The 'Why' behind wedding photography pricing | How much should you expect to spend?

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Navigating all of the parts and pieces of a wedding budget can be tricky to say the least! This article is aimed at giving you insight into how much you can expect to spend on your wedding photography in Idaho/the PNW and to provide some of the psychology behind wedding photography pricing.

The average wedding in the PNW costs $27,000*. That may seem like a lot…. But to contrast that number consider that the average couple in New York will spend upward of $70,000 on their wedding. When I read that number I thought, “OMG, that's a sizable down payment on a house in Idaho!”. But regardless of your geographical location you should be paying your wedding vendors a fair trade wage - meaning a wage they can live on and support their families with.

When you pay a vendor what they are worth you will get your investment back a hundred times over. The client experience and creative goods you will receive will make your wedding experience unforgettable. Creative people are passionate about listening, creating and serving. We want to tell your love story more perfectly then you can imagine!

So how does this all relate to your wedding photography budget? When you are researching wedding photography professionals in Idaho you can expect to see a starting average of about $3,000. When considering fair trade wage in the PNW you should plan to set aside 10-12% of your total wedding budget for your wedding photography*. This percentage may be higher if you are eloping in Idaho or the PNW because factors like location, travel and lodging will affect a photographers pricing.

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Before you divide a photographers pricing quote by the number of hours included in the collection/package and say, ‘holy sh*t that's like $400 an hour!”, let’s talk about the factors that go into wedding photography pricing:

  • Besides paying for an actual product you are paying a professional photographer for their experience, their equipment and their knowledge. A photographer that can remain composed under pressure, react to any lighting situation and keep everyone happy and smiling is invaluable.

  • The cost of doing business (liability/equipment insurance, new equipment, advertising, education, website fees etc.) are all rolled into a photographer’s fee. Maintaining a professional business front and staying current in an ever changing industry takes time and money.

  • If your photographer is traveling for your wedding the cost of travel (childcare, lodging, car maintenance, gas) is a factor. Some photographers bundle travel with their pricing and others charge extra for it.

  • Expect to pay more for a photography team vs. a single photographer. A second photographer adds both an hourly cost and increases workflow times.

  • Workflow is a big component of pricing. Your photography fee has an average wage built into it that covers the time the photographer spends communicating and planning with you. There is also, an average wage built in for the time your photographer spends at a computer culling and editing your images, delivering your wedding gallery and designing your wedding album.

While being financially responsible with your wedding budget is so important to your future, it is just as important to consider the value you receive when you choose to pay a wedding professional what they are worth. You will walk away from your wedding with memories that aren't colored by florals that didn't show up on time, missing images of your Nanna or a DJ that got drunk with your guests. Instead, you will receive a wedding day experience that is matched only by the love you share for each other.

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