If you’re looking into hiring a wedding photographer, it’s fair to wonder about what a fair price looks like.
Sadly, many wedding photographers hide their rates or make them available only after you’ve reached out to them. For those who are just starting their search, this can make the process so much more confusing and difficult.
What does a wedding photographer cost?
It depends on the “tier” you decide on. The short answer is this:
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wedding photographers working in MN. There’s one out there for essentially any budget.
That said, there are certain expectations you should have when paying for an affordable photographer and a whole different set of expectations you should have when hiring a top tier photographer.
Here’s how I like to look at it.
Beginners (Affordable Wedding Photographers)
Unlike most experienced photographers, beginning wedding photographers are often available to shoot your wedding for next to nothing. In many cases, they’ll work for free or for $1,000 or less.
But should you hire one?
It depends on what you’re looking for! The reality is that even inexperienced wedding photographers are often capable of taking great photos. After all, even great photographers need to build their portfolio when they’re just starting out.
The potential weaknesses that you might see in beginning photographers are:
- Crowd Management
- Photograph Consistency
- Time Management
- Complete, Thorough Coverage
That being said, every single beginner is different. Any given photographer in this category may have one of these weaknesses. On the other hand, it’s possible that they have none or all of these weaknesses.
Essentially, it’s important to simply know that your photographer is likely to have a lot of raw ability, but not a lot of experience in shooting weddings. I’m not one to tell you who to hire (or not) hire, but I’d encourage you to take the time to shoot with a photographer like this before hiring them for your wedding.
Try booking a beginner for your engagement photos to see how they do!
Experienced Photographers (Everyone Else)
The problem with choosing a photographer is that, outside of identifying beginners, it’s tough to tell who’s who.
It happens all the time:
Brides and grooms reach out to photographers all the time only to be surprised by the price tag associated with their service.
You might wonder:
What’s the difference between a photographer that charges $2,500 and one that demands $8,000?
The answer isn’t all that straightforward.
And yes, the price of wedding photography in MN can range from less than $1,000 to over $8,000.
If you’ve done any searching, you might even be surprised to find that great photos are out there for photographers in just about every price range.
The difference? Style and brand.
The photographers out there who have developed the most unique styles are those that are often able to command the highest rates. Since their style is so hard to come by, their product is the most in-demand.
Because of this, the rule of supply and demand comes into play, and that’s why we see two photographers with similar skill levels charging at such different rates – one’s style could be more in demand.
However, that said, there’s another reason that some photographers are able to charge so much more, and it’s not quite as appealing. Expensive photographers could simply be backed by a compelling brand.
In cases like these, the photographer’s style might not even be extraordinarily in-demand. Photographers like this are able to charge more based simply on the brand that they’ve created. Great brands are able to make clients feel a certain way and perceive value differently.
If a photographer’s brand makes it look like they should be expensive, then they’re likely able to charge as much as they want.
Deciding on the Right Photographer
So, with the price of wedding photography in MN being so widely varied, which budget range should you shoot for?
In my opinion, choosing a photographer or two that you admire is better than deciding on a price to shoot for. Find photographers that seem like they could capture your unique vision and compare their rates – do you lean towards one or the other?
Keep in mind that price, in this industry, is a strong indicator of past performance. However, as I noted above, it’s not the only factor that could be influencing how much a photographer charges.
Don’t assume that more expensive photographers are always better, but don’t think that cheaper photographers are always as good either!
Before you book, you may even want to talk with your potential photographer to determine how they would work with you.
If you’re still looking for a photographer, I’d love for you to consider me! You can view my work here on my website or get in touch as well!