Average cost of a wedding photographer | Lauren Baker Photography Blog

Average cost of a wedding photographer

This is probably the most controversial topic in the wedding industry. What is the average cost of a wedding photographer? Certain places, like The Knot, say that the average cost of a wedding photographer is one number while others say another.

Let me start this blog post off by saying this: The average cost of a wedding photographer varies greatly and it depends on many factors. Factors such as, but not limited to, the photographer’s experience level and education, her cost of living, and her cost of doing business.

The average cost of a wedding photographer

Average cost of a wedding photographer

An inexperienced wedding photographer will (and should) cost less than a photographer with years of experience under her belt. Not because she isn’t a quality photographer or that her potential is less. But rather, for the simple fact that she is inexperienced. Inexperience comes with inherently more risk on the buyer’s end. More could go wrong that could lead a client to be unhappy with their images.

What is the average cost of an inexperienced wedding photographer? On average, a wedding photographer with fewer than 2 years of wedding photography experience, will charge between $1-3K.

If you want to hire an experienced wedding photographer you will pay more than $3K. An experienced wedding photographer will not only take your wedding day photos, but will also take your engagement photos, create your photography timeline, and reduce your stress on the wedding day.

The average cost of an experienced wedding photographer is between $5-9k.

And if you’re planning on having a luxury wedding, most luxury wedding photographers start around $10k.

Why is that the average cost of a wedding photographer?

Average cost of a wedding photographer

Wedding photography is an investment.

You’re investing in a professional artist who has spent years working, learning, and fine-tuning her craft. Your photographer has to cover her costs of doing business, pay taxes, save for retirement, pay her mortgage, pay for health and business insurance, put kids through school, and put food on the table.

An experienced wedding photographer has the same responsibilities adults with typical 9-5 jobs have…except they work for themselves so they’re probably working a lot more than 40 hours a week.

So, if you think, “Why should I pay someone that if all they do is click a button for 8-12 hours one day a week and slap a filter on some images?” let me kindly tell you that you are wrong.

These are just some of the things you’re paying your wedding photographer to do:

  • Perfectly compose images of you, your partner, your family, your friends;
  • Flawlessly compose images of all your details for you and all of your wedding vendors;
  • To be on their feet for 8+ hours without a break;
  • Coordinate, pose, and photograph large groups of individuals who oftentimes are drunk, unruly, and unwilling to cooperate with instructions;
  • To exquisitely edit your wedding images so that they are timeless and look great 50+ years down the road.

Essentially, you’re paying your wedding photographer to be excellent at everything before, during, and after the wedding day. And in contrast to portrait photographers who can redo their sessions if need be, wedding photographers only get one chance to get it right. Weddings aren’t something we can redo. All of that equates to one tall order.

Average cost of a wedding photographer

The saying “You get what you pay for” is so true, especially when it comes to your wedding photographer. If you don’t have the budget for an experienced photographer, that’s ok. We all start somewhere and we all needed someone to take a risk on us. But set your expectations appropriately.

If you care deeply about your wedding photography, plan to work your wedding budget in a way so you can afford to hire an experienced wedding photographer.


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My husband and I looked FOR MONTHS to find the perfect photographer and after meeting Lauren we knew was the best fit for us. She made our day so much fun and easy. She found little opportunities to make the perfect photo all with a  calm ease that comes from someone who has an artistic eye along with experience in understanding the flow of a wedding.

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