Average Cost of A Chicago Wedding Photographer:What You Need to Know

June 27, 2022



Every couple deserves a memorable wedding day. To keep reliving such incredible and exciting memories, photography plays a crucial part. Hence, it’s understandable if you are making the cost of wedding photography one of the top priorities on your wedding budget list. However, getting a photographer for such a big occasion in Chicago is something you are completely new to. Consequently, you would like to have a good idea of the average cost of a wedding photographer in the city.

Several factors play a crucial role in determining the cost of photography for wedding occasions in Chicago. These factors often have a lot to do with the style of the wedding, demands from the photographer, and the efforts that the photographer needs to put in. However, there are price ranges for different levels of photographers, depending on your need.

To help guide your decision-making and preparation for your wedding photography, this article sheds light on the average cost of a Chicago wedding photographer, factors that influence costs of services, and the price range that you can expect. Let’s get started!

What is the average cost of wedding photographer in Chicago?

Although the price of a wedding photographer varies for several reasons, the average cost stands around $3,500, based on a report from Snappr. As a newbie to wedding photography order, you may plan your budget between $3,500 and $6,000, depending on your demands. Alternatively, expect to spend between 10 to 15% of your overall wedding budget on photography in Chicago.

What could influence your wedding photography cost?

As stated earlier, there is no perfect cost when it comes to wedding photography costs in Chicago as any a few or all the following factors may raise or lower the expected cost:

  • Expertise

This is a combination of the skillset and talent of the photographer involved. A reputable and respected photographer in Chicago is likely to be versatile in composition, pose handling, photo editing, and album design. Also, a top photographer will have sound people skill, including efficient communication, excellent working relationship, and solid experience in guiding the timeline planning process. Such all-round photographers often come at a premium due to high demands and excellent delivery. To know whether a photographer is top-class, average, or a hobbyist, go through their portfolio and reviews on WeddingWire, The Knot, or Google.

  • Lifestyle

While many couples hardly consider the lifestyle of their photographers, it’s highly recommended in choosing the man behind the camera for the big day. This is especially important if you are tight on budget. A photographer with a large family and living in the downtown loop is more likely to request a higher fee, giving his or her a higher standard and cost of living. Advisably, consider going for a photographer that shares a similar lifestyle and values with you. In this way, you are likely to end up with a pocket-friendly bill.

  • Photographer’s track record

Previous experience is handy when trying to pick your photographer. A highly experienced photographer is more likely to be equipped with more know-how, troubleshooting capabilities, and a refined wedding day process than a beginner. However, a more versatile, talented, experienced, and resourceful photographer is likely to command a higher fee.

  • Services and demands

Here is arguably the most significant factor that influences the average cost of wedding prices Chicago photographers. While assessing the average cost, couples are advised to check what each photographer’s plan or package includes to get the best value for their money. Offerings such as time, e.g., all-day, 12 hours, or 6 hours, distance to the venue, editing, print release, albums, extra photo sessions, and image delivery, can raise or reduce the average cost. Advisably, you should sit with your preferred photographers, learn about their packages, and understand your photography investment properly before making your final decision.

  • Photographer’s style

Over the years, some photographers have developed in-demand styles that are well-known among the elites and celebrities. Getting the service of such high-end photographers usually means a higher bill. However, you can expect to get a distinct style, performance, and delivery.

Price range of Chicago Wedding Photographer

While there are renowned and professional photographers in Chicago, you may also encounter part-timers or photography hobbyists. The average cost for your wedding photography is likely to determine the category of photographers you are likely to get. Learn more below:

  1. Low price tier 

This ranges from $1,000 to $3,000 in price, with hobbyists and high-volume studios dominating the category. While high-volume studios are known to outsource the photography service to contract or freelancers to edit images, hobbyists usually do the job as a side-hustle to make a few hundreds of dollars. However, a common attribute of the two categories is little to no experience and lack of liability insurance.

  1. Middle price tier

This ranges from $4000 to $6000 in price, featuring decently experienced photographers with mid-range boutiques. Photographers in this category are usually business owners. They could have a partner or a small team handling the service delivery. Engagements often include several in-person meetings, rehearsals, and process walkthroughs before the special day. Also, mid-price photographers may have liability insurance and backup equipment. Solid expertise and a commendable portfolio are other key attributes.

  • High price tier

This ranges from $8,000 to $12,000 in price, featuring luxury and well-established photographers. Most high-price brands depend on industry professionals to deliver quality services that could also be gotten from mid-price photographers. However, luxury brand insiders tend to have a strong winning marketing and networking team. Photographers belonging to the high-price tier usually have insurance plans, sophisticated equipment, and multiple units handling operations.


And there you have the average cost of wedding photographer in Chicago with potential factors that may raise or drop the price. Regardless of your budget, it’s highly recommendable to learn about what a photographer stands to offer, available plans, and whether such an expert can meet your demands. Aside from online reviews and portfolios, consider an in-person meeting and see whether the photographer’s value, lifestyle, experience, and price align with you. In this way, you are better equipped to make an informed decision concerning your choice of photographer, and most especially, the cost.


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