How Much Should Your Wedding Photographer Cost?

Sierra Does Photos Wedding Photographer Costs

February 9, 2024

Tips & Insight, Weddings

So, you’re knee-deep in wedding planning, and the topic of photography has popped up. Let’s talk turkey: how much should a wedding photographer cost? It’s a question that can leave you scratching your head amidst the sea of options out there. But fear not! I’m here to break it down for you.

If you have been researching the average cost of a wedding photographer you probably have been coming up with a cost somewhere between $2-3k. This is an okay starting point, but there are many factors that the “average” probably doesn’t include!

Things like:

Having at least 8 hours of coverage, having 2 photographers, an engagement session, travel costs, or the possibility of albums or film!

Overall, you’ll find it’s hard to truly average the cost of a wedding photographer as they range anywhere from $1k and up! You just get what you are willing to pay for. But if you are still unsure about what to expect when it comes to wedding photographer costs I will break down various ranges below. Hopefully, this will help simplify the types of photographer costs out there!

These numbers are based on what I consider the nationwide average (in the USA). 8 hours of coverage and 1 photographer, which is pretty standard for most weddings.

Under $2k

Under $2k would be where you would find the newbies or nationwide photography businesses.  At this stage, most wedding photographers you will run into are below average in terms of their skills and experience. Because of this, they are probably not good with flash photography since they are newer. If you are getting married in a tough lighting situation your photos will look passable or very meh. If they aren’t new, there is typically a good reason why they don’t charge that much. Review their work carefully if they are in this range. It’s possible to find a talented newbie in this range and for some couples, this is what you can afford. That’s okay as long as you know to have your expectations lower or photos aren’t as important to you!

I do want to make a note to steer clear of any nationwide photography companies. This is because they usually hire anyone they can find last minute to be your photographer. I’ve heard many horror stories from couples who ended up with a photographer who didn’t connect very well, or they ended up with photos they were unhappy with. It’s much safer to find a small business owner who you know who is invested in showing up for you and your special day!


This is the average and the range where you shouldn’t need to worry about your photographer. This is considered an experienced wedding photographer’s range and they should have a polished branding and website and have good gear! There are plenty of good photographers in this category, and it boils down to whose personality and style you connect with the most.  You genuinely can’t go wrong hiring someone in this range.  Most folks spend this much!


This is above average.  At this range, you are probably hiring one of the best photographers in your state, and/or someone that is specialized in something specific. Perhaps you are adding extras like film, travel, albums, or rehearsal dinner coverage to the previous tier.


This is the premium tier.  Pretty much the same as the tier before but these folks are even more specialized, and they are in higher demand.  These folks typically travel a lot for weddings.


This is the luxury tier.  Pretty much celebrity wedding photographers just to sum it up.  They are similar to the tier before but they are just in crazy high demand.

Hope this helps you decode some of the mystery of how much a wedding photographer should cost! If you’re interested in learning more about my prices and packages, you can connect with me here!



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meet & greet

I've been photographing weddings since 2021 and I'm loving every minute! When I'm not behind the camera, you can find me spending time with my family and friends, reading a fantasy book, or watching Modern Family with my husband Josiah of Josiah Does Videos.

Hi! i'm Sierra

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