Finding the right wedding photographer can make a big difference for your ceremony. Nationally, the average wedding photographer’s price ranges from $800 to $1,000, but costs can be much higher in areas like Chicago, New York or Los Angeles where some couples spend $2,000 to $5,000 or more for the photographer they want.
Factors that can affect your wedding photographer prices include the photographer’s reputation and experience. Heavy hitters can command top rates, especially during wedding-season weekends. Day of the week also affects your cost. You may get a $200 discount on wedding photographer prices if you get married on a Friday in November rather than a Saturday in June.
Time onsite is also an important cost factor. Hiring a photographer to snap photos from the moment you wake up until after last call at the reception is going to cost more than five hours of pictures during the day. Multiple photographers, special lighting, and videography will also increase your costs. Ultimately you want to find someone who has a style you love and can provide the number of edited shots you want for a price you can handle. Learn more about hiring a wedding photographer.
A professional wedding photographer will usually supply their clients with several hundred photos (200, 300, 400 or 800 and more). Some might even provide more than 1,000 photos. It ultimately depends on the photographer.
Wedding photographers will usually take several thousand photos but cut them down to the keepers. They also have to edit these photos. Typically, they will provide them to the clients on a digital hard drive, as an online download or even in a photo album with beautiful decorations.
On your wedding day, your photographer should take pictures of the couple getting ready for the wedding, as well as a fun personality picture before activities begin. They should also photograph showstoppers like the bouquet, invitations, shoes, reception space, cake, centerpieces, rings and the veil. A generational photo with parents or grandparents is also special. There should also be photos of the bride and groom alone, the ceremony, the confetti-filled exit, and hair and makeup.
A wedding photographer usually expects to work a full day. This gives them time to photograph the venue, cake, rings, shoes, centerpieces, invitations and other aspects of the wedding before the guests arrive. It also allows them time to get photos of the bride and groom alone, as well as the hair and makeup process and fun personality pictures. Then, they will work through all the parts of the wedding.
Couples can take wedding photos before their actual ceremony, during cocktail hour (before the reception), during the wedding reception or even after their wedding. The least stressful time to do it is often before the ceremony when hair and makeup generally look their best, temperatures are usually lower because it’s earlier in the day and the couple won’t have to think or worry about it for the rest of the day.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.
If you decide to hire a photographer, see if the photographer can take photos outdoors or in a large space so all involved parties can maintain the recommended distance between themselves. You should also sanitize surfaces, avoid handshakes, don’t make any other physical contact and use digital platforms to complete payments. Speak with a local photographer in your area to put a strategy in place.
Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic.
For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services.
If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.
There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.