What are the average wedding photography prices in the US? How much should a beginner photographer charge? What do basic wedding photography packages include? This article is your best resource to find out the answers to these and other photography pricing list-related questions before starting wedding photography business.
Wedding photography package prices vary greatly, depending on many factors. They may depend on the region in which you live. Each city, riding on the economic indicators, has its unique pricing list. Average wedding photographer cost is $2,814. Nevertheless, wedding photography prices exceed $4,000 in New York and California. Therefore, we can conclude that wedding photography packages prices range from $2,000 to $4,000. And the cost actually depends on the region where you take the photo session. The cost for a photo shoot in Nevada is $2,500, and in California, it starts with $4,000 for the whole working day.
Most of all wedding photography prices ride on the professional level of a photographer. Choosing an amateur photographer you usually have to pay $500 at an average, while services of an experienced shooter will cost $10,000 or even more.
Student $500-1000 – Students usually charge less their more experienced colleague even for other photography genres. Still, some of them are really talented guys, whose wedding photography packages should cost more. Their photoshoot prices depend on:
The truth is, that lots of certified specialist graduate from photography schools every year and all of them try hard to find their level in this world.
Semi-pro $1000-2500 – These are very ambitious and confident people, who try to combine their regular job with additional activities. They usually offer affordable wedding photography packages, as they can’t charge as real professionals. It happens quite often that these people turn their hobby of taking photos into an extra income and gain some popularity thanks to the word of mouth advertising. They take pains to compete with professionals, but most of the time customers are interested in their small wedding photography packages.
Professional $2500-$10000 – are engaged in photography on a full-time basis. In fact, it is their job, which they do to earn a living. Their wedding photography prices are rather high, but their offer a wide range of services at a top level. Their portfolio contains really adorable works.
Top-professional $10,000 + There are always people, who demonstrate an impressive talent and remarkable skills. They are treated as an elite community, whose wedding photography package prices are really high. They know how to satisfy the most vagarious clients.
If you are not sure about your wedding photography prices packages, mind this information to make the right choice. You have to set the wedding photography rates, which will correspond to the level and the quality of your services. But, at the same time, don’t underprice your work!
Why Wedding Photography is Expensive?
It has become obvious, what are the average costs for a wedding photographer and why they vary so greatly. But there are some additional services that affect the wedding photography prices too. They include:
Photographers often have to travel to the area, where a wedding takes place. It may be even several different relocations to the church, to the restaurant, to the park or any other place for a photo session. So, you should take a travel fee and let your customers know about it in advance. It is very useful to post the information about wedding photography prices on your site. Something like:
“There is a $__ travel fee for customers who reside up to ___ miles away from ____. Those, who live more than ___ miles away, please address me for a custom quote.”
The fee is typical $1-$1.5 per a mile, but mind also hotel payment. You can use the following FixThePhoto photography pricing calculator formula to estimate the travel fee.
Avoid fixed travel fees, if you don’t know for sure which area is covered by this flat fee.
Almost 65% of couple order pre-wedding photo sessions. Sometimes, such services are included in the wedding photography prices packages, but more often they are charged additionally. If so, an average cost for a small wedding pre-photo shoot ranges from $150 to $600. Such an engagement photo session includes a shoot at any location and the images gallery either online or on USB. Some photographers are OK if the clients change clothes and choose different styles at this photo session, while others take additional money for this. It is up to you to decide.
Nowadays, destination pre-weddings have become a common thing. But in this case, the travel and housing fees are also included in an average wedding photographer cost. The travel fee is estimated with the same formula, presented previously.
Many photographers doubt if they need a second shooter to indemnify them at the event. Of course, it is optional. But before abandoning the idea of hiring the second shooter, look through some reasonable ideas:
Having a second professional photographer at a wedding, you may share the tasks and capture important moments which occur at different places. For instance, you concentrate on the couple, their relatives and friends, while the second shooter takes photos of decorations, cute knick-knacks, flowers, presents and so on. You may google “photographers near me” to find the perfect candidate.
Two heads are better than one. Every photographer has his own perception of the event. If you have decided to present the wedding in a classical manner, the second shooter may bring some fresh ideas to create interesting shots. It is very useful to look at the object from another angle.
Wedding photography planning requires a lot of professionalism and skills. You have to capture almost all the moments of the event, which sounds like something impossible. The second shooter will be of great help. Not to stretch the wedding planning, share the responsibilities. For example, you are engaged in taking portraits, while your assistant takes photos of the details.
Photographing All the Attendees
Paying you money, the customers want to get quality shots of all the guests, invited to the wedding. They are not interested, why you haven’t managed to capture all the attendees, even if there were more them 100 people. So, having the second shooter it becomes easier to satisfy the clients’ demands.
Perfect Group Pictures
Group pictures are the must at every wedding. All the close people are together in the one photo. In fact, a photographer has to put in his best licks to pose everybody, make them smile and fix all the problematic moments. The second photographer may help greatly and saves lots of time.
A Professional Backup
You are a human, not a robot. You may need time to drink some water or take a breath, and the second shooter will take your place in order not to miss something important.
The second shooter – how much does a photographer cost per hour? You can pay the second shooter as much as you wish, taking into account his/her professional level and experience. Sometimes, such people get nothing at all! However, usually wedding photography prices and packages of a second shooter range from $20-$45 per hour to $200-300 per a day.
Classic price list for wedding photographers. The template is designed to be as simple as possible. Simply drop in your best wedding images, change the colors, slip in your photography logo and you are done.
The second wedding photography pricing list is designed for use as digital or printed pricing guide. If you offer 3 wedding photography package, this template is the best choice for you. Each PSD layer is completely customizable, so you can easily change the colors, text, and photographs in Photoshop.
A beautiful multipurpose price list template for wedding and portrait photographers. Clean, modern and fully customisable. It’s a good choice for portrait/newborn/wedding photography packages, photography services, price lists and advertising. Adapt as you see fit, everything is customisable with easy mix and matching.
This photography pricing list is created to help photographers (wedding, lifestyle, portrait, etc.) make a lasting first impression on their potential clients, showcase their portfolio and pricing. Elegant and simple design.
The most colourful wedding photography pricing template for photographers who prefer emotional and pop wedding photography style of shooting.
There are several wedding photography pricing list models to choose from. You can either choose the existing one or create your own. You can review the most wide-spread models and find something to your taste:
It is the most popular model. You have the fixed wedding photography packages prices for your clients to choose from. Additional services may be charged due to à la carte option. Here are the examples of well thought-out packages, that you can use as references, when coming up with your own packages.
SAMPLE 1 – Package Pricing
The clients really admire such a flexible option. They can choose only what they really want and are ready to pay for.
SAMPLE 2 - A La Carte
It is very convenient to define the exact number of hours that you have to work at a wedding. But remember to include in your hourly wedding photography rates the time you spend on photo post-processing.
SAMPLE 3 – Per Hour
It happens quite often that you need to charge extra money for traveling, housing and so on. These expenses are charged apart from the wedding photography package prices and you get the money either in advance or before presenting the photos.
SAMPLE 4 - Per Hour + Expenses
Wedding photography prices for beginners exclude such a model, but if you are on friendly terms with the customers, you may invoice editing fees. Remember to value your time! Typically, photographers want 50% of the photography rate for editing.
SAMPLE 5 - Per Hour + Photo Editing
This model is also quite standard. But consider the before & after time. The work of a photographer doesn’t start right at the wedding and doesn’t finish directly after it.
SAMPLE 6 - Per Day
Today I’ve prepared detailed information about wedding photography packages to share. Basically, we will find out what steps are involved and how each one influences wedding photography pricing.
1. Photography Coverage on the Day
In fact, the duration of photography coverage is the first thing that influences wedding photography rates. Keep in mind that it depends on the type of the wedding party or how large the family is. Anyway, the wedding shooting should go naturally and last 6-8 hours on average. That’s how you’ll end up with a beautiful story of the wedding day.
2. A Second Photographer
As I mentioned before, it’s really important to discuss the idea of the wedding day in advance. That’s how we will be able to make a decision if the second photographer is needed. For sure, the second shooter stands for awesome and complete wedding story.
3. A Pre-Wedding Photo Session
Believe me, a pre-wedding photo session is an exciting idea. As a rule, it takes a certain period before the wedding day. You can plan everything out smoothly. There is a slight difference between a pre-wedding photo session and an engagement photo shoot. Actually, clients’ outfit plays the main role. A couple is wearing casual clothes on their engagement photo shoot. Again, wedding photography prices will depend on the duration of a pre-wedding photo session.
4. Wedding Photo Retouching
Photo retouching is also included in wedding photography cost. Some photographers are up to edit wedding photos on their own, but, in most cases, shooters assign this work to the professional photo editors. The more stunning photos are, the more technical skills they require. It takes a great deal of time, so it would be better to transfer this task to experts, who deal with it every single day to end up with brilliant results. Those photographers who go for editing on their own, there is a variety of presents to accomplish the task better and quicker.
5. A Certain Number of Digital Photographs
Wedding photography prices and packages vary: the amount of digital photos is the reason. In general, you have to discuss the number of wedding photos with the customers in each individual case.
6. A Certain Number of Prints
In addition, professional photographers offer a certain number of printed photos to their clients. There are some traditional sizes, though the shooter is always ready to meet the specific demands of his/her customers.
7. An Online Gallery
Without a doubt, wedding photography prices are lower if we talk about digital photos only, without printed ones. Access to the password-protected online gallery is provided in such cases. It enables you to share these photos in social media.
8. A Wedding Album
No wedding photography package can be complete without a wedding album. It must match the wedding style to express the mood and emotions fully. Remember, a wedding album is a place where all sweet memories are going to be kept all your life.
9. A Large Frame or Canvas
Wedding photos can become nice decorations. They will inspire you and give positive feelings to everybody in your house. Believe me, such pictures might be a zest of your interior, as they look gorgeous.
10. A Preview Album
All edited photos can be arranged in a preview album. For sure, it is less expensive. Have a look at some samples to get the idea about it.
Photography pricing calculator is a universal tool, which helps determine the value of your photography services. It is necessary for the correct estimation of your work, and therefore to increase your profit and to develop your business. Every photographer who wants to achieve high results in business should use such a calculator.
To use the photography pricing calculator, you need to know your expenses and the desired profit for the year of your work. Here are the variants of the most popular online calculators:
Six Figure Wedding Photography Pricing Calculator is a free online calculator. You will be able to find out your wedding photography cost and calculate all your expenses.
It can be used to calculate the price of printing photos depending on the size and quantity. It will calculate all your expenses in detail, and estimate the cost of your services to obtain the desired profit.
NPPA is a free calculator created by The National Press Photographers Association. It will help to calculate your CODB without problems.
How to create the right photography package price list? What services should be included? How to set the correct wedding photography prices for beginners? We hope that our advice will help to find the answers to these questions. See what Matt Granger thinks about this issue.
Wedding Photography - How Much to Charge?
If you just want to start the business, you should not leave the primary job. You can engage in wedding photography only on weekends or spend half a day in the first stages of your business. Wedding photo shoots can an additional source of your income. Perhaps you like not only the wedding photography but also portrait or landscape genres. Before deciding how to determine the price for your services, choose what is it for you - a business or hobby? Your professional growth and profit will depend on this.
Before you decide on your prices, you need to know what your competitors charge. When researching your competitors, create an Excel spreadsheet. In this spreadsheet, list out each of your competitors names in one column, and what they charge for their services in another column. Once you’ve gathered this information, use a simple formula to determine the range of prices. Now you need to figure out where your photography prices should fit in on this scale. Are your services on the high-end, low-end or right in the middle? Pricing is positioning, so don’t undervalue yourself.
Some photographers in your area may understate costs for their services. Don't be like them. Your wedding photography packages prices should be based on your expenses and the desired profit for the year. Study the entire competitive market of your region and photography packages examples. Do not decide from the price for a single photo shoot.
It’s not uncommon to have to adjust your prices after you’ve already set them. That’s ok, and it’s a good thing to make sure that you are always receiving a good return on your investment (ROI). To calculate your ROI, make sure to keep track of all your time, equipment purchases, travel expenses (including gas), meetings with the client, etc.
Set an actual dollar value to your time: your time is money. Don’t forget that. Then, set a price that covers all your investments, and gives you a good profit margin. Having a good ROI is the key to being happy rendering your services. And if you are happy, your clients will be happy too.
Each client has his/her tastes and preferences. Someone orders an album with photos, while others want to have a large portrait on the whole wall. Your price list should be interesting and suitable for every customer. It is very important that you have all the possible options for wedding photography packages. Evaluate the financial capabilities of the client and offer what is the best for him/her. In this way, you can increase your customer base.
You must set the price depending on the area in which you work. The cost of a wedding in the province is about $15,000. And in major cities, the price of a wedding reaches $50,000. Therefore, photography package price list varies significantly. In this case, photography pricing calculator will help you to estimate the value of services correctly.
Before you set the price for a photo shoot, you need to determine what will be included in the photo session. You can offer basic wedding photography packages, where all the services are available. Alternatively, you can provide small wedding photography packages, with only some services included. We recommend having different options. So you can please every customer. Offer at least 5 packages. There are always clients that want to order a maximum of services.
The values for the goods sold should be at least 25% of your photography package price list or even more.
This means that if the total profit is $10,000 per month, then you must have a salary of at least $4,500. If you get less, then you need to review the prices for your services or reduce the costs.
If the client asks to make a photo session early in the morning, late at night, on holidays or at weekends, you can increase the price of your services.
There are a number of benefits that a photography websites can bring you: it helps showcase your work online, pulls in new clients and builds a strong and wide online exposure for your work. The sad thing is that, not all photographers possess technical skills for building a portfolio. Some may feel a little intimidated due to lack of coding skills and the others may think that building a portfolio needs a lot of time as to them, it’s an intricate process to go through.
In today’s world, it is almost impossible to imagine any business without website support. It is like you deprive yourself of staying in bed at the weekend. In 2018 every business brunch (restaurants, hotels, and sports clubs) are online represented and all of them need attractive pictures on their websites. They are your potential clients who may need professional photography services. Still hesitating how to reach them? First of all, look around and you will definitely find them in your everyday life.
Browsing the Internet, you may find out that there are numbers of companies which provide photography services at a low price. The cost of each image varies from about $10 to $100 and more. But do you really need to make use of resellers instead of selling images on your own? Wix Art Store is a perfect tool to start running your business. It enables you to turn the website with your photos into a trading platform. Your photography service may include the free digital license or pictures printed on the objects and cloth.
If you have got a lot of wedding images, we advise you to think about posting them on stock websites. These stock sites store and sell a great variety of images. Among clients, one may see marketing agencies, social media, and different business companies. Each time your image is downloaded, you get the commission, which is usually low. So if you wish to earn more money, you should upload new images regularly. The most popular are iStock, ShutterStock, and BigStock.
Have you ever heard about photo tour guides? If you know your city well, you are sure to master this job. These days, people are seeking more and more for vivid impressions and unforgettable looks. Photography tour guide means that you show the most original and attractive places in your city and teach tourists how to shoot the cute images.
Not every photographer can afford the photo studio to take pictures. It is a good thing that you may work outside or at any location the client likes. All you need to be successful is to create an impressive portfolio with a number of beautiful and outstanding portrait pictures from the wedding ceremony.
You will find a great demand for wedding photography in magazines as well. Wedding photography prices for beginners can range, because it’s all about not only experience but the quality of your photos, including their final photo editing. On top of that, a lot of work is done online, so nowadays opportunities are diverse for photographers. Promote your name, address different magazines, and you even have to be daring for the big brands.
Another great way to promote your name is taking part in contests. In addition, it is the sure way to keep in touch with modern trends in photography and keep your level up. Also, you will find out about today’s requirements to photo shooting. There is a diversity of photo contests you can join online. A wide range of genres is available where you can show off with your own skills.
Another way to get your name promoted, master your skills, pursue your career and broaden your mind, in general, is to become an Assistant Photographer. The most important is to choose an experienced photographer to work with, the one who knows the ropes. Experience is an essential thing. It is the thing you cannot buy. Before getting a position as an Assistant Photographer you have to hustle a lot, check Google information how much to charge for wedding photography if you are going to go for the wedding photo shooting.
It takes a while to become professional Photoshop and Lightroom photo retoucher and have high photo editing pricing. If you decided to earn money by this way too, you need to have the balance of good creativity and excellent technical skills.
Setting wedding photography pricing is a daunting task. Photographers need to find a balance between going so low the perceived value and so high that there are no bookings in the calendar. Incorporate these wedding photography pricing tips as you find that balance, from setting goals to revisiting pricing on a regular basis.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.