The popularity of digital photography in our age has inspired the influx of event photographers. Consequently, organizers of events like birthday parties and business gatherings tend to include hiring a photographer to their checklist.
Having a photographer for your event is an assurance that you would have some physical form of memories of that special day that you could use to look back to or reminisce with.
Of course, as any other professionals, a photographer would charge a fee for the services he/she would offer. With that said, just what is the average rate of an event photographer?
Average Rate of Event Photographer
The average cost to hire an event photographer in 2017 costs US$305 according to Thumbtack. Furthermore, the low-cost rate averages US$165 while the high-cost rate is US$565.
Petapixel.com further details the average rates based on the types of photographers, from students to top professionals. The sample cost is as follows:
- Students US – $50-US$100 per hour or US$25-US$100 per image
- Semi-professionals US- $50-US$150 per hour or US$25-US$125 per image
- Professionals US- $75-US$250 per hour or US$75-US$250 per image
- Top professionals US- $200-US$500+ per hour or US$250-US$1,500 per image
The exact event photography pricing would depend on some factors including the rate and reputation of the photographer you choose, the equipment he/she uses to capture the moment, and the location of your event.
Most event photographers charge by the hour for their services. The pricing might be on an hourly basis, an hourly minimum, or a base hourly rate. On an hourly minimum rate, your photographer may include a minimum fee at the first few hours of the event coverage and then charge a lower price for every hour after. A base hourly rate, on the other hand, involves a professional setting a base price for his/her service that becomes higher the more requests you have.
Others, especially photographers of commercial products, may even charge a fee per image.
The reputation of the photographer would also affect the pricing. Naturally, photographers that have more experience and has produced photos that helped him/her gain acclaim and money would charge higher rates.
You are also likely to pay more if your photographer uses high-end equipment for his/her service. Top-notch cameras, lights, and other accessories are acquired by professionals using their own resources. Thus, to gain something from the investment, they would likely charge higher fees.
The location of your event would also affect the cost of hiring a photographer. For instance, if you’re celebrating an anniversary and the reception is scheduled to take place at a different venue, you would have to pay transportation fees to your photographer.
As there are different ways on how photographers rate their services, it would be wise to search for at least three potential professionals to cover your event. A lot of event photographers and companies specializing in event photography run a website where they post rates. However, some of them may not post their prices online so you would have to contact them first to receive a cost estimate.
Sample Event Photography Pricing
To give you a better idea of how much does event photographer cost, let’s take a look at the prices posted on Freckle Photography. The photographer who runs the website, Alison Harbaugh, has posted rates for covering events including children’s birthday parties, private parties such as anniversaries and baby showers, and Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mizvah.
For a children’s party, the photographer charges an hourly minimum of US$450 (good for two hours). The price also includes post-processing and uploading of photos to an online gallery where you can view the images and purchase prints. The said price does not include the cost of prints itself which averages around US$12 to US$85.
If you want to acquire a digital copy of the photos and print it yourself, you’d have to add US$300 for a total of US$750. The higher fee includes access to a download link of all edited images. Using the said link, you would be able to download high-resolution pictures that you could use for printing.
Furthermore, the price may go as high as US$950 if you choose to request a cover album for the printed photos.
The photographer also charges the same rate for private parties like anniversaries, baby showers, and bridal showers.
As for Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, the photographer charges US$2,100 for a four-hour coverage and US$2,700 for a six-hour coverage of the event. The price includes post-processing, uploading of photos to an online gallery, and a thumb drive containing high-resolution images you could later use for printing.
If the coverage exceeds two hours, you would have to pay an additional US$300. You would also add another US$500 if you want a second photographer to cover the event.
Lastly, the company would likely charge transportation fees for coverages outside its business location in Annapolis, Maryland.
Another photography business based in California, Atlas Photography, charges US$160 per hour for the coverage of step and repeat carpet events. The service includes giving access to a private gallery for guests who want to purchase their photos.
For more online samples of event photography prices, you can use the “Find a Photographer” page featured on the website of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA). Most professionals listed on the PPA site are Certified Professional Photographers (CPP) in the US, which could be an assurance if you want quality photos for your event.
Tips for Choosing an Event Photographer
It’s not enough to know how much does an event photographer cost. Aside from knowing the prices, you should also be aware of how to choose the person who will cover your event.
One of the things you should do is to check the portfolio of the photographers you want to hire. Looking at their sample works would give you an idea of how photos from your event will turn out if you hire them. Thus, checking their portfolio first will help you determine who among them produces results that appeal to your taste and preference, saving you the disappointment caused by unmet expectations.
You should also look carefully at the photographer’s rates. Professionals could be expensive depending on the nature of the event. But if you want to save money, you could try hiring an amateur or a student. An amateur service usually costs only US$25 to US$75 per hour.
However, not all amateurs can produce photos with the same quality as those done by professionals. That’s because some amateur photographers have little experience on covering events or are just starting to build their portfolio. So, if the quality is more important to you, then you should allocate a higher budget for the event photographer rather than look for low-cost coverage fees.
Once you’ve chosen your photographer, be sure to sign a contract with him/her to avoid legal issues.
If you want to preserve the memories of a special event, make sure you hire a photographer who can capture the moment as you want it.
Good luck on choosing your event photographer!