The Cost Of Engagement Photos

Ayyyyoooo! You found your person, and rings have been exchanged!

Ready to charge your way down that aisle toward forever? Of course, why wouldn’t you be? But let’s talk about something before you hit the ground running… 

Engagement photos.

Have you thought about them? Probably, since you’re here. Are you getting them? Well, I guess that part is up in the air, isn’t it? 

It’s a bit of a hard pill to swallow when you start adding up all of the things you just have to have for your wedding. Is your budget starting to bend in ways that would make a yoga class look easy? 

Look, you’re not on your own. I remember reading a statistic somewhere that 99.9% of couples have a problem with this (note: not a real statistic). So you’re in good company. 

The real task here is to figure out your priorities for your wedding and put your time and money there. 

So, should you take your own engagement photos, or are you going to prioritize photos you’ll fall in love with?

Let’s figure that out. 

Cost Of Engagement Photos

Average Cost of Engagement Photos

couple kissing in parking lot
Photo by: Lauren Dahlhauser Photography

I think this is a great place to start, don’t you? 

In an ideal world, money wouldn’t be an option, but some of us, unfortunately, have to pay our bills, so let’s get on with it. 

There’s of course a wide range of professional photographer fees as well as widely different numbers people are willing to pay for their engagement shoots, but let’s talk about the average.

Generally, an engagement session will cost somewhere between $200 – $600. Sure, you could pay as little as $75 and as much as $3000 or more, but if you want a solid engagement photographer, that’s about the average price range.

There’s more to this than just numbers, though.

Every photographer does things their own way, so pay attention to the details as well as the figure.  

Factors That Affect the Cost

couple looking at each other at sunset
Photo by: Jennifer Mercier Photo

There’s plenty that goes into that final price tag. Here are some things to be aware of: 

  • Travel – whether you’re staying local, in the country, or going abroad can affect the price massively. 
  • Amount of images delivered – if you want more than what is offered, you gotta pay. 
  • Number of outfit changes – some photographers limit this. 
  • Length of the actual session – if you want a longer than typical session, you’ll have to pay for your photographer’s time. 
  • Season – busier seasons mean your photographer’s time is more in demand. That could lead to a price hike and reduced availability.
  • Image rights – most photographers have strict rules around this, so it will definitely cost you if you want the rights. 
  • Photo editing – photographers are touchy about editing; it’s all part of the final product they’re delivering. It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pay to change that. 
  • Printing rights – the more photos with printing rights, the more money it’ll be. 
  • Number of photographers – well, if you have more photographers… it’ll be more expensive. 
  • Multiple locations –  more is more, my friend.
  • Format of deliverable photos – again, if you want something different than what they offer, there will probably be an upcharge. 

And, of course, depending on your situation, there could be more. 

These are things that you should be actively talking to your photographer about to make sure that you are on the same page. 

Does your photographer live in Kansas, but you want your engagement photo session at the base of the mountains in Banff? Well, that’s going to cost you. 

Want unlimited outfit changes and a loose timeline? You’re going to have to pay. 

All the raw, unedited files? I don’t know any photographer who would do that, and also why would you want that? Stop asking for this. 

It’s worth noting that if you want to capture your actual engagement, like the one knee deal and all, it’s probably going to cost you more than a regular session.

Why? Because your photographer has the extra pressure of capturing that singular moment. No do-overs. 

And they can do it, but (let’s say it together now) “you’re going to have to pay.” 

So, What is Included?

Well, that’s very much up to your photographer. 

Like I said, each photographer will craft their own engagement package, but they’re likely to outline a few basic things. 

They’re going to share their base price, and then they’ll tell you how long the session will be, how many shots you’ll get out of it, and how the images will be delivered. 

Some may specify the number of outfit changes and location changes included in the base price. 

Pay close attention to whether the photographer is focused on photo sales or in-person experience.

A photographer who makes their money on photo sales might have a lower base price, but if you want 30-50 photos, they could get expensive real quick. 

Oh, and should you tip your engagement photographer? It can depend on whether they work for a company or run their own business. Still, generally, a tip is appreciated but not expected. 

How to Choose an Engagement Photographer?

couple in a field with matching hats
Photo by: Klayne Photography

Okay, all of that can seem overwhelming, but you want dope photos, so you’re on board. 

Now, how can you possibly choose the right photographer?

Follow your heart… ok and your budget. 

Start with style. Whose photos are you absolutely drooling over? Then consider some of those other details. 

Think about where you want your photos taken and where your photographer is located. Keep in mind how many images your photographer will deliver at the end and how their preferred method of delivering them.

Will it be as a USB or an online gallery or portal? Do you get to download and print all of them, or will you have to pay more for that?

Also, pay attention to personality. If you’re an over-the-top kind of person, you may want someone to match that energy with endless ideas and enthusiasm. Or maybe loud people simply stress you out. Then you probably don’t want an in-your-face photographer. 

Is your brain starting to fall asleep? Just hit up our database of fabulous photographers

You can’t go wrong.

Ways to Save Money on Your Engagement Photos

There’s one significant way here: book them with your wedding photos. 

Most photographers offer engagement sessions as part of one, or all, of their wedding photography packages. If you know you want an engagement shoot but want to cut down the cost, this is your chance. 

This is a fantastic option, but make sure you’re head over heels for your wedding photographer. Once you book, you can’t back out without losing money.

So if you find during your engagement session that your photographer is awkward AF, or their photos weren’t what you wanted, you’re kind of locked in for your wedding day!

You may also save by booking as soon as you have a date because many photographers will raise their rates in the new year. 

Keeping things as simple as possible and avoiding add-ons will help keep the cost down as well. 

So, find some photographers you’re high-key stalking, get some quotes, and, friend, get those drool-worthy engagement pictures!

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