The Cost of Wedding Photographers

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Dear Wedding Vendors, you cannot- and I stress on the word cannot– tell a couple that you are sympathetic and considerate of how tough it is for people to get married these days and how expensive weddings are and yet throw a price tag of 4500 USD at them for photography services.

Yes, you read right. Four thousand and five hundred United States Dollars so they can shoot and immortalize your “wedding fantasy” or “wedding experience.”

I am super pissed right now, if you can’t tell. Because after contacting several photographers who all appear to have identical approaches to photography and do not seem to be something spectacular, we had a basic list of costs and let me tell you this, it ranges between 1500 USD to 4500 USD- and I’m told there’s definitely more expensive.

And this just for having two photographers, two videographers, a couple of printed photos that I probably will not be able to find frames for anywhere, and a bunch of wedding DVDs. If we want to have the digital copies of the photos, which in this day and age makes more sense than printing everything out, we’ll have to pay extra. If we want to have a photobooth and instant printing, we’ll have to pay extra. If I want a bloody drone to fly over the venue, then we should probably empty out our bank accounts.

Look, I don’t understand. On what grounds can someone ask for that much money?

Probably the only non-posed photograph from our engagement- and our favorite one because Ahmad is in his natural habitat 😛 

When it comes to food, increasing the price is justifiable because it means getting better quality of food and being able to have more options and a better dining experience. I’m so convinced of that that we picked the more expensive catering option fully knowing that the increase in price increased the quality drastically.

But with photography? I don’t get it. What will that person do that the person who asked for 1500 USD or the more average of 2500 USD can’t do? If you look at their portfolios, everything looks exactly the same! To the non-professional, it won’t make a difference as long as everyone is looking pretty and natural and not over-photoshopped!

And here’s the thing. I don’t like photographers especially after the major screw up at our engagement. I don’t like being asked to pose for hours on end and have a huge smile plastered on my face. And knowing Ahmad, he doesn’t either. And I sure as hell do not want a photographer stalking me through the whole day, since the moment I wake up, following me as I get my hair and makeup, to the venue, and  until the moment we are sent off on our honeymoon. And no, we do not want to have a couple’s photo-shoot in Downtown or Zaytouna Bay, thank you very much.

No wonder a bride can’t have a moment to herself!

I know that a couple of months after the wedding, I won’t bring out the album and go through the pictures. And I’m told, as soon as the children come along, anything related to the wedding goes flying out of the window and they take center stage.

So again, this begs the question, why are you asking for that large sum of money while others are not? Are they not aware that this is what someone makes in six months of slaving away at work?

Or is it just because the bigger the wedding spectacle the more it demands an equally “spectacular” photographer to immortalize it?

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. mterrazas32 says:

    Someone asking you for that large of a money probably has a lot of debt they need to pay off. You are really not hiring a photographer, you are hiring a photoshop editor, because the majority of the photo they take, end up needing to be photoshop because they can’t do the job they were hired to do in the first place. I think some people don’t know that they majority of the fees they pay to photograph their wedding is for the person to sit in front of their computer and fix the photo they took using photoshop. Have you look for a photographer who would shoot your wedding using film?

    1. TK says:

      Thank you for the insight! I didn’t really know that and I’ll make sure to pay more attention to this as I’m looking for a photographer. I actually despise photoshop and would rather look imperfect in my pictures than look nothing like my usual self!

  2. HH says:

    Hello..can you please share some of the photographers you contacted? Thanks.

  3. Nada says:

    Well well well… Finally someone is asking the right questions ! Let me tell you one thing I am a photographer and a videographer. I am the CEO of a small company now established in Lebanon (used to work in Montreal for 17 years). And Yes, I do ask myself the same questions !

    You are looking for people to shoot a nice simple wedding with simplicity and beauty and you can’t find any well because people like me are being told that “Waw I love your pictures and your videos but HEY you are too cheap for me or I want to pay more so this other company offers me the same service with a crane (that I find stupid to pay for ’cause you will just use one or two plans and pay a huge amount of money to get it) and they doubled your price. I prefer to go with them, sorry !!”

    At first, I was shocked… but well now I only accept contracts that are fun, simple and that I simply feel like doing… that’s it !

    We try to cover all costs within a reasonable budget keeping in mind to stay fair the salary of a photographer should range between $ 350 and $ 500 for a wedding. And that editing for video takes time. So an average wedding of 100 – 150 people should cost between $ 2 000 and $ 3 000 (Photo & Video).

    1. Amr Farid says:

      Hi Nada,

      pls send me your phone number and email to get in touch. I am from Egypt and I am planning on doing my Wedding in July in Beirut in Jardin De Vie, and I got these exorbitant quotations. Luckily enough my wedding will have around 100-150ppl attending.

      Thank you 🙂

    2. Cher says:

      Hi Nada,

      I also would like your contact details. We are planning to have our wedding in Lebanon and will have between 100-150 guests attending.

      Thanks,

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