What Is the Average Wedding Photographer Cost?

The average wedding photographer cost may vary depending upon several factors, which includes the location of your wedding (photographers inside big cities usually cost more than in additional areas), the kind of packages and services you are looking for, as well as your chosen photographer’s level of expertise and experience. Generally, wedding photographer costs in the United States range from $1,150 to $3,000, with the average cost of a wedding photographer hovering about $2,000. The wedding photographer will probably comprise about 12% of your overall budget for the wedding.

What is covered in the price of the wedding photographer?

While researching wedding photographers, make certain that you carefully read the details about their packages and pricing—these usually differ widely from one photographer to another and may vastly impact wedding photography pricing. Some services and items to be on the lookout for include:

  • Time: Typically, wedding photographer costs include between 6 hours and an unrestricted quantity of coverage. The more time you would like the photographer to cover the event, the more you will need to pay. Extra hours are charged more.
  • Travel: Does the photographer need to travel a lengthy distance to the event? You might need to pay a per-mile charge if she or he is driving to the wedding, or you may need to pay for accommodations and airfare for a destination wedding.
  • Staffing/Second Shooters: Will the photographer have assistants or a second shooter present? If the answer is yes, expect to pay more.
  • Editing: A big part of the photographer’s time is spent retouching and editing your wedding photographs to ensure that they appear absolutely incredible.
  • Images: The cost of the wedding photographer ought to include the actual photos. Digital files may be given to you in various ways, which includes in a USB drive or in an online gallery.
  • Print release: Most wedding photography packages have a “print release,” meaning that it’s possible to use the images for your very own personal use. But, be aware that you probably won’t have a complete “copyright release;” therefore, you do not own the photographs and cannot sell them, and that the photographer may use your images for marketing reasons.
  • Prints: A few photographers include photograph prints (or print credit—money it’s possible to place toward buying prints) in their photography rates. While you do not need to buy the prints through the photographer, they will probably come out better if you do.
  • Albums: The photographer might provide a wedding album as a portion of her or his package. It’s possible to pick whether you would like to design and buy the album through the photographer or do it through an additional service.
  • Extra shoots: A few photographers include engagement shoots in their package (62% of couples get a pre-wedding engagement shoot done). Additional shoots which will probably cost a little extra include coverage of the rehearsal dinner, trash the dress sessions, and bridal portraits.

There are less obvious, other aspects of the wedding photographer’s business which might be included in the package pricing, including employees, equipment, marketing, business expenses, liability insurance, and much more.

Should You Tip the Wedding Photographer

Do I have to tip the photographer?

While tips are not included in the photographer’s package, they certainly are something you ought to factor into the photography budget. If the photographer owns her or his business, you do not have to tip; however, if she or he works for a bigger company, a $100 – $200 tip is a great gesture. You also should write a review online for the photographer as an extra thank-you.

When should you employ a photographer?

Usually, wedding photographers are among the initial vendors couples arrange after they secure the venue. We suggest that you start your search for a photographer around 11 months before the wedding day.

Wedding Photographer Style

What are the various photography styles?

As you begin to research photographers by checking their work out and reading online reviews, make certain that you pinpoint the photography style you enjoy best. There are a variety of photography styles to select from, which includes:

  • Photojournalism: This style is about telling a story. Your photographer will capture emotional, candid moments, opposed with posed portraits.
  • Traditional: A more classic, formal style, traditional photography includes a lot of posed shots.
  • Fine Art: The fine art style is about stylized images and dramatic compositions. It is a more modern-day approach, creating frame-worthy pictures.
  • Fashion: If you need images which concentrate on your attire and appear as if they belong inside a magazine, this wedding photography style is for you. Think unique poses and creative backdrops.
  • Vintage: This style utilizes filters and other methods that give the wedding photographs that old-school feel.


Should I obtain a second shooter for the wedding?

As it’ll come to the “one vs. two photographers” debate, the “proper” answer usually varies from one photographer to another, and oftentimes depends on the size of the wedding. If you are having a small and very intimate wedding, having only one wedding photographer there might suffice. But, if you are hosting a bigger wedding with a lot of guests, you’ll probably require a main photographer and second photographer, and maybe assistants who help with coordination and lighting. Around 34% of photographers have a second shooter in their starting package rates, yet for most, it is a separate fee.

Having another shooter may be advantageous in capturing various angles and perspectives throughout the big day—and may make the wedding-day timeline run even more seamlessly. With both photographers available, both you and your future partner’s getting-ready processes may be photographed simultaneously. It is better to discuss your unique needs and wedding with the photographer to figure out the best staffing circumstances.

wedding album

Are wedding albums included in a photographer’s costs?

Most photographers include a wedding album in their photography rates. But some wedding photographers provide it as a separate line item, which may add several hundred dollars to the total. There are additional services which permit you to create your own photo album, yet it sometimes can be smoother to go through your own wedding photographer.

Travel Expenses for Wedding Photographer

Do I need to cover my photographer’s travel expenses?

If your photographer is based close to the wedding location, you probably will not need to pay any extra travel expenses. But, if the photographer will be going a substantial distance (more than sixty miles), you’ll probably incur extra travel expenses, up to $2+/mile. If the photographer is flying to the wedding destination, you’ll likely need to pay for her/his accommodations and airfare, as well as an extra travel charge. To repeat, these photographer costs vary from one professional to another; therefore, make certain that you ask your chosen wedding photographer for pricing information before you book.

Wedding Photographer Meals

Do I need to pay for my photographer’s meals?

For the wedding vendors who’ll be present during the actual wedding (videographer, photographer, wedding planner, DJ, etc.) you’ll have to offer hot meals in addition to the average wedding photographer cost you will pay. Yes, it’s indeed an added cost you may not have predicted to incur, yet it is a critical one—vendors who are happy and well-fed will better have the ability to bring their A-game for the big day! Your caterer is probably accustomed to offering these vendor meals; therefore, make certain that you discuss this with them.


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