The cost of a wedding ceremony can be quite high. A couple will need to purchase wedding apparel, rent a venue, provide food, beverages and/or snacks, print and send out wedding invitations and more. Hiring a wedding photographer is yet another important expense, as only a professional photographer will be able to capture this once in a lifetime event in picture and film.
There are many factors that will determine how much it costs to hire a wedding photographer. Which wedding photographer a couple chooses to work with will have a large bearing on the price, as some wedding photographers charge a lower fee than others. This is one reason why calling a number of photographers and asking for a price estimate is a good idea. At the same time, making sure the photographer is experienced and professional is always more important than saving a few dollars.
General Price Estimates
A cheap wedding photographer will charge anywhere from several hundred dollars up to one thousand dollars. This package usually includes one to four hours of photos taken by a single photographer, a wedding photo album and a limited number of digital images. In some cases, a cheap photographer may also bring an assistant to the wedding to take shots from a different angle, but this is not always the case.
A moderately priced wedding photographer will charge anywhere from $1,000 up to $3,000 for up to eight hours of photography. A special album, parent’s album and/or a number of photo books may be included in this package. Such a package also includes digital images of all the wedding photos on a CD or DVD.
Upscale photographers and luxury photographers may charge anywhere from $3,000 up to $10,000 for their services. Such a package includes having up to three professional photographers take an unlimited number of photos for an unlimited amount of time. The shots will be taken at different venues and numerous albums and photo books will be provided. Naturally, all shots taken will also be given to the couple in a digital format.
Factors That Determine the Cost of Hiring a Photographer
As was outlined above, the cost of hiring a photographer is determined by which photographer a couple works with and what sort of package deal he or she offers. Following are some other factors that also have a bearing on wedding photography costs. Being aware of these factors can help a couple save money while still getting high quality pictures.
Day of the Week
It usually costs less to hire a photographer on a weekday than it does on a weekend. The reason for this is that most photographers are very busy on the weekends and so charge a higher fee for their services at this time. Weekdays, on the other hand, are often “off hours”.
As was touched on above, the duration of time that a photographer works will determine how much his or her services cost. This time frame starts from the time that a photographer arrives at the scene to set up, not the time when the wedding itself actually starts. A couple who is tight on cash may want to only hire a photographer for part of the wedding and reception.
Prints and Albums
All wedding photographers will charge extra money for making extra prints. The larger these prints are, the more they will cost. However, a couple does not necessarily need to have the wedding photographer make prints or even create a photo album. There are numerous photo shops in any given city that will print out photos at a very cheap price.
If the newlywed husband and wife are creative, they may in fact want to make their own photo album. Remember, however, that your photographer owns the rights to these photos, and making prints without permission is illegal. Discuss your plans with the photographer before you decide to make your own prints, and ask about ownership of the digital negatives as part of the price. All experienced photographers will charge for this, but depending on who you hire it might save you money over paying for prints. You will then be able to make your own prints, and at a later date when your budget is more flexible you can have higher quality prints made. If it is in your budget, you will most likely be happier with the results if the professional photographer you hire makes the prints and produces the album for you.
One important point to remember when hiring a photographer is that a couple will usually get what they pay for. Those who pay for budget photography should not expect extra services that are only available to those who are willing to pay extra. Before hiring a photographer, a couple should consider which services they feel are absolutely essential and make sure the photographer will provide these. At the same time, it is very important for this special day to be properly commemorated and a couple should make sure that the photographer in question will not only provide reasonably priced services but also high quality prints.