Choosing your Perfect Photographer
Don't get overwhelmed choosing the right photographer. Here's some tips to finding someone you and your family connect with.
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June 7, 2022
It seems you can find anything from free to over $10,000 for a wedding and elopement photography cost. With such a significant difference, it’s hard to budget for photography and it certainly makes you wonder what is causing that price jump.
Let us help you break down that cost.
We’re going to look into…
We know how important your wedding day is and want to make sure you are 100% happy with the results you are getting. Your wedding day is not something that should be left to hoping and praying you’ve found the right vendors.
After reading this, you should be able to identify how to choose your ideal photographer and their cost. If you find you have any questions or concerns after reading this, we’re right around the corner and are happy to help.
According to wedding wire most couples spend between $1200 and $2850 on their wedding photographer in the St Louis, Missouri area. Nationally this price ranges a little bit more from $1150 to $3000. They believe most couples will spend an average of $2000 on their wedding photography.
This is a great bit of information, but it doesn’t tell us very much. This average doesn’t tell us how long these photographers are hired for or what exactly is in their wedding package. It doesn’t tell us the experience level or anything else that may be very important information in determining what is average wedding photography cost.
It really only tells us what everyone else is spending, but is average what you want for your wedding day?
Maybe average is exactly what you’re looking for or maybe it’s important to have someone that is going to create an experience and images that go well beyond just average.
So if price is your biggest purchasing factor, this a general breakdown of wedding photographer pricing for a full day.
This person has likely never shot a wedding before. They are likely trying to get their foot in the door, but probably aren’t someone you want to hire if it is important for you to have your once-in-a-lifetime moments captured.
It’s very much a risk. They may do great or they might catch your entire wedding without anything in focus.
This individual might have wedding experience, either working on their own or working weddings as a second photographer.
They most likely aren’t in high demand and this may be due to lack of experience, inconsistent style, or their level of comfort photographing a wedding.
Again this still a risk. At this level, it will be dependent on each photographer whether they are able to consistently capture wedding moments successfully or not.
These photographers are beginning to get more reliable, but may still show inconsistency in posing and edits.
Technically speaking, they will be a good photographer, however they are still learning their style and perfecting their ability to pose couples in way that appears authentic and real.
They have probably photographed a few weddings that look good, but they may not have shot in every lighting or weather condition.
Certainly there is less risk here, but they may still leaving missing the peace of mind.
This person has done several weddings and is the category the majority of wedding photographers sit (thus their pricing fitting into the WeddingWire average).
They have probably been doing photography for a great deal of time and are essentially experts on the technical workings of their photography equipment. They will produce great photos, but may not create an authentic experience. What is meant by this, is that each wedding they photographed is treated the same way without getting to know the aspects most important to the couple or not knowing how to execute those aspects.
There is almost no risk here. You will get beautiful images, but you may not have the emotional connection associated with the moment captured. And this is because the photographer was probably unable to recognize and represent the moments most valuable to you due to a lack of personal connection.
Here you will find experienced photographers.
They are so comfortable with their expertise in photography that they are able to focus their energy on providing an experience. Without over-thinking they will be able to capture the shots most important to you in way that accurately represents that emotions felt in that moment.
They are likely to have all the gear needed plus high-quality backup equipment. They have in an in-demand style and consistent galleries.
Here, there is no risk. These photographers have structured their business to ensure high-quality images, while creating a sought after customer experience.
Similar to the professional photographers, these are experts in their field. The create incredible imagery, while providing an unforgettable customer experience. They will most likely use the highest quality gear, while providing add-ons that enrich the experience further.
They are highly sought after photographers given their artistic ability and unimaginable experience they provide.
Clearly there has to be more to wedding photography costs beyond just a title of experience. You’re 100% correct there is more to it. The prices above are not just created because a photographer decided they are a professional.
There is more that goes into the determination of their pricing and level of photography. Below are the biggest influences of pricing.
This is again, great, but what do you do with this knowledge?
We’ve looked at several factors that affect pricing. Unfortunately there still is no clearly defined answer to that question. You could literally pay anywhere from nothing to well into the ten’s of thousands of dollars.
This is why it is so important to be educated on your decision when choosing a photographer. With so much variation between photographers, you could pay any range of price and still not be happy with your images.
What do we suggest to ensure you LOVE your images?
Think about each of these bits of criteria and think about how much you’re willing to pay to have the perfect photographer for you. Think about the number that if you paid it and didn’t get exactly what you wanted, would you say, “this was the best we could afford” or would you say, “if we would have just paid that $500 more, we could have had the photographer we really liked.”
I look at my personal wedding photos and constantly think, I wish I would have paid for the photographer I really wanted. I still follow my ideal photographer today, admiring her work and personality. At the time I chose my personal wedding photographer, I didn’t know what to look for and because of that many valuable moments were not captured that day.
Most photographers will have packages you can choose from and this will heavily influence the price.
What to look for in the package
Whew! That was a lot! The moral of this long winded story is the “how much do wedding photographers cost?” question is entirely based on your preference. However the moments that are captured by the photographer of your choice, won’t happen twice.
Truly take time to chose the right photographer for YOU, however valuable that is to you.
Juniper & Oak
I AM SO EXCITED TO meet you!