How much will your wedding and event photography cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Photographers on Thumbtack cost$400 - $600

Average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$200
  • Most common low price:$400
  • Most common high price:$600
  • Highest price:$1500
Real quotes from Photographers

How much do photographers charge?

On average, hiring a photographer costs $235, though this price will vary by the photographer and with your needs. On the low end, pros generally charge between $85 and $200, and high-end prices range from $300 to $1,500. 

Average photography prices:

National average cost $235
Low-end cost range $85-$200
High-end cost $300-$1,500

A key factor in pricing is the type of photography services you need. Do you need a photographer to take photos at an event? Or, do you want to go into a studio and take photos?

From wedding photos to headshots, here’s everything you need to know about the cost of hiring a photographer and how to get cost estimates from pros near you.

How much does a photographer charge per hour?

While some photographers charge their clients a flat rate, others will charge by the hour. If you’re hiring a professional with hourly pricing, expect a low-end cost range of $50 to $100/hr and a high-end range of $200 to $350/hr.

Average photographer hourly rate:

National average cost $131/hr
Low-end cost range $50-$100/hr
High-end cost range $200-$350/hr
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Ultimately, this fee will depend on several variables. The type of event (wedding photography, real estate photography, portraits, private shoots, etc.) and the time of year can impact costs. A studio, special camera or equipment, and the need for an assistant can drive prices up as well.

A professional photographer may be willing to negotiate to come up with a pricing strategy, flat rate or package that works for both of you.

Professional photography price list

Weddings $200-$2,500
Portraits $100 to $350
Head shots $85 to $350
Real estate $100-$375
Commercial $125-$700
Engagement $150-$350
Pets $100-$300 
Sports $120-$500 
Nature $100-$400 
Boudoir $125-$450 
Aerial $125-$450  

How much does a wedding photographer cost?

The average cost of wedding photography is $500 total (or $100/hr). Wedding and event photographers have either a flat or hourly fee, but many offer their clients wedding photo packages as well. 

Average wedding photographer prices: 

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$200-$2,500 $500 $100-$250/hr $100/hr

Your wedding photos can get expensive, however, depending on the time of the year, how many photos you need and how many hours the photographer needs to work. The longer you need them at your wedding, the higher the rates:

Duration (hours) Total cost
2 $375
3 $524
4 $671
5 $819
6 $967
7 $1,116 

Rates may also depend on the type of delivery — if you want your wedding album in print instead of in an online gallery, for example — if the photographer needs to travel far to your wedding and their experience level. 

 >>Compare prices today. Here are the best wedding photographers near you.

How much does portrait photography cost?

The average cost of portrait photography is $200, but prices range from $100 to $350. Senior, graduation and family portrait pricing may vary depending on the shoot's location (shooting indoors vs. outdoors, or in your home vs. the studio). The pro may charge less to shoot at their studio because they won’t have to bring their equipment to a remote site. 

Average portrait prices:

National average cost $200
Low-end cost range $100-$180
High-end cost range $200-$350 

The number of photos you need and your desired format may also impact portrait pricing. For example, larger photos that are 8-by-10 generally cost more than 4-by-6 photos. Digital downloads or digital images, a CD or DVD, a flash drive or an album, and physical proofs and prints are common delivery options. 

And, finally, the type of portrait will impact pricing. The following are examples of average portrait costs:

Portrait type Average cost
Solo $171
Maternity $176
Graduation $188
Couples $201
Family/children $226
Newborn  $227

 >>Request quotes from pros. Find portrait photographers near you.

How much are headshots?

Headshots for marketing, glamour, acting, corporate and professional purposes are an important part of the photography business. On average, professional headshots cost $150, but prices typically range from $85 to $350.

Headshot prices:

National average cost $150
Low-end cost range $85-$125
High-end cost range $175-$350 

The number of wardrobe changes, duration of the shoot, number of downloads and extras like a make-up artist (or a stylist) can all impact headshot pricing. For corporate headshots, the number of employees who need photos will also determine how much you end up paying:

Number of people Average cost
2-5 people $191
6-10 people $209
11-20 people $234
21-50 people $305
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How much do real estate photographers charge?

Hiring a real estate photographer will cost you $200 (or $100/hr), on average. The amount of time the pro will be at the site, the quality of the photography (advanced editing, lighting, etc.), the size of the property and the need for aerial photographs can impact the price.

Real estate photography pricing:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$100-$375 $200 $55-$200/hr  $100/hr

For example, a real estate photographer near you may charge around $500 to $600 for a residential shoot that lasts around five hours, while another may charge over $2,000 for a commercial job that involves multiple structures.  

How much are commercial photographers?

On average, commercial photography rates range from $125 to $700 (or $55 to $250/hr). Whether it’s product photography, commercial real estate or trying to capture a company’s atmosphere, the cost generally varies by the type of photo shoot, the time needed to complete the job, equipment, traveling, licensing and post-production retouching fees.

Commercial photography pricing:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate  Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate 
$125-$700 $290 $55-$250/hr   $130/hr 

Some commercial photographers will negotiate flat-rate packages, while others will simply charge by the hour and may have a per-image charge.

How much do engagement photos cost?

Engagement photos cost an average of $225, with prices ranging from $150 to $350 (or $85 to $250/hr). How much you’ll pay depends on the location, the number of locations, the length of the photo session, and the number and type of photographs you want. For example, you may want traditional posed photos, outdoor photos, candid photos or artful composition and lighting photos.

Engagement photo prices:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$150-$350 $225 $85-$250/hr  $150/hr

Depending on the pro, they may charge an hourly, flat or day rate.

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How much do pet photographers charge?

The average cost of pet photography ranges from $100 to $300 (or $60 to $250/hr). A pro will generally base their pricing on the number of pets, the location of the photo session (home, outdoors, photo booth or studio) and whether the family will also be in the photo.

Pet photography pricing:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$100-$300 $175 $60-$250/hr  $150/hr

Any a la carte items the professional photographer may be offering — such as wall art, watercolor portraits or albums — may have additional costs.

How much do sports photographers charge?

Hiring a sports photographer will cost, on average, $225 (or $100/hr). The location, the number of games to photograph, the size of the prints, retouching, the photographer’s reputation and experience, and any add-ons will impact how much you pay.

Sports photography pricing:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$120-$500 $225 $50-$225/hr $100/hr

Two key factors to keep in mind are the type of sport and the access the pro has to it, as they may need to bring a specific camera and lens for certain sports. Sports photographers will charge an agreed-upon fixed rate, or they may charge by the hour. 

How much do nature photographers charge?

Expect to pay an average cost of $100 to $400 (or $75 to $250/hr) for a nature photographer. Professionals charge by the number of shots needed, how much traveling they need to do and the formats you request.

Nature photography prices:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$100-$400 $200 $75-$250/hr $150/hr 

A nature photography business may also vary its price based on the subject. Landscapes, people, plants, animals and wildlife may incur different costs based on the location and time needed to complete the shoot.

How much is a boudoir photo shoot?

Boudoir photography costs an average of $225 or ($150/hr). This type of photography is a sensual exploration of beauty, and the cost of a photo shoot depends on several things.  

Boudoir photography pricing:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$125-$450 $225 $60-$300/hr  $150/hr

The first factor is the location of the session. Some people prefer to shoot at their homes, in the outdoors, in a studio or in a hotel. The length of the photo shoot, number of photos and any outfit changes will also affect boudoir pricing. 

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How much does aerial photography cost?

Aerial photography rates range from $125 to $450 (or $60 to $300/hr), on average. Aerial photography is often used for marketing, real estate and other needs.

Aerial photography prices:

Flat rate cost range Average flat rate Hourly rate cost range Average hourly rate
$125-$450 $225 $60-$300/hr  $150/hr

A major factor that affects the price is the number and type of buildings that need to be photographed. This can include houses, office buildings, retail spaces or a housing community. The platform type — drone, plane, helicopter, etc. — is another major cost factor.

Lastly, similar to all photography rates and pricing, the desired format and number of photos needed affect the cost.

How to save money on professional photography services

Hiring a photographer doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you're on a tight budget, use the following tips to save money:

Book far in advance.  Book months in advance, if possible. And find out what the peak and off seasons are for the photographers you're considering. For example, if you need a wedding photographer, avoid booking one during the spring or summer (which is peak wedding season). Booking during a peak season for local photographers will almost always incur higher costs.

Review their packages. Many pros offer packages where the price per photo decreases as you order more photos.

Ask about mini-sessions. Instead of having a photo shoot that spans multiple hours across several locations, ask if they offer mini-sessions that last 15 to 30 minutes. You could still get the photo(s) you need — but save yourself time and money. 

See what discounts they offer. It doesn’t hurt to ask, and there might be a promotion available.

Hire an up-and-coming photographer. Seek out new or semi-professional photographers who show a lot of talent and are looking to grow their portfolios. They may be willing to offer you lower-than-average prices for their services.

Request free estimates from several pros. Gather quotes from three to five different photographers near you to find the best deal. You might even be able to leverage your cost estimates to negotiate a lower cost with the No. 1 pro on your list who might be a little over your budget.

 >>Get free estimates now. Contact the best photographers near you.

Tips for hiring the best photographer

To find the best photographer in your area, search for pros online and look for those who have consistently high ratings and customer reviews. Read their profiles to get an idea of their style and personality, and pay attention to all the photos they’ve posted. 

Also, ask them if they can work within your budget, whether they’re willing to travel, what equipment you’d need to provide and if they have any packages or discounts.

For more tips on how to hire, visit Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide

Find an affordable photographer near you

Talented photographers are everywhere, and knowing what the average costs are and what questions to ask will help you track down the perfect match for your needs. Start looking for affordable photographers near you on Thumbtack.

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How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.


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