Did you know that the average wedding cost in the United States is a little bit over $35k, yet the average yearly income is less than $30k a year. That means, on average, people are spending more on weddings than what they make in a year.
Of the $35,000, how much are people spending on a wedding photographer? As for someone who is in the wedding industry, I’ve seen professional photographers charge anywhere between $2200-$10,000. Although that is a lot of money, here are some tips that you can use to help you afford a professional wedding photographer.
Hire a Professional Photographer
Do you know what costs more than hiring a wedding photographer? Hiring another photographer to re-take & re-create wedding photos.
I’ve seen many brides who are forced to do post-wedding sessions because they weren’t happy with the $500 photographer that they hired on their wedding day. To save money and time, pay a little bit more for a professional and get it done right the first time.
Print Your Own Photos
Want to know an industry secret? Photographers typically upcharge over 100% for prints. So, what may be an $8.00 8×10 print could cost you over $20. Now, let me qualify this by saying that photographers are not wrong for doing this; they’re spending their valuable hours designing albums, uploading your images, cropping them to fit the right aspect ratios, and talking to professional vendors on your behalf.
“…when clients purchase prints through their photographer, they are not simply paying for the paper and printing material, but rather for the art itself and the time invested by the photographer to create that one image.” –SunKissed Photography
Photographers should be charging for their time and it is worth paying for the time. If your photographer is placing prints into your packages, know that you are getting what you paid for.
However, if you feel confident in designing your own albums or placing your own print orders, then it doesn’t hurt to ask your photographer to take prints off their packages if it’ll save you money. Some photographers will decline, and they have every right to do so (depending on the agreed contract). This is a topic to talk about before hiring a photographer.
If you choose to print your own photos, avoid Wal-Mart, Target, or pharmacy print labs. I highly recommend the professional labs below:
- Sam’s Club & Costco (This will give you the best bang for your buck; but they aren’t quite as good. Be sure to stay away from the 1-hour photo option)
IMPORTANT: Make sure you get a print release form from your photographer. Many places will not print your photos unless you have one.
Package a Deal
Photographers are typically flexible when it comes to pricing, especially when you’re buying into their other products. You can ask your photographer if they’re willing to drop their price if you also book their wedding videography bundle. You can even offer to add a future maternity, family, or post-wedding session into the package to see if the photographer will give a discount.
$3500 can be hard to fork up in a lump sum. Did you know that most professional wedding photographers offer a payment plan? I highly recommend booking your photographer as soon as possible and then taking advantage of their payment plan.
Photographers typically require a retainer fee or deposit to book your date; then the rest of the invoice can be made in multiple payments. The further out that you book your photographer, the easier it is to make your payments.