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Now this is a very touchy subject! First of all, I will not only be giving you the tips to find an expensive photographer, nor a cheap photographer, nor a way to get an expensive photographer for cheap. I will be explaining they why’s, where’s, how’s and when’s of finding a wedding photographer that suits you. You can see this as a guideline for looking for your wedding photographer.

For the most part, it is very difficult to find a wedding photographer. Who do you trust? Why are you paying that certain professional that amount of money? What is he/she doing that is worth that much? Well, to answer these questions you must first respect the photographer’s job. You are not just hiring some random person to hold a camera and take pictures; this is an artist. And this kind of artist makes his/her living by selling images (which are copyrighted by the way) just like any painter or sculptor would. What you purchase from this photographer are “rights” to the usage of these pictures. (Notice you are not able to sell these pictures once you have them because they are still the intellectual property of the photographer.) This works in commercial and personal photography (the only thing that changes is the “rights” to the pictures and the “use” they will have to the customer.) 

To get back on track: wedding photographers have a very tough job to do; work from 6 to 12 straight hours under very heavy stress due to the fact that they cannot miss any important shot during the time they are there. They are artists and each have an individual style, so try not to go telling your photographer “how” to take a picture because you hired him/her for a reason. – On a side note: I will stop using the “him/her” to describe the photographer. Please do not take offense but I will refer to the photographer as just “him” from this point on – Once the wedding is over the venue prepares for their next event, the food is digested by your guests, the alcohol is consumed, the flowers begin to die, the dress is boxed up, the DJ goes home YET, the photographer isn’t done with your wedding yet. He spends more hours to come working on the edition of your pictures, designing your wedding book, retouching the final images selected and going through the whole process of keeping you satisfied (since you still don’t have what you paid for) until everything is ready and delivered.

 Now that I have given a small hint of what a photographer does for a living and the amount of work he has to go through, it is time to explain how much you should pay your photographer.

Wedding photography can range from $500.00 to $10,000; yes, let me repeat that: TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. $500.00 is what you uncle Bob or your friend’s friend that is a “pro” photographer. He will probably take the pictures while having a couple of drinks, eating and conversing with the rest of the guests. He will take about 3 weeks to give you a CD full of unedited, horribly taken pictures that you will get to hate for the rest of your life. The other extreme is a highly recognized photographer that goes with a team of 3-4 photographers to a wedding of about 300 guests (If there are more, the price would increase). What you would get is a beautiful engagement session and the wedding day coverage along with an exquisite wedding book, copies for friends and family, enlargements professionally mounted, a CD with all of the images in high resolution and just an overall experience of having the top of the line photographer to document the most important day of your life. (Getting the picture now?)

Wedding websites will tell you to spend about a 12% of your total budget on photography; well, that depends on your total budget. If you are spending $6,000 on your wedding and are applying that 12% to photography, be prepared to have that wedding looks like it cost $5,280. You spend a little more on photography, and they’ll make it look like a $10,000 wedding. True professionals know what you want to see and what you don’t.

If you live in Miami and are having your wedding in any of the major hotels, you should be looking to spend at least around $3000 to $4000. And try to have a 2nd photographer, they really come in handy when taking other angles and shots of what’s going around the center of attention (which should be you). Depending on what you want as a final product, the price may go up or down; there are traditional albums and there are designed wedding coffee table books. There are acrylic mounted enlargements, or small 5×7’s. There are slideshows and there are simple CD’s with all pictures unedited (Or some unedited).

Side note: Don’t trust a photographer that tells you you will have a minimum # of pictures; this only means they have to meet a quota and are leaning to handing over more pictures than giving you something better thought out. Also, try not to work with photographers that work for event companies or venues; they usually get paid peanuts and don’t see you as the customer. Their customer is the venue or the event company. There are exceptions though: photographers with offices and/or a studio give you the certainty that they have their own storefront and don’t “meet up with you at a Starbucks.”

Expect your photographer to give you all he’s got, because we love what we do. You give us a job that is difficult to fulfill and that has taken years of practice and knowledge that will translate into having memories worth opening up every day of your life. Don’t settle for those pictures that you’ll end up throwing into the closet, now that’s a waste of money.

I know this wasn’t a straight answer, but there’s just too many variables to give you an exact price on your wedding photography. It depends on how many hours, # of photographers, products (Albums, Coffee Table Books, enlargements), number of photo shoots, quality of work, quality of customer service, experience of the photographer, and much more.

For any questions on our wedding photography, please visit our website or just give us a call. Please like us on Facebook, and follow on Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram ( I know, it’s a lot!)


Delio Photo Studio
2399 Coral Way
Miami, Fl 33145