The Hidden Costs of Wedding Photography

Weddings can get expensive, no doubt about it. As a Wedding photographer I want to clue you into some common hidden fees other photographers charge so you don’t get taken to the cleaners.

Sitting fees

Back when photographers were primarily shooting film, they charged a sitting fee. This mainly covered the cost of the film and development in case the couple decided not to purchase any prints, the photographer wouldn't be out any money. Some photographers still charge a sitting fee even though they are no longer shooting film. It’s kind of like charging for 2 day shipping. Why is it even a thing anymore?


Your wedding photography collection may come with 8 hour of coverage, which can typically cover a whole wedding, but sometime the reception is just rocking and you haven’t got to the cake cutting or other activities that you want the photographer to cover. If you ask the photographer to stay for another hour or two, they will usually invoice you the additional time. But find out before your wedding what an additional hour costs. For some photographers it’s upwards of $600 for the hour or more if you also hired a 2nd photographer.

Print Rights

A photographer will always own the rights to the photo because they created it. In the same way you may own a book, but the author owns the rights to the book and controls what can be done with their work. Some photographers have a business model where they will shoot your wedding for cheap but then hold the photos hostage knowing you have to go to them for prints which is where they will charge much heftier prices. OR you could buy the print rights allowing you to print the photos wherever you choose. I've seen some photographers charge more than $1000 for the print rights. The right to print the photo that you paid them to take, that you love, and want to display in you home.

Online Gallery

Having a gallery online to view your photos is a convenient and easy way to share the photos of your wedding day with family and friends! Some photographers charge you to host the photos online for you to view. Sometimes $100, $200, $300 for the year.

Minimum Purchase

Going back to the prints, some photographers have written in the contract that you will spend a minimum of $xxxx dollars on prints or albums before the digital photos are released to you. This should be written in the contract if the photographer follows that practice so read it!

There you go! Remember ALWAYS meet with your wedding photographer before you book them. Meeting them will allow you to get an idea of their personality as well as give you the perfect opportunity to ask questions and make sure you’re not going to be slammed with hidden fees after the wedding!

 Christian & Molly's Norris Lake House Tennessee Wedding -

Need a Wedding Photographer?

Get in touch now for pricing and availability for your wedding day!