Is this too expensive for a wedding photographer?

by DIY wedding planner on July 11, 2012

**Please don’t answer unless you know what you’re talking about. No one who’s never hired a wedding photographer and did DIY photography or anything like that. We live in Columbia, SC if that helps at all.

**I did research on and this guy was one of the cheapest ones with the best pictures. The others that were $1000 weren’t too impressive and there were PLENTY more expensive. I’ve never hired a photographer before, so I’m wanting to know if this is about right or if I’m getting screwed out of my money.

Price: $1500

Time: Up to 7 hours (Covers pre-ceremony pictures of me getting ready with my girls, ceremony pictures, post-ceremony group/family photos and portraits, reception photos, and exit photos)

Product: No prints unless we order them separate, but we get 3 CDs with 400-500 photos to make unlimited prints on our own. He also puts up a slideshow on Facebook for our friends and family. His 4×6 prints are 99 cents, just to give you an idea of his a la carte menu.

**We met with him today and we really like him. He showed us pictures of his last wedding at our venue and we were definitely impressed. This package is normally $2000, but we get a percentage off for having a non-Saturday wedding. He has plenty of add-ons, but our budget only allows for $1500 for the photographer, so we wouldn’t do anything like a photo book.

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
We plan on doing our own prints, scrapbook, photobook, etc at CVS or Wal-Mart along with the use of Shutterfly. I figure this is less expensive than getting prints from a professional photographer anyways.
Our contract says he retains the copyright, but we sign a release so we can make unlimited prints, as long as they aren’t used for commercial purposes.

Also, he edits all the photos prior to putting them on the CDs. So, no raw photos. :)

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria Perre July 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

I think its alright, but i would get a photo book/scrapbook. If you want to cut on costs though, go to cvs and they have a printing section to make prints, collages, and photo books.


TUBBY July 11, 2012 at 6:28 am

That is reasonable for a good photographer. If you like his attitude and his portfolio I’d say you’re getting a good deal. I paid $2000 for my photographer and didnt like the pictures at all. When it comes to your wedding, dont skimp on the photography because those are the pictures you look back on for the rest of your life. And take it from me, its depressing to look back and not like the photos!


SugarCat July 11, 2012 at 6:34 am

That sounds like a good price to me. My sister-in-law who got married in Alabama paid more and her photographer wasn’t there anywhere close to 7 hours.

Who owns the rights to the photos? That’s important. You want those rights.


cjsmummy July 11, 2012 at 6:40 am

that sounds quite good actually – a lot of professional photographers retain copyright and won’t allow you to print your own photos,you would usually need to pay extra on top if you wanted that,plus a lot of photographers will charge if you want a that I was interested in,his prints started at £8!that was for any that you wanted beside the album that was included in the price

it sounds like a great deal to me (7 hours is quite a long time,the standard is more like 4 -6 hours,and even then some will add a charge on for reception cover)


planner July 11, 2012 at 7:02 am

this is a good deal for what you get and if he is giving you the cd’s then he must not be retaining copyrights to the photos which is great. normally, when you do a deal like this, the photos are untouched, unless you order the prints and albums and he does the touch-ups for you. but you will probably just get the raw photos. you can ask him if this includes editing and or touch ups.

there are so many things like using sepia or black and white or like having black and white photos with one thing in color…for instance, the bride and groom going back down the aisle in black and white with the red carpet aisle runner in red. or the bride in black and white with only her bouquet in color, which are done by the photographer in his/her studio after the fact that you want to know what you are actually going to get for your money. so if it is just the untouched unedited film, you need to be able to touch and edit them yourself.

if you know what you are doing with shutterfly and can touch your own photos then go for it.


Kaper July 11, 2012 at 7:42 am

I am not in your area, but that sounds very reasonable.
Where I am, a professional photographer costs about $3000 and up just to show up for 8 hours, that isn’t any prints or anything. And as someone else already mentioned, most photographers retain the rights to the photos and require you buy any additional ones from them.
Around here there are a handful of new photographers just starting out that charge around the same for the same deal you are getting. It is their way of building their portfolio, getting experience and getting their name known. I know one who’s price has doubled since last year because of this.
Even from frequenting other forums, $1500 is not a rip off, assuming his work is decent.
If you like his work, I don’t think it is a bad price.


Tim July 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

Is that expensive?

Not at all.

My entry level price is $2,500. That is for me to show up and shoot for six hours. It does not including any images, prints, or albums.

My next teir is $5,000 and that includes a 10X10 album and a disk with the pictures.

My top end package is $13,000.

On top of my package prices most couples are also paying about $1,500 to $6,000 in travel expenses since I specialize in destination weddings around the world.

My plan is that by 2015, my entry level package will be $10,000.

So in summary, I think $1,500 is incredibly cheap as long as you like the photographer and his work.


Loving Life Now July 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

Sounds reasonable for wedding pictures


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