I'm comparing two photographers for my wedding: one is $700 and the other is $3,100.
The $700 guy (who comes with an assistant) has never shot a wedding before but has assisted another photographer on weddings. He doesn’t have any client testimonials and few wedding photos on his website. He’s answered all of my questions and seems like he knows what he’s doing, but i cant tell if his style matches what I'm looking for. He says he knows Photoshop and will give me all of the photos he takes on a flash drive. He’s only charging $700 for two shooters for a full day.
The other photographer works with another photographer in my area and has beautiful galleries, lots of great reviews, and a style I really like. He would give the edited photos to us on a flash drive (and possibly the unedited ones as well, haven't asked yet, as we originally felt they were out of budget). They're charging $3,100 for two shooters for a full day.
If you have the budget, spend the money on the higher priced photographer. You’ll likely be much happier in the end.
Wedding photography is like many things in life: you will probably get what you pay for. Spend less, get less—less experience, less value, less satisfaction. Spend more, get more.
Here’s a handy rule of thumb you can try when evaluating photographers at different price points:
- Under $1,000 — It’s a crapshoot. You might get lucky but you probably won’t.
- $1,000 to $2,000 — Your odds are significantly better than when you work with the sub-$1,000 crowd but it’s still a bit iffy.
- Over $2,000 — These are the folks who know what they’re doing.
According to one survey of wedding photographers in the U.S., the average price for professional photography runs around $2,800. You may have to cut your budget somewhere else to spend more on photography but your wedding photos will be the only “takeaway” from the day.
If you want good pictures, don’t skimp.