How much are wedding photographers and videographers? | Weddings

July 27, 2022

How much are wedding photographers and videographers? It’s a question you are probably asking as soon as you are engaged. Regardless of where you stand on things like late-night reception snacks, sparkler exits, or extravagant floral decor pieces most couples can agree: joyful, genuine and romantic wedding photos are a must.

One thing have found from being in this business, it’s kinda like the wild west. Everyone has their own style and way of “shooting” while we are all trying to accomplish a similar goal! What is “too much” vs “affordable.” These are terms you hear thrown around when someone is searching facebook for recommendations. We often see “doesn’t cost an arm and a leg….” and while from personal experience, that one makes us cringe EXTRA hard. We value the true importance of hiring someone with not only experience in the art, but providing their couples with an experience!

While some photographers cost far less, we beg you to consider what that means. Photographers who charge higher prices have often fine tuned their craft, client experience and details. The average wedding photographer with multiple years of experience, who has also invested in not only gear, but BACKUP GEAR, is often on the higher side with cost. However, it’s one expense couples don’t typically skip.

Of course, how you divvy up your wedding budget heavily depends on which aspects of your celebration (and therefore which vendors) are most important to you. But since you probably want to be able to relive your wedding memories for years to come, finding a great photographer AND videographer is an important task.

Wedding photography prices vary by vendor and services offered, so it’s up to you to find a pro who fits your particular needs and style.

Photography is the most common area where couples were willing to spend more. Nearly half of all couples increased their original budget once they started wedding planning—of that, 47 percent admitted to spending more on their “dream” professional photographer and videographer.

We understand that a budget exists for a reason, but we want to make sure you are asking yourself this before building that budget – not just How much are wedding photographers and videographers? But how do you want to remember your wedding day? Do you want to look back and be able to feel the way your dress blew in the wind, or how he brushed your streaming tears during speachess. Sometimes it’s those little moments that matter most…

What should I look for when hiring a wedding team?

We often hear our couples say that photography (documentary, traditional, fine art, etc.) is the most important factor when deciding who they want to hire. This can potentially affect wedding photographer prices. When researching wedding vendors, it’s important to ask about additional services that are offered. Some photographers may offer packages and capture other wedding-related events (like the rehearsal dinner), as well as an engagement session. For example, we have captured and entire wedding weekend from the welcome parties, golfing and bridal brunch, to the final kiss at send off.

Ask to see a few full galleries if they only show a curated feed on their website. Let us tell you, the biggest mistake we made was thinking that someone who second shot was capable of running an entire wedding day alone. That is simply not something you can jump into. The hard truth is, running a wedding day takes a lot of work, patience and understanding. Things can get away from you quickly and if you hire someone with little to no experience with the flow of a wedding day, there could be serious problems when the day starts running behind and the sun is setting faster because it’s raining.

Some photographers *should* choose to bring a second shooter to your wedding venue to help cover all the action. Wedding photography package prices can also vary based on additional hours of coverage before and after the wedding, as well as the amount of photos you receive at the end. No matter the budget you decide on, you’ll get plenty of use out of your wedding photos (and engagement photos!) for years to come.

Should you negotiate?

This may differ from every business to another, but in our opinion, you wouldn’t walk into a Kleinfeld and ask for a discount on their most expensive gown, would you? You can try to negotiate with your wedding photographer, but most prices are set in stone. Photographers and videographers offer scaled packages at different price points to meet clients where they are and to take the negotiation out of it. Everything photographer has a cost of doing business based on the services they offer, ect. Packages factor in fees like editing software, gear, licenses, insurance, and other business items brides and grooms don’t see. For photographers, negotiating could lead to hardly breaking even, or even losing money.

What about video?

Videography has made a big move up in the past decade and there are so many different styles and approaches to a wedding day. While some bring big sliding gimbals and cages, we prefer a more fluid, natural and less intrusive experience. We love that we are able to capture your day with both formats and not have a team of 4 people, 5 cameras and everyone talking over one another to ‘get that shot’ – we have seen it overwhelm couples and our goal is to never let that happen.

We prepare before each wedding day and talk through every part for both the images and video clips that we are aiming to capture on the wedding day. We both know what images and video clips we need from each section and then we let the day flow – candid moments are always our favorites so the more we allow them to happen naturally, the better. Even with that preparation, things move quickly and not everything we invision capturing on the day goes exactly how we thought, and that is the true magic. That is where your genuine and joyful love story shows through. It’s what makes the story yours.

The cost for videography is picking up steam and now equal to a wedding photographer. However, in our opinions, there is a ton more time on the backend that happens for videography than photography. Between music selection, color grading, and clip splicing to create a joyful and genuine visual story for the entire day, it’s quite a job. In comparison, it takes roughly double the time to edit a wedding film than it does for us to edit a gallery of photos. There are just so many tiny tweaks that happen, similar to the final edit of a movie. Photography allows for more ‘imperfect’ because that is sometimes the desired effect. In our minds, it should cost far more for videography than photography, but that is not typically what the market assumes.

Should I hire the same team for both?

We can’t answer this question for you, we can only answer how much are wedding photographers and videographers and explain our process. We can tell you, when you bundle with the same company, except there to not only be a better pricing, but an easier payment process. A single invoice, single vendor…check. We wish that had been an option when we were getting married!

View a few of our galleries HERE

Our biggest reasons why we LOVE booking them together

1. Ease of Booking & Communication 

When you’re in the midst of wedding planning; you are most likely juggling anywhere between 8-12 wedding vendors. Between your venue, florist, wedding planning, caterer, etc…needless to say, your inbox is POPPIN’. One of the biggest perks of hiring a photo + video team is that your communication is bundled. From your inquiry, to your discovery call to your invoice & delivery, you’ll only have one email address to contact! One less vendor means a little more ease on your end! And because photography and videography make up a HUGE portion of your pre-wedding communication, that’s a big deal.

While our communication with you is crucial, the communication amongst the photo + video team is also very important. Especially to us. A wedding day has so many moving parts and a lot of important details to keep in mind. It is imperative for your photo + video team to communicate and be on the same page. This can be a lot more difficult when you hire these services separately since they are less likely to have the same level of communication and if they do, this communication typically happens only the few days leading up to the wedding or on the wedding day itself (which we would argue, is far too late). Or in our case, we have worked a few weddings together in the past so we have some knowledge of each other’s style. It’s just not the luxury experience we are looking to provide our couples with.

We talk about this a lot, but we do a TON of communicating behind the scenes. (Sometimes a little too much we must admit) We make sure that we are on the same page and know all there is to know about your wedding day. We go over your questionnaire together and we have the ability to strategize about the best ways to approach your timeline and venue. We work together as a team to be the most efficient so that each of us can do our jobs without being in the way of the other! We can’t tell you how big of a deal this is.

We never want to be standing around waiting for the other ‘team’ to finish or having to schedule seperate times to get the shots we need. From our experience, that prevents the day from flowing or allowing genuine moments to happen naturally. Instead you are being forced to be intimate twice with two different teams. In our eyes, that’s less time for the couple to enjoy their day when we can both capture what we need at the same time. It’s far more efficient. We know how to work literally standing next to one another because we know what the other person’s ultimate end goal is. It’s when being able to read each other’s minds is the most helpful. 😉 The level of communication between not just a team, but a husband & wife team, is pretty unmatched.

2. Shooting & Editing Consistency 

When you hire a photographer and a videographer separately, chances are…their shooting & editing styles are different. When you receive your photos and your videos, you may notice a disparity between the style of your photos and the style of your video. For example: you may have hired a photographer who excels in capturing photo-journalistic style candids while your videographer focuses more on fine-art, posed, portrait moments. This will create a rift in both the final product and the approach used by the photography and/or videographer to capture your wedding day!

A photographer who shoots in a more candid, documentarian fashion will most likely be more “fly on the wall” while a videographer who wants to capture posed, romantic portraits will most likely be more involved and directive. We feel that having a level of consistency in your wedding day documentation is extremely valuable. 

The consistency in editing styles is another bonus. Our goal is to make sure our photos and videos be cohesive. We keep our editing minimal and true to life while incorporating the personal styles that makes our recognizable as “our work”.

3. Seamless Wedding Day Team

We not only work together but we work simultaneously. We capture your wedding moments as they happen and in tandem. We rarely need to “repeat something for the video team” or “do that again for the photographers”. We want everything to feel as organic as possible.

We also have the upper hand because we can anticipate one another’s movements. Capturing wedding ceremonies and receptions can become complicated when there are several camera setups. Knowing where these cameras are and how your teammate plans to use them is integral to staying out of each other’s shots. 

4. More Intimate Client Experience

Obviously we are big proponents for photo + video teams for wedding day documentation (that was probably made very clear in this article) but we also think that teams that are ALSO partners brings an even more intimate dimension to your wedding day documentation.  

We bring something unique to the table because we are not only a photo + video team but we are also partners of over 10 years. Being married to your best friend is already the greatest gift, now imagine working together everyday! We find so much joy in bringing love stories to life!

If you made it all the way to the end of this article, we commend you! And we hope you learned something, if not, at least found value in hiring a wedding professional you TRUST.

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@stephenandmelissa

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We are published Phoenix wedding photographers and videographers, engagement photographers & elopement photographers specializing in joyful, genuine and romantic story-telling images and films. We service all of Arizona including Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, Chandler, Tempe, Tucson, Sedona, Flagstaff, & beyond! 

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