One of my favorite quotes goes like this: "If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur."
Professional photographers are expensive for a reason. Wedding photography is NOT easy. It's a lot of work to prepare for, to do, and to work on the back side. Any given 8 hour wedding really entails at least 40 man hours of work. from advertising, to book keeping, to editing the photos and even meeting with the clients and scouting out locations. On top of that there are equipment costs, insurance, taxes, liability, transportation. etc.. If you want a professional(and you really do) unfortunately you need to pay for one.
That being said, My average client purchases my $4200 package.
Let me know what you're looking for in a package, what your budget is, and I'll try to find some photographers in your area for you.
Just remember photography is an art, not everyone enjoys it the same or puts much importance in it, if that's the case go with a $1000 craigslist photog
If you go by the books, the average wedding photography cost is around $2500, but that is an average of nationwide prices, not broken down by region.
Where are you searching? I'd like to suggest that you search on the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) site. www.ppa.com these are people that have taken the time to become registered members of what is largely known as the premiere photography body in the industry.
As Brian suggested, don't be afraid to look outside of your area. While you may have a higher local cost to do business if you have a friend that has a recommendation from elsewhere in the country, it may be cost effective to fly that person in and put them up.
It is the responsibility of a professional photographer to enlighten a person about what they are paying for. As Brian suggested, I too spend 30-40 hours on a given wedding. There is a lost more time spent behind the scenes than at your wedding!
Your photos will be the only thing that's left and to look
at for the rest of your life. Please understand, we don't just come and shoot your wedding day, we put a lot of work into it, at least professional photographers, and photographers who are dedicated to provide quality service and quality work.
Consider hours of editing your images, consultations,
driving to locations and scouting venues, designing albums, plus equipment, and everything else.
A lot of photographers will work with you, depending on your budget you can get certain things and eliminate others.
My favorite saying:
Cheap is not always good, and good doesn't come cheap. :o)
Hope you will find someone who is willing to work with you, and
Sometimes if you book early you can get the current year pricing. I would suggest choosing a few in your price range and talk with them. Absolutely talk to them about your budget (every bride has a different budget!) My photographer was great about working out the best solution for us and getting the photography that was important to us with a price that would work for her & all the time she put in. In the end it is on of the things I am happiest to have spent my money on.
Good luck. All the PP seem to have some great ideas and suggestions. Try out that prof. photog. site and talk to family and friends who may have used a great photographer!
My photographer cost more then my reception location, but the photos are amazing. He had an assistant and a second photographer, I couldn't have asked for a better group to work with. Go with someone you love the photos they take, work on timeline. They might be able to shoot it in fewer hours but it will require you to be ready when they get there so no one is wasting time. Good luck but those memories will last forever, the fact that the reception hall made the wrong chicken dish I will forget!
I am not a photographer but I do know a lot of work goes into photography average cost is 1500 dollars and up. I would not advise you to book a photographer based on price, but quality. You should meet with the photographers of which the work you love, be honest about your budget and maybe they can work with you, or make suggestions. At the end of the day when your wedding day is over all you will have are your pictures so make sure you choose an awesome photographer.
Some photographers offer fixed packages, some hourly and still some do ala-cartes.
Most will do their best to work within your budget so don't be afraid to ask.
If you still feel confused even with the great suggestions above, then start by talking to a photographer you like and tell them your budget. If they are half-a-decent photographer they should be able to explain to you how and why they are priced the way they are priced. If at any point you feel being compelled or pressured then just walkaway and look for another.
Trust is a big thing, a photographer is useless even if they are technically adept if they can't get the pictures you like.
Im not in that area but we got a great deal. I consider him to be a professional. He just got his studio opened though so he is just starting to get established, but his work is fantastic, and because he is working on building his business he's been great about throwing in some extras to give us some extra stuff while promoting himself. So look around if you can find someone who does great work but maybe doenst have the experience or just not the client base yet you might get a good deal that way. We found our online at a similar wedding website.
Our photographer is costing us $950 for 8 hours of service, all photos on a CD, and a coffee table book album, plus 100 4x6 prints, and a few 8x11 prints. Main reason we got that price is becahse we booked so early, he knocked $300 off of his regular price for that package. He has shot about 45 weddings before since he started shooting weddings in 2006. We received quotes from $795 all the way to $4400 for our wedding. My best friend got married in 2007 and they spent $4200 on a big photography company...while their pictures were amazing, and their album was real nice, they did not believe it was worth spending so much money on the phtotographer and strongly suggested getting a small package, and going with a good free lance photographer. You should be able to find a well versed, experienced photographer for $2000 or less regardless of where you live.
I'm spending about $1500 for my photog. Photography is expensive but if you are going to splurge, do it on the photography. It's like so many of the other posters mentioned, it's the only thing left after the wedding is over! I had the option to go cheap (one guy said $300 and he'd give us an unlocked DVD of the images) But even tho the idea of saving money was nice, I didn't want to look back at the photos and think, 'Wow, you can tell we saved money there." I did tons of research and found someone that took pictures I really liked and gave us everything that we were looking for in a package. We met and I felt really comfortable with him. He's a little more than I had originally wanted to spend but actually much cheaper than many of the photogs I researched.
I'm from Louisiana, but I photograph weddings all over! My basic rate is around $1500, depending on if the couple would like additional film photography (I shoot digital but love the look of black and white film . My fee also includes as I'm just starting out and am always looking for a reason to go someplace different
All the previous photographers that have responded are absolutely correct....your photos will be the lasting recording of your day. They are the one area where you really don't want to cut corners by going with the cheapest. Having a good connection...someone who "gets" your style and what you want are also important. Just coming off my own wedding, I can't begin to emphasize even more how important that connection is...I'm going to have to recreate a few of my own wedding day photos...ugh. Please feel free to contact me, I would be happy to help you work with your budget. There would be no travel fees involved since I have friends (asking me to visit!) in your area.
I'll have to put my 2¢ in again... Don't go just based on cost. I get phone-calls all the time asking "how much do you cost?" I know right away this is not my client. You know why? because my clients realize that you can't put a price on memories. They look at my work, they meet with me, and based on our connection and if they like me and my work they'll book me. I'm not a photography factory. I don't churn out wedding after wedding.
Now I'm not the most expensive photographer, but I'm definitely not the cheapest either.
When you meet with your photographer ask to see their business license. Ask them if they're a member of the PPA.
The last thing I wanted to say was this check out this wedding video: http://vimeo.com/6496808 I wish all videographers made wedding videos like this... Yes photos are usually the most lasting part of your wedding. But after watching this video Sarah wanted to redo our wedding just so we could fly these guys in from Canada to shoot us.
I'm not a photographer, and don't pretend to think I could pull it off for such an important event... but here's what I think. I've seen many work at weddings where I've performed as a DJ. The good ones "know their stuff" and normally have 4 or 5 cameras, and back up equipment. They know the angles, distances and what really works for the venue you are in. They set up shots before hand and do lots of work in their studios after the fact. Most have cameras that cost thousands of dollars in order to get the crystal clear pictures that you'll treasure. Think about this: what's the first thing MOST people grab when their house catches on fire? Do you want to trust that to "Uncle Harry with a point and click"? They charge what they charge because they're worth every penny.
I agree with a lot of the posts here but money doesn't necessarily get you a great photographer. I've spoken with couples who had really bad photos from their wedding for an outrageous price. I think an average price anywhere between $1500 to $4000 should be expected. Many photographers are also willing to negotiate their prices. Many studios who offer photography and videography offer hefty discounts for booking both services with them. I agree about asking for license from PPA, after all you want a professional.
Check out our video here (a more affordable choice presented in a previous post)
Okay this is what I think. I got lucky and have a friend who does photography of the side and he does a wonderful job. Not everyone has tons of money to spend on a wedding, so I think it is crazy to spend a thousands of dollars on a wedding photography. There our some out there that will work with you budget. Just meet with some of them and let them know how much you are willing to spend, u will find one. Best of Luck to you guys.