$1,500, that's what I generally charge for a wedding. Cost matters, right? So there it is right up front. ;^)
Each wedding couple is unique in their requirements, so there isn't an absolute set price to shoot a wedding and reception but figure on $1,500 as a basic idea of cost, plus expenses for travel outside the Metro area. This covers a day of shooting, from the special preparations before the wedding to the big event and beyond into the reception. Then there is about 4 days of processing the images and editing them into groups for showing. (Want me to come to Hawaii or Paris or Borneo? Let's negotiate that!)
I love weddings. They are one of the greatest human adventures–– a grand collection of big and little stories to be captured in pictures. As the wedding photographer, the relationship that you have with the bride and the groom is unique. Trust is everything. You are a keeper of secrets, a helper, a documenter, a not documenter sometimes, a person who is almost as close to the action as the bridesmaid. It's a tremendous honor to be given the opportunity to capture this magic milestone. No, really...it is an honor.
But...I'm not a wedding photographer. At least not officially. I don't have all of the big light banks, or the contracts, the albums, the prints services and other amenities that make up the traditional wedding photographer's offerings. It just isn't my thing. I take the pictures, I process them, make them look spectacular, then plunk them in a Dropbox folder for you to deal with. You get the high resolution files for you to do whatever you want with them. I can make you a personal printed book but that's extra, not part of any package. And my price reflects that––
Weddings are social media events for many people. Often part of my services is about editing the images into groups so that they can be doled out on Facebook. It's fun to make the presentation of the big day into a big week or two of photo essays to share with friends and family who couldn't make it for the big day. So far, couples have opted to have me publish the groups of pictures on my own Facebook page, to be shared. The happy couple has better things to do in the days right after the wedding and it's fun to get the pictures up quick for people to enjoy. Here are some examples from my FB albums display--
While I take the standard group shots that are expected, I'm always on the lookout for little stories that really capture the relationships of the friends and families. In this picture, the little guy on the right accidentally stepped on his cousin's toe with dramatic results. The various reactions are priceless, especially that of her new big brother, bending down to comfort her.
I have a couple magical cameras, a Nikon D3 and D4. They can practically see in the dark, better than the human eye. So I never use a flash. For me it disrupts the moment and I like to be able to take pictures in rapid succession when the situation calls for it. My style is journalistic and I try to be the least obtrusive as I can be. That lets me get natural pictures like these.
Oh, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Give me a holler if you have any questions-- 612-810-6270