Wedding Photography Costs – What Photographers Wants You to Know.

Wedding photographer prices
Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

How Photographers Estimate Quotes For Wedding Photography

Wondering how a photographer estimates their wedding photography costs? Understanding from a photographer’s perspective what goes into the wedding photography quote will help you understand. It allows you to access a value of the work based on knowledge, and not just a feeling of what you think what wedding photography should cost. Rates will vary depending upon individual differences, locations, experience levels and cost-of-living for each photographer. So this is why there are such variances, but the typical expenses and time associated with your wedding photographer can be generalized as follows.

When Budgeting Wedding Photography Costs – Consider the Following

According to US Dept. Of Labor and Statistics, the average photographer makes median income is $15.24 per hour in the US. Couples often have the misconception that wedding photographers get paid big money for just working weekends. What is not calculated, is the number of hours behind the scenes, editing photos, making albums, ordering prints and general business activities.  So when you are surprised by wedding photography costs consider the following:

Expenses just to be in business

Insurance costs, advertising, bridal shows, professional association fees, brochures, printed materials, website maintenance, sample albums, accounting, legal expenses, repair or replacement or upgrading of camera equipment, computers, editing software, wear and tear on automobile, studio rent, electric, telephone and Internet, and other employees or assistants.

Expenses related to your wedding 

Travel expense to and from wedding, cost of materials, photo prints, DVD, coffee table book or flush mount album, time spent meeting with you before wedding for interview, time spent on phone and email, the wedding day coverage, the time spent editing the photos or designing your album after the wedding, time spent with you reviewing the images, then coordinating the items in your package with various print vendors. Many couples just see the 6-8 hours with the photographer but there are many more hours in prep and post editing that add to the time they dedicate to your wedding photos.


Federal, state and local taxes, social security and payroll taxes which will typically take 40 percent off their net.

When all these expense are considered, there really is not much left over. A photographer really needs to factor these expenses into their quotes or else they will be out of business. The national median income according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics for a wedding photographer is $29,130. Of course, incomes will vary based on location, experience, talent and goods offered. So when you consider only spending $500 on your budget, perhaps, you will have a greater understanding of why professional photographers get their knickers in a twist over such a request. They simply cannot do it and stay in business. You need to seriously consider the budget amount for your wedding photography if quality photos are important to you otherwise you will be taking your chances with an inexperienced photographer.  As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Hiring a professional photographer who runs a legitimate business, be it part time or full time, is going to allow you to relax and breathe a little easier on your wedding day…a $500 photographer will most likely  be the one that is a last minute cancel. So when you are trying to understand why wedding photography costs so much, now you will have a better understating of what goes into your quote. For additional information on budgeting for wedding photography costs, please read Wedding Photographer Prices & How to Budget for Them.

My Bridal Pix also offers a wedding photography job board, were you can post a job for photography services.  This allows you to do some competitive research to find the best photography your budget can buy.


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