Most of the time, as an inquiring customer, you’ve got to jump through a bunch of hoops and do tons of internet sleuthing to figure out the pricing of a vendor. When it comes to wedding photography, the cost may vary, but there are some industry standards.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all type thing, since every company uses different techniques, workflows, resources, has varying staff sizes, etc.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t have an open, honest conversation about just what goes into the pricing – plus, we want to help you figure out what to look for, especially if there are red flags. Let’s get started.
It’s important to know exactly what kind of company you’re giving your hard-earned money to.
Is it a small studio with just a few photographers (like us)? Perhaps a bigger studio, maybe with 5-10 photographers? Or a large corporation that has photographers based in multiple locations?
All of those factors play into a company’s pricing. Smaller companies usually do everything themselves – from social media, marketing, booking clients, shooting the wedding day, editing the images, designing the albums, etc. Bigger companies usually outsource as many tasks as they can in order to dedicate time to other aspects of the business, and that sometimes means outsourcing the actual photography portion in order to focus more time on marketing, etc.
This is totally a personal preference. In my years both observing the industry & being a part of it, I’ve noticed the following:
Small businesses: pros
Small businesses: cons
Big businesses: pros
Big businesses: cons
Coming from someone who has been a photographer since high school, I continue to get questions on why people need to pay for photographers or other art-based careers. I used to get “compensated” with recommendations, gift cards, reviews, and overall just the bare minimum. It wasn’t very encouraging, but I pushed on.
Today, when someone questions photography pricing, I see it as the perfect opportunity to show what makes the service so valuable and necessary.
Smaller, boutique studios are usually more pricey because they only take on a few weddings a year, and they don’t outsource many business tasks. For example, a small studio takes care of everything from the inquiry response, helping with wedding planning, shooting, editing, advertising, etc.
Wedding photos are one of the only elements of your wedding day that will last beyond the day of the wedding; it’s so important that everyone is able to have a photographer present. Because of this, we’re always more than happy to work with different budgets and be as flexible as possible.
The average wedding is about 8 hours, which we have factored into our packages. From there, it is easy to customize and add items you want/take away things you don’t need.
Our standard, cover-all-your-bases package starts at $5000. Included is: 8 hours of coverage, 1 photographer, all images carefully selected and edited, a private online gallery, access to prints & albums, and 20% off prints.
We have a la carte items, too, which we welcome as an addition to any package. You can add an engagement session, a magazine or super fancy album, a second photographer, more hours of coverage, etc. The world is your oyster, babe.
Know who you’re investing with; scour their about page, follow them on social media, ask questions, etc.
Make a list of pros/cons and look for red flags. Maybe schedule an appointment to go over pricing and ask all of your questions. (You can contact us to do so here)
Ask yourself: what makes their price tag so hefty? What makes their price tag so affordable? If your larger-than-life photographer isn’t going above and beyond, they are not worth it. If you’re flexible & affordable photographer isn’t proving their worth ten fold to make up for their low prices, your experience will be subpar and they are not worth it.
I hope this was helpful – I want to give clients the opportunity to go behind the curtain as much as possible in order to truly make the best decisions for their wedding day.
Something missing that you have questions about? Contact us. 🙂
We're Sava, a small studio of photographers who bonded over our similar educational background, love of art, & general affinity for timeless wedding photos. Based in NYC, will travel, will pick up your coffee order on the way.