For those of you who want to know how much a wedding photographer cost, this is for you. My first advice in finding this answer is not by looking at platforms like Wedding Wire or The Knot.
The reason being is that they base this on average out of the country, not based on location and experience.
Hey there! My name is Dana Arnold and I am a wedding photographer based out of Monterey, California. I have been in business for almost four years and have photographed weddings in Seven different states. My husband, a Navy Officer, has a job that has us move all over the country. Therefore, my business moves with us. Because of this, along with years of experience, I have been able to help couples into understanding how pricing works for a photographer.
Here’s the thing, this is a question that is not easy to answer because there are several reasons leading up to the answer.
How much does a wedding photographer cost
This is one of the top questions I always see and even get asked by friends who are looking for a photographer. In reality, this is a loaded question. As mentioned earlier, photographer’s cost vary on many things.
How long they have been in business
It goes without saying that the more you have been doing something, the better you become at it. A photographer who has been in business one year does not have the same experience as someone who has been in for four years. So, a photographer starting out might have their prices seem/be very cheap. A photographer who has been in the game for a longer period of time, will have a higher package rate.
There comes a point where photographers want to get better at doing what they love, which is photography. Therefore, they will start to spend hundreds even thousands a year to educate and get better. Whether taking courses or higher a business coach. All this will get you to have an amazing and valuable experience, but all of this will cost more money. Therefore, you can expect their prices to increase a bit to cover this cost.
Where they are located
The cost of living in a city in California cost a lot more than living in a small town in Pennsylvania. If you are having your wedding near a big city that is known to be expensive, then you can expect your prices to be a bit higher when booking your photographer. However, your small town wedding photographer might have good experience and charge only $2,500 for a wedding day. Someone with the same amount of experience could be living in the city and charge twice as much because rent is 100% higher.
The quality of gear and work
A photographer, in order to be trusted, must have trusted gear. A full-frame (fx) camera cost a lot more but also has way better quality in the images. Therefore, a photographer has to charge a certain amount to pay for that gear. In return, you can get amazing and sharp images that look incredible, especially in print.
How much does a wedding photographer cost
After what you have read, keep this all in mind when you hire your next family or even wedding photographer. If your budget seems to be low in your area, you might not find an experienced photographer like you are hoping for. When planning a wedding, keep this in mind as well. Your $1,500 budget in cities like New York City, San Fransisco, Atlanta might not get you the best photographer. Sounds harsh, but that will land you someone new to the game who’s images might not be what you are looking for.
If you know you are going to hire a photographer next year for spring photos, find someone you love,and start saving. Even saving for a $25 a month can help you afford an amazing photographer Same goes for wedding photographers. Keep in mind, most offer payment plans as well! Many do not require the full amount up front.
I hope these tips helped you in learning more about pricing and what you can expect when hiring a wedding photographer
Monterey Wedding Photographer
Now, if you are looking to get married in California in 2022, I would love to talk! You can contact me using this form here!
And, if you want to see some amazing wedding photography inspiration, I have this just for you!