How Much Does Wedding Photography Cost?
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So…wedding photography. How much does it cost? That’s the question, are you ready for the answer? It might not seem like that much of a discussion, but it is! There are so many factors to pricing wedding photography than meets the eye, that’s why it’s so important to create proper expectations with your client to let them know what’s going on at all times.
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So, without further ado, let’s get started. Get some popcorn and a cold drink and get ready to learn, because in this one, we’re teaching you how much does wedding photography cost!
Scope of Work
Before we price out anything here at Momentum 360, we need to understand the scope of work and appropriate shot list for your wedding. For weddings, are there obvious signature shots that just make sense, such as:
- The bride putting on her wedding dress
- The bride and her dad walking down the aisle together
- The bride and groom first kiss
- Bride and groom walking down the aisle as everyone celebrates
- Their first dance
- After party
These key shots have been incorporated into weddings since the beginning of time, so it’s extremely important to ensure that the photographer knows these shots are very basic, and that they may need to spice it up a bit to get creative!
All of this being said, the price depends on the scope of work and the shots that you’re taking. We make sure that every client we’re working with has a formal shot list beforehand that we check off during the event to ensure that everything is covered. We prefer something physical that can be crossed off, rather than “just remembering” it from their head…that doesn’t work. You need something physical that you and the client can review before the shoot, because during it they will most likely be having a good time and you do NOT want to disturb them at all.
When you talk to a local realtor about properties, they’ll tell you one thing….location, location, location, and they’re not lying! Location to pricing out weddings is imperative for one single factor and reason, space and size. The larger the space and environment, the larger the quote.
Think about it for a second.
Your photographer is lugging around their gear for hours, and to top that off they’re walking the entire time! If they aren’t compensated properly for the time it takes them to do their job at such a large space, then you can simply forget hiring an amateur photographer, let alone a professional one. For example, my parents got married in a small church in my hometown of Whitemarsh, PA, about 35 minutes outside of Philadelphia. The area was so small that they only needed the photographer for about an hour after the ceremony, totalling to about 2 hours on-site shooting, ceremony included.
Now, take my buddy’s wedding to New York City. After the ceremony, we went to this elaborate place that had to be about 20,000 square feet, and there were multiple floors, which made the photographer have to carry their gear up flights of stairs, it can get exhausting pretty quickly! Luckily, I’m sure the photographer was compensated properly, as he had a smile on his face the entire time, even though he was sweating through his white dress shirt!
But always remember, location matters, and your photographer will take into account how much moving they have to do throughout the entire day. We’re getting to the answer of how much does wedding photography cost?
To the people who say that wedding photography equipment doesn’t matter, shame on you, because it does! There are core pieces of photography equipment that certainly matter when we do weddings. However, there are goodies and add-ons that can make your wedding photography better.
For us, a basic wedding photography package will include back up batteries, and even a backup camera! For us, we always want to eliminate Murphy’s Law, so to do this, that’s why we charge accordingly to ensure that this stuff doesn’t happen. Here are 10 core essentials that every wedding photographer has with them to produce a great shoot:
1. Camera and backup camera
I actually bring three cameras so I can shoot with two and have one additional as a backup, but I think only two would get the job done. It is essential to have a backup in the event that something goes wrong with your primary camera — and there are so many things that can go wrong.
2. Medium zoom lens
I use a 24-70 f2.8 as my medium zoom and the lens that is on my camera most of the time. This focal length is great for wedding portraits and photojournalism, offering both wide and tight perspectives. The pretty wide aperture gives me some flexibility in spaces that aren’t very well lit.
3. Telephoto Lens
You will need a longer lens to capture events from a distance, in particular the ceremony. I like to stand toward the back or sides of a ceremony so as to not block anyone’s view and take photos from a distance with my 70-200mm. I also use this lens for closeups of the first dance.
4. Wide angle lens and prime lenses
These are not as essential for a wedding, but are certainly nice to have. The wide angle can get you shots of architectural details or big groups. The prime lens can allow you to shoot in dark spaces and give you dreamy depth of field.
Using an external flash can be a lifesaver when you need to get a shot that is just too dark to get otherwise. I have to use speedlight photography techniques for nighttime weddings and dark churches. The alternative is dark or grainy images.
6. Memory cards and batteries
Always bring more cards and batteries than you think you need. I will shoot 50-60 GB of images for a wedding and go through two sets of batteries per camera and per speedlight. Make sure the batteries are all charged up in advance.
7. Tripod and light stands
A good tripod will get you out of a pinch if you are low on light and just need a little more stability. It’s also helpful if you are working in very low light or compositing images together. The light stands are helpful to place your speedlights on and allow you to adjust the placement of the lights. Shoot-through umbrellas are also helpful to have with the light stands and speedlights for portrait work.
8. Flash diffuser
I like to bring a Gary Fong Lightsphere to put on top of my flash. It helps to diffuse the light and make for better portraits on the fly when you don’t have time to set up lights.
9. Camera bag
You will need something to put all your gear in. Make sure it’s big enough and comfortable enough to haul around with you as you’re moving throughout the day.
10. Studio strobes and umbrellas
Some people may disagree with me that this is essential, but I like to have powerful strobes (more powerful than speedlights) to use on formal portraits if I need them. Sometimes, it rains or is too cold and I’m forced to take formals in a dark church. In this case, I like having the speed and power of strobes to evenly light up a large group of people.
One of the final steps to finishing wedding photography is post production! There are so many things that we can do for editing photos such as color correction, saturation, etc to enhance these photos. If you’re a wedding photographer, this is really where cost comes into factor. If you’re not charging enough to make edits for your client’s photos, then you’re doing you and your service a disservice.
You’re in the business of making money for what you do, not making stress in your life. So you should charge as much as humanly possible to execute a fantastic product. That is, the product needs to be fantastic, I don’t recommend charging a lot for your services without providing something that is incredible. We’re about to answer the question of “how much does wedding photography cost?”
Ah, cost, finally it’s about time! So in regards to our wedding photography prices, Momentum charges at least $500/hr for wedding photography and post production. This includes rights to the photos from a digital copy, any shot list that you desire, and then some!
See, we have over 1,000 5 star reviews since we first started the company back in 2017. Thus, we need to charge the most to create the most value for our clients. This is how much wedding photography cost.
Momentum 360 covers all 50 states, and we have over 1,500 wedding photographers to work with you. So if you’re in need of a wedding photographer for your big day, don’t hesitate to contact us!
You can either:
- Submit a form on our website
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- Call us at 215-607-6482
However you decide to reach out to us is fine, just make sure you do!
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Until next time, don’t forget to read up on the latest Momentum 360 news, and we continue to provide daily and weekly updates and content through all of our social media outlets. We can’t wait to work with you! We hope we answered the question of how much does wedding photography cost?