by: Lauren

PSA: Wedding Photography Pricing via TheELD.comPhoto by Kristen Weaver

It’s no secret that I’m all about helping brides, as well as awesome photography. And so, this is my Public Service Announcement to the world. I know I’ve written about photography, quality, and pricing quite a few times, but this has been weighing on my mind all week. So I’m just going to come out a say it, because it seems like no one else has.


If photography is an important aspect to you, be prepared to spend more than $3,000.

Chances are incredibly slim that you will find a quality, experienced photographer who is less than $3,000.


There, now someone has said it and put it out in the open. It’s no secret anymore. And so now I’m on a mission to spread the word about the true cost of quality photography. Because trust me, it’s not fun to be a shocked bride when you find out the cost of something that you really want and loveĀ (I’ve so been there). So help me in spreading the word- tell your friends, tell your parents, tell everyone- even if you’re not engaged! Let’s make this common knowledge!


If you would like more insight into photography, try these past posts:

Tips for Choosing Your Photographer- Part 1 Part 2

Do You Know What Photo Retouching Is?

I Took The Cheap Photographer Route


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Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

16 responses to PSA: Wedding Photography Pricing

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  1. Danielle

    Can you expand on that a little more – do you mean basic package? With or without the album?

    • Lauren

      @Danielle: It really depends on the photographer. Some photographers have “packages” that include an album, but some also don’t include an album. But all in all, “starting at” is just that- the most basic package = $3,000.

  2. Courtney

    I love you for putting the word out there!

  3. Erica Clements

    So true. I’ve heard too many horror stories of brides losing their photographers last minute because they decided to back out. Those “photographers” were doing the wedding really cheap or were a friend who offered to do it for free.

    We spend so much on our dress and wedding and reception locations. Photography of the big day is just as important so that you have images of those details and special moments.

    Being a wedding photographer for three years now, I know how hard it is to capture every detail of the big day and make it look beautiful, and to give something to your bride and groom that they can pass onto their children one day.

  4. shannon

    haha. excellent idea. spread that word.

  5. Grace

    I must respectfully disagree with this post and the idea that a price point of $3,000 is the distinguishing factor between a “quality and experienced photographer” and one who is not. There are many photographers out there who are experienced, creative, and wonderfully personable who are shooting weddings for a starting price of less than $3,000. There are also many photographers who have a starting price above $3,000 and do not offer all of these things.
    I understand your value in wanting to communicate to brides the importance of good photographs as a very important and lasting memory of their special day. I could not agree more. The best way to find that perfect photographer is to do lots of research, look at lots of their work, and meet with them in person to make sure there is an artistic as well as personal connection. It looks like you have shared many tips such as these in previous blog posts, which is helpful.
    I hope that couples will not overlook photographers who start under $3,000 and not buy into the idea that a beautiful, creative, and thoughtful wedding has to cost a certain price. My husband and I found an amazing professional wedding photographer in Southern California and we spent under $3,000. We could not have been happier with the results, and our wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty and several other wedding blogs because of our photographer’s beautiful work. The most important aspect in finding a quality and experienced photographer who is a good fit is to be discerning.

    • Lauren

      @Grace: Yes, there are indeed other ways to find a quality photographer than just looking at the pricing, all of which I’ve mentioned in the other posts I linked to at the end of this post. It is possible to find a great photographer for less than $3,000 if you do your research or luck out. However, I’ve found that brides are often faced with sticker shock when they find out the pricing of photographers, which is why I felt the need to just be the one to come out and say that photography CAN be more than $2,000. :)

  6. How to Make Dog Clothes

    I like to take a break during the my day and browse through some blogs to see what others are saying. This blog appeared in my search and I couldn’t help but clicking on it. I’m glad I did because it was a very enjoyable read.

  7. Kristen Steele

    Lauren, thank you SO much for educating brides so well! :) While not every quality photographer will charge at least $3,000, it is a good idea to prepare Brides and Grooms to research which photography styles they like but more than price I think whether you “click” with your photographer or not should be one of the main qualifiers. Sure your photographer should have a fabulous portroflio filled with consistently beautiful images, but do you get along with him or her?? If you don’t, then you’ll definitely FEEL awkward which will just translate through your images. And when you find that perfect photographer for you, BOOK him or her before someone else does!! :)

  8. wedding photographers bristol

    You have given a very good and a nice information about wedding photography pricing. The information which you have given is beneficial for me also for others who wants to know this. I liked and very much impressed by this.

  9. Kristin

    @Grace – Kristen is not saying that you must first look for photographers starting out at least at 3k, but instead we need to prepare brides so they don’t have that shock when they finally hit up the photographer they’ve been stalking for so long and find that the photographers highest in demand, with the best quality work, and booking so far in advance, have work and services valued over 3k. The higher in demand you are, the higher your base prices become. Therefore, brides do not be shocked when your popular artist starts at LEAST at 3k!

  10. mariana herrera mosli

    Amen! it’s so important to connect with your photographer and research to find the best fit for you, but understanding that you can’t expect great photography at a (dare I say) cheap price, is the first step to getting you on the right track to finding the one who will document your priceless memories.

  11. Lorri

    Thank you soooo much for this post!!! We are doing a wedding on a $12K budget (200 people) and our photographer was our one splurge – $4k. I have been trying to justify my decision on this to everyone and at times, have felt guilty. What is important is she has done 2 of my friend’s weddings with impeccable results. And I trust her, and she is fun! I feel better not having to worry about how well my photographer is going to do. The price includes 2 photographers for full day coverage plus a 3rd for a live photobooth, as well as a guestbook and engagement session. She also gives you the rights to all your photos! It was our splurge but I figure that once the wedding is over all that remains is our love and our photos, i want them to both be forever.

  12. Karla Martinez

    This is untrue, you just have to do research, Granted our photog wasn’t cheap but was still under $3000 and they did amazing work. All day coverage, 2 photogs, printing credit, and photobooth at the wedding for less $2500! Check out our wedding website for pics. They are the lighter colored ones, the others were done by an up and coming company and you can clearly tell.

  13. Andi Diamond

    HOLLA! THANK YOU! Thanks for helping to educate couples and other photographers. it is true- you get what u pay for! xo

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