How much does wedding photography cost in Chicago?

February 24, 2019

Getting married is such an exciting time in your life!

But weddings sure get expensive, right! Among the many expenses is wedding photography. So what should you expect to pay for beautiful wedding memories?

Before designating a budget for a photographer, take a step back and think about your wedding as a whole. What is the most important aspect of your day to you? Do you want a fabulous venue? A showstopper dress? Pick your top three most important things and put the bulk of your budget into those three things.

Photography is the most important vendor you will hire. Haha, ok, I’ll keep this objective. After you’ve worn the dress and danced with your new husband, photography is the only memory you’ll have of the most important day of your life.

Different styles & experience

There are a lot of photographers in Chicago! Like every business, there is a range of  price points from enthusiastic amateurs to uber high end studios. In general, experienced photographers in Chicago tend to start anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000.

Does experience really matter?

In perfect conditions, new photographers can deliver nice photos. But weddings very rarely have perfect conditions. Throughout the day, we are shooting in a huge range of lighting conditions from harsh midday sun to dark venues. Experienced photographers know how to use any lighting situation and create beautiful photographs. In addition, weddings move fast!  I’ve shot gorgeous photos of couples when we have 5 minutes for photos, the bride is freezing because it’s 12 degrees in Chicago and we’re blocking traffic on LaSalle drive thanks to a police blockade. This really happened! Oh, and it was at night. These are the times you want a photographer that knows her stuff and can work quickly.

What should I look for in a wedding photographer?

Once you find a photographer with a style that you like, the most important thing to look for in their images is consistency. Look through several full galleries from real weddings. Are their photographs consistently nice from the beginning of the day until the end? Does their style stay consistent from one wedding to the next. 


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