By Riley & Grey|Fashion & Photography|November 03, 2016

Wedding Photography Negotiations: Talking Your Way into Some Stunning Snaps

Photo: M.K. Sadler

When it comes to keeping your wedding within budget there are many aspects that may be up for debate. For example, do you really need to release a flock of doves at the exact moment you and your sweetheart say “I do”? Probably not. That said, what is never up for debate is whether or not you should have a fantastic wedding photographer; to this question the answer is always yes.

Since we know your wedding photographer is a non-negotiable, the best plan of attack is knowing how to leverage your superior communication skills to get the best wedding photography prices and, of course, the best photos. To help you find your way, we’ve been chatting with brilliant wedding photographers who have some handy advice at the ready.

To begin with, it’s a good idea to understand how most professionals determine wedding photography prices. As Meghan Sadler from M.K. Sadler Photography shares, there are a couple of common factors that most photographers consider when setting up their pricing structures. “Some go by market prices (what those of a similar caliber in the same geographic area are charging),” while others “gauge how much they need to make a living, therefore how many weddings a year at what price in order to make a living.”

Photo: Wilde Visual

From there, it’s important to understand the many moving parts that go into creating an all-encompassing wedding photography experience and these factors will help determine wedding photography prices. As photographer Jesska Trueman from Wilde Visual shares, “a lot more than just on-the-day needs to be worked into a package price. For example, the cost of gear, insurance, back and forth emails and meetings, editing hours, software, websites and more.”

With this formula of market price + living wage + elements in a wedding photography package, you can begin to ideate around how to approach your wedding photographer to create a mutually beneficial experience for all parties. Make sure you ask questions like:

1. Do you set your wedding photography prices based on the industry standard in your geographic area?

2. How many weddings do you shoot per year? Why that number?

3. What is included in your most sought-after wedding photography package? Why is this best for most couples?

These three questions will collect the insight you need in order to launch into an informed conversation about wedding photography prices and negotiations. It’s important to note that most wedding photographers choose this work because it is something they’re deeply passionate about. As Sadler shares, she “completely understands budgets, but at the end of the day I am offering a service that I think is exemplary. I document and memorialize the most important day in people’s lives. Legacy images they will look at year after year; photos they’ll show their children and grandchildren. It’s an honor and a joy. And, it’s a lot of work.”