How much does a wedding photographer cost?

Average cost in 20149: $870 See National

$525

low cost

$870

avg cost

$1,440

high cost

The average cost for a wedding photographer is $870. You are likely to spend between $525 and $1,440 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated April 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Wedding photography may involve simply photographing the marriage ceremony or capturing everything wedding-related, including showers, engagement parties, the wedding reception and beyond. Common wedding photography styles requested include traditional/formal, candid, artistic, natural/outdoors and high fashion.

Time

The length of time that the photographer’s services are required can contribute significantly to cost. Any additional activities that couples want photographed beyond the ceremony and reception such as photos of the wedding party getting ready, formal family photos, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, engagement photos or engagement parties, day-after brunches and so on can add to the time and cost.

Understanding cost

The bulk of the photographer’s work takes place post-production in editing and fine-tuning the photos. Because of this, the cost of wedding photography is based on much more work than the eight or 10 hours spent taking photos on the wedding day.

Number of locations

If the photographer has to travel between multiple locations, costs can be greater. Different locations may include the getting-ready location, the ceremony site and the reception hall. Destination weddings also increase fees considerably because they may include travel and lodging costs for the photographer(s).

Number of photographers

Extra photographers or assistants may be required for larger weddings or if a client makes the request. Assistants help with lighting and handling additional equipment. Extra hands on deck generally mean a higher cost.

Photography packages

The various digital or printed components of a photo package—beyond time, locations and number of photographers—also affect the overall cost. The final package can be delivered as a CD or DVD, online with access to digital proofs and prints, as physical proofs and prints, as a photographer-made photo album, or some combination of any of these.

Experience of photographer

Photographers in high demand or those with greater experience and brand recognition generally will have higher prices for their services.

Gratuity

Tips, while always appreciated, are not required. Photographers who are individual contractors or the business owners are tipped less frequently than employees of a larger photography company or an assistant to the photographer hired for the event.

Strategies to save

Access to printing rights rather than being contractually obliged to purchase prints and enlargements from the photographer may save money.

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Recent reviews

Brien Vincent Photography (OH)

My husband and I chose Brien to photograph our October 3rd wedding because we wanted mostly candid shots of our day and his portfolio was full of gorgeous examples of that. We just got our photos and we are blown away. They are everything I expected and more. The editing is beautiful and every part of the day is captured. I've even had guests tell me that he blended in so well that they barely noticed he was there. I am so thankful for his work and it was well worth the price. I would highly recommend Brien Vincent for any photography needs.

Nancy Swiger Photography

Nancy provided exceptional quality service at reasonable cost. She was able to work with our long-distance wedding planning, and was extremely flexible and accommodating on our wedding day. The photos are beautiful, and our personal flash drive with images was a keepsake all its own! Highly recommended.

Michael Keel Photography

Michael photographed our wedding on June 12, 2015 at Vintner’s Inn in Santa Rosa, CA and did a spectacular job! He got in the important must have shots and then mixed in a nice balance of candid's with some really creative, artistic shots. Michael is extremely professional in every way. We had a conference call ahead before we hired so he could get a feel for what I was looking for in a photographer and make sure it was a good fit for Michael and for us. My husband was not exactly the easiest groom to deal with. He wanted to elope and I wanted a big wedding so we compromised with around 60 guests with the caveat that I only had 1 hour of his time for photographs so the photographer better act like a fly on the wall. My groom does some modeling and said he absolutely didn’t want cheesy photos or be stuck posing all day like he’s on a shoot. Once my groom got to chatting with Michael on the phone, Michael understood exactly what he wanted, was able to ease my groom about how the day would go and we felt at ease hiring him. The day of the wedding, Michael showed up on time and started shooting the bridal prep then went down to do some candid's of the groom. The only time I remember posing was during the First Look. We were fortunate because Michael has worked several weddings at Vintners Inn so he knew the good spots and times to go for the best lighting. We were able to cover a lot of ground quickly because he knows the spots and he travels light so he’s not lugging around any tacky lights or diffusers. The way Michael lead us to where he’d be able to capture the beauty of the vineyards in the best light, felt more like hanging out with a friend than posing. We barely knew Michael was around that day and yet; he was able to capture some of the greatest memories which will last a lifetime. He gave us a combination of color and B+W and a variety of angles to choose from. I really like that we have our photos on a CD without a watermark so we can do with them as we please. With the tools that exist today, it’s simple for the layman to create a wedding album at a fraction of the cost a photographer would charge so I’d rather spend money on a really great photographer like Michael and do the albums myself. Other photographers that we interviewed didn’t offer the CD without the watermark option; so yet another reason I recommend Michael. He actually ended up surprising us and got our photos done while we were on the honeymoon so we could look at them when we returned. He’s always booked with shoots so he must have stayed up all night to get those out to us earlier than expected. My husband and I looked through the photos to decide which ones to make an album out of and it’s tough to choose because there are so many great pics. We decided we’re going to do a few albums and a video montage so we can use a lot of the pics Michael captured for us. Lastly, Michael is very genuine and personable; someone you want to be around. He’s got a warm demeanor and a welcoming smile. All my guests commented how great Michael is to work with and made them feel at ease. It was like Michael was part of the family that day. I hope to have the opportunity to work with him again someday.