One of the questions I receive from potential clients regard our engagement photography pricing. After discussing it a bit we generally find out they are getting a wide range of prices. I definitely understand as I have seen a very wide range myself and I’m not really “shopping”, just what I hear from potential clients, other photographers and friends. It’s certainly confusing when you see such a wide range of pricing for something which should be as straightforward as an engagement session. The main reason behind this is photographers are small business owners and we all have different costs, different experience levels and deliver different end products. All of these determine the price as it’s not just a “session”, but all the work that goes into it. Below is a list of things to look at when considering the pricing of a potential photographer:
- Quality of their photography – Good photography is truly about experience. The more experience a photographer has the more likely they are to deliver amazing images. The main reason is they’ve worked out all the technical hurdles and can use their brainpower to see the small stuff (like a misplaced hair, something odd in the background, etc).
- Style of their photography – Since wedding & engagement photography is an artistic pursuit, they all see things a bit differently from each other. I’ve personally seen a shooting gaggle of 15 photographers shooting the same subject at the same place ALL turn in vastly different photos. Style is certainly in the eye of the beholder so if their style appeals to a larger audience, you’ll likely see their fees are higher than others.
- Their overhead – This plays a large factor in their pricing. If you have a photographer who is doing this full time with a full studio, their fees will be higher than the person who does it on weekends because they love being a photographer. While paying a photographer a few hundred dollars for a session sounds expensive, when you consider the overall expenses a professional has (rent, equipment, insurance, backup equipment, servers, software licenses, computers, digital image storage, etc) then the session fee expense is usually a very, very small part of that.
- Their service – when you have a full time photographer, they set their own work schedules and have dedicated time to work with you before, during & after your session. A part time photographer usually has to fit the work into their spare time which means you may have a delay in getting questions answered but, as it’s not their main pursuit, the don’t charge as much. It’s important to note this is not always the case, but more of an overall general “truth”.
So overall, when shopping for an engagement photographer, check out their quality, their style and their business (how they do things) and get a feel for them. Engagement photography prices tend to follow the very simple rule of you get what you pay for. This is in no way bashing full or part time photographers, just the simple truth of “time is money”. When shopping around, I recommend asking things like:
- How do we receive our images (online, USB, FTP, etc)?
- Is there a gallery included?
- How many images are included?
- Can we print our own images?
- What type of editing do they perform?
- Can you see a full engagement session gallery?
- How long, generally, is the session?
- How long is the turnaround time from the session to viewing hte images?
- Are there clothing/location changes included?
- How long do you store the images after they are delivered?
- Are there any hidden fees?
I hope this article helps you find your engagement photographer! I have my own engagement session gallery below for you to browse. We’d love to chat with you if you are in the market for an engagement session. The easiest way is to reach out to us here.