Are you planning your wedding in beautiful Richmond, Virginia, and researching the average Virginia wedding photographer price to hire someone for your big day? Well, let me tell ya, it’s gonna vary greatly. Prices in the Richmond, VA area can range from “are you kidding me?” to “I need to sell a kidney” (I kid, I kid, haha).
Virginia wedding photographer price structure
There are many factors that go into a wedding photographer’s pricing structure, like their cost of doing business, how long they’ve been in the biz, and if they’re full-time or part-time, style & reputation and a heck-load of other factors. But let’s be real, the main factor is the photographer’s level of experience. And let’s be even more real, the main factor is how much value they believe they are providing to you and how many problems they help you solve. Are they just giving you some photos or are they making it their mission to provide an sparkles EXPERIENCE sparkles
If you’re interested in hiring Stephanie Jenkins Photo & our team of associates to photograph your big day… and why wouldn’t you be 😉 …. you can Reach out Today. But, before you do, let me break down the different levels of photographers and their corresponding prices:
Novice or Beginner Wedding Photographers – Starting around $1,000
These are the photographers just starting out and trying to gain experience in the wedding industry. They may be portrait photographers or other experienced photographers trying to break into the wedding biz as a source of new or stable income while doing something they are passionate about. They may also have a full-time job, so they’re just getting their feet wet by second shooting for more experienced photographers (second shooting is common to help build a portfolio while helping another photographer that’s already booking regular weddings).
Experienced Wedding Photographers – Starting around $3,000
These photographers have been shooting weddings for a few years and may still have a full-time job in addition to their weekend photography business. They know what they’re doing, but they may still second shoot to increase their income and keep their workload light so they can balance all their other responsibility and obligations. Fun fact, we actually skipped this “stage” when SJP started all those years back and I literally jumped into photography full-time with no backup plan (talk about scary…)
Professional Wedding Photographers – Starting around $6,000
These photographers have been shooting weddings for several years and have developed their own shooting & editing styles. They most likely have a recognizable style within the photography community at this point and they are really getting their feet beneath them with how to not just provide photography but also help provide a great onboarding experience and help your day run smoothly!
Luxury Virginia Wedding Photographer Price – Starting at $10,000
These photographers are true artists with a recognizable style. They’ve been shooting weddings for years and may even have a staff of helpers to assist with day-to-day operations and editors. They may also offer education and mentorship to newer photographers looking to grow their own personal businesses
What Factors Effect the cost of your wedding photographer?
Let’s be real, the main factor that affects a photographer’s prices is their level of experience. And by “experience” I mean how much they think they can charge you. Novice photographers just starting out will charge less because they’re still figuring out how to work the camera and not make your guests look like ghosts. But experienced photographers have been in the biz for a while and know how to make you look good, even if you’re having a bad hair day.
2. Business costs
Photographers have bills to pay, just like the rest of us. They need to cover costs for fancy camera equipment, insurance, marketing, and all the other expenses that come with running a business. So, if they’re charging more, it’s probably because they’re trying to make a living, not just a hobby. I mean really look at this *ONE* camera body many of us are using… (we will have multiple cameras and backups to make sure you never have to worry about equipment failures ruining your photos)
3. Full-time vs. part-time
Photographers who are full-time professionals will charge more because they’re dedicating all their time to perfecting their craft and providing you with the best service. On the other hand, if the photographer is only part-time and has another full-time job, they may charge less, but you’ll also get less attention and less quality.
4. Package offerings
Photographers may offer different packages that include an engagement session, second shooter, additional hours, or other deliverables. These additional offerings will affect the overall cost. So, if you want more coverage, more photos, and more memories, your price is going to increase in turn for those Items.
Our advice is to pick what you truly want before you even start looking at photographers since its very easy to let the package prices cloud your judgment into believing you want items that weren’t on your “must-have” list from the start.
Photographers based in larger cities or popular wedding destinations may charge more due to higher cost of living and increased demand. This factors in with the cost of living in the specific location that your photographer lives in. Large and Popular cities such as New York will often have wedding photography services that are much more expensive than in cheaper rural areas and smaller cities. If you’re in one of these larger areas you could consider having a photographer from an area thats a bit further from the city travel to your wedding venue.
6. Style and reputation
Photographers with a distinct style or a strong reputation in the industry may charge more for their services. This is because they’re in high demand and their work is considered to be valuable. Fun fact and cost-saving tip for you Brides and Grooms to be: Some Photographers eventually offer associate photography packages as well.
We have several associates at Stephanie Jenkins Photo that can also shoot your weddings and provide you with the same level of service and style at a lower rate if you’re not set on using me specifically. These can be a great cost saving measure if you want to have a specific style and reputation for service so be sure to ask your wedding photographer if they offer this as an option if finances are tight!
7. Luxury Services and Add-Ons
Some photographers offer luxury or high-end services such as extra coverage, custom albums, and other luxury items that can increase the cost. These services are for the fancy pants who want the best of the best. So, if you want to be fancy, your invoice is going to come with that fancy price! These Services may add to the investment of your wedding photography packages however on your special day it may be worth it to you to invest in some of those products or services.
Professional photographers with a proven record of delivering quality work, who have a good reputation, and who have an established business structure will typically charge more than amateur photographers. This is because they’re committed to providing you with the best service, and they have the experience, the reputation, and the quality to back it up. So, if you want a professional, be prepared to pay for a professional.
Let’s wrap this up!
In conclusion, prices for wedding photographers in Richmond Virginia can range from “I’m just starting out and have never shot a wedding” to “I’m a luxury artist and I know it.” Remember, these are just starting price ranges and you can spend more with photographers who have lower starting prices and vice versa.
And just because a photographer is charging more, doesn’t mean they’re truly better. Sometimes you can get a “good deal” at a lower price range. But, let’s be real, you get what you pay for most of the time. Price can be a big deciding factor for many people, but make sure you consider the actual experience you will have as well in your decision-making. ANYTHING that can remove the stress of planning and keeping your wedding day on track is worth its weight in gold.
and remember, if you want stunning, breathtaking, drool-worthy photos, you know who to call… (no, its not Ghostbusters) – Contact Stephanie Jenkins Photography for Virginia Wedding Photography