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Questions and Answers

Q: What do wedding photographers offer?

A: Wedding photographers offer the service of taking pictures of the events related to the wedding. They can make only ceremonial images or work throughout the wedding day and include everything from the preparation to the post-banquet photos. Wedding photographers work in different genres and styles which makes it possible for any couple to find the right expert for their special event.

Apart from taking pictures at the event, wedding photography experts also guarantee photo editing service and may add a customized album, photo coverage of any extra event such as a rehearsal dinner or engagement parties, and even videography services.

Q: How do wedding photographers charge?

A: Most wedding photographers work on a package basis. They have ready packages of particular services with a fixed price for them and then additional services that can be added or extracted from the package. Besides that, you may also see per-hour rates for wedding photography. These numbers are used for a special coverage of the wedding-related events or if you need a photographer to work longer than the package offers.

As a rule, you will need to agree with a stated price for the services. However, sometimes you might negotiate a better deal if you hire a photographer for multiple events, long hours, or on a regular basis. The latter is related to the cooperation of wedding photographers with wedding planners.

Q: What is the average cost of the wedding photography services?

A: The average US cost of the wedding photography services is about $2,800 in total. Per-hour rates vary from $250 to $850 and heavily depend on the experience and reputation of a wedding photographer. To learn the cost of additional wedding photography services, please read our wedding photography cost guide.

Q: What factors affect the cost of the wedding photography services?

A: The wedding photographer’s cost most significantly varies depending on his/her experience and popularity. The more professional a photographer is, the more valuable and thus, expensive the service will be. However, the final cost you will need to pay also depends on the additional services you might require. Here is a list of the most common of them:

  • Second photographer. Very often to cover large weddings, with 50 people or more, couples hire two photographers: one for their photos and another one for the guests. The second photographer requires additional payment. Yet, it’s usually lower than the lead photographer’s charge.
  • Number of edited images. If you want to get more edited images than included into the package deal, be ready to pay for every extra image you order.
  • Prints. Printed photos and large posters are never included in the wedding photography packages, so if you want to have anything printed, get some money ready.
  • Wedding albums. Wedding albums are another additional service which is never included in the package deal. Make sure to order it beforehand to cut the final price.
  • Additional coverage. For a wedding photographer to be present at your rehearsal dinner, engagement party, hen or stag party, be ready to pay hourly rate on top of the package deal.
  • Distance. if you’re hiring a wedding photographer from your city, then you don’t have to cover travel expenses. In case you chose a photographer from another city, state, and even country, be ready to cover traveling, living, and food costs for your shooter.

Q: How to avoid dealing with a bad wedding photographer?

A: There are no license agreements or insurances that will cover you at 100% rate in this business. However, to hire a wedding photography expert who will truly make your special day memorable, it is advised to take the following steps:

  • Stay within the budget. Do not get crazy and hire a photographer you cannot afford. Set the price limits from the very beginning and operate within them. Yet, keep in mind that some wedding photographers may agree to a lower price in exceptional cases.
  • Shop around. Go through the web pages of dozens of photographers to find the one, whose style and quality you like. Use directories and independent forums for it as well.
  • Interview. Call up for an interview to meet a photographer in person to understand whether it is your kind of person or not. Don’t forget to prepare for the initial interview to learn as much information about the services provided as possible.
  • Compare the offers. At this point, compare not only the package deals and discounts you received but also your personal feeling about the talk with the expert. In other words, listen to your guts.
  • Sign the contract. Once the deal is agreed upon verbally, sign a detailed contract with your photographer. In this way, both you and your expert will be covered from any misunderstandings.