Wedding Photography Prices Guide – How to Set Your Photography Budget

How much does professional photography cost for your wedding? Learn how to set a realistic photography budget with this guide to wedding photography prices and rates.

The Going Rate for Professional Photography

When determining your wedding photography budget, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. You should expect to spend at least $1000 on having a professional wedding photographer document your wedding (not including the actual prints and other extras). Rates, of course, will vary depending on skill level, experience and geographic region (metro areas are usually considerably higher). The size of your wedding can also affect the photography cost, as additional guests may increase the amount of time that the photographer must spend at your event. For instance, for an event of less than 100 guests, a wedding photographer will typically dedicate four-six hours of time. For a larger wedding of 300 or more guests, a photographer may have to spend eight-ten hours on the job.

Comparing Photographer Rates

Most wedding photographers will give general pricing information over the phone or on their websites, so you can use an initial online search or phone call as your first step towards finding a photographer that suits your budget. In comparing photography costs, remember that different photographers offer different packages – so initial rates can be misleading. Some rates only include the photographer’s time, while prints and albums are extra. Other photography packages may include proofs, a set number of prints and an album. Determine what services and options you want first, then compare photographers’ rates for providing those specific options to determine which professional works within your wedding photography budget.

Creative Ways to Save on Wedding Photography Prices

If you simply must have a certain photographer who commands higher rates, consider these ways to save on your photography budget:

o Buy a more basic wedding photography package with less prints and albums

o Negotiate and switch out an engagement portrait for an additional parent’s album Get even more ways to save on wedding photography prices.

Photography Contract Points

When reviewing your contract with a potential photographer, make sure that it is specifically clear in what it covers. Consider these questions:

o Do you need to make a deposit?

o What is the cancellation policy? Will you get anything back?

o Is any travel time considered an extra or included in the bill?

o Are you entitled to final prints only, or can you obtain all of the proofs?

Now that you’re an expert on photography costs and budgeting skills, this complete guide to wedding photography will take you the rest of the way towards hiring and working with a photographer and planning your wedding day shots.

5 Wedding Photography to Watch Out for in 2014

Wedding photography has changed a lot since our parents got married three decades ago. That said even though photography trends have changed there are very few couples who know much about the latest trends or upcoming trends. This often means that they don’t know exactly what they should be looking for when hiring a photographer to cover their wedding. The important thing that wedding couples should always remember when hiring a professional is to never hire one simply based on if or not they are using the latest and the most expensive equipment. It should be based on their portfolio and if they are able to shoot your wedding based on the latest trends, five of which have been described below.

Trend no. 1: Celebrity wedding style

Almost every wedding couple may want to feel like a celebrity and this particular wedding photography style makes it possible. This particular style brings red carpet style posing to wedding couples. The resulting pictures are often of couples who are acting out famous movie and music video scenes. This allows for the photographer to create new and unique themes which look like photos on a glossy film magazine cover.

Trend no. 2: Soft toned black & white pictures

Black & white film cameras may have been replaced with their color counterparts a long time ago but there was a certain class that these monochrome pictures had. Today even with the latest photography equipment many photographers like the black & white effect especially when it comes to wedding photography. The amazing thing about this sepia or soft toned monochrome photography is that it is very classy, clear and stylish, it can also be edited to suit certain themes and artistic tastes.

Trend no. 3: Very deep color themes

A growing number of wedding photographers are leaning in the favor of using a combo on low light photography and dramatic skies to produce pictures that are stunningly deep. This effect is usually achieved during weddings that take place at night or during the reception which is under an open sky. However, if you opt for this particular photography style the professional should be able to provide you with a few tips on what you’ll need to do in order for the pictures to turn out as expected. This type of photography is ideal for beach weddings.

Trend no. 4: Candid photography

This year we may see a growing number of couples opting for candid photography because it combines their unique acting talent with the photographer’s ability to shoot their best sides. However, even though a lot of the candid shots will be composed but they need to look spontaneous which can be difficult. So, many wedding photographers will start by creating a scene in which couples need to act spontaneously just so that the pictures don’t look planned.

Trend no. 5: Bold colors

This type of photography literally turns up all the bold colors at the wedding party. So colors in the flowers, the dress, accessories etc. will all pop. Many professional wedding photographers will provide their clients with a list of bold colors that they need to use. Any shortfall in bold colors will then be filled during post production.

History of Wedding Photography

Wedding photography is very much part and parcel of the modern couple’s couple big day. Soon-to-be-married couples are willing to spend small fortunes in order to have a beautiful wedding album. But wedding photography is not a new phenomenon as even the Victorians also liked having pictures taken of their wedding days.

Wedding photography dates back to the 1840s. Because photography was only in its infancy there were serious technical limitations on the kind of pictures that could be taken. There were none of the pictures taken outside that are popular today. The photos were not even taken at the church or in the reception. The happy couple had to pose, before or after the event, in the photographers studio. They wore their best clothes for the shoot, which meant no pictures of the bridal gown. Also, the idea of a wedding photograph was only the preserve of the better off during this period.

Some twenty years later, during the 1860s, couples had started posing in their actual wedding clothes, which meant there would be a record of the bride in her beautiful white wedding gown. Also during this period some couples were hiring a photographer to actually come to the church to take a formal photo. But because cameras and photography equipment at this time was very bulky, and not easily portable, most wedding photography remained the preserve of the photographer’s studio.

By the early years of the twentieth century colour photography was available, but for at least the next 50 years it was far too expensive and unreliable to be used for all but the most exclusive wedding photography. The development of the film roll, better lighting and the introduction of flash photography led to a change in the whole concept of wedding photography. Instead of the standard picture of the bride and groom, the scope was extended to include photographs from the wedding service and the reception. This meant that the traditional wedding photographer could no longer rely on couples coming to him to have their wedding photos taken, he had to be prepared to give up a few hours and go to the wedding itself.

Photographic equipment remained bulky, with off the cuff, candid photographs impossible to take. Even photos from the period which appear to be candid had, in reality, being posed. But, by the 1970s we saw wedding photography becoming more like it is today, with pictures taken throughout the happy couple’s big day.

The advance of technology, with the advent of the digital camera, has seen wedding photograph develop further and couples can bring the whole day even more alive with a DVD movie of the event.