Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | Matt Genders Photography


Bride in Rime Arodaky jumpsuit dress and red lipstick taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography


Ah, the age old question. With so many photographers in the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out how much you should invest in a wedding photographer. Many couples planning a wedding often ask;

1.) How much do people typically pay for a wedding photographer?

2.) What is included in a package?

3.) What is the payment schedule?

1.) How much should I invest in a wedding photographer?

The short answer is wedding photographers can cost anywhere from $1k-$10k (or higher!!). As with most things, the cost is influenced by demand, experience, and location. Generally speaking, when the demand is high, the quality is high, and with high quality comes a significant amount of experience. While these numbers may seem on the high end to some, it is important to realize that these photos are the only lasting memory from a wedding day, and therefore should be handled with a high level of experience and professionalism. It may be enticing to spend $1k on a photographer, however it is more than likely that photographer has very little experience and it will show in the wedding photos. As with most investments, you should expect a return for the amount of money you choose to spend, so let’s break down some of the scenarios in choosing a photographer.

There are a number of factors that go into determining a photographer’s overall price. Many established photographers have families, mortgages, studios, top of the line camera equipment, health insurance, studio software, file storage solutions… the list goes on. What many people do not realize is that a photographer’s job goes well beyond the shooting of the wedding day. With each wedding, there is on average 30+ hours of storing, culling, and editing the images before they make it into the final gallery. In addition to editing, there is day-of timeline planning, venue research, driving, and gear preparations that need to be made before the wedding day itself, as well as second shooter expenses, taxes, licenses, permits etc. As great as it sounds to book a cheaper wedding photographer, it is more than likely that they are either ill-prepared to shoot a wedding day, or lack the experience to provide you with photos that you will love for a lifetime.


Bride holding bouquet in Rime Arodaky jumpsuit dress taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography

Show me the numbers…

As a local wedding photographer in Philadelphia, I think it is fair to generalize photographers into the following groups:

$0-1,000; Photographers with little to no experience, probably not considered a professional photographer.

$1,000-2,000 Photographers who may have shot a few weddings here or there, but still not a full time photographer or considered “professional”.

$2,000-3,000 Photographers who have become slightly more established, generally younger photographers who are still learning- probably not yet full time.

$4,000+ Full time photographers with experience and demand, offer the highest quality and most consistent product.


Red, white, and yellow florals cascading over a table at 500 Pearl in Buffalo NY taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography

2.) What is included in a package?

This one really is all over the board. The way I like to organize my packages is primarily through hours of coverage. I offer packages that include 7 hours, 8 hours, and 9 hours of coverage, with additional hours provided a la carte. Typically a wedding day will be structured as follows:

8 hour Wedding Day

1:00-2:30 Getting Ready Photos

2:30-2:45 First Look (optional)

2:45-3:15 Bridal Party Photos

3:15-3:45 Family Photos

3:45-4:00 Bride and Groom Photos

4:30-5:00 Ceremony

5:00-6:00 Cocktail Hour

6:00-10:00 Reception with Photographers leaving at 9pm

In addition to this day-of timeline, many of my packages include an engagement session, as well as a high resolution gallery available to download. I like to deliver around ~100/ hour of shooting, so many galleries will have at least 700 fully edited images available for download. One important question to ask when looking for a photographer is, “How many images will I receive?” and “Am I able to download the photos?”, because many photographers will make you pay for the proofs in addition to their hourly rate.


Vibrant table arrangement with linens at 500 Pearl in Buffalo NY taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography

3.) What is the payment schedule?

If you are like me, and investing $4,000 in a wedding photographer in one sitting sounds really scary, then this section is for you! Many photographers offer flexible payment solutions, including paying monthly, to paying over the course of 2-3 installments from the time of booking to the wedding day itself. I have found that a retainer deposit, and final balance works best for my clients, but every photographer is different so be sure to ask.

Table arrangement at Buffalo Ny venue 500 pearl with candles, vibrant flowers and linens taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography


4.) When should I book a photographer?

In my experience, the sooner the better. Many experienced photographers are completely booked 8 months to a year out, so if you have a date in mind, it is best to inquire as soon as possible. The most popular dates tend to me from May-June, and September-October, so if you are looking to get married during that time frame, definitely don’t wait too long on choosing a photographer!


Bride sitting in 500 Pearl ballroom with vibrant orange and yellow bouquet in Rime Arodaky jumpsuit dress taken by Philadelphia Wedding Photographer Matt Genders Photography


If you would like to learn more about Matt Genders Photography or are ready to invest in a wedding photographer, please fill out the contact form below and I’d love to chat more with you! Read my reviews here!