How Much Should A Wedding Photographer Cost

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Rachel Yearick posing with her camera in the middle of white flowers at a wedding shoot

September 27, 2022

Are you planning your wedding and wondering how much should a wedding photographer cost? If so, you’re in the right place. In this article, I will be breaking down that highly searched question from a photographer’s point of view. Plus, I will be sharing more details about the cost of your wedding photography.

Weddings are expensive affairs, aren’t they? Bridal couples everywhere are forking out money here, there, and everywhere on everything they can think of to make sure their day is exactly what they dreamt it would be; only to be left bewildered when it’s all over and they realize that the only tangible memories they have are their precious images.

The Average Cost of a Wedding Photographer Near You

The amount of money that a wedding photographer charges for a wedding will vary greatly, especially when looking at location. For instance, the cost for a wedding photographer in the Greater Washington, DC area may be substantially more than what’s on offer in your area.

If you’re searching for how much a wedding photographer should cost in your area, I recommend taking a closer look at The Knot’s Real Wedding Study. This is where bridal couples from all over are interviewed to compare the average cost of a wedding photographer.

5 Things That Determine How Much Should a Wedding Photographer Cost

Every wedding is different, but when it comes to your wedding photographer and working out how much should a wedding photographer cost, 5 specific things determine the cost:

#1 – Location

One of the main aspects that can determine how much should a wedding photographer cost, is the location. For instance, a wedding photographer in Washington DC will probably charge more than a photographer in a small town in Virginia.

Couple sharing an embrace in the middle of the wedding ceremony venue, taken by Rachel Yearick Photography

#2 – Services

Wedding photography packages come in all shapes and sizes and can vary from one wedding photographer to another. And so, the answer to how much a wedding photographer should cost will largely depend on the photography packages and services you choose. How many hours do they include? Some wedding photographers offer 6-hour packages, others will commit to being there for the entire day. It just depends!

Bride and groom smiling as the groom pours champagne over glass tower, shot by Rachel Yearick Photography

#3 – Experience

The most crucial factor that separates wedding photographers’ costs is their experience! A photographer with decades of experience with real weddings will cost you more than an amateur photographer with no weddings under their belt. One of the ways you can tell is by looking through their portfolio and their blog – how many weddings do they have on display there?

#4 – Quality

When it comes to wedding photographers, the one thing that really stands out and something you should be researching in-depth as you plan your wedding is the quality of the wedding vendors’ work. My advice is to meet with them in person, look through their portfolios and albums, and ask specific questions about the photography equipment they will use.

An experienced and trustworthy wedding photographer will gladly share images from their previous weddings. They will also be open to showing you the camera equipment they use for the various stages of the wedding day.

A quality wedding photographer stands out from the rest! They will know how to make you feel relaxed and comfortable in front of the camera. They will know the best locations for the style of photography you like. Plus, they will understand how important (and sometimes overwhelming) this special day is for you.

#5 – Value

When you are searching for wedding photographers and looking at how much a wedding photographer should cost, especially quality wedding photographers, you will want to look at the value that the wedding photographer will bring to your wedding.

Value is more than just a dollar amount. Value is the relationship you hold with your photographer and the attitude they have towards their service. For example, will they be watching the clock and rushing you through the whole experience so they can get out of there when their 6 hours are up? Are they going to help you relax in front of the camera? Do you feel comfortable with them?

The best way for you to research this in more detail is to focus on the wedding photographer’s past wedding testimonials and reviews. What are other brides and bridal couples saying about their experience with the photographer? 

When you take the time to thoroughly research each photographer on your list, you should get a thorough and in-depth understanding of what this particular photographer’s personality is and what their values are when it comes to you and your wedding day. Is it about them or is it about you? This will help you see how much should a wedding photographer cost based on value.

How Much Should a Wedding Photographer Cost?

Your wedding will cost you at least $28,000 on average (according to The Knot) and to summarize how much a wedding photographer will cost, it can range between $5,500 and $20,000+ depending on your area and the wedding photographer you choose.

However, if you select your wedding photographer wisely, and choose to work with wedding photographers that can be relied upon to deliver exceptional services, that become part of your planning team, and create genuine lasting relationships with their clients – then the answer you will get to the how much a wedding photographer should cost will be from $5,500 and upwards dependant on the area.

Bride and groom smiling at each other as they pose during their wedding shoot with Rachel Yearick Photography

Remember, you will always get what you pay for. Great wedding photographers always tell great stories through their images, so before asking how much should a wedding photographer cost, be sure to do your research and look beyond a photographer’s home page and gallery.

Final Thoughts

Your wedding day images will last a lifetime, yet, I see so many bridal couples choosing to spend more of their wedding budget on flowers, stationery, and other wedding decorations that most of your guests will not even be able to recall after the wedding.

Let me ask you this! Can you recall what the flowers and decorations looked like at a wedding you attended as a guest in the past? Were they what stood out to you?

So, for me, the answer to this question ‘How much should a wedding photographer cost?’ is this: A quality wedding photographer that provides the most incredible experience, that captures the best images from every special moment on your wedding day, and presents it all to you in a way that you can cherish forever will cost at least $5,000.

If you need help with your research on how much a wedding photographer should cost and other wedding photography topics as you continue planning your special day – I have put together another insightful article – everything you need to know about choosing a wedding photographer that may be beneficial to you!

If you’re busy researching for your big day and would like to discuss the topic of how much a wedding photographer should cost and share more about your wedding day – I’d love to invite you to get to know me a little better or discover more about my timeless and joyful wedding photography services – let’s connect! 

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Rachel Yearick smiling while holding her camera; image overlaid with text that reads How Much Should a Wedding Photographer Cost?
Black and white photo of bride and groom sharing an embrace; image overlaid with text that reads How Much Should a Wedding Photographer Cost?

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