How Much Do Engagement Photos Cost? What You Can Expect To Pay

So, you’re getting married! Your partner got down on one knee and popped the question, and it didn’t take more than a second for you to respond with an excited, “Yes, I’ll marry you!” While wedding planning is at the front of your mind, your ceremony may be a while away. In the meantime, you’re thinking of getting pictures taken to commemmorate the fact that you’re now officially on your way to married life. However, it seems like it might be costly. So, how much to engagement photos cost? Read on to find out.

Why are engagement photoshoots so popular?

While many people would cringe at the idea of taking photos to celebrate an engagement, it’s a long-held tradition that remains popular for couples — and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. So, why is engagement photography such big business?

Kari Bjorn, an engagement photographer based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has a pretty good idea. “Couples love having their engagement photos on their save-the-date cards and/or invites. It is hugely popular to include select images from the engagement session on the couples’ wedding website,” she tells Bolde. “Couples also love to post their engagement pictures on social media, and many have also included their favorite photo, framed and on display at the entrance to their wedding reception. Social media has completely made engagement sessions popular.”

What’s the average cost of engagement photos?

This is a tough question to ask as the answer depends heavily on where you live as well as the photographer and the photo package that you choose. Kristen Ligas, the owner of wedding planning company Well-Dressed Events, advises setting aside somewhere between $500 and $1,000 for your engagement photos, though you may find packages that cost more or less than that depending on the aforementioned factors.

For instance, the most basic package with a less experienced or newer photographer may only cost $300 or $400, especially as your pictures could help build their portflio and encourage more business. On the opposite send of the spectrum, a large shoot that includes props, multiple locations, and hundreds of shots for you to choose from may cost thousands.

Whatever your budget, be sure to discuss this with your photographer before planning a shoot so that you don’t experience any nasty surprises down the road.

What should couples look for when choosing an engagement photo package?

The most important thing about your engagement photos is that they’re everything you want them to be. To make sure there’s no awkwardness or misunderstandings on the day of the shoot, make sure you’re clear on what your photographer offers as part of their services and let them know what you’re hoping for so they’re not taken by surprise.

For instance, maybe you want to wear a gown in some photos while sporting a more casual look in others. Are you able to change outfits several times during the photoshoot? If you want to get pictures taken at the bookstore where you first met before doing some scenic shots in the woods, that should be clarified too. Can you take pictures at more than one location?

It’s also important to inquire about post-shoot services. Do you get physical copies of your photos or just digital ones? If so, how many? Will they do any digital retouching or editing on the photos or will you need to pay for that separately? Would they be willing to offer a discount if you also used them as your wedding photographer?

Your photographer will more than likely be happy to answer and/or accommodate most reasonable requests, but it still needs to be discussed in advance.

What qualities are important in an engagement photo photographer?

  1. Someone whose style you connect with It goes without saying that you need to like their style. Have a look through their website before booking their services to get a feel for their aesthetic. Do they gravitate towards a certain photography style, and is it aligned with your personal tastes? Oftentimes, deciding on an engagement photographer is an emotional experience. You look at their portfolio and you just know they’re the right one for you.
  2. Someone with experience The more experience they have, the more likely they are to be able to deliver what you want. That’s not to say that a newer photographer should be ruled out. However, choosing someone who specializes in engagement or wedding photography is a good idea. As is finding a photographer who has been doing the job professionally for at least a year. That experience will allow them to make your photos the best they can possibly be.  “It can take years for a photographer to develop a reproducible style, so going with someone new who might be figuring out their style is always a risk,” says Bjorn.
  3. Someone you feel comfortable with It’s no good choosing a photographer with whom you have no rapport and who makes you feel self-conscious. Meeting with your photographer and developing a level of comfort will go a long way in making your engagement photos as beautiful and as memorable as you want them to be. Oftentimes, you will just click with a photographer based on their style. Other times, it’s a warmth they exude when you meet them that just puts you at ease. Find someone you feel relaxed around and it will make all the difference.
  4. Someone you’d like to photograph your wedding too It should be a two-in-one deal. You should want them to be your wedding photographer too. Consider your engagement photos as a dry run of your wedding day. Then, when the ceremony comes around, you’ll already have a connection with the photographer. It will make your big day that much better.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia