The ultimate question of so many brides and grooms who are searching for their wedding photographer. The question isn’t a simple google search or a peek on Wedding Wire can tell you and this post will help explain why. So, what is the average cost of a wedding photographer in Ohio?
It’s a valid question to have, even if money isn’t the main factor in making a decision. Why? Well, perhaps a couple has never searched for a wedding photographer before; they assume they might have to answer the “what is your budget?” question, and maybe they really DO have a budget to stay within. They might not know what to look for in a wedding photographer, so the first and the only thing they can think of to ask is, what will my investment look like? Ok, so let’s get into it. The average cost of a wedding photographer.
Now, I am an Ohio wedding photographer. The average investment couples invest in my services for an 8-9 hour day is $5,400. You can take a peek at my website (aka, a peek into the experience) here >>>
When I began my photography journey a decade ago, I charged $600 for my first wedding. YEAH. You read that right. I charged $600 for an entire day of wedding photography. Now, you won’t find that in a newbie these days, because they have unlimited access to education and unlimited access to more experienced photographers who will undoubtedly tell them that they will burn out if they do not charge appropriately. That is not the average cost of a new wedding photographer any longer. But that’s not the point.
Full disclosure: I was a photographer who charged almost nothing, and I became a photographer who provides a valuable experience, and both seasons of my career are respectable in their own way. You should know that each person should be able to charge what they believe is a fair price and each bride and groom should be able to budget as they see fit. This article does not replace that idea. These numbers are a rough guess.
You have some choices to make here; some of these choices will save you money, but some could cost you more than a few thousand dollars. We are talking about your precious memories. The choices based on my evaluation of the industry:
Hire an unexperienced wedding photographer: $1,200-$2,200 for 8 hour coverage
Unexperienced does not mean bad or not talented. I have seen some extremely talented people come out swinging with their crazy talent, understanding of light and editing skills that would knock you off your feet. You’ll find these people will (hopefully) have amazing instagram feeds, dreamy images you want for yourself, and you’ll consider them for your wedding. If you do consider them for your wedding, consider these things too:
- Have they photographed a full-day wedding on their own before? (styled shoots don’t count!)
- Can you view a full wedding gallery? Look for consistency in this. I cannot stress this enough!
- Do they offer more than just wedding day coverage? Perhaps timeline planning or an engagement photoshoot.
- Will they direct you on your wedding day, pose you efficiently and naturally, and make you look like the model you are not? Ask them!
If these things align and you feel really confident in them and the research you have obtained after speaking with them, this might be a good choice for you!
Hire an experienced wedding photographer who does not do it full-time: $2,500-$3,500 for 8 hour coverage
Why does it matter if they do it full time? Well, we can take this in two different directions; on one hand, this photographer is not fully committed to being a wedding photographer full time, therefore they might not always be able to prioritize the experience they are giving before and after the wedding. Does this make them less talented or less worthy of a booking? Absolutely not! Is this true for all wedding photographers who do it on the side? No way! On the other hand, they might not need the higher income stream to sustain a busy and growing business because this is the side hustle they don’t have to rely on. This might make them equally talented, and they might come in at a price point you can get behind.
Things you should consider;
- Will their limited availability work into your schedule when it comes to your engagement photoshoot, or your various consultations before the wedding day?
- What is their turnaround time like after wedding day?
- Will they be able to give you maximum effort on wedding day? It’s a feeling, so make sure you feel it.
Hire an experienced wedding photographer whose career is based on the experience they give their couples: $4,000+ for 8 hour coverage
This is the budget in which your experienced photographers will fall. And it isn’t because they one day decide to put a larger price tag on their services. It is because they have created their packages and price points based upon the value they give to their clients. Some of that experience might be creating unique timelines for your day, sharing other experienced vendors with you, being the go-to person when you really need someone to help, and really investing themselves in the memories YOU are making. These photographers will cultivate real moments and emotions so that you have pictures to look back on of them. They’ll provide luxury albums with precious family heirlooms that you can hold in your hands sometimes just weeks after your wedding day. They’ll create the moment for you, watch you live it from the outside, and then show you every beautiful moment you were and were not a part of. This is the photographer you think to yourself, “wow, she was really there for me!”
A photographer who charges this much is charging this much because of the value added, not the number of hours or digital files given. And the client who chooses this photographer isn’t the richest person in the county; it’s the client who values precious memories almost as much as actually experiencing them.Ashley Stein, Ohio Wedding Photographer