Wedding Photographer Salary


Know that …
… following and taking part in activities lined up by organizations such as Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) will help you develop a dynamic resume. Every couple wants their wedding to be captured in photographs, so that they can relive those moments. To make this possible, they hire a wedding photographer, who has, over the years, become an indispensable part of the event.
A wedding photographer shoots all the activities related to a wedding―the rehearsal dinner, the wedding, the reception, etc. S/he can be hired to shoot all these events or just a few of them. Earlier the role of a wedding photographer involved only shooting the bride and groom, it has now evolved significantly. Today, couples travel all over the world for their pre-wedding shoot. The salary of a wedding photographer, thus, has become significantly rewarding than what it was before.

Please Note:

  • All figures are as of January 2014, and in U.S. Dollars.
  • All figures are average annual salaries and may vary according to education, experience, location, and type of employer.

Salary By State

Alabama 106,000
Alaska 84,000
Arizona 91,000
Arkansas 102,000
California 114,000
Colorado 95,000
Connecticut 119,000
Delaware 96,000
Florida 100,000
Georgia 122,000
Hawaii 68,000
Idaho 72,000
Illinois 117,000
Indiana 104,000
Iowa 103,000
Kansas 96,000
Kentucky 90,000
Louisiana 91,000
Maine 91,000
Maryland 109,000
Massachusetts 126,000
Michigan 107,000
Minnesota 93,000
Mississippi 116,000
Missouri 104,000
Montana 101,000
Nebraska 79,000
Nevada 89,000
New Hampshire 104,000
New Jersey 115,000
New Mexico 94,000
New York 129,000
North Carolina 104,000
North Dakota 94,000
Ohio 102,000
Oklahoma 97,000
Oregon 101,000
Pennsylvania 99,000
Rhode Island 101,000
South Carolina 100,000
South Dakota 79,000
Tennessee 99,000
Texas 102,000
Utah 85,000
Vermont 96,000
Virginia 107,000
Washington 105,000
West Virginia 102,000
Wisconsin 96,000
Wyoming 91,000

Source: Indeed

Educational Requirements
Usually, students have no option but to acquire a general photography degree and then, post that, individually choose to be a wedding photographer. There is no separate degree per se, that is completely dedicated to wedding photography. However, acquiring this degree gives you a stronger technical backing. You study equipment, technique, related software, composition, etc., which can be later used to creatively invent a style of your own.
Taking part in workshops related to wedding photography, completing courses offered by other schools/universities, and staying up to date with newer equipment will increase your chances of earning more.
Job Description
  • First and foremost, a wedding photographer has to talk to the couple who is getting married. S/he has to know them properly before shooting what is perhaps the most important day of their lives.
  • After knowing them for the people they are, s/he has to make a list of what they’re expecting in terms of number of photographs, number of events, particular moments they want captured a particular way, etc.
  • Based on what is expected, s/he has to form a contract and get it signed before the first session.
  • The photographer should click all the special moments during the wedding―the bride walking down the aisle, the couple taking the vows, exchange of rings, etc.
  • The photographer is also responsible for the bringing in of equipment that s/he thinks is necessary.
  • The wedding photographer is also responsible for editing photographs. Sometimes, the couple might want changes in some photographs. In such cases, the photographer is responsible for doing the needful.
  • Sometimes, a particular package might help the couple financially. For example, a DVD along with the photographs might come cheap than hiring two separate people for these jobs. It is the duty of the photographer to inform the customers of such packages, if any.
  • If the wedding photographer needs to work closely with the church staff, special permissions may be required. For example, certain churches may not allow flash during a certain part of the ceremony. In this case, the photographer may request an imitation later on.

Today, more than experience, couples look for photographers who can do something creatively. Experiment as much as you can with your skills, to offer something that is unique, affordable, and yet beautiful.

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