Thursday, April 15, 2021

Louisville Wedding Photographer | How much does a photographer cost?

 How much does a wedding photographer cost?

This question defines my industry. I get it. Weddings cost a lot of money. 

I am a Louisville based wedding photographer. I have also been married twice, so you’d think that as someone who works in the wedding industry I would place a lot of weight on the importance of wedding photos. Let me level with ya a little bit… 

The first time I was married was in 2004. I was a very young bride and I loved pictures, but I wasn’t a photographer yet. We had a traditional wedding planned, but we changed our plans due to family drama. We got married with a weekend’s notice. A friend offered to take pics of our actual wedding. Not wanting to be a further burden on our parents, I said that was fine. I do have some pics I’m thankful for to share with our now teenage son, but… she was no professional. 

Then a couple months later we held our reception at a Lexington wedding venue as planned. Guests attended, but I saw no reason to spend the money to hire a professional… after all, we had already gotten married a couple months prior. I’m the oldest of three kids and I was a very young bride. My parents still had two more kids to raise. 

My Aunt had a nice camera, she offered to take some pics for me. She had two young grandchildren who I love very much, Jenna & Zach… they were the stars of my ‘Reception Day’. My amazing Aunt couldn’t tear herself away from photographing her sweet grandchildren who were dancing right alongside me, (and so stinking cute I might add)... while I danced with my Dad. She had never photographed a wedding before. I have several nice photos, absolutely… but none of me dancing with my Dad. 

Fast forward, I’m getting married again! It’s 12 years later, I’m older and wiser. I’m an experienced wedding photographer now! 

I know the value of gear and experience, but I’m still that kid that doesn’t want her parents to spend too much money on me, especially since my impatient self didn’t want to give them a year to plan, I gave them 10 days notice. 

At this point in my career I’ve photographed tons of weddings at many Louisville & Lexington wedding venues, but also all over the country! I’ve seen the good, the bad, the ugly. I’ve seen the stress, the burden, the joy and the happiness. 

When my current husband and I decided to get married, we wanted the wedding to be in October, which had about 10 days left. We didn’t want to wait a whole year before we got married, so guess what!? Another quickie wedding was in the works for this wedding photographer. 

October is such a hot month for weddings… all my friends who are wedding photographers were booked on such short notice. I didn’t know what else to do. So, you know what I came up with? I took my gear, took test shots, and set all the settings to where the images were correctly color balanced and exposed. 

I handed the camera to my relative who had some experience with photography. She was no pro, but I figured I could always work some magic in Photoshop. Boy was I wrong!

I married my guy on a perfect October day. I could not have hand picked better temperature or weather. We were surrounded by the people we loved. There was a camera snapping pics. But you know what? Photoshop doesn’t make everything better!!! SHOCKER!

Less than a year later, my baby brother died unexpectedly and the last time we were all together in a photo was my wedding. I didn’t hire a professional. The one photo I had of my whole family together wasn’t cropped properly, so it was difficult to get an enlarged photo for the wall without cutting anyone out. The coloring was off even though I had the right gear and the right settings… it wasn’t shot by a professional photographer who could look for good light in frame or make a slight adjustment on the fly. I have no pics of just my husband and I on our wedding day. 

I look back on that day, and I’m grateful for all the wonderful things that happened. I’m thankful I’m married to my guy. I’m thankful the people I love were there. I’m thankful my uncle married us…. But I wish I hired a pro. Even if I had to do the research, find someone who was qualified even though it wasn’t someone I knew in the industry… I wish I did it a little better. I wish I didn’t take the day for granted. 

I’m so thankful for the pics I have, and we printed those pics even though they’re cropped a little funny and the color is off. I’m glad I have them. 

Believe it or not, I undervalued MYSELF! How is that? I made a rookie mistake in thinking that as long as the settings were close enough, anything else could be fixed with post editing. I WAS SO WRONG! When you’re a professional wedding photographer, maybe it’s that you’re so used to seeing your own pics all the time you don’t think about how important some things are. Things like cropping and looking for good light are so second nature to me at this point, I don’t have to think about it really. 

Enough about me, let’s talk about your wedding. I’m going to illustrate this another way… 

Picture this. You’re having a baby. You’ve spent months thinking up names, decorating the nursery and getting excited over baby things with your family. Do you want to hire a ‘licensed medical professional’ who is running a $200 special with sub par equipment and delivers in the backseat of your car, or would you hire the $1500 physician with top of the line medical equipment in a world class hospital and brings you a complimentary breakfast? …. okay, maybe that illustration got away from me a bit. But I think you get the picture…

Let’s talk about all the work that is actually involved as a wedding photographer.

First there’s the prepping. The day before they’re cleaning thousands of dollars worth of gear, making sure everything is packed and ready to go. Maybe they’re brushing up on your list of must have photos so they don’t forget anything. Maybe they’re even coming to your rehearsal and scouting locations to make sure there are no surprises on the wedding day. 

On the wedding day, we wake up early. We have to get ourselves presentable for your big day too.  We show up ready to shoot. There’s a level of anxiety to photographing wedding, it’s a huge responsibility. We work quickly and efficiently all day, keeping our timeline in mind. We think on our feet when things are running behind schedule on how we can make up that time so you don’t sacrifice any photos. We haul heavy gear around all day… (which reminds me of the first wedding I shot with a 70-200 lens. I had knots in my forearms for days!) I have gotten home from weddings before just aching from head to toe! There’s always the risk of gear being damaged on wedding day. They likely are paying for insurance (hopefully!).

The photographers job isn’t over after a long, exhausting wedding day either. Of course I can’t go right to sleep either because I’m all jacked up on awesome wedding music and the excitement from the day. You can’t wait to get home and take a peek through all your images! I always load all of my images and copy them to multiple external hard drives for safekeeping. After I use my expensive software and hours of my life to make all the edits I upload your photos to a website that I pay for to make them available to you and your family.

 They might have the cost of a second shooter to assist them in giving you a variety of images on a day that’s time sensitive. Once we’ve spent hours and hours working tirelessly on your wedding day itself, many more hours of work is involved to deliver you those priceless photos. We spend hours away from our families. We work on computers that have to be able to handle the workload and the software that they also purchase to be able to edit your images to perfection. Maybe they incur the cost of further education to learn how to better serve their clients. This is more time, and more money of course… 


When you’re considering cost for your wedding photographer, consider carefully what’s important to you. Don’t look at the numbers, look at the photographer. Who do you get along with? Who do you think is a good fit for your style and personality? 

When you look at a price of your photographer’s wedding packages, consider everything that’s encompassed in that number. It’s not thousands of dollars for one day of work.  

You’re investing in their years of experience to be able to care for your wedding memories! 

Friday, April 9, 2021

Louisville Wedding Photographer | Luxury Tent Wedding

 2020 turned out to be an insane year for all those couples trying to plan weddings. Cat & John were no exception. But with the help of their incredible event planning team, they were able to host a truly beautiful wedding at their own home with their closest friends and family. As a Louisville wedding photographer, I've seen a lot of creativity when it comes to wedding planning.

We started our day at the Seelbach hotel in downtown Louisville. It was a great place to get ready and have our 'first look'. 

I'm so happy that Cat & John were finally able to get married! Their chemistry was just incredible to photograph. 

Please see my main website at