Daily Photo Q&A #12: How Much Should I Charge To Photograph A Wedding?

The Pricing of photography is a hard subject to talk about. There is no right answer for everyone. There is no guide book to tell you how much you should be charging to shoot your first wedding or event. You want to charge enough for it to be worth it to you but you cant charge as much as the pros who have been doing it for years and have business insurance and quarterly tax payments, and tons of back up gear so how much do you figure out what to charge? Doing a little research for this for this question I thought back to when I shot my first wedding and I also googled what other photographers were saying. Most other photographers had graphs and spreadsheets and mathematical equations to figure out how much to charge. At the core of running a business this is a great practice. Taking an analytical approach to making decisions. It asks questions like "What is your hourly rate?" "How much is the yearly depreciation of your gear" "How much did it cost you to book the wedding?" "How much will you be spending on deliverables?" "How long will it take you to edit the photos, Times that by your hourly rate" Woah! Thats a lot of questions, a lot of specific business questions that a beginner photographer might not know right now. So the question remains how much should you charge??

I thought back to my first wedding and tried to remember how I came up with how much I charged. I charged $700 to shoot my first wedding. Talking to other photographers Ive learned that I charged way more than other photographers who shot their first wedding. I came up with $700 by asking myself one question.

"How much money would it take for me to be away from my family for the day?"

Family is super important to me, spending time with them is super valuable and because of our work schedules I only got to see them on weekends. So I determined that to shoot that wedding I would have to charge what I was making per paycheck at my day job. If this wedding was going to take half of the time away that I spend with the family, it had to be worth it. And an additional paycheck from my day job was that price. 


Like this answer? Hear more great questions below!