Average Cost of a wedding photographer

Capturing Kentucky Love: Unveiling the Average Cost of a Wedding Photographer

There are a few elements of your wedding you can go without, but a photographer is not one of them. For years to come, you’ll look back on your wedding photos and reminisce on that once in a lifetime day that you and your partner shared together. But, it’s hard to know though what the average cost of a wedding photographer is.

Choosing your wedding photographer with confidence guarantees you’ll always have sentimental and beautiful photographs to look back on with family and friends. But what exactly does a wedding photographer cost?

average cost of a wedding photographer

Why Does Wedding Photography Cost So Much?

The cost that goes into hiring a photographer is so much more than paying someone to show up and snap a few photos for you. Here are a few things that factor into the cost of your wedding photography package that you may not have thought about:

  • Communication prior to the shoot
  • Travel to and from your engagement shoot
  • Hours of editing / uploading / backing-up engagement shoot
  • Timeline and planning work
  • Labor such as a second shooter and assistant
  • Travel to and from your venue
  • Hours of editing / uploading / backing-up wedding day
  • Album design
  • The quality of albums delivered
  • Wall art creation
  • Photo reveal

If you want to learn more in depth about what goes into photographers pricing, check out this great resource, link here.

sunset with a bride and groom

What does a wedding photographer do on the day of your wedding?

On the day of your wedding, a wedding photographer typically plays several important roles to ensure that your special moments are captured beautifully. For Green Apple Photography these are the items we aim to capture and the roles we play on your wedding day.

  1. Preparation: The photographer will arrive to familiarize themselves with the venue, scout for the best shooting locations, and set up any necessary equipment.
  2. Documenting Getting Ready: The photographer may start by capturing candid moments as the couple and their wedding party get ready, including shots of hair and makeup, putting on the dress or suit, and interactions with family and friends.
  3. Detail Shots: They’ll take photos of important details such as the wedding rings, flowers, invitations, and any other decor that adds to the ambiance of the day.
  4. Ceremony Coverage: During the ceremony, the photographer will capture key moments such as the processional, vows, exchange of rings, and the first kiss.
  5. Formal Portraits: Your photographer will coordinate and take formal portraits of the couple, family members, and wedding party. They’ll ensure that everyone looks their best and that all desired combinations of people are photographed.
  6. Candid Shots: Throughout the day, the photographer will capture candid moments and emotions as they unfold, such as laughter, tears, hugs, and interactions between guests.
  7. Reception Coverage: During the reception, the photographer will document important moments like the first dance, toasts, cake cutting, bouquet toss, and any other special traditions or events planned.
  8. Creative Shots: They’ll also look for opportunities to take creative and artistic photos, using lighting, composition, and the surroundings to capture unique images that reflect the atmosphere of the wedding.
  9. Backup and Security: Professional photographers often use multiple cameras and backup equipment to ensure that no moments are missed. They’ll also take precautions to keep your images safe and secure.
  10. Coordination with Other Vendors: The photographer may work closely with other vendors, such as the wedding planner, videographer, and venue staff, to ensure a smooth flow of events and coordination of timelines.

Overall, our goal as your wedding photographer is to document your wedding day in a way that reflects your unique love story and creates lasting memories for you to cherish for years to come.

Bride and Groom in a Gorgeous Field

How Much Do Wedding Photographers Cost?

What exactly causes photographers to have varying prices? Varying prices stem from three reasons — experience, location, and values of the photographer. While you may be looking for a photographer who fits into your wedding budget, it will always be better to look for a photographer that fits within your quality, aesthetic and day-of expectations. Let’s talk about the average cost of a wedding photographer in Louisville, what their pricing reflects, and what may be included in their packaging.

Hobbyist Photographer: $0-$1,500

While a hobbyist photographer may possess a high skill level, their primary focus is usually on capturing photos for personal enjoyment rather than professionally. Hobbyist Photographers skill levels can vary depending on their time photographing, their dedication, or their passion for photography. These photographers usually will not be up for traveling as photography is not their full time occupation. While hobbyist photographers are not commonly hired for professional assignments like wedding photography, there are exceptions.

Amateur Photographers: $1,500 – $2,500

An amateur wedding photographer typically classifies as someone who does not do photography full time. It isn’t their profession and they usually only have 8-10 weddings under their belt. An amateur photographer may not be comfortable or experienced in handling typical problems that may arise within your wedding day. Amateur photographers most likely do not have their editing or style crafted yet and may be more comfortable shooting perhaps an engagement, or family photos for you.

Professional Photographers: $3,000 – $6,000

Pro photographers have a high level of expertise and are extremely familiar with using professional-grade equipment such as flash, a variety of different lenses, and editing software to produce high-quality images. A designated style and edit is signature with a professional and by taking a look at their website or socials, you’ll know what to expect! 

Outside of the photoshoot, professional photographers excel in communication. They are usually experts in delivering a seamless and enjoyable experience from the initial consultation to the final delivery of images. Professional photographers display reliability, punctuality, and a commitment to exceeding your expectations. These photographers often provide a second shooter on your big day. 

Luxury Photographers: $6,000+ 

Luxury photographers craft a bespoke experience for their clients all while creating incredible imagery.  With a deep understanding of lighting, composition, and posing, these photographers take their work to the next level.  With consistent work at high-end events, heirloom albums and wall art, and a focus on each client, many photographers at this level take a limited number of clients each year to ensure they’re able to give them personalized attention.  This helps to prevent burnout and increase customer service.  At this level, the last thing you’ll have to worry about will be your wedding photography. 

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What’s Included in Wedding Photographer’s Collections? 

A wedding photographer’s package can vary depending on the photographer and the specific services they offer. However, typical inclusions might encompass:

  • Pre-Wedding Consultation: A meeting or phone call to discuss the couple’s vision, preferences, and logistics for the wedding day.
  • Photography Coverage: This includes the number of hours the photographer will be present at the wedding, which can range from a few hours to full-day coverage.
  • Number of Photographers: Some packages include multiple photographers to capture different angles and moments simultaneously.
  • Engagement Session: A separate photoshoot before the wedding day to capture images of the couple in a more casual setting.
  • High-Resolution Images: Delivery of edited, high-resolution digital images without watermarks, typically through an online gallery or USB drive.
  • Print Release: Permission for the couple to print and share the images for personal use.
  • Editing and Retouching: Basic editing and retouching of images to enhance color, contrast, and overall appearance.
  • Albums or Prints: Some packages may include a certain number of prints or a custom-designed wedding album.
  • Online Gallery: A private online gallery where the couple and their guests can view and download the images.
  • Travel Expenses: If the wedding is out of town, the package may include travel expenses for the photographer.
  • Timeline Planning: Assistance in creating a photography timeline for the wedding day to ensure all important moments are captured.

It’s important for couples to carefully review what each photographer’s package includes and discuss any specific requests or customization options they may have. Prices can vary based on the photographer’s experience, location, and the extent of services provided.

bride and groom laugh with joy on their wedding day

So, what is the average cost of a wedding photographer?

The average cost of a wedding photographer depends on what you value most.

At the end of the day, while the memory of linens and candles may fade, the timeless photos captured by a professional photographer will be cherished and shared for years to come. Luxury photographers are pros at encapsulating the emotions, joy, and beauty of your special day, ensuring that the memories live on long after the day is over. Investing in a professional photographer is not just about capturing photos; it’s about preserving memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

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