How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in New York?

How much does a wedding photgrapher cost in New York?A bride gets ready with her mother in the bride's room at Congregation Rodelf Shalom on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Shot by Master Wedding Photographer Angela Cappetta with real film and a medium format camera.

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in New York?

How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in New York?


How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in New York. Written and shot by NYC wedding photographer Angela Cappetta.


As my dad used to say: “You get what you pay for”. This seems to apply to anything. Any service and in any sector.  However, even more so in the small business sector. Any small business owner will agree that the job is fun but the struggle is real. Think of the ubiquitous branding comparison strategy: Lutéce as opposed to Arby’s. Ikea as opposed to ABC Carpet and so on.


So, let’s begin. To enumerate, I have laid out the following topics to explain costs.


Art School Training

Let’s start with the basics. School. A shooter can be properly trained or self-taught. Nothing is wrong with being self taught. However, if they are the former. credentials cost money. If a photographer has. BFA and/or an MFA, they are obviously going to cost more than someone who, although they may be talented, didn’t learn in the trenches. Being properly trained costs more. You will pay for that. Only you can decide if this matters to you.


Part of proper BFA training is learning along side a famous artist. This is not cheap.  You have to find one who will even talk to you. From there, you then apply to work there. If they hire you, then the apprentice finds a dorm or apartment in that city. All the while, getting paid very little or nothing at all. Apart from basic sacrifices like never buying anything new and only eating rice, you have to moonlight as a nanny, barista, waitress, dog walker, bartender etc. This is brutal, back breaking work. And it puts you into debt. Getting out of this hole costs money over many years. All for the sake of art. An artist has to amortize this into their fees over many years. Factor that in as well.

Maintaining a Studio Business

Layout of cash is the name of this game. Let’s look at big picture expenses. This is all before your photographer has ever bought one single lens cap:

  • Marketing materials like printables, a website, hosting, email, domain registration, SEO. Furthermore, there are Interview materials like books, portfolios, presentation materials for pitches.
  • Business registrations in your state.
  • Insurance.
  • Shoot clothes.
  • Rent, overhead for same.

So, you want a photographer who has second shooters on staff? Not a big ask. We think its even essential in some cases. Yet this doesn’t happen overnight. You can’t just pick up someone off the street. You need to fully vet them.

  • Do they have similar training to yours?
  • Do they fit with your brand?
  • Does this person own their own gear or are they using yours?
  • Are they estimable? will the act correctly at a formal event? Are their manners impeccable?
  • All of this matters. Before you have even let them take a single photo. These are people who are part of the brand that will shoot your wedding.
The Gear

Welcome to the fun part. Shopping for tools. I personally believe you don’t need a lot of gear, but you do need two of everything in case of malfunction. This is my own studio practice.  Now ask yourself, is your photographer using the best available gear for the job? Or ,are they using amateur stuff. Has it been cleaned and maintained before each job? Details matter. Plus, it costs a fortune.  The gear, not unlike your car, has to be regularly maintained, insured, and taken care of. Unlike your car, the gear is more similar to a high performance car. A Porsche as opposed to a Kia. Porsches are more expensive to keep up. So is top camera gear.


Cards, software, storage for digital media. Then there are FTP subscriptions for you to get safe delivery of your shots. Again, all of this is factored into what you are paying before your photographer has taken one single frame.

Your Shoot

I won’t go into this here. These costs are too varied and depend deeply on job scope. Obviously, a City Hall elopement costs less to shoot then a seven hour affair at the Plaza. How large, how many locations, is the family all under one roof for getting ready or is a bride or a groom across town which requires staff to go to that location? Is photography allowed at the church, or do we need to set up a static motion camera in the back? Two hundred guests requires more shooters, more gear, more insurance etc.

How Much Does a Wedding Album Cost?

Well, our wedding albums are elegant, streamlined books. They are easy to flip through and hold. They are made in the US by another small business. We offer options like additional pages, boxes, and parents’ books. Our studio handles everything for you in-house. Years of trying various album vendors and software got us here. My company wants your album to be an enjoyable memory you can hold in your hands. Album costs vary on decisions like leather, vegan cloth, paper type, etc. Ask yourself, is my photography vendor using an archival album company whose books last generations? Or is it printed on low quality printers with unstable ink?


Did you hire us to shoot film and are expecting a darkroom album? A darkroom album takes months to make, and there is no way to put a rush on it. Well worth the wait, it is not for a rookie photographer. Photographers who have darkrooms are a very different breed. And they know it. Think about this when you hire your team. This matters.

How Much Does A Wedding Video Cost?

We offer video deliverables of varying lengths, depending on your job scope. Editing software is thousands of dollars, hard drives can top out at a high number if you are receiving a lot of footage with your package. Then we back up, store and maintain your footage. Factor this in as well.


In short: do you want a well-oiled ship in your port or a dinghy? We are a sure thing. Period. You will pay for this peace of mind. And you should. There would be something wrong if it was undervalued.



How Much Does a Wedding Photographer Cost in New York

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