How much does Wedding Photography cost? A breakdown of commonly misunderstood fees…

When a newly engaged couple looks online at pricing and packages for a wedding, it’s no wonder there can be so much confusion about what to pay vs. what they are getting. The common price range for most wedding photo packages is from $1200-3500, but can often range from $500-7500 for customized needs. (Granted, most people understand wedding photo packages often include things like a tip for the photographer, photobook albums, photo CD’s, prints, online galleries, and other add-on benefits so I will not address those here as they are usually itemized for the client). So, to clarify the rest, and to help manage costs, let’s look at a few commonly misunderstood pricing and photo package expenses…

Your main cost with wedding photography is, of course, the labor itself. What is not always understood is that this is not just the labor for the wedding day itself, but also the many, many hours in editing the photos (or video) after the big day. For example, a premium wedding photography service that utilized two or more shooters at the wedding and reception, which yielded thousands of photos, and meticulously edits each usable photo to magazine quality, it may take as much as two weeks or more to complete the editing.  A more standard wedding photo package, for example, a single shooter, and one thousand photos, it may take a week or more. This type of labor must be considered in the pricing as it is, by far, the photographers largest expense in both time and money.


Most wedding couples understand there are expenses to the photographer for travel costs to the wedding venue/s but it’s always worth mentioning, especially for a wedding that may have multiple locations for the pre-ceremony events, the ceremony itself, and the reception or afterparty. If this includes booking flights or ferries, you can be sure there is a fee for protecting valuable photo gear and production equipment during transportation from impact damage, inclement weather, and even theft. These can be devastating expenses to a photography business if not covered.

Another often overlooked cost is the booking and prep work the photographer incurs even before the big day arrives. Cleaning cameras, lenses, filters, charging batteries, readjusting camera packs for a select set of lenses and camera bodies, calendar updates and scheduling that usually opens that entire day for the wedding, (which means holding off other business for that day), and of course answering the myriad of important questions needed to customize the photo package.

There is also the expense of hiring a second shooter and managing their work, and working closely with the wedding director to set the times and locations of the photo shoots, or for specific angles the couple desires.

Often, there is also time spent in looking over the wedding venue for power outlets, window lighting, and even taking into consideration the inside color of the location. For example, if the location is a church with a light colored paint on the walls and ceiling, you often can simply use a single flash or use natural ambient lighting. However, if the inside is a dark wood grain that has very low reflectivity, you will almost certainly need extra lighting or strategically placed lights to capture the almost constant movement without blurred image results.


As an experienced wedding photographer and videographer, I often incur a considerable amount of time spent engaging the location owner, host, or manager on specific ‘house rules’ or needs. For example, many Catholic churches do not allow people to be inside the altar area during a service. As disappointing as that news usually is, it means we must tell the wedding couple I cannot provide photos from that angle. Photographers may even be told that they must only use certain isles or, GULP, back-of-the-room locations only. Under these conditions, the photographer will certainly have to adjust what lenses, lighting, and cameras they use to overcome these limitations. Another common example is, in certain outdoor venues, there are rules about running power cords, and even leaving equipment cases in the open, and a crucial time schedule in which the participants must be out before the next event arrives the same day. These type of time and equipment management can take hours, if not days, of time and expense to organize and prepare.

Other expenses include liability insurance, suit or tuxedo rentals, production assistants for moving equipment cases, running projection screens or backing up photo cards. All of these expenses must be considered long before the photoshoot begins. So how can the wedding client save money on buying photo packages? Here are a few key tips…

1. If you want video as well as photos for the wedding, ask about combining a photo + video package from the same service. This can often save the newlyweds $1K on separate services alone.

2. Always make sure you are getting an online proof gallery to pick your choice prints. There you are able to see and choose which exact photos you want printed, mounted and/or framed without paying extra for photos you really do not need.

3. Make sure the wedding venue has good lighting for those crucial photos. Formal photos and ceremony shots require good lighting to keep them sharp without motion blur. There is nothing worse than having to pay for blurred images simply because the venue’s lights were turned down, or not up, during the ceremony. A simple mention to the venue’s host or manager can save the entire photoshoot from disaster, and lower costs to the couple because they do not have to pay for unnecessary extra lighting.

4. Put your wedding director into action! It’s a surefire way to cause a wedding day glitch by not coordinating the wedding director and the photographer. Most are experienced enough to do this collaboration by default, but I have seen this occur more than once. It usually results in the venue manager hounding the director or wedding couple they are running behind schedule and may need to make changes on the fly, or even forgo a late event.

5. Beware of Bridezilla! We’ve all seen them. The bride or mother that blows up at the friends and family helping, the venue staff, vendors, over things that sometimes just can’t be helped. It’s not always their fault. It’s a stressful event, cold feet, financial fears, and a year’s worth of time and effort can thin the nerves of even the most steely-eyed person. But this can really cause what ultimately is a case of shooting oneself in the foot by not letting the director do their job, or having a good friend or close family member close by to act as emotional support for the bride. This can cause huge lapses in time well spent preparing or getting people in the right places at the right time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this cause missed shots and skipped events that were scheduled near the end of the reception or immediately after the ceremony. Always remember, venues may charge for ‘overtime’ if the director can’t keep the wedding on schedule. Photographers also have to charge for that extra hour on location.

So, while there are plenty of costs that lead to the price of a professional photo package for your wedding, these are some of the most common ones that are not always apparent to the wedding client. If you’re a wedding photographer or newly engaged couple with questions about ‘what to expect’ in preparation for your wedding, please feel free to contact Star Path Images Photo & Video, as we are always happy to help!

Contact –

Alan R. Howell
Star Path Images Photo & Video
(336) 202-5472
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Wedding and Event Planning Made Easy!

As a full-service wedding photographer and videographer, I often get asked about other wedding services while discussing the client’s big day. For those looking to book event planners, wedding planners, DJ’s and other services, check out! You can find about anything you need ranging from professional hair and make up artists, caterers, and MC’s! I’ve been on Decidio for over 10 years and it’s been a great relationship!

Contact –

Alan R. Howell
Star Path Images Photo & Video
(336) 202-5472
Like Us on Facebook –

Posted in Greensboro NC Wedding Photographer, Greensboro NC Wedding Video, Greensboro Wedding Photographer, Photography, Wedding Photography, Wedding Video | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Greensboro NC’s Premiere Wedding Photographer and Videographer – Star Path Images

Located in Greensboro NC, Star Path Images specializes in truly inspiring professional wedding portraits, pristine corporate product shots and video, eye catching web graphics, and high end fashion modeling portfolios. As owner, digital media producer and lead photographer, Alan Howell makes his goal at SPI to create the images you desire for your special event, publication, broadcast, or fine art…and in first class style.

Alan has been published in national magazines, TV broadcast ads, documentaries and websites, and has worked with clients ranging from Ameriprise and Coca-Cola to government agencies and national charities like the March of Dimes.

More – info on SPI and Alan…
View sample Wedding and Modeling Photos – here.
View sample Wedding and Corporate Video – here.

All image and video samples herein are fully copyrighted by Alan Howell & Star Path Images. If you need to download a non-watermarked, high resolution image for publication or your website contact me directly for prices and information on our commercial license services.

What we do at SPI….

Star Path Images specializes in photography and videography for weddings, special events, and product photography for commercial advertising. Looking for custom art, video, photography, web graphics and music to suit your needs.
We also provide consulting and training for digital imaging software and performance, audio, and video for individuals and corporate employees.

Still Photography

Wedding & Reception Photography, Family, Baby, & Model Portraiture, fashion/fitness/artistic modeling portfolios & comp cards, commercial/business photos, special events photography, products shots, time-lapse photography, abstract photo art, landscapes, interior & architecture photography, wildlife and nature images, extreme sports, and more….simply let us know your specific need.

We also do photo retouching and restoration…Bring your old photos to life!

Digital Video

Business/Training & Instructional videos, wedding & reception video, Flash & web video, documentaries, time-lapse video, music videos, broadcast quality commercials, independent films, special effects & animation, and more…

Photo Retouching, Web Graphics & Fine Art

Custom designed web graphics, ads, special effects, abstract and fine art images for websites, commercial advertisements, and video.


Custom soundtracks, voice-over & narration, foley (ambient) sound recordings, sound FX, audio sweetening, format conversion & compression, and other audio needs.

Click here to Email Alan Howell at Star Path Images


Testimonials – Here’s what our clients say about our services….
“Star Path Images truly is a class act. Alan helped us create our Ambassador Family video for our black-tie gala event, The Signature Chef’s Auction for several years. Alan worked directly with me and the Ambassador Family and spent countless hours filming, editing, and producing a beautiful video for this event. The final product was a perfect depiction of our organization, the family’s story, and added that “Midas Touch” of greatness that we needed for this event. His blend of music, photos, voice-overs, and film clips fit our exact need. I recommend Star Path Images to anyone needing a special event captured on video, beautiful photographs, or short documentary type video for an event like ours. Alan is great to work with and am positive he can cater to your specific event needs!”
– Katie Garrett
Community Director of Greensboro, March of Dimes Foundation

“I found SPI online as I was looking for just the right company to assist me with making a video for us for our Ms. North Carolina International pageant. Alan emailed me back promptly and was a breathe of fresh air to work with. He was professional, and articulate, as I spoke with him about my vision for the pageant filming. Alan and his team arrived to our event to set up in plenty of time, and worked with the contestants and staff members and made everyone feel their very best. I know I speak for the delegates and staff members of the North Carolina International Pageant when I say that we all tremendously enjoyed the professionalism and flexibility of Alan and his staff as they dealt with 16 stressed out women and at least 5 half crazy staff members including myself, in preparing to put on a show and compete! I cannot say enough about Alan, his staff, and SPI. I am already setting up negotiation with Alan for our 2010 pageant, and I am excited to work with SPI again for filming and photography! Oh, and yes, he is a fabulous photographer!”
– Joy Pfister
Executive Director
North Carolina International Pageants


Look for our recent publications in…

Star Path Images published in the 2011 Holiday Issue of Gladys Magazine with 2010 Mrs. North Carolina International, Cynthia Griner
We have 6 new images published in Gladys Magazine in the article, ‘Joy in North Carolina’ by Tim Kretschmaann in the summer issue
Alan Howell and Star Path Images was named as the official videographer for the 2011 North and South Carolina International Pageants.
SPI was chosen by the ‘March of Dimes’ to represent their 2010 Ambassador Family for the ‘Fund the Mission’ campaign. See the video –‘Fund the Mission’ here.
‘Fly Fisherman’ magazine (July 2008 issue, ‘South Holston Hatches’ article)
‘Our State’ magazine,(75th Anniversary issue, June ’08) in the article ‘Symbolic Meaning’ by Louisa J. Dang.
SPI recently partnered with Kencom for a special promo for Seven Falls Resort. Kencom produced the video using video of Kevin and Alan Howell which will air on TV station WLOS in Asheville, NC.
‘Fly’ website. Two new video demos of 2007 Fly Fishing Master’s Champion, Kevin Howell, owner of ‘Davidson River Outfitters’in Brevard, NC. – [Look in the ‘Fly Tying’ videos, called ‘Kevin’s Caterpillar’, and ‘Kevin’s Stonefly’].

Contact –

Alan R. Howell
Star Path Images Photo & Video
(336) 202-5472
Like Us on Facebook –

Star Path Images Photography and Video

You can also view our modeling portraits at –

‘Star Path Images’ at Model
Posted in Greensboro NC, Greensboro NC Wedding Photographer, Greensboro NC Wedding Video, Greensboro Wedding Photographer, Photography, Product Shots, Video Editing, Wedding Photography, Wedding Video | Tagged | 4 Comments