Average Cost of a Chicago Wedding Photographer

Let’s face it, unless you have a sister, best friend, close cousin that was recently married, chances are you start out without having a single clue of what what it costs to have a wedding in Chicago. Luckily, The Knot, Pinterest and entire shelves of bridal magazines are ready to give you national averages and beautiful pie charts dividing percentage slice per category. They are all right in their own way. Minus a hefty difference if you are getting married in the city or the suburbs… and the fact that averages don’t really account for experience or talent, style or value. But research will help you sort through all that,  take the information given and apply it to your particular event.

That is why I felt it was important to take a little break from our Picture Perfect Tips for Getting Ready Photos to discuss your photos in general. So what is the average cost of a Chicago wedding photographer?

Chicago is a big city and luckily it offers plenty of options when it comes to wedding photography. From recent college grads to enthusiastic amateurs, to weekend shooters… to large national studios… to independent studio owners like myself. As a general rule of thumb, experienced photographers in Chicago tend to start anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000+. Within the under $3,000 range you can find large corporate studios or less experienced weekend wedding photographers. Unfortunately, picking the photographer that shows up to capture your wedding when working with a large studio is like picking a name from a hat ranging from that recent grad I mentioned above, to very experienced former film photographers. So that makes it a little risky since you don’t know what you are going to get and most of the time, you do not get to meet your chosen photographer before the big day. It also depends on what you looking to have as part of your package, because even with large corporate studios, you will quickly reach a number in the same range when adding on a second photographer, rights to the images and/or an album.

The key is to know what you are looking for, to compare portfolios online, read lots and lots of reviews and pick the best choice for you based on how important photography is for your big day. The best news is that in a city like Chicago there is a photographer for every budget and every style, so that no wedding will go undocumented!

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