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Are you asking the question “how much should I be spending on a wedding photographer?” in your wedding planning journey, if yes then this is the blog for you.

Now, if you google the above question you are going to get a lot of blogs with an average cost or a percentage of your wedding budget or vague information that might leave you more confused. I would like to take a different approach to help you arrive at a conclusion that will help add value to your wedding experience by choosing the right photographer for you.

Blogs can be boring and reading them may not be your cuppa, so if you don’t have time time to read the entire blog and just want some info then the next section is for you.

Types of Photographers:

  • Brand New: $0- $500 (New to the industry, may or may not have shot a wedding)

Things to look out for: This is risky territory. If your wedding photos are something you value then you need to stay away. The risk is that the photographer may not be able to capture the important moments due to lack of experience and due to limited resources the client experience will be definitely affected.

  • Beginner: $500- $1000 (May have shot a wedding, do not have a sought-after or consistent style that demands a higher price)

Things to look out for: They will have shot a few weddings but might lack consistency in editing style or working with different lighting conditions. Might still not have all the processes in place to run a safe wedding photography business

  • Amature: $1000-$2500 (Shoots weddings fairly regularly, may still be in the process of developing a consistent sought-after style)

Things to look out for: At this level, the photographer may be capable of handling challenging conditions and different lighting conditions while still trying to find a sought-after style. May have processes and gear in place to support medium to large-scale weddings.

  • Professional: $3000-$5000 (Have a high demand based on style and may or may not be a full-time photographer)

Things to look out for: Established with a consistent and aesthetically pleasing style. Gear, systems, and processes are in place to handle stressful, fast-paced, and different situations that arise in a wedding. May be booked 12-18months in advance. Has structured their business to make sure you feel well cared for with an emphasis on incredibly high-quality photographs

  • Luxury: $6000-$10,000 (More established, refined style, celebrity weddings, luxury offerings)

Things to look out for: Can handle high-profile events with ease. Usually possesses an industry sought-after style with refined taste.

How much does a wedding photographer cost?

Yup, I know you want a number, cause if it was me I would want a number too. You are like Nik, yes just tell me how much it is going to cost me, and trust me I wish I could tell you a number and be done with it too. But it isn’t that simple.

Now, if you really want a short answer – $0-$20000

Ok, yes that’s a huge window, and I am not trying to be cheeky here. There are so many factors that play into how much demand a given photographer has and correspondingly how much you will need to pay for a wedding photographer.

The number one thing I want to focus on is Value, which is what you really want from your wedding photography experience, as that is what will make you happy and content in the long run, and that is what will determine how much you would want to spend on your wedding photographer.

Below are the few factors that affect how much a wedding photographer costs:

  • Lifestyle
  • Location
  • Experience
  • Style
  • Expertise
  • Standard inclusions

Why Do Wedding Photographers Cost So Much (or So Little!)?

Generally speaking, you will get what you pay for. There are multiple reasons why a photographer is more expensive (or cheaper) than other photographers. In this blog, we will look at some of these reasons to understand how photographer price themselves.

It’s difficult to give a one size fits all answer, but you’ll gain a good idea of the pricing in your area as you move forward in making this huge decision.


Now, you may ask how does a particular lifestyle determine how much a photographer charges for a wedding, but it is probably the most basic factor determining how much a photographer can charge.

For example, if the photographer is single and in a place in love where they do not have many expenses compared to a photographer who has a family with multiple kids and a mortgage.

Now from a photographer’s perspective, charging as per their expenses and profits for the future is extremely important to have a stable business. And for a couple looking for a photographer, one year from your wedding date, you want a photographer who is running their business with stability. One thing is for sure, any photographer who does not balance their lifestyle with the work they produce and the profit required to support that life will quickly unravel. So, you’ll pay for both the lifestyle and stability that your photographer exhibits.


Location plays a big role in pricing. If you live in an area where living expenses are higher it is likely that the standard pricing for the photographer in that area will be higher. For example, if you live in Melbourne where the price of living is more than that of somewhere like Echuca or Bendigo, you might pay an average starting price of $5,000 vs $2,500.

Generally speaking, the larger the city and the higher the medium-level income, the higher your standard prices will be.


We define expertise as how able a photographer is to photograph any given wedding. Expertise and experience often go hand in hand, though a more “experienced” photographer who has photographed weddings for 10+ years may not have as much technical skill as another photographer who has only been around for 5 years.

Expertise typically involves the following:

  • Actual photography skills (e.g., skills in handling different lighting scenarios like bright light and low-light and everything in between.
  • Skills in handling interpersonal situations (e.g., ability to help guide day-of communication so that cooperation between multiple people is achieved, such as getting family organized to do family formals)
  • Emotional and communication skills to put you and others in a comfortable frame of mind
  • Business skills that create stability and service to consistently deliver results

Expertise typically raises the premium because it directly correlates to their desirability and demand.

Reviews and viewing full galleries are good ways to peruse a photographer’s expertise. So when determining their value, be sure to check their reviews on multiple sources and look at their photographs from various parts of the day and in various lighting conditions.


An experienced photographer preparing to shoot at a new-to-them venue would likely know the value of visiting the venue beforehand and quickly adapting to the new environment. You should have a clear understanding that the photographer understands your venue and/or has a plan to pick specific locations for things like first-look, portraits, and formals beforehand.

But, know that a photographer who does this is likely going to be above your average cost.


Style is completely subjective and is often related to the vision of the photographer which affects the manner the photographer takes and edits photos. A sought-after and crafted style will always demand a higher charge.

The general style that you choose and the demand for photographers with that style in your area will affect the pricing of that photographer


Some photographers will include certain things and begin at a higher price point, offering more value, while others may include almost nothing, allowing you to up the price by adding more onto the basic package.

One photographer may begin at a lower price point, but quickly becomes as expensive or more so than another because of the manner in which they craft their packages.


So how much does wedding photography cost? In the end, you’ll need to spend what you can and then among the budget, you can afford, you’ll want to find out who fits most with YOU.

Mostly, a wedding photographer is worth whatever you’re willing to invest. If they have a solid reputation, you love their photos (from throughout the day!), their personality, and they make you feel comfortable, then book them whatever their price is (as long as it’s within the budget, right?).

For some, this is $500. For others is $5k, $10k, or even $20K+. As a rule, your higher-priced photographers have more demand for various reasons, usually associated with skill, style, etc. You can find cheaper photographers that are “worth” above their current price range, but that’s a gamble.

Regardless, what cannot be undervalued is a wedding photographer that helps preserve your wedding memories for your kids and Grandkids. Any photographer you choose is likely going to be working incredibly hard and under lots of pressure, so love and cherish them dearly. They should do the same for you.

Be sure to check out our “Questions you need to ask your Wedding Photographer” article next to get more honed in on finding your ideal photographer!

How much does a Melbourne Wedding Photographer cost in 2023?

Wedding Resources, Weddings

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I'm Nik and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about my life, travels, and work. Stay a while and say hello!

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