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Once the rush of being newly engaged has worn off, it's time to think about your engagement photography session. This may be the first of many cost decisions you make together as an engaged couple—don't let the wide range of prices and endless options zap the romance. Instead, we asked pro photographers from around the country to share their prices to help you navigate your options and find the engagement photographer that's right for you.
Pricing in Focus
Location, location. As you might guess, pricing tends to be higher in major metro areas. But, take heart, you should be able to find a wide range of pricing and levels in most locations.
After talking to many of our photographers, average prices generally range from $100 to $500 at the lower end, $600 to $2,000 in the midrange, and $3,000 to $12,000 at the higher end. Brace yourself because comparing prices between photographers isn't at all straight forward: some include it in their wedding packages, others allow you to apply the cost to a print credit at your wedding, and some offer discounts on e-sessions (engagement sessions) when you sign on for your wedding. Some include prints, others don't. You get the idea. So, find out specifically what's included in each photographer's cost.
Depth of Field
There's a world of difference between an engagement session that costs $500 and one that costs $10,000. And, like many things in life, paying more doesn't necessarily mean you'll be happier. The most important thing is finding a photographer that you and your fiance connect with and whose work you really love. Take the time to look through their photos before you talk with them. Then, when you're ready to talk, here are some questions to ask to get to know them better and to understand their services and costs:
If having your photos published is important to you, you may also want to ask your photographer for examples of blogs or magazines where his or her work has appeared.
Many photographers do not include actual prints in their rates; instead they have separate rates for packages of printed photos. When comparing the costs of two different photographers make sure to think about how many photos you are likely to order. It may be that a photographer who charges less per hour charges more for each photo or vice versa. You'll want to have a general idea of how much the entire bill (shoot plus photos) will be before signing that contract.
Now you're ready to find your photographer!