Wedding Photographer Costs and Why?

Wedding photographs are the ONE THING you walk away with from your big day, that can preserve the memories forever. You may have some other decorations and maybe even the old cake in the freezer, but none of that will last forever.

As a Bride or Groom going through the motions of the day, think of all the candid moments you will miss. The day goes by FAST and you are very busy! It's all the little moments, fun things, decorations, atmosphere, and guests that combine to make a wedding, a wedding! That’s why wedding photography is such an important investment. How much will you really remember even a few years down the road?

Reliable and talented wedding photographers do not come cheap. They just don't. PERIOD. The cost of a wedding photographer is influenced mainly by experience, education, demand, skill, and location.

In 2020, a two-hour wedding photo shoot in the Minneapolis area, would cost approximately $1,000. On average a four-hour shoot cost about $2,500.

Average Minneapolis Area Cost
1 hour - $1,000
2 hour - $1,500
3 hour - $2,000
4 hour - $2,500
5 hour - $3,000
6 hour - $4,000
8 hour - $5,000
10 hour - $6,000

Average TOTAL Cost of a Wedding in Minnesota is about $30,000.

Wedding photography prices vary from $1,000 to $10,000 or higher in the U.S.

Memories vs. Prints

When you pull out old photos (that are printed), you’re looking at the memories not the quality of the print itself. If photographers charge you a bunch for prints (some charge outrageous amounts like $75 or more per photo), you just aren’t going to print many, IF ANY at all. That’s why we don't even offer prints. You can go to any store with a printer kiosk and have them printed for super cheap and they are good quality. That alone will save you a fortune if you want prints or an album. Also, buying and assembling your own album allows you to chose exactly what you want and make it how you want, with the photos you want.

Wedding Photographer FAQ's

⦁ When should you hire your photographer?
Sooner the better. We book nearly a year in advance for most popular dates. If you’re planning to use your engagement photos for your save the dates, you will want them taken about 8 months before the wedding at least. You should send your save-the-dates out 4 to 8 months before your wedding.

⦁ How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?
Differs per photographer. I have been in the business since 1998 and I will not send anyone that does not have the skills and experience needed.

⦁ Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style to the one we are planning?
We shoot all sizes in all locations.

⦁ Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?
Yes, just ask.


⦁ How would you describe your photography style?
Please see our galleries. Keep in mind, most "styles" (as brides refer to them) have more to do with editing than with taking the actual photos. PLEASE ASK if there is a specific style you like. Many professional photographers can do many, if not all, major "styles".

⦁ How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?
That is up to you. You know your friends and family best, what works best for you? We have this question in our planner when you complete it.

⦁ Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?
Digitally. We also provide all the photo files via digital download or USB drive.

Pricing and Packages

⦁ What is included in your standard package?
Please contact us for pricing.

⦁ Can I customize a package to fit my needs?

⦁ Do you include engagement photos in your packages? What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?
No, they are not part of the package. We do offer them separately for those who do not need/want those services.

⦁ How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?
Please contact us for pricing.

⦁ Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?
We color correct and basic edit all the keepable photos as part of the package. If you need advanced editing like blemish touch ups, background removal, we do offer that at very reasonable prices in addition after the event.

⦁ Do you charge a travel fee?
Yes, in some cases travel fee's are applicable.

Prints and Albums

⦁ Can we order prints or albums directly from you?
No. We do not offer prints. They are so much cheaper if you take them to any printer kiosk and print the ones you want!

⦁ What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?
No, most clients want to control this, and by giving you the copyrights, you can do as you please as SAVE money!

⦁ Are albums or prints included in your packages? How many pages or prints are included, and what is the turnaround time?
We do not offer albums.

⦁ How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?
2-4 weeks typically. Either digital download or USB drive.

⦁ Will we have the rights to the images?
Yes. A photo copyright release is provided.

⦁ Will we receive the high resolution digital images?
Is there a fee for that? Yes. You get all edited images and they are part of the package.

⦁ Will the images be accessible online? For how long?
No. We send them to you and you can do as you wish.


⦁ When will we receive the contract?
After you complete the booking form (digital agreement).

⦁ How much of a deposit do you require? When is it due?
Depends on location and services booked. Booking contract (digital form) and deposit are due if and when you want to reserve your date.

⦁ Do you accept payments in installations?
Yes. Make a payment anytime. Final is due 2 weeks before your wedding.

⦁ What is your refund or cancellation policy?
For COVID or other health related rescheduling, we allow you to reschedule and keep your deposit on file for your new date. If you cancel your wedding, the deposit is non-refundable.

⦁ Do you carry backup equipment?

⦁ How will you and your assistants be dressed?
That is up to you. We allow you to choose in our online planner when you complete it.

⦁ Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?
Yes, of course. Within reason of course.

⦁ Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media? Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?
We do like to post on social media and use them for promoting on the website, but we do not sell them or use them anywhere else.

Actual DM with Dave and Bride...

Bride: is the cost of your services?

Dave: anywhere from $3-$6000

Bride: So expensive? Why?

Dave: How much do you think it should cost you?

Bride: $1500 - $3000 maximum. I am still debating to have my cousin, who does Photographer do it. He has a professional camera and everything.

Dave: For that price, you will always get what you pay for. If they can afford to do it for that, they are not professional and they are very part time. I know I wouldn't hire a part time (work on the side) Doctor to do surgery on me. Or hire Daycare that used to be licensed and just watches kids once in a while. Having a camera and some experience is the tip of the learning process.

Most part time people;

- They may only shoot on auto (can be a major problem with lighting and motion shots are issues)

- They may not have flash (dark light photos are most likely going to look pretty bad)

- They most likely don't have the backup equipment that they should have (backup flash, extra body, sd cards, batteries, tripods and many other tools that professionals keep handy). Camera malfunctions happen, and you need to have a professional backup camera body.

- They lack experience when it comes to editing which is one of the most important parts to get quality photos. They may not even have professional software to edit the right way.

- Would your cousin know how to help with poses, what pictures to take and when. Does he have telescopic lenses and other lenses when needed? For example, unless you want him to be right up front by you and your Fiancé at the alter, her will need a good lens so he can get the first kiss and not look like he was 3 miles away when he took it.

- The list goes on and on...

Bride: That totally makes sense, but I still don't get why it is so high?

Dave: It's not just about equipment and their time, but let's break it down...

- Knowledge & Experience - years of hard work, practice and studying. $???

- Education - $50,000 - $120,000 for a Professional Photographers Education

- Equipment

  • Professional Camera Bodies $2000 - $7000 Each (photographer has 2 at least)

  • Each lens from $1500 - $6000 +?? Each photographer has many for different shots

  • Flash (2 of them) $300-$800 each.

  • Camera bags, memory cards, reflectors, light stands, flash triggers, tripods, etc. $500 - $1500

  • Computer for editing: $1000 - $3000

  • Backup Hard Drives: $85-$300 each. Total cost: $170

  • Cloud Services and Backup $30 - $100

  • Business fee's and operating costs (internet, accounting, phone, credit card fee's, bank fee's, etc., etc., $500 - $3000/yr)

  • Screen Calibrator: $189 High End Monitor: $120 - $500

  • Editing Software: Lightroom & Photoshop: $119 per year

  • Website Design / Setup / Maintenance: $250 - $5000 ($100-$500 yearly)

  • Ongoing marketing and advertising - $3000 - $10,000 per year.

  • Many other business expenses, taxes and fee's...

  • Minimum cost just to start a Professional Wedding Photography Business: $20,000 (Not including any education or business operating costs.)

Then we have the actual work for just 1 wedding...

- Time to prep, booking, planning. (Studying the location to shoot, charging batteries, prepping and cleaning gear, packing and testing)

- Traveling to and from the event as well as Actual shoot time which is always a very long and tiring day.

- Backing up and copying photos after the event takes hours.

- Editing photos can take anywhere from 8 hours for a short shoot to 40 hours or more.

When you pay for a job, especially photography, you pay for way more than the persons equipment costs:

- Knowledge - Experience - Customer Service and Help Planning at anytime - Professional Editing - Backup Equipment - Professionalism - High Quality Work You Can Cherish Forever