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One of the many questions that brides ask in planning their wedding is “What is my wedding photography going to cost”.

It is such a common question, that recently a nationwide survey was done to determine an average cost in various cities in the United States.

On average, nationwide, the cost is $2814 for wedding photographers. On the high end of the scale was San Francisco at $3931 and the other end was Salt Lake City at $2215.

Since many factors determine the price of your wedding photography, you should take into account that location is going to determine a lot of the pricing you will encounter. An Atlanta wedding photographer will average $2669 and in Miami,  you can expect an average of $2545.

So what other factors can influence your wedding photography pricing? Let’s take a look at 2 examples and compare the two.

Photographer A offers his/her services for $3000. They have 2 photographers, will shoot your wedding for 8 hours, offer you (2) 8×10 prints, and an engagement session.

Photographer B will shoot your wedding for $4000 for 6 hours and will be by doing it by himself.

So which is the better value?

Well if you answered “A” you could be missing something.

“A” is just starting out, has only photographed weddings for a year, believes they need “backup” to their work with an extra photographer, and feels they need to offer a lot of “extras” to get your business.

Photographer “B” on the other hand, has over 20 years experience in photographing weddings, is an award winning photographer, and is in demand so much, that you will be hard pressed to get your date booked with him since they are booked 9-12 months in advance. They prefer to shoot weddings alone and use an assistant for things other than photography. They also have a studio that offers fine artistic portraiture and have an outstanding reputation.

So now that you have all the background on each, which would you rather be photographing your wedding? Most brides would answer “B” since there is definite value in having an experienced and proven photographer that has been dedicated to their craft for years. You are also more likely to get that professional quality you desire and a uniqueness to your wedding.

In surveying brides, after they have seen their wedding photos, the #1 complaint- they wish they had done better research for their wedding photographer. Many found themselves disappointed and wishing they had either spent more to get what they wanted, or taken more time in actually interviewing more than one photographer other than the one with the lowest price.

Also, when asked what their photography budget was, it was extremely low for the quality they expected and didn’t receive. What was discovered is that the wedding memory your photographs give are far more important than the meal you serve, the music you provide, and the atmosphere you create. Over 87% said they wish they had invested more in their photography than these other seemingly more important things. 20 years from now, your photographs are your only source of that memory and you might not remember even one song that was played.

Most every single source of wedding planning information will tell you upfront- interview at least 3 wedding photographers. Don’t base who you interview on their price alone, but find out if they are suited to your personality and have the quality photography do desire. At the very least, make a telephone call to 6-7 and pick out the ones you want to interview with face-to-face. Granted, if you are “long distance” from a photographer, you may be limited to phone conversations, but DON’T pick one because they are priced lowest.

Far too often brides planning their wedding want to totally rely on emails. Anyone can write a great email and some write lousy ones. But when you speak to that person, you might discover they write lousy emails but have the kind of personality suited for your wedding day. Don’t forget, you want personal service, so start with a phone call and if you feel like an interview is in order, make the appointment.

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