Wedding Photography and Videography Forum

How Much Should We Pay Photographer?

For our wedding we are hiring a friend of mine and a local photographer who does mostly glamour/boudoir.  I modeled a bit in college and I worked with him quite frequently and sort of helped him get his photography business off the ground and he also got me published in some low-key magazines.  

Anyway, he was sort of surprised when I asked him and he admitted that he is nervous because he is not a wedding photographer, but I have full confidence in his abilities and am sure the photos will turn out great.  (Also his wife was always my MUA for the photo shoots so she will also be my MUA for the wedding!).  I'm just not sure how much I should offer to pay him...I love his photos but a small part of the reason I asked him was also to help save some cost on our wedding by not having to pay thousands of dollars for a well-known wedding photographer.  I need to come up with a quote and offer it to him, but I really have no idea.  We're doing our wedding in the city where he lives, so it's not like he has to travel or needs overnight accommodations.  I was thinking between $500 and $1000...and I'm sure he would insist on the low end of that quote.  Does that make me a horrible person?  I'm sure he knows that wedding photographers get paid way more than that, but at the same time we are close friends...

Re: How Much Should We Pay Photographer?

  • How many hours are you planning to have him at the wedding? Is he doing an engagement session too? Is he going to edit all the photos he takes? Will he give them to you on a CD?

    The answers to these will help determine a reasonable offer.

    Also, be sure to get a contract outlining these things, with dates for all deliverables, even though he's your friend. It protects both of you.
  • Those are all good points, thanks.

    I don't think we'll be doing engagement photos with him, because we live in Louisiana and he is in Ohio, where our wedding will be.  But the wedding will be all day, like 12 hours.  Yes he will edit them and probably mail them to me on a CD.

    Good point about the contract, I definitely didn't think of that!!
  • Hmm, I think $800-$1,000 would be a reasonable offer given the work, location and his experience. If he feels uncomfortable accepting that much, he'll let you know.
  • photokittyphotokitty where I want to be mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its
    For my first wedding I hired my brother's best friend and paid her $500, but I did all the editing. If he is editing or doing a layouts for albums I would go with $1,000…or ask him what he thinks is fair. It does not make you are horrible person, photographers often give friends and family significant discounts…trust me :)
    :kiss: ~xoxo~ :kiss:

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    For our wedding we are hiring a friend of mine and a local photographer who does mostly glamour/boudoir.  I modeled a bit in college and I worked with him quite frequently and sort of helped him get his photography business off the ground and he also got me published in some low-key magazines.  

    Anyway, he was sort of surprised when I asked him and he admitted that he is nervous because he is not a wedding photographer, but I have full confidence in his abilities and am sure the photos will turn out great.  (Also his wife was always my MUA for the photo shoots so she will also be my MUA for the wedding!).  I'm just not sure how much I should offer to pay him...I love his photos but a small part of the reason I asked him was also to help save some cost on our wedding by not having to pay thousands of dollars for a well-known wedding photographer.  I need to come up with a quote and offer it to him, but I really have no idea.  We're doing our wedding in the city where he lives, so it's not like he has to travel or needs overnight accommodations.  I was thinking between $500 and $1000...and I'm sure he would insist on the low end of that quote.  Does that make me a horrible person?  I'm sure he knows that wedding photographers get paid way more than that, but at the same time we are close friends...
    Could he also be surprised that you are asking him to work your wedding and he won't be able to attend it as a guest and enjoy it?  He may feel obligated to say yes.

    I am of the opinion that you don't mix business and pleasure.  If he's a close friend as you say he is, let him enjoy the wedding and hire another professional wedding photographer.
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