Engagement photos are a great way to capture the love and excitement of an engagement. They can create an amazing memory for you and your partner, and help set the stage for your wedding preparations. Many couples wonder how much it will professional engagement photos cost. This article will provide an overview of what to expect when it comes to costs associated with engagement photos, helping you make the best decision for your budget.
Planning a wedding is an exciting experience, but it can be stressful when trying to figure out how much things are going to cost. One of the main decisions couples will make when planning their wedding is what engagement photos cost.
Engagement photos are a great way for couples to remember their engagement and share them with family and friends. Prices for engagement photo sessions vary based on where you live, your photographer’s experience level, and how many hours you book. On average, most couples should expect to pay anywhere from $200 – $1,000 for professional engagement photos. This includes the session fee as well as digital images or prints purchased after the session has concluded. Additional services such as hair and makeup styling may also add extra cost.
Keep scrolling to find out the typical cost in Erie, Pa.
Wondering what’s so fantastic about an Engagement Session? Find out Why You NEED Engagement Photos!
So, $200-$1,000 is a really big gap in price and it makes budgetting for what you want difficult. The first thing is to understand why there’s such a vast engagemennt photos cost range. What would make one photographer charge only $200 but another charge $1,000.
The answer is simple…and it’s not simple. Photographers (for the most part) think of themselves as artists and they invest in themselves and their artwork. Those that charge $200 may be beginners without as much experience who are growing their talent and skill. So, they understand their value may not be as high as another person with more experience. On the other end, the $1,000 photographer recogizes that you are not only paying for a 2 hour session with them. You are paying for the years of experience they’ve gained. In those years they’ve mastered lighting, posing, and editing to create, well, a work of art for you! They toiled over that experience and they feel that’s what they’re worth.
Wait, what? You just told me to expect to pay $200-$1,000 for my engagement photos cost! How can they possibly be free?!?! Hold on! I’ll tell you!!
Many Wedding Photographers understand why taking engagement pictures is so important. No, it’s not just to make more money off their couples. It’s because it’s a time for you to build a relationship with your photographer BEFORE your wedding day so you’re confident in their ability and comfortable around them already. Your wedding photographer will spend 8-12 hours on your wedding day getting all close and personal with you. They want to be comfortable with you and vice-versa. They know that those smiles will be genuine if you feel like you’re pals before the camera comes out on your big day.
So, because of that many wedding photographers include a complimentary engagement photo shoot in their wedding packages. All you have to do is ask what their policies are.
Okay that’s all fine and dandy, but how much do engagment photos cost then? Well, here in Erie, Pa you can expect the typical cost to be closer to $400. That’s for a session if you’re not booking your wedding with the same photographer.
When you’re choosing an engagement photographer near you, you should also ask them what’s included in those photos. You probably think you’ll get all your photos afterwards as digital files. The convenience of having a cell phone with a built in camera has changed our expectations. But that isn’t the reality with a true professional engagement or wedding photographer. They understand that most people don’t ever use or enjoy their engagement pictures if they just hand over a USB with a bunch of digitals. So, some will book their engagement sessions in a boutique format where the session fee only covers their work shooting and editing. You’ll buy anything you want from them a la carte aftwerwards. But the norm is that you’ll get a package that includes some of your photos, but not all. And the delivery varies by photographer. You may get digitals, you may get a box of 4X6 prints. Some deliver only one or two prints in popular sizes like 10X13 or 8X10. It’s up to you to be clever and ask those questions before you hire.
Wondering how to pick the best photographer for you? Check out Questions to Ask a Wedding Photographer Before Hiring.
If you’re a smart cookie (and super sweet and communicate with your photographer) you’ll be able to order both Save the Dates and Thank You cards with your photos. It just takes a little communication for both. Let your photographer know ahead of time what your plans are and ask nicely for a quick teaser photo for your Thank You’s. Most will be more than happy to design a card with their favorite image of the two of you to send out. How much should you budget out of your photography for a wedding? About .5% for these items.
How will you budget for your engagement photos cost? Well, the fees you pay for your engagement pictures should be included in your overall wedding budget. Our Wedding Planner at Erie Wedding & Event Services suggests setting aside about 1% of your total wedding budget for an engagement photoshoot. If you need help getting started she even has a “Mini-Planning” experience that will get you a total budget break-down AND referrals to the most trusted pros in the Erie area!