The Cost of Wedding Photography

When Kevin and I got married, we were not photographers.  We paid $500 for 200 prints in a slip-in album and our negatives.  We don’t love our photos.  In fact, we don’t have a single one on display anywhere.  And, the only person who ever asks to see our album is our 10-year-old daughter.  🙁

So, how do we go from that first humble experience with wedding photography to where we are today?

And, really, is our photography worth the cost?

For a really good description of the cost of wedding photography, check these posts out:
If you’d like a brief overview, check out Lauren Grove’s blog.
Or, if you’d like more details, Britt Croft’s blog does a very thorough job of listing where your photography dollars go.

BUT, if talk is cheap to you, let’s do a little comparison.

This is my bridal portrait, taken in 1997:

And, once you’ve finished laughing (or crying, depending upon your bent), let’s talk shop.  Aside from the old-fashioned “hold your dress up to use as a backdrop” style, what do you think?
As a photographer myself, let me tell you what I think.
#1.  A bride (or any woman) should never have her hips and shoulders straight on toward the camera.  It makes her look wide.  And, unfeminine.  And, at least in this photo, dowdy.
#2.  I have eyes.  And, they’re a very pretty shade of blue, if I do say so myself.  And, well, you’d never know it – looking at this image.  Here, I’ve got serious raccoon eyes going on.  I think this photo was lit from overhead fluorescent lights alone.  ugh
#3.  Check out that double chin.  If the photographer had had me look up, or stick my chin out, poof!  It would have disappeared.
O.K., let’s be honest.  There’s not a whole lot to like about this photo.  Yes, I’m in it.  And, yes, it’s obviously my wedding day.  And, if it weren’t for those two things, this baby would be in the trash.
Now, in contrast, here’s a bridal portrait that we took recently:
“What a beautiful bride!!”
When she looks at this image, or when her guests do, that’s what they’re thinking.
They aren’t thinking about the lighting, or posing, or camera angle, or any technicalities.
And, that’s the way we want it.
We have invested lots of time, energy, and money into our photography training.  So, we can take the concern off your shoulders.
We do it because we love it, not because we have to.  And, I’m fond of saying that if it ever becomes “just a job,” we’re OUT.  I never want a bride and groom to trust us to be all in, when in fact, we aren’t.  So, if that day ever comes, rest assured, we’ll be the ones to pull the plug.
I’m not sure how many $500 photographers are out there these days, but I do know that if I had it to do over again, I would sacrifice lots of other things before I skimped on my memories.
I’d love to answer any of your questions about this subject.  Please contact me through my website,
And, to see what clients say about their experience with us, check us out on