The length of time that the photographer’s services are required can contribute significantly to cost. Any additional activities that couples want photographed beyond the ceremony and reception such as photos of the wedding party getting ready, formal family photos, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, engagement photos or engagement parties, day-after brunches and so on can add to the time and cost.
The bulk of the photographer’s work takes place post-production in editing and fine-tuning the photos. Because of this, the cost of wedding photography is based on much more work than the eight or 10 hours spent taking photos on the wedding day.
If the photographer has to travel between multiple locations, costs can be greater. Different locations may include the getting-ready location, the ceremony site and the reception hall. Destination weddings also increase fees considerably because they may include travel and lodging costs for the photographer(s).
Extra photographers or assistants may be required for larger weddings or if a client makes the request. Assistants help with lighting and handling additional equipment. Extra hands on deck generally mean a higher cost.
The various digital or printed components of a photo package—beyond time, locations and number of photographers—also affect the overall cost. The final package can be delivered as a CD or DVD, online with access to digital proofs and prints, as physical proofs and prints, as a photographer-made photo album, or some combination of any of these.
Photographers in high demand or those with greater experience and brand recognition generally will have higher prices for their services.
Tips, while always appreciated, are not required. Photographers who are individual contractors or the business owners are tipped less frequently than employees of a larger photography company or an assistant to the photographer hired for the event.
Access to printing rights rather than being contractually obliged to purchase prints and enlargements from the photographer may save money.