price of a wedding photographer may increase if they have to travel to your location.
Travel and lodging expenses for those coming from out of town must be covered, even if “pay-per-mile” is not required.
Inquire in advance whether they have a venue charge or need overnight lodgings.
Number of Photographers
Having a second photographer at your wedding is terrific, especially if your celebration involves many guests.
But obviously, the cost of hiring two photographers is higher than hiring one, so if you’re hoping to have both a significant and secondary photographer there, be prepared to spend more.
Taking pictures at your wedding is merely the beginning. In second place is editing. Photographers will spend significant time sorting through your wedding’s images, selecting the best ones, and editing them to make you look like a movie star.
The standard rule of thumb for wedding photography is that for every hour spent shooting, you must spend at least one-hour editing.
Some photographers can charge less because they either do not edit the photos themselves, rely solely on automatic or preset filters, or have the photos processed by someone in another country.
Images and Print Release
Your wedding photographer should provide the agreed-upon photos as soon as they are finished being edited.
Usually, photographers will give you a rough estimate of how many images you may anticipate receiving.
It may come in the form of a USB disk or an online photo gallery from which you may download images.
The print release that many photographers now offer with their photos lets you make copies of the images for personal use.
Own Personal Use
Remember to ask about a print release immediately if you intend to acquire tangible copies of your wedding images.
Most professional photographers will not offer you ownership rights of the images or provide you with raw, unedited images.
Collections of Albums and Artwork
Prints, albums, and even “parents albums” are everyday physical objects in picture packages (a smaller version of an entire album).
These can be purchased singly as à la carte extras as well. It is a terrific place to economize to afford your preferred photographer.
Ways to Save Money on the Wedding Photographer
Instead of being forced to shell out extra cash to the photographer for prints and enlargements, you could save money by gaining access to printing rights.
You should check your legal standing before downloading any photographs from a website. It is the best method for estimating how much money you’ll need to pay for wedding photography.
A discounted bundle that includes the engagement and wedding images is more cost-effective than purchasing the photos for both events separately.
Lastly, feel free to bargain for a lower price. Depending on the time of year and the competition among local photographers, you can negotiate reduced costs for your wedding images.
Why Are Photographers for Weddings So Expensive?
Inevitably, the cost of hiring a professional photographer for a wedding will exceed the photographer’s hourly rate due to variables like travel time and packing up or renting equipment.
Costs tend to grow with group size due to the difficulty of arranging for everyone who needs to be in each shot to work with a single photographer.
It is time-consuming to send images to each guest and wait for their responses, which may include requests for adjustments or additional options.
There is also a lighting issue at the site, requiring the photographer to make an unforgettable pre-event visit to scope the scene.
Photography services are frequently rated as one of the most in-demand wedding providers, which is good to know.
Photographers hired for weddings typically receive 5 out of 5 ratings from their clients for their work on the big day.
Can the photographer and the customer agree? The customer, however, is searching for a photographer who can produce high-quality results without breaking the bank.
The more excellent price is good for the wedding photographer, but the extras are optional to the customer. Is the “super-size me” offer mandatory when booking a wedding photographer?
With no album to worry about, you may save yourself the trouble and expense of putting it together and throwing it away.
The same may be said of the USB drive, which requires both initial investments to produce and subsequent time investment to arrange and load all photographs.
This trend is terrible news for wedding photographers because it will likely reduce their average booking price and overall income. They can take on more events if they can spend less time at each wedding.
What is a reasonable budget for a wedding?
According to The Knot’s 2022 Real Weddings Study, the national average for a wedding in 2022 was $28,000. Here is some information to help you better understand what a wedding might cost and how much money you’ll need to pull the trigger on this big life decision.
How much should I budget for a 100-person wedding?
Costs for a reception for a hundred guests typically range from $5,500 to $10,000, with an average of $7,000. The following is a rough breakdown of the costs of catering to such a large wedding, including service and staffing, alcohol, and venue rental.