The average U.S. couple pays about $2,000 for wedding photos, according to the Wedding Wire. However, local Utah photographers say their clients often pay less.
Utah photographer Veronica Renda said her wedding clients usually pay about $1,200. Another area photographer Mitchell England said his clients pay $100 per hour for wedding photos.
Renda, a photographer in Chicago, pointed out many differences in wedding photography in Utah and Chicago. One big difference is a $2,000 price increase for the Chicago weddings.
“Rather than an all-day photographer, Utah clients are looking more for temple photos and a little bit of reception,” Renda said.
Fewer hours of service is partly why Utah wedding photography often costs less than the national average.
At Chicago weddings, Renda follows the bride and groom and their families all day, documenting the entire process from getting ready to the ceremony to the reception afterward.
Even with the difference in cost and time spent, Renda said her clients in Utah and Chicago treat her with equal respect and appreciation.
“No matter where you go or what you like, the same slogan seems to fit pretty well: You get what you pay for,” Renda said.
Multiple photographers shared stories of people going with a family friend or amateur with costs far below average. In these cases, the couple spends hundreds of dollars and ends up feeling disappointed with the finished product.
Some couples choose low-cost photographers because wedding photography isn’t a priority for them.
“There are many people who are just looking for a good deal and honestly only get pictures because it’s a culture to get pictures for different events. So those photographers fill that market,” England said.
However, as Renda said, clients will get what they pay for.
“I don’t think couples usually will get good photos if they pay less than $1,000,” local photographer Tressa Wixom said.
Many people don’t realize that unlike many other aspects of the wedding, photography and videography is an investment.
“Most don’t understand photography for it’s worth,” said England.
Choosing a good photographer or videographer
A good photographer or videographer is also a good business person.
“If they take themselves seriously, then they’ll take you seriously, and they’ll give you what you want,” Wixom said.
Photographers who are easy to contact, offer consultations before beginning the relationship and have a professional website and portfolio show that they take their work seriously.
Wixom also suggests looking at a photographer or videographer’s Instagram profile and seeing who their clients are. Sending the photographer’s past clients a private message and asking them about their experience is a great way to find out if the photographer is professional and easy to work with.
To find a good videographer, local videographer Madisyn McKay recommends to “do your research.”
“It’s important to weigh quality and price. You can balance these two as you do your research,” McKay said.
While she said deciding whether a videographer is good is based on personal preference, McKay shared some signs to look for to tell if a videographer is skilled.
“Some things to look for are smooth transitions, clear shots and editing the video to the song,” McKay said.
The cost for wedding videography can be close to $1,000 or more because the cost comes from the many hours of work the videographer puts in per wedding.
“A videographer does a lot more than just putting together a video. The cost also includes the time, travel, committing an entire day to filming, the five to six hours of editing and the price to license the music for the videos,” McKay said.
Along with professionalism and skill, finding a photographer or videographer who loves shooting weddings is key.
“I want all my couples to care about their photos. I want them to invest in their photographs,” Wixom said.
McKay also wants her clients to value their investment on wedding videography.
“Creating video content, especially wedding videos, is not just a job for me or a fun little side hobby. It’s a passion and a lifestyle,” McKay said. “Videography, to me, is a lot more than just the videos. It’s the people, the music, the passion and, more importantly, the memories.”