If you’re looking for a wedding photographer here in Indiana you know that prices can vary from $500 to more than $5000. According to the Knot most couples spend about 10-15% of their entire wedding budget on wedding photography. The average cost of a wedding photographer in Indianapolis for 8 hours of coverage is more than $2600 but how do you know if you should spend more or less than that?
Unfortunately because weddings are so personal and infinitely customizable there is no one size fits all answer. It you two just want a handful of photos to remember the day by, they you might find the photographer up the street from you at a lower price point will work. But if you want someone to capture the day and how it felt with an artistic well crafted vision that perfectly reflects you two as a couple then you will be spending more on your wedding photographer.
The Problem is there is no clear definition on what is a professional photographer. There is no certification. Your neighbor who took a night class and then took photos of their family could set up a website and call themself a professional. There is nothing stopping them from doing that. Someone who spend years in school getting an art degree who has made a living off their photography would also call themself a professional. Since there is no clear definition on makes a professional, the costs vary wildly. So here is a guide on what to expect from your budget if you are looking for 8 hours of wedding coverage.
If your wedding photography budget is $5000+
The photographers work will be instantly recognizable and stand out among all others.
They will have spent years defining their work and perfecting their craft
They have several industry recognizable awards and has been published
They can confidently shoot the most challenging weddings with ease because of their experience
Usually brings $20-50k worth of lighting and backup equipment to every wedding
Their editing style is well refined and each image gets individual attention to make the most impact.
They often contribute back as much as they can to the community
The photographer has been in business for several years and is established in the industry
Photographers have shot many weddings and have a great technical understanding their camera
Most photographers here will be shooting with flagship camera equipment and have backup equipment in case of failure.
Their body of work will be thorough and should convey quality and style
Some photographers in this price range may not be comfortable with artificial lighting (ask and do your research)
These photographers will spend a large amount of time editing and post processing your images to make them their best.
Photographers in this price range should have insurance for liability and should be a red flag if they do not.
The photographer is typically in the first or second year of business
Requires the most research as quality can vary greatly
A photographer at the bottom of this budget is most likely in the beginning years of their business and still figuring out who they are
Pay attention to portfolio for consistency to build confidence
Rarely has backup equipment
If you vet correctly you could get a great photographer who is just starting out
Biggest liability is their contract. Make sure contract protects you too with guaranteed delivery window.
Typically do not have insurance
This photographer may not officially operate a business
You should accept that the quality of your wedding photography will be limited.
Photographers are very new and just starting out
Quality of editing will vary and lack consistency until they find their style
You could find a hardworking photography student in this price range who has the knowledge but lacks the experience
Very important to meet the photographer in person to get a feel for their outlook, style, and reliability
You could ask a photographer in a higher price range for 2-3 hours of coverage to capture the most important memories on your wedding day like the ceremony, family photos and portraits.
As you can see making a decision on a wedding photographer is not an easy one especially when judged on price alone. No one of the price brackets above is bad. It really comes down to how much you value the quality of your wedding photography. No matter what your budget, I urge you to meet with your potential wedding photographer to make sure you’re a good match.
So where do I land in all of this?
I want to provide you with top quality wedding photography and personalized service. I want your day to turn out exactly as you have dreamed. From the valuable wedding planning tips I send out in the months leading up to your wedding to helping you decide how to show off your beautiful wedding images around your home I want to make choosing me as your wedding photographer the easiest decision you will make when it comes to your wedding. You will see from my pricing page that I offer several options depending on your wedding needs. From the most intimate weddings to capturing the complete story of your wedding day.
I hope this guide helped make the decision of narrowing down a photographer for your wedding easier than ever.